Happy New Year! I know, it’s already over a week into this new year, but with all the holidays and solemnities that the Church recognizes, today we hit the ground ready to grind away at all our well-laid plans for the new year. Today, the Church gives us the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord where Jesus goes to John the baptist seeking baptism and he comes out of the water to the sound of a voice from heaven declaring, “this is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased.” This is recognized as the launch of Jesus’ mission as the redeemer, the son of God, pleasing to him and sent forth to save the world from sin and separation from God the Father. By our baptism, too, we are pulled into the water with Jesus, die with him and rise with him, but not only that. We are given his Spirit, the Holy Spirit within us, indwelling and forming us into the shape of God’s own sons and daughters, holy and beloved adopted children of the Father who looks at us, at all our potential and says, “this is my beloved, with whom I am well pleased”(Matt. 3:17). Knowing who we are in relation to God is the foundation to discerning our purpose in life; with a firm foundation of who we are, we can set off on our life’s mission as Jesus did.
I guess I never thought of it like that before. That our life’s mission is intimately tied to who we are, we must remember that first and foremost, we are beloved. This was certainly a starting point that led me to action like never before, thanks to a little insight on vocation and planning from Simplified Organization, I abandoned my study of the theory of goal-setting and my plans to set goals and just set to paper to lay out my mission for the year ahead. You may know how it is; some days, many days, spent at home with little ones can just slip through my fingers and the messiness and busy-ness can clutter my mind and clamp my tepid efforts to accomplish anything; then three o’clock rolls around and I’m scrambling around to keep up the appearance that my day wasn’t wasted on board books, baths and social media. But I am also God’s beloved with whom he is well pleased, why don’t I act like it? Why do I feel so useless and disappointing sometimes? Maybe because I’m not living up to the potential that God sees and has given me; so this year, I resolved to reach for my potential. I thank God for my ability to so resolve, to be determined, to try through difficulties and reach for who I am as beloved and pleasing to God.
My first step in the process was to ask, who am I? What are my roles? Then based on that information, build a plan for improvement in each of those areas so that I can be a more intentional and fruitful disciple. Let me tell you who I am and what I do in each of those roles (the verbs in each role I’ve underlined):
- Daughter of God: I belong to God. I seek first his kingdom and righteousness.
- Wife: I love and honor my husband.
- Mother: I teach and form my children.
- Person: I take care of my body and social life.
- Homemaker: I organize and improve my household.
- Minister: I encourage and inspire others to a deeper relationship with God.
- Landlord: I provide and manage properties.
In each of those areas, I made three types of goals: Growth Goals, Concrete Goals and Habit Goals stating the target and the reason why. Here’s an example of one of my habit goals as a homemaker: I will tidy the house before leaving for school so I can have a peaceful and focused day. Doesn’t that sound great? I’ll tell you what, it feels great, too because God wants me to be peaceful and focused to be able to reach for the abundant life he has in store for me. By taking the time to reflect on who I am and what I want in life to be fulfilled, I could then plan my steps to get there. This has been the best part of the process, because I’m planning on fruitfulness. I’m tired of winter. I’m done with planning and ready for living.
My love lifts up his voice, he says to me, ‘Come then, my beloved, my lovely one, come.
For see, winter is past, the rains are over and gone.
Flowers are appearing on the earth. The season of glad songs has come, the cooing of the turtledove is heard in our land.
The fig tree is forming its first figs and the blossoming vines give out their fragrance. Come then, my beloved, my lovely one, come. (Song of Songs 2:10-13)
I’m ready and willing to live a life of fruitfulness knowing I’m called and empowered by the Holy Spirit to accomplish his mission for me. So here I am, rising out of the waters of baptism (again) and setting off to do his good work in my heart, in my house and in the world for God’s greater glory. AMDG