who does God want you to be?

Can anything good come of me just throwing some thoughts out to the wind and letting them fall where they may?

We shall see.

So. We’ve been doing some soul-searching around these parts. I’ve blogged about the tension before. Parts of our hearts in one place, parts in another. Health issues keeping us from doing/being all we want to do/be. And all that and what have you.

And then the other day. Sweet little 8yo Nina handing me a full-page letter of lament detailing her thoughts and emotions about her purposeless existence where she’s just going with the flow and has no idea what she wants to do with her life. With a sad face and tears drawn at the bottom.

Break my heart.

And then our pastor stops by for a visit, and we get to talking, and he tells us about The Rule of Life he just filled out. A sheet of paper/way of life where you record daily/weekly/quarterly practices, goals for the year, things you want to do to bring you closer to God, etc.

And then he preached about it on Sunday. And our Community Group talked through it (sharing personal examples) last night.

And then Gabe and I chatted some more about it today. And can I just insert a hopefully-not-premature PRAISE JESUS here? (Never mind. A PRAISE JESUS is never premature.) For the first time in two years, Gabe is showing signs of getting back to who he used to be–except better. He’s using words like “excited” and “looking forward to” and he’s suggesting things we need to do and goals we should have.

I could almost fall over from the amazing-ness of it all.

He wants me to map out some things I want to do with my life (and possibly try some new things). He doesn’t want me to be over-committed, but he wants me to be fulfilled. He wants me to enjoy what I’m doing but also step out of my comfort zone.

And I’m a bit of a mess over it.


Actually, I do know. But I fear it might be just a wee too many things and I can’t do them all. In no particular order:

I want to be a writer. I want to blog consistently. And churn out e-books. (I have oh so many things to write.) And write with my girls. And share some things that are really important to me.

I want to be a good neighbor. I want to meet more Somali friends. I want to keep having people over. I’d like to learn some more Somali. And help with tutoring. I want to be here for people, and I want to share the hope I have in Jesus.

I want to help people pursue their passions. This has long been a passion of mine, and I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve had to do this already. This is including, but not limited to, helping people write a book. (And Gabe has been scheming a way I could help a select handful of people actually do this.)

I want to love my husband and girlies well. Among other things, this involves helping my husband heal physically/emotionally and “educating” (cough, cough) our daughters.

I want to go back to Cambodia. Period.

I want to help Cambodia from here while I’m here. By raising awareness through blogging and Facebook posts. My new e-book. The Dancing Elephant.

That’s a long enough list for now.

So, what’s my point? Who knows. No, I know. It’s this: Who does God want me to be?

Related: What does he want me to fill (or not fill) my life with so that I can become that person? How can I discern when to say yes and when to say no? How do I know when to give up and when to press harder?

How do I ensure that I don’t do too much too fast and burn out? What do I do with guilt (from saying no and/or disappointing people)? Am I heading in the right direction, and are the things in my life aligned with that direction?


Believe it or not, I’m not really looking for pat answers. Or advice. Or even sympathy. (Or the opposite of sympathy.)

Just wanted to share. And I had a feeling some of you could relate. Yeah?

I’ll be working on my Rule of Life, and maybe I’ll share it when it’s all said and done.

Oh! And two items of business:

1.) I’ll be a guest on Moody Radio’s Midday Connection Tuesday, January 21st talking about human trafficking. I’d love for you to listen in. I’ll also be writing a post with lots of resources for learning more (and how you can help!).

2.) I’m in the beginning stages of planning a little something where I could personally coach/mentor some of you who want to write a book. You’d have to make a financial investment but I’m pretty sure it would be way worth it. After talking it over with Gabe, I’d probably be inviting 10-15 people to be part of my guinea pig group. You’d get a discount since I won’t exactly know what I’m doing. Let me know if you might be interested.

Thanks for hanging in there with me, friends. This “regular” blogging thing is kind of fun. And just curious? Does the Rule of Life sound like something you might want to take a stab at? (perhaps you’ve done it in the past?) Maybe we could work on it together.

13 thoughts on “who does God want you to be?

  1. Melissa

    Hi Marla,
    I hope this doesn’t come across as too much advice-like, because I know you don’t want advice on this. We’ve had to switch churches and our new pastor, he’s a really good guy, part of the reason we went with this church – I’ve got to connect with the pastor. Anyways, I sometimes have a hard time figuring out what to do. And he said one time in a Bible study, that when you’re faced with deciding between two things and you don’t know which one to pick, that sometimes we pray that God would show us which one is the best one or the right one, but unless one is a sinful option, there is not necessarily a better option – when we are living for His glory, whichever way we go, He is going to bless that. I hope that’s not too advice-y, it’s just something that comforts me and I thought maybe it might be comforting to you too.

  2. Elizabeth Hutchison

    Marla, I just love your heart for your family, for Jesus, and for being part of what he’s doing. It’s encouraging to me. I would REALLY be interested in your guinea pig group about writing, but, of course, it would have to be online, as I live in Virginia. Praying that you go out with joy!

  3. Teresa Henry

    I would be interested in your book group! I know that God wants me to finish it and sooner than later! I took a peek at the Rules of Life. I am going to finish looking at in just a few minutes.

    I am also glad that you are blogging again. I always love your posts whatever season you are in! You definitely do have a heart for helping people pursue their passions. I appreciate that quality in you!

  4. Tina Evans

    I am so enjoying that you are writing posts more. It’s kinda like catching up with an old friend. I really love how God is currently working in your lives and will continue to pray for you all. I checked out the Rule of Life. It sounds like something I would be interested in. A “test” or “checklist” for my faith, dream, and where I am headed right now/where God wants me right now. I am kind of at a “stale-mate” and this seems perfect for me while I am waiting. So, I’m with you in doing this together. Prayers and blessings to your family. <3

  5. carrie

    I would love to get your help writing a book! The rule of life sounds like something I need to do as well. Would love to work on it with you! Let me know. You have a habit of inspiring me when I think all is lost!

  6. Rachelle

    Yeah. Seeing my, perceived, failures and trials as part of the plan…then wondering, now what? This is where I’m trying to learn to trust God.

  7. Cheryl Pickett

    So I started a new part time job yesterday, It’s not something I ever dreamed of or anticipated being, a church admin assistant/secretary, but here I am. Really no idea how/why it worked out other than we truly need the income, it’s close to home and maybe I’m supposed to do something special, learn something I need to learn or both. Also, I’m ahead of you in trips around the sun and I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up either. Kinda never have really so far.

    I do have a suggestion that has helped me a little, check out the website, Puttylike.com. Maybe you are one that isn’t supposed to be one thing, and believe it or not, that’s okay.

  8. Gloria Philpott

    I’m totally with you. I missed the sermon Sunday because we were out of town, so now I’m excited to listen to it. We keep struggling with having too much great stuff on our plate, but we can’t figure out what we need to drop off the plate. That question – How can I discern when to say yes and when to say no? That’s my question for this year.

  9. Tara Livesay

    Peace in the process, Marla. That is the hard part, huh!? I want to have more time to write than I do … my brain is frustrated with me because I don’t take the time to process stuff. Just wanted to say I am happy for improvement in Gabe’s health and your lives … Bondye Bon (god is good)

  10. Kandalyn

    I might be interested in being a part of your write a book guinea pig group…SCARY…but I think it would be really good for me!

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