salvaging a forgotten purpose

salvaging a forgotten purpose

Six years ago, I purchased a FranklinCovey planner.

And then technology changed and I started keeping track of my calendar through gmail and with a smart phone it is so convenient to have that electronic copy everywhere.  The planner had long since been hiding in a closet.

But as I have been traveling and having meetings, I realized it is helpful to have a paper calendar with the ability to take notes and remember who I talked to when and what about.  So I dug out that old planner, purchased a new weekly calendar to put in it.

In the process, I found the section of the planner that is really the “franklincovey” benefit – clarification of mission, values, roles and purpose… along with questions and activities to help you discover them. Talk about finding something from the past and wanting to salvage it!

It is fascinating to look back and to see what those values, roles and purposes were and how they have or have not changed:

hill_rhythmValues… most of which have not changed one bit!

  • authenticity
  • simplicity
  • hospitality
  • physical well-being
  • communication
  • embodiment
  • rhythm/balance
  • relationships


  • Fiancee/Partner (Now wife!)
  • Ministry Intern (Now minister, fundraiser, organizer)
  • Graduate Student (So glad I’m not worrying about classes now!)
  • Daughter/Granddaughter/Sister
  • Friend

What is one thing you could accomplish in your professional life that would have the most positive impact?

  • Creating a change of paradign within the United Methodist Church that would allow us to value embodiment, ritual, authenticity and would be inclusive of all people. This would creat opportunities for individuals and communities to have real and life-changing experiences of God.

What is the one thing you could accomplish in your personal life that would have the most positive impact?

  • Practice the spiritual life with my family in such a way that we are aware of our connection/dependence upon God and this creation; truly live according to a discipline that values simplicity and the rhythm of life.

The kind of person I want to be:

  • joyful
  • simple
  • compassionate
  • authentic
  • relaxed
  • open
  • hospitable
  • accepting
  • loving
  • relational
  • empathetic
  • holy
  • merciful

All the things I would like to do:

  • visit the Czech Republic
  • get married (done!)
  • have children
  • plant a garden (done!)
  • connect with a monastary
  • work with the dying (I have LOVED funeral ministry)
  • preside over the sacraments (yes!)
  • join a CSA
  • host weekly dinners (well, we don’t host, but we have them!)

All the things I would like to have:

  • a home with a garden (yes… although our current house will have a container garden)
  • a large kitchen for entertaining
  • a plan for retirement


I actually never completed the section that has you draft and then finalize your purpose statement, but I think in many ways what I had written gives voice to that purpose.  As I think back upon these last five or six years, many of those values and desires have been lived out.  I truly tried to minister in my congregation and in this conference with that “vision” of what I wanted to accomplish professionally in mind – although not with great intent.  It is part of who I am, however, and so even without specifically trying, it has been a part of what I do.   Even in my work with Imagine No Malaria, I can help us to do work with our hands and feet, truly engage our communities, and share what we know and have experienced with one another.  I want to involve everyone in this amazing effort to do something great for (and with) God.

What I have missed out on and am trying to reclaim in my life right now is that sense of rhythm.  A schedule, a discipline, for every day life.  In the past few weeks, I have been working on precisely that so it was amazing to rediscover that in the pages of this planner.  I have been establishing a pattern for myself that includes dishwashing before bed, laundry on Saturdays, coffee and devotions in the morning, and a plan for meals that allows us to eat simply and healthily.  I’m not stressed about those things… they are finding their place, although gradually.  And I’m grateful to reclaim that rhythm as a core value in my life.

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