Jan 9, 2014

goal-setting // plant seeds & leave legacy


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plant seeds & leave a legacy
What do these words mean to you? Do they only refer to parents and grandparents, or do singles also take part? Is it only for the mature or can the young also contribute?

Lara Casey tackles the idea of legacy in step four of her goal-setting series. What a concept, right? I mean, most resolutions focus on me. My weight loss. My financial success. My traveling. Me. But Lara challenges a selflessness in goal-setting. Sure there are goals that are focused on things we want to work on ourselves, but it is vital to look at the big picture and ask: how can I serve others in 2014? What seeds can I sow into the lives of others in the next few weeks, months, and years? How can I share the love of Jesus that has so graciously been lavished upon me? How can I carry on the good news and bring hope to those around me? 

When I think of two [planting seeds & leaving a legacy], I think of a continuum: I can plant seeds today to see the fruit in years to come (legacy). I can tend and faithfully "water" the gifts God has given me today so I can minister and teach those younger than I and hope they avoid the same mistakes I've made. I can pray for a humble heart that does not want a name or accomplishments to define me, but a drive to see lives redeemed and saved from hopelessness and despair.  

Thankfully, there is no marital status requirements for planting seeds and leaving a legacy for others. This is available for any person in any stage of life. All you need is a willingness to serve and a heart that listens to the needs that God whispers to you daily. As a single woman, I can pour myself into the lives of others in a unique way that may be more difficult when I am married and have children. I can give more of myself and be flexible with my availability for others. 

A few ways that I can plant seeds and leave a legacy for others include:
>> teaching sunday school: I've been teaching for 12 years now and have seen "my kids" grow up to be teenagers and young adults, some even are married with children! What a blessing to see girls who I led as a camp counselor 12 years ago now become beautiful and faithful wives. It's humbling and makes me beam with joy. Maybe this is a glimpse of what it will feel like to a mom or grandma?

 >> as a sister: I have 6 younger siblings who I want to love, respect, and serve as a big sister. I have not always been patient with them or made time for them in the past years because of my career-driven goals. I want this to change this year, especially with my four younger brothers. I want to take my them out, one at a time, and really get to know them. I want to know their goals and dreams. I want to know how I can specifically pray for them instead of the same general prayers I've prayed thus far. I want to encourage them to grow to be men who love God, defend and respect women, and selflessly serve those less fortunate than them. 

>> as a friend: I want to be a friend who others can depend on through the joyful mountaintops as well as the painful valleys. I have been blessed with friends who have taught me to trust and be transparent, and I want to be such a friend. When I am together with friends, I want to cultivate deep relationships in which these friends feel cherished, listened to, and respected. 
[my forever friend, a pearl of great price, my BFF]

>> as a "big sister" mentor: I have two young ladies for whom I am a "big sister", meaning aim to point them towards Jesus and help lighten the burden that comes with being a teenage girl (because it was rough, y'all!). I have enjoyed my outings with each of these girls and have been humbled by our conversations. I desire to be more available for them this year and to spend more time praying for them.
[see my posts on the big sister mentoring here and  here]

>> working as a PNP with at-risk teens: I see many kids and teens each day who are one step away from jail, living on the streets, and getting kicked out of school. Some have been there and done that, twice. It's heart-wrenching to see young teens give up on life because they've only been exposed to depravity, hopelessness, and  abuse. I often get overwhelmed to hear their stories and wonder if I can hear another story that rips my heart. But this year, I want to be a beacon of hope for these kids. I want to continue to pray for compassion, patience, and a nonjudgemental attitude with every one of these teens that come into the clinic to see me as their health provider. I want to challenge myself to pray for them as I make my long commute home and never give up on them, even when others may. I want to remind them of their worth and boldly tell them that they have a great future ahead of them. Because honestly, there really is something so unbelievably beautiful about a teen girl tearfully looking back at you and realizing, yes I do have worth. Yes, I am beautiful. It's something I want to see more in 2014.

>> beautiful hope blog: This blog started and continues to aim to point to Jesus and all He has so graciously blessed me with. Sometimes that includes posts that are focused on what He is doing in my life. Other times it means sharing photos of places I've travelled and consider blessed opportunities to see His amazing creation. And at times I share what other women have written by reviewing inspiring books or stories of those who fire me up to serve others. Whatever it looks like, I want it to look like Jesus. I want Jesus to be the song I sing every time I post. I have a one-track playlist and it will forever be Jesus.  For when I am looking to Him, then my heart naturally desires to pour itself out for others around me, because that is what Jesus did. 
How do you plan on sowing seeds into the lives of others? What kind of legacy do you want to leave for the people in your life, whether in this current year or years to come? 

[p.s. catch up on this little series my clicking here]

10 comments:

  1. You are living a most beautiful life and I feel so honored to meet you in a month!! woo hoo:) xxxoo Katie

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    1. Right back atchya!! YOU, my dear, are living an adventurous life, fully surrendered to the hands of an Almighty God and it is so fun to peer into it through your blog and emails and see all that God is doing in and through you! I am totally excited to hang out in a month!!!

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  2. Elle, I've so enjoyed this mini goal setting series of posts you've been doing recently. It's much different than a lot of what I've seen other bloggers do, and I love how it focuses on approach the new year with purpose and vision as opposed to a list of goals. Everyone plays a part in the cycles of planting and reaping our legacy, and I so wish we were more thoughtful in how we do so. =) I'll be e-mailing you about that Skype call here soon!

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    1. Thank you so much Natalie! I feel like this year will be different than the last. I didn't feel very driven or intentional last year and let a lot of important things fall on the wayside because of stress and "being too busy", one of which includes dedicating more time to sowing seeds in others' lives. I pray this year will be an year of being intentional in all areas, as well as surrendered to however and whatever God wants 2014 to look like. Although I wanted to rush into writing a list of goals/resolutions, I forced myself to pause and take time to go through Lara Casey's step-wise approach to goal-setting and it has taught me a lot. I have a natural inclination towards order, schedules, and planning ... so it only felt natural to hurriedly list how to better myself in 2014. But I have been feeling a tug on my heart from God to sit and wait a while (oh, how hard this can be!) and to let Him mold the year into whatever He wants. Sure I'll eventually write some goals, but I want them to be under the overarching umbrella of God's plan for my year and to flow from a desire to follow His leading. And writing some of it out on the blog holds me accountable to this desire, so that's a perk to being somewhat transparent on the blog!
      P.S. I will be responding to your email soon!

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  3. Wonderful ideas of how to plant those seeds! I never knew you had 6 siblings! :)

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    1. Thank you, Angela! Actually I have 8 siblings (an a sister-in-law, a neice, and a nephew!)! The six I mentioned are the younger ones. I have two older brothers too! It was a loud and fun childhood!!

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  4. This is so great. It's so true how our goal setting is so often about us but how often are we thinking about the legacy we will leave. Makes me think I've got a few revisions to do in some of my goals.

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    1. Thank you, Chantel! Yes, I am right there with you . . . Many of the goals I have brainstormed thus far seem to be about me, so my prayer is to be focused on others rather than on me. What would our communities look like if more people decided to make resolutions to serve instead of to receive or be served? It would be a sight to hold, right? May it be a year of selflessness for us both!

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  5. I am right there with you, Chantel! Many of my goals have been focused on me and I am praying for God to make me more focused on serving others this year. What would our communities look like if more people were determined to serve in 2014 rather than to be served? Lots and lots of beautiful stories of redemption, hope, and joy I am sure!

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  6. Wow this is amazing. You're such a rock star & thank you for enlightening us with this idea! Xoxo

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I love to hear your thoughts!

Elle Alice