Living With Purpose

Living With Purpose

Many of you know that I have been on a journey over the years to use what I have, specifically my little shop, in any way that I can to glorify the Lord and bless others. You can read a little more about that journey Here, in my blog post titled “The Hands and Feet of Jesus Through Retail”. The older I get, the more I truly try (emphasizing “try”) to live this in my daily life and in the decisions I make. At my store, this looks like offering my customers many ways to “Purchase with Purpose” by offering goods that support companies that offer fair wages, support missions, and give back in a “one for one” sales model. I also try to implement a giving aspect at almost all of our events by selling tickets that become a donation to a local charity.  At home, it looks like making sure I am giving money to something every month, whether that be a charity or mission, or a local church, it gets drafted right out of my account before I get too attached.  It can also look like choosing to live simply (i.e. a smaller home, one vehicle, a less extravagant vacation or a pared down closet), even if you can afford to live abundantly, so that you have more time and money to give away.  All of this is good, but I don’t tell you any of this looking for praise or a pat on the back because truthfully, I never feel like I am doing enough. Balancing “getting” what I want, and “giving” what I think I should has become really hard for me. 

I am blessed to live in this beautiful, wealthy, and privileged country, a blessing that I probably take for granted most days. It is so easy to get wrapped up in my little life with my list of wants and hopes and dreams.  While none of this is bad, it is very easy to turn a blind eye to what is happening in the rest of the world.  A world full of poverty, hunger, sex trafficking, and slavery.  A world full of drug addiction, mental health issues, loneliness, desperation…. The list seems like it could go on forever! I listened to the best podcast today and am looking forward to a “give back” event tomorrow at my shop and I guess that is what got me inspired to jot down these thoughts. On episode 92 of The Pivot podcast, the host, Andrew Osenga interviews David Zach, a member of a rock band that has traveled the world with an organization called Exodus Road helping to rescue young girls and boys from slavery and sex trafficking. The story is amazing and definitely worth the listen but the thing I really took away is that you don’t have to travel the world working under cover, there are so many ways you can minister to others every day.  David mentions that his band is his “currency” and that he has just tried to figure out how to use his currency for the work of the Lord. From only selling free trade t-shirts at his concerts, to working with Exodus Road, he has made the conscious effort to use what he has to make a difference and to raise his family to be aware of the needs of the world.

If you allow yourself to tune in and be aware, it can be overwhelming.  I guess this is why I have tried to embrace Andy Stanley’s mantra “do for one what you wish you could do for everyone”. Take every opportunity you have to do the small things and you will be amazed at how it all adds up. Be ready, because when you start to say “yes” to the Lord in small ways, he will stretch you in ways that may be uncomfortable, but oh so rewarding. My challenge to you is to figure out what your “currency” is and start using it.  Maybe it’s your job, your income, your free time, even your love of shopping!  Take the time to open your eyes to the needs in your community and open your mind and your heart to be willing to serve, however the Lord asks you to.  It can be as simple as attending local charity and fundraising events (who says you can’t have a little fun while giving back!) or choosing to support fair trade businesses and being willing to spend a little more on your clothing and accessories. Volunteer a day or two a month at your local food bank or shelter.  Volunteer to work with high-risk teens or tutor at your local elementary school. Choose a charity or organization to donate to monthly.  Giving at your local church is very important and I am not trying to deter you from that, but there are so many worthy organizations that could benefit from something as simple as $40 or $50 a month. Maybe your “currency” is the gift of encouraging people by sending little notes to shut-ins and nursing home residents, or maybe sending a little note to a young mother just to tell her she is doing a good job. Doing simple things will open your eyes to larger needs and I feel confident the Lord will continue to show you ways to stretch your “currency”.  My currency is my shop, this blog, my social media.  I am constantly seeking ways I can love and encourage through these avenues by being honest about my life and my hardships.  My couch is my currency, just giving of my time and my ears and my heart to others who are struggling and need to talk. My currency has changed over the years as I have had to adjust to much change and to give up ways that I used to feel I could serve, but not serving is not an option.  Until the day we draw our last breath, there is kingdom work to be done. We need to feel a little less indifferent and a little more burdened by what is happening in the world around us.  What I am currently working on is giving more of my time and deciding what that can look like for me.  I also need to be more mindful of my purchases as I sit here writing this wearing a pair of shoes that came from Walmart, but hey, we are all a work in progress! 

Go through life offering a smile, with open hands, an open heart, and an open mind and I think we will all be surprised where the Lord will lead and how the Lord can use the simplest of things to heal, love, encourage and even rescue those in need.  Cheers to living a more mindful, purpose filled life my friends!

xo, Roxie

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