You would think that this would be easy for me as I have been using the term "lifegiver" for years to describe the kind of person I want to become. Yet when it came time to work on this episode, not only did I have a loss for words- I also went through a challenging week that completely changed my perspective. The military has a way of taking everything you put nicely in an organized box in your mind and then dumping it out and walking on it. Or maybe that's just me... I have a feeling you have been there, too. I admit that I am not especially strong at adapting to change quickly which you can imagine makes being a military wife tough. Yet, in that moment, I thought about all of you. I was reminded of how much grit it takes to be a military spouse, regardless of branch or circumstance. Some days are easy, others can feel excruciating- yet we find a way to push through and find a silver-lining. In this episode, I describe what a Lifegiver is and the three things that I have found in common with every Lifegiver I have ever met. If we want to make a difference in our home and in the world, these are three things we MUST do. I hope it challenges and encourages you to work towards your purpose and potential. She must know her current passion and calling. What is it you love to do? What fires you up and makes you angry with the world? A Lifegiver must define or begin to define what she is currently passionate about and then be working towards her future purpose. What can you do right now to keep growing despite where the military sends you or whether it takes your spouse away? Creativity is crucial, knowing your purpose will help provide the hope as your place, the people, and seasons change. Secret: Our calling is rarely tied to things like your business, your crafts, or your ideas. The most fulfilling calling will always involve people who need the lifegiving hope our wisdom carries. Here is a short talk from Brene Brown on understanding the power of empathy. A Lifegiver must be able to protect her calling. Protection involves both offense and defense. You must first be able to know how to take care of yourself. Each of you likely know what state you are in and what you are “needing to do” or being asked to do to take care of yourself- so do something today that moves you in that direction- at least one thing. But a Lifegiver must also work in Defense. Once you know your calling, it is much easier to say no to the energy wasters be it tasks or people that suck the life out of you. Knowing your calling gives you the words you need to say no to other things. My challenge to you is to make a mission statement if you haven’t already. A Lifegiver must give her marriage and family her first fruits. As much as I hate hearing the phrase often used by the military to “put your household in order”, there is much truth in that no person can be mission ready if those she is responsible for are neglected, in conflict, or in trouble. The place where you have the most impact and influence is at home. Think of it this way. What you may have to offer someone else, multiplies when you invest in it at home. What someone else might walk away saying, “Gee that was nice of her” gets a “That was exactly what I needed in my life today” from our husband or children. Our calling is something that is a life journey, we will often need to take sabbaticals to give our first fruits to those that mean the most to us. This does not mean you lose your calling, but if you don’t take care of your first responsibility, you CAN lose your family. Bring life to the garden in your own backyard before starting a greenhouse business. Here is a great TedTalk by Benjamin Zander on how to define whether you know you are making a difference. He is a Classical Musician and uses music to make an incredible point.