Passion and Purpose

Every day, we probably all try to be better at something.  I mean, I really doubt if anyone every wakes up in the morning and says, "I think I will try to do a really lousy job of whatever I try to do today.  No, probably not, but without trying, I know that I fully succeed at the latter, even if I don't plan on it.  Over the last five months or so, I've gotten to be part of a team of volunteers that helped coordinate bringing Matthew Kelly to Lincoln for a one day retreat entitled "Living Every Day with Passion & Purpose" in which he speaks about becoming the best version of yourself, using what God has provided and as He intended.  In the planning process, I was excited, and then hesitant, and then irritable that I committed to something AGAIN that I simply didn't have time for.  And then I would go to another planning meeting and get all excited again, because, quite simply, everything that Matthew says, writes about and promotes is just encouraging and inspiring.  In hindsight, I am so glad that I was asked to be part of it, because otherwise I would have missed out on most of it if not all of it.  His retreat is advertised that it will 'change your life'.  Most things that say something like that seem cliche, but realisitically, even if one measily little thing that he offered is applied to life, life is changed.

When I started typing, I thought I would be able to summarize what I learned at this retreat.  I can't do it.  There is just too much, and right now, I don't know how to put it into words.  I am simply, but greatly inspired, encouraged, and motivated to work on becoming the best version of myself.  NOW...I realize that anytime one goes to anything that is motivational, one feels like the world can be conquered.  I am no different.  Yesterday, I was on fire, ready to change the world...or at least my world.  This morning I woke up and felt the same, although I had to ask myself, "Now, how was I going to do that again?"  I realize that the fire always dwindles, sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly, but the beauty of this retreat is that one, I took notes, and two, he offered realistic things that could easily be applied every day, every week, that would help in this process.  Fortuneately for me, I have hundreds of things that I would like to do better, so I've always got something to help remind me that I have tools that I can use to assist me in finding a better version of myself.
Here are the things from my notes that had asteriks beside them:

1.  Personal clarity comes from SILENCE, and we are addicted to noise. 
2.  God created us in His image, and somehow, over time, we seem to be trying to create God in our image.
3.  Love is not about understanding, it is about acceptance.
4.  What makes something good is if we can say that it helps us become the best version of ourselves.
5.  Our body is temporal and our soul is eternal.  What is temporal should not be in charge of what is eternal.
6.  The only way to say no to something is to say yes to something deeper.

I won't try to explain them...they make sense to me because I got the whole thing, not just the six points.  Oh, there was so much more!

Part of the retreat was also the musical talent of Eliot Morris.  I've said before that music is something amazing that can reach your soul through your senses.  Beautiful.  It was fun to be involved with the retreat itself.  My breaks were spent selling books and CDs.

That too was fun, plus I now have a big list of things I want to read!  Lucky me, as part of the team, I had received many of the media materials already, but I still have a long wish list!! 

In addition to working with other amazing people that are on fire for their faith and excited about growing spiritually at every turn, I was able to interact with hundreds of others that were excited as well!  And the bonus part of it was having a little bit of time to visit with Matthew, and Eliot and the members of their team that helped make everything come together.  I suppose it is as close as I have ever really gotten to celebrities, and quite honestly, how often are celebrities focused on being the best Christians that they can be??  These are the kind of people that I would love to invite to dinner at my home and get to know them even more. 
Several of my own dear friends, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law and my husband were all part of the day as well, which makes it even better!  I love knowing that in regard to my spiritual growth, I have these people in my corner, wanting to do the same. 

The kicker to the entire event was that it was held the same day as the supposed rapture...the beginning of the end of the world!  (This wasn't on purpose!  LOL)

"If you are what you should be, you'll set the world on fire."--St. Catherine of Sienna