How To Have a Purposeful Life


What is it?

It is the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used.

The intended or desired result, end, aim, goal.

I pine to understand it.

It plagues my introspection.

I only have to hear the word and I’m plunged into pondering.

My soul pleads that purpose will yield wholeness and fulfillment.

I took a little poll and learned most people I know think that purpose is intertwined with who you are and what you do. I’d have to agree with this but struggle with what that actually looks like for me. I have a job that plays to my organizational strengths (who I am). I also show up there each day prepared to work (what I do). My job certainly has a purpose; it pays the bills, provides health insurance, etc. However, I don’t necessarily experience wholeness or fulfillment there. So there must be more, right?

I have a pressing desire to do things “right” in my life. What does that mean? I try to follow the rules, do what is expected of me and I strive for excellence in most everything I do. I have high expectations of myself which includes an imaginary tally sheet in my head that scores up whether I am good enough each day. The list drives me (berserk at times) but also imprisons me for fear of failing or falling short. You might call me a perfectionist. I prefer not take risks if I don’t already know I’ll do well. I plan constantly in order to avoid failure so I appear successful – to myself. I am my own worst nightmare. I am the crazed coach on the side lines of my own life screaming insanely with spittle flying everywhere. Why? I have some ideas; they’re not quite complete thoughts yet but somewhere in my broken soul, I’ve come to believe I only have purpose if I am good, perfect, and successful. Anyone else? Please say yes. 🙂

I want to start to hash this out this year. I hope to do some things differently; work on who I am and what I do – maybe even free myself up to make some mistakes. It will be a journey that I’m not sure I will finish anytime soon but I aim to take the risk. Wow, just as I typed that out I realized that journey contains the word JOY. I haven’t often viewed the journey with JOY but I think that the Lord is trying to show me it is there; I may have to slow down and look for it but it is there.

There is a new trend, many people have started to choose a word for their year, I’m joining in but coining my own word.  Purposeful means having purpose, full of meaning, significant. I will be aiming for that goal this year with the hopes to find fullness of purpose. My word is “purposeFULL”. I believe if I’m trying to live my purpose, there will be fullness within my soul. My heart will overflow from that fullness, splashing out on those around me, spilling over to touch their lives with the goodness and grace of the Lord which I do believe that is all of our ultimate purpose.

But I have raised you up for this very purpose,

that I might show you my power and

that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.

Exodus 9:16

I believe we each have individual gifts – talents, strengths or ways of revealing Him to those around us and that is exactly where my striving for excellence, perfection kicks in. Where my “am I doing things right” struggle comes into play. I question what does He want me to do because of course I want to hit that holy bulls eye. This year I will aim for it, realizing I may miss at times but I’m going to keep my eye on the goal by purposefully choosing to do a few things and blog about them. #purposeFULL2016

Here are the goals for my purposeFULL year. These are in no real particular order, just to keep my orderly self in check.  🙂

P – Prayer.  Pray bold specific prayers.

U – Uniqueness.  Seek ways to use my unique gifts and talents to bless others.

R – Relationships.  Risk vulnerability in my relationships.

P – Peace.  Promote peace in all circumstances.

O – Odyssey.  Embrace life’s adventurous JOurneY.

S – Still.  Decide to be still from the hustle and bustle of life and sit with the Lord.

E – Engage.  Choose a project or a cause and get involved.

F – Fruit.  Practice patience and gentleness.

U – Understanding.  Pursue compassionate responsiveness to others needs.

L – Language.  Use meaningful and significant words, spoken and written.

L – Live.  Live like I am lavishly loved by the Lord.

15 thoughts on “How To Have a Purposeful Life

  1. It’s clear to me why we’re friends – we’re basically the same person! I will avoid at all costs doing something if I don’t know ahead of time that I’ll be able to do it “right”. Fear of looking foolish drives me from trying something new or from just being free. Look forward to continuing the journey with you my friend!


  2. I am in the same club as you and Elise! Thanks for sharing your heart with us or as we call it in Kindergarten your (feelings keeper)! Just wanted to suggest a book if you haven’t read it. A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman. It’s all about purpose! I’m reading it right now! 🙂 Wishing you blessings! heidi


  3. Good stuff, Tara! And a very tall order to try to work toward all of those goals. But as perfectionists, we should be able to strive to accomplish all of it, right? 🙂


  4. […] Who likes to wait? My family will be the first to attest it’s not me but waaaaitin’ is a part of everyday life. I’m waiting for the coffee to brew right now. 🙂 I’m waiting for spring and a worthy presidential candidate  but sometimes the wait is more deafening than that, isn’t? Depending on the why of your wait there can be much more going on up in your head or if you’re anything like me…down in your tummy!  Maybe you’re waiting for a call from your Dr., for an adoption to go through, your soldier to return home or numerous other adrenaline pumping, hold your breath circumstances. I had one of those waits this week.  One test result had my brain boomeranging, gut gurgling and my emotions entangled. Boy did I needed some peace.  If you’ve been following me you’ll recall, peace happens to be one of my purposeFULL words this year.  If you missed that post you can read it here. […]


  5. […] 2016 found us renovating a house; that was quite far off from my “purposeFULL” plan. Yet, I found myself overflowing with purpose preparing a warm, inviting home to invite our family and friends too.  It was a lifetime longing come to fruition; a culmination of years of faithfulness and perseverance.  I will admit I was not always patient in the wait but the wonder in me has not ceased as I stand back and enJOY the odyssey of 2016.     If you missed my post about a purposeFULL life you can read it here.  click […]


  6. Another wonderFULLy worded piece, my sweet friend!! I look forward to watching AND reading as you grow hrough this purposeful journey you’ve chosen XOXO!!


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