if you have gathered anything about me (considering the possibility that you are reading this and you DON'T know me very well), it is that i tend to be introspective. perhaps this is a trait of avid readers...
at any rate, i am a dork who loves an inspirational talk/speech/address. (yes, i am the one person who looks forward to keynote speakers and conferences.) yes, i openly own it. with a big smile.
like any bookworm, i have my favorite authors. one i recently discovered (and quickly grew to love), is ann patchett (absolutely brilliant. period.). combine my love of books with my adoration for inspirational speeches and speakers...i recently stumbled upon her "lauded commencement address at Sarah Lawrence College" (her alma matar). needless to say, i love it.
what now is a great example of reflection, of thinking about your circumstances and how they relate to your purpose, if not in life, for God's unique timing.
" 'What now is not just a panic-stricken question tossed out into a dark unknown. What now can also be our joy. It is a declaration of possibility, of promise, of chance. It acknowledges that our future is open, that we may well do more than anyone expected of us, that at every point in our development we are still striving to grow. There's a time in our lives when we all crave the answers. It seems terrifying not to know what's coming next. But there is another time, a better time, when we see our lives as a series of choices, and What now represents our excitement and our future, the very vitality of life. It's up to you to choose a life that will keep expanding.' "
i read her speech last week, and took a picture of this page (yep, with my Iphone-yay technology) so i could remember it (page 77, if you want to be specific--and i feel that i must be). little did i know that her words would have a larger impression on me the next week.
my coworkers and i spent today in a professional development session to address our communication skills (at some point every month, we all deliver "trainings" or "presentations" to large audiences). after our short lunch break, all ten of us were informed that we had to give an expository speech for 2 minutes. the rest of us were to provide critiques and feedback on each one (read: you must critique your peers and two supervisors. panic? yep.).
as we each took a turn over the next hour and a half (with great courage, might i add--it is so much easier to speak in front of people with whom you do not work with every day), i was reminded of the variety of communication and presentation styles of my colleagues. i reflected upon the unique passions for our nonprofit work. whether it stems from a deeply personal experience, as my sweet Leslie feels, or a strong passion to simply help other child care providers succeed, as Beverly exudes, we all "do what we do" because we feel drawn to this field.
"'What Now'" is just a glimpse into the impact we can make in the world. we can choose to rejoice in the opportunities that they will bring.
whatever life has handed you now, my hope it that you will find the good it in; that you will inspire the generation to come.
life isn't always how we "expect it," but is always how we "embrace it." if nothing else, my precious life has been nothing but a lesson in this fact: my amazing husband david is a lesson that "everything happens for a reason (even if i don't really understand it until 14 years later...). "
I don't know about you, but i like to "'have strengths to stand upon.'"
Psalm 91:14 states, "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name."
my blessed assurance is that, in time, He will provide all that We need.