8/31/11

God Doesn't Waste a Thing!

Every once in a while, I need to read a "kick in the pants" book ~ something that reignites my dreams and helps me focus on worthwhile goals and priorities. Kathi Lipp's book, The Me Project, just did that for me. (1)

I'll have a drawing for a copy of the book on September 3rd. Share a comment about why you think you need a "kick in the pants" to accomplish one of your goals, and I'll enter you in the drawing! [Note: The Bliss Family won the book!]

When I first saw the title, I've got to tell you, I thought, "Hmmm... it can't be that godly, all the focus on 'Me.'" But then I read why she wrote the book and I "got" it. It's not all about my self-actualization; it's about discovering and embracing the unique plan God has for my life, and then changing things and kicking my life up a notch so that I cooperate with what God is doing.

And then I realized that Lipp was serious when she used the word "Project." This is no quick read. It's a practical, biblical plan that unfolds as we determine to follow and obey God. It's not a book about having and doing it all, but rather, focusing in on the life God has designed for each one of us. It's about becoming "an expert on your life." And along the way, life gets a little messy as we work through the uniqueness of our roles and calling.

Lipp begins by challenging readers to work through "Nine Quick Steps" to prepare for the project, practical things like choosing a goal, getting a journal, and finding friends to work through the projects with us. And this is where it gets fun. The "goal" we choose can be almost anything ~ not too hard, not too easy, and something requiring a dream. It can be as simple as learning to decorate cakes (did I say simple?) or as challenging as learning to lead a Bible study.

From that point on, the book is full of insight, wise advice, practical motivation, humorous examples, illustrations from Kathi's life, creativity, and encouragement. Each chapter is like a flower bud, opening up at just the right time; and when the truth of who a woman is begins to blossom in her heart, the fragrance is lovely and sweet.

There is no way this review could cover all the book's concepts, so I will just share one of my favorite chapters. In Week One, "Getting Down to Business," Project 4 encourages women to embrace their past. This project, titled "Pixie Cuts and Other Bad Decisions," got my interest because I'm "into" just about every angle of the topic, "Choices." Lipp talks about a "pixie" haircut she got in the fourth grade. The wedge-shaped "Dorothy" haircut ~ patterned after Olympic skater Dorothy Hamill ~ was the source of many bad haircuts and school portraits in the 70s, she said.

The unkind cut Lipp wore for a while upset her for many years ~ every time she looked at old pictures. She discovered that "just because a haircut is popular doesn't mean it's going to work on you."

Then Lipp shared some far more painful "mistakes" she made in life and stated the obvious. Bad choices can be devastating. "But what is often more tragic than making mistakes," she said, "is the woman who will not learn from them."

"Too often women make the same mistake over and over, and instead of changing what they're doing, they spend all their time making excuses about why things can never change."

We're all going to make mistakes ~ lots of them ~ and unfortunately, most of us don't learn much except through the painful lessons of our mistakes. We shouldn't spend time wallowing in the pain of our mistakes, but rather, learn from them (and repent if the mistake involves sin) ... and then move on. We can be transformed as we make course corrections, applying the truth of God's Word to our lives.

Lipp used a story from my own life to drive home this point:

"I went back to finish college when I was 48 and graduated at age 50. Algebra was tough. I took it by correspondence from a Christian college. Though I knew enough to get an A, I wanted a higher A and I cheated. Afterward, my personality changed. I knew I'd sinned, but I didn't deal with it for almost a year. I found that I did everything that year totally in the flesh. God broke my heart at a revival meeting, and I confessed to Him and wrote the school to confess, too. Everyone sitting under my ministry told me that I had new freedom in my speaking after that.

"I learned that integrity matters more than results. That is a hallmark of my ministry with women as I speak to them about the choices in their lives. ~ Dawn"

It was a tough way to learn, but I discovered that God can take our mistakes, our bad decisions, and our sinful choices and turn them into "lessons" for our good. As the scripture says, "We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28, HCSB) And not only that ~ when we surrender it all to Him (the messiness of our lives) He can redeem it all.

As Lipp says, "God doesn't waste a thing."

(1) Kathi Lipp, The Me Project: 21 Days to Living the Life You've Always Wanted (Harvest House Publishers, 2011), pp. 77-82

4 comments:

The Bliss Family said...

I need a "kick in the pants" because I tend to let the "busy-ness" of life and taking care of my young children (and husband!) become my only focus and then I "lose" myself in the process.

Moanie said...

I don't think need a kick in the pants but I can always use a reminder to focus on my goals.

Katie Scott said...

I need to read this book to help me refocus my priorities during the day. I get so focused on my two little kids, work, planning for MOPS, that I really lack time with God, and my hubby, and especially myself!!

Dawn Wilson said...

The writer of The Bliss Family won the book, "The Me Project." Please contact me at:(dawn@heartchoicesministries.com) with information to mail you the book.
Congratulations!