Saturday, February 04, 2017
My Definition of Fulfillment
Twelve years ago I heard about this thing called a Web Log, or a Blog. It was the newest thing on the internet. It was an online place to record your thoughts that everyone could read. And I LOVED the idea. In fact, I loved the idea so much that I started doing it and I started asking a bunch of my fellow adoptive parents who I knew online and in person to start a blog too.
I didn't know what was happening, but we were creating this awesome little community that sustained us for several years. Many of the blog entries were just us doing a complete brain dump of all the things that were stressing us out and then commenting to support each other. Nobody was worrying about Search Engine Optimization or driving traffic there, or selling products or promoting a business. We were just barfing up whatever was inside to help us move on. Did we help each other? For sure!!! Did we provide insight and hope and reality to new adoptive parents? I certainly hope so? Did we provide opportunities for curious voyeurs to watch our lives unfold like a soap opera? Most certainly. My friend Kari used to say, "Your blog is like a bad car accident. You don't want to look but you can't help yourself."
I found great fulfillment in blogging. But what took me to the next level was that I helped others discover the joys of it too. It has never been enough for me in my life to experience something super cool and not do everything I can to make sure as many people as possible get to have that feeling as well.
In thinking back over my life, I was 13 when I really let Jesus take over my life. It was back in the 70s which is a completely different world. I was at a youth retreat, surrounded by my buddies from church, and all the sudden the reality of the fact that Jesus lived within me hit me. I had asked him into my heart at 3, but this was different. I remember the song we sang that night like it was yesterday,
"I have decided, I've made up my mind, I will serve the Lord. I'll leave the world and it's treasures, behind, I will serve the Lord."
I went back to that moment so many times during my teen, college and even adult years when I was tempted to abandon my faith.
And guess what? I talked about Jesus. I still talk about Him. A lot. He permeates every moment of my life and I want everyone I know to experience that too. I'm not one of those people who walks around with tracks handing them out to others, nor do I recite the four spiritual laws over coffee in "soul winning appointments." But I love talking about what Jesus has done for because I know that He'll do it for others too.
I went to a Christian college and I loved my experience there so much that I went into college student development as my first career. I wanted others to have what I had .... an amazing circle of friends, spiritual challenge and depth, incredible professors. And so I became passionate about Christian higher ed and talked about it a lot.
Going way back to when I bought my first Macintosh IIci in 1989, I have been a Mac evangelist. I am forced to squelch it sometimes, and I don't make a pain of myself with it very often, but I love my Mac and all it can do for me. I love my iPhone and I am completely convinced that nothing else is like it and you will never sell me on a different kind of smart phone. I love Apple ... with all of their ups and downs as a company. And I want you to see how great they are too.
I went on a missions trip to Mexico and for years after that I tried to convince everyone I knew to go on a missions trip to Mexico because it changed my life. It changed my life so much that I ended up living in Mexico for two years, sharing passionately with everyone I could about the beauty and joy of that culture.
And then I became a foster parent and learned about children needed to be adopted, and since that time in 1996 I have not shut up about recruiting everyone I can to consider how to help this population of people. I gave my personal life to adoption wholeheartedly and given my professional life to it for 14 years. I talk about it a lot.
I have been reminded again this month about where I find my true fulfillment -- it's in watching others experience something super cool because I told them about it. Yes, it's bullet journaling. I have not had this much joy I discovered and shared the joy of blogging with my friends back in 2005. Since I discovered it about 5 weeks ago, I have convinced three of my friends in Danville to start one. I have encouraged coworkers to get one. We had company last week and I was trying to get them interested. I have mentioned mine online multiple times.
Yesterday a package arrived for Gabby and I -- the last of the bullet journal supplies that I will be buying for a while. One of the things I had ordered is a set of 120 gel markers that are actually 120 different colors. Some of them have glitter in them. Gabby was beyond excited. When you're seven and LOVE to color, 120 markers with some that glitter.... well, I'll put it in her words. "This is one of the best things that has ever happened to me in my whole life."
She and I were working on our journals and using these new markers and she was chattering away. She said, "Grandma? Can you stop talking about your bullet journal? Because I just can't stop talking about this stuff. I just keep talking about these markers. I just love them so much I can't stop talking about them. Are you like that?"
And I realized yes, I am like that. If I am convinced that something is super cool and life changing, I can't stop talking about it.
So it's bullet journaling -- it's changed my life. But the really cool thing for me to see is how it is changing the lives of people I have introduced it to.
If you know me in person, you'll be hearing about it. You may even be forced to look at it. I'll offer to design you some printable pages in Photoshop. I'll help you decide what kind to buy and where to get supplies. I'll suggest ways I think it will help you.
And if you try it, there will be nothing that will bring me more fulfillment that than.
So any time in my life where someone comes to me and says,
"Thank you for introducing me to.... Christian higher ed, or Mexico, or Apple products, or blogging, or foster care and adoption, or bullet journaling, or, most importantly, Jesus.....I will be most fulfilled of all.
I realize that many of you will not have gotten this far, but if you have, thanks for listening to the musings of an old woman. Because this was the original intent of blogging -- to give a voice to the thoughts of the rider, not to bring traffic to a tool to sell books or materials to someone else. Just to let me speak.
I still believe in blogging in it's purity as you can see.
And oh, if you haven' heard about it yet, have I mentioned that I have started a bullet journal?