I remember it as if it happened two weeks ago. I was driving to work in the winter of 1994, maneuvering through the “S curve” of downtown Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In minutes I would arrive to the office and do what I had done every work day for the last seven years. I clearly remember saying out loud in our red Ford LTD on that section of road, “There’s got to be more to life than this.”
Oh, don’t get me wrong. I was thankful for my job. It was unheard of for someone as young as me without proper credentials to have the job I held. I worked at a great company with amazing people. (Some are still my friends today.) I was tremendously grateful. But, I was also miserable. Not to mention six months pregnant with our first child.
“There’s got to be more to life than this.”
I knew there had to be something more to this life. I just knew it. For two reasons: 1) I was miserable in my job and desired to stay home and raise our family, and 2) I lived for the weekend, yet dreaded Sunday evenings because Monday morning was right around the corner. Hump day was a celebratory day (whew! we’re half-way through!), and Fridays? Well, I couldn’t get out the door fast enough at 4 p.m. to head home.
One thing I didn’t know, however, was that God was stirring things in my heart. That He was what I call “waking the sleeping giant within me.” There was a reason I was miserable, I just didn’t know it yet.
But, God did.
Have you ever thought or voiced those nine words? “There’s got to be more to life than this”? I hope not. But if you have, friend, you are not alone. I believe you are in good company. With many of us. Author Max Lucado says that 87% of workers don’t find meaning in their work, and 80% of people feel their talents are not being used. That was me. I was going through the motions and felt as if I was shriveling up a little each day.
I was not in my “sweet spot,” as Max calls it.
In his book, Cure for the Common Life, (affiliate link) he shares how to live in your “sweet spot.” Your one-of-a-kind God-ordained assignment on this earth. The space where success intersects with satisfaction. I recently stumbled upon this book on my bookshelf. I actually forgot I had it. But, opening it up again, I found my past underlines, circles, and stars of many of Max’s words. Too bad this book wasn’t available in 1994. It was published much later, but it would have helped me with my “there’s got to be more to life than this” living.
God was about to move in my life.
In February of that year, I was presented with an opportunity to begin my own business in Mary Kay. Yep, me who never wore makeup was now about to sell it. Little did I know that this would be the beginning of a personal growth journey that would impact every area of my life, and still does today.
One part of my journey led to another part, that led to another part, and then to another. Each part was like a piece of the puzzle, creating an adventurous God-ordained masterpiece of my life. Even the ugly parts where I chose my own way and did my own thing. And the sin-stained parts where I royally messed up in numerous areas of my life. Those are a part of the puzzle, too. God has used it all. The good… and the not-so-good.
He used it all to lead me to my “sweet spot.” The stringing words together in the practice called writing.
Is there more to life than this?
Yes. It’s found that “sweet spot.” The spot God has for you and me. We each have one. Do you know yours? Where do you find satisfaction? Or where is success intersecting with satisfaction in your life? How has God uniquely gifted you? What are you good at? What brings you joy? Think about these questions. Jot some thoughts down. Pray, and see what God reveals to you.
This quote encouraged me today:
Use your uniqueness to make a big deal out of God every day of your life.Max Lucado
This is really the heart of the “sweet spot.” To make a big deal out of God every day of our lives, using our uniqueness.
Back to 1994, I gave birth to Alissa in May, took my maternity leave and decided not to return to my job. My business generated enough income for me to stay home and raise our family. The journey to my “sweet spot” had begun. And, oh, what a journey it is!
If you’re thinking, “there’s got to be more to life than this” today, I’m praying for you. Get ready, because I believe God is about to move in your life. Enjoy the adventure, my friend!
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Not sure I’ve found my sweet spot in retirement or I haven’t recognized it yet. I have a longing; just don’t know what I’m longing for. These are such good words Julie and I love how God has used your life experiences to encourage us!
Hi Cindy! It’s okay if you haven’t found your sweet spot yet. God is using you right where you are with your family, in your community and in your writing. Thank you for your continued encouragement!