“What Is Your Hand Made For?” — SheLoves

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As I faced into the writing deadline for this month, I found myself on vacation, resting with our family on the island of Kauai, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, far away from the demands of our busy life at home. It was good to be there, to be quiet and laid back — because ‘laid back’ is a particularly good state of mind for wrestling with the idea of grit.

The first thing that came to me upon reading this month’s theme was the word, ‘stubbornness!” I remembered that when I was raising our two daughters, I told myself often that any evidence of stubbornness in their nature would serve them well in later life; it was my job to help them learn to control and channel it. Women often need to have more than a little stubbornness to make it in life, to pursue their calling, to become the fullest selves they can be. I believed this to be more true for them than for my son, and I still do. Women need a little something extra, even in this age of egalitarianism. The years since my kids were little have taught me to redefine what that ‘something’ is, however. And our vacation in Hawaii helped me to put words to that definition, and gave me a good question to ask myself, and all those whom I love and counsel.

I learned it at a small slack-key concert, of all places. Twice a week, the little town near our vacation condo offered that lovely music, along with stories and reflections, at the local community center. My husband and I forked over the fifteen bucks each and thoroughly enjoyed our two hours of listening and learning.

Somewhere in the story-telling time, the question that titles this post was offered to the audience. It’s an old idea in Hawaiian culture, and it’s a rich and thoughtful one. Young adults are asked to consider this question as they make decisions about their life work, and I think it’s a question worth asking for all of us.

“What is your hand made for?”

 When we know the answer to that question, everything else somehow comes into clearer focus, don’t you think? What are YOU meant to do with your ‘one wild and precious life?’ How has God formed you? Where should you invest your energies? Who are you designed to be?

Wrestling out the answer to that question is one of the primary tasks of life; it is so worth pondering and exploring. Once we have found the answer to that life-query, then we need to find whatever grit is necessary to move toward it.

Because grit alone will not do the job. There must also be a deeply-seated desire – a desire that is directed, intentional, and God-given — in order for grit to do it’s good work. Without a clear sense of where we’re headed, all the grit in the world will not get us where we want to be. . . 

Like to know what else I think you need? Read the rest of this piece over at SheLoves today. Always a good conversation happening over there!

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