Thoughtful Boldness

Thoughtful Boldness on God's Love and Grace

March 28, 2014
by kflabarge@gmail.com
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What is your purpose in life?

“I would say that my life purpose is to be the best me that I can be and to make a difference in as many lives as possible.”
–Mallory Overway
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I met Mallory Overway today at my favorite Biggby coffee shop in Jenison.  She was hard at work doing her homework and studying to be a Social Worker with a minor in Criminal Justice.  She has one year left for her bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley.  While she doesn’t know yet exactly where is going to go to graduate school, she knows that she is aiming for a MSW (Masters of Social Work) and that she is planning on making a difference in as many lives as possible.  Her eyes sparkled as as thought about her bright future. I have no doubt that Mallory is going to make a difference for many people in the world!

March 26, 2014
by kflabarge@gmail.com
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What is your purpose in life?

“To have a family.”  –21 year old server at a Grandville Restaurant.

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On Tuesday night, while Bill was out of town for work, Elisa and I decided to go out for dinner.  Our server was hilarious.
Before we had even gotten our drinks, he had us laughing. When I asked him if he wanted to be on my blog and gave him the question, he immediately turned serious.  He said, “You won’t believe this, but I was just talking about that with my friend.”  A bit later during the meal he had time enough to pause to answer the question. His answer was simple.  It was to have a family.  He explained further.  ” I didn’t have much of a family growing up. So I want to have a family.  To find someone, hold onto them, settle down and have a family.”  He said more about how he liked to talk to his customers, particularly the older ones and how they all say that what they treasure most is their families.  He said he didn’t care how much he would need to work to support his family, it was what he wanted to do with his life.

Currently this young fellow is in college, working part time and living at home to save money.  He sometimes goes out with a particular girl as a friend, but he would like the relationship to become even more than just friends.  But to protect his identity, he didn’t want me to take his picture or to use his name online.  So as a compromise, he asked the hostess draw this picture.  I think that is one rather special hostess…

March 24, 2014
by kflabarge@gmail.com
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What is your purpose in life?

“To be a part of children’s lives in every aspect God puts me in.”
-Karen Andrews
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For the past 21 years, Karen has lived out her purpose in life by being a teacher.  She is a very special kind of teacher, —she is in charge of the young 5’s at Brandon Elementary in Martin, Michigan.  When she is not busy with her young fives, she and her beloved husband Frank are busy raising their two amazing sons, Benjamin and Bryan. (Ages 14 and 13.)  On Sunday when the YOUTH group went and saw the movie, “God is not dead”; Karen was along as a c0-leader.  I caught this photo of her with the children’s carousel in the background, a place where undoubtedly her students would love to spend some time!

 

March 24, 2014
by kflabarge@gmail.com
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What is your purpose in life?

“To have a healthy baby.” –Donna Evans

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Donna Evans spent most of her high school years at Allegan High School.  But as a Junior, she left Allegan to finish the school year at Fennville High.  Her plans were to continue on there and to graduate from Fennville the next year, but her father got sick with renal cancer and died during her Senior year.  With no one able to give her a ride to her school of choice,  Donna is still a couple of months short of earning her High School diploma.

Today, Donna is a 20 year old single mom-to-be.  Very recently she discovered that she is pregnant and she moved back in with her mother.
This however is not stopping her from her plans to finish her high school education.  She is in the process of enrolling in Job Corps in Grand Rapids.  After earning her diploma and getting some vocational training at Job Corps, Donna hopes to find a good job and an apartment to be able to provide for herself, her mother and her baby.

March 23, 2014
by kflabarge@gmail.com
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What is the purpose of your life?

It has been a long day working on various projects around the house.  So when my daughter, Elisa and I went to the store to pick up a few things, I tried to get some people to answer my question.  We did not have any luck with the man picking out some flavorings for his water, nor from the young woman working as a bagger and cashier assistant on the self check out lanes.   A man on Lane One also turned us down when we asked.  Everyone was in a hurry, getting their late Saturday night purchases, and no one was sticking around to talk.

In the car on the way home, I asked my daughter, Elisa if she wanted to do it.  She said, “I’d rather not.  Only if Dad doesn’t want to.”  When we got home and unloaded the groceries, Bill was in the middle of making sausages in the kitchen and turned me down too.  So Elisa generously said that she would.  We tried for a while to get a good photo of her with her cat, but Titania wasn’t cooperating.  The cat wanted only to play, and not to sit still and smile.

Elisa’s answer to this question is, “I’m not sure what the answer to that question is yet.  But I am nervous putting that online, because people judge, even though they are not supposed to.”   –This actually is a really good answer, and actually very common.  A lot of people when I ask them this question get this frantic look on their face, and they try to think of something wonderful and profound.  But a lot of people have never thought about what their purpose is in life, or are still figuring it out, or are in a place in their life where it is growing and changing.

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March 21, 2014
by kflabarge@gmail.com
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What is your purpose in life?

Melissa Kloppe’s title on her business card is “Relationship Manager”.  While in practice, she is the Bank Manager at the Jenison East branch of Macatawa Bank, she sees her job as being much more than about the numbers.  When I asked her what her purpose in life was, is she immediately said, “To help others.”  And then she explained further.  “I help others, but not just with their money, but by giving them positive reinforcement for their financial and life improvements.” 

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Melissa did not start out in the banking industry.  She went to school for interior design and worked in merchandising, setting up displays for many retail stores.  Soon she found herself working as a store manager for Pier One.  The long and relentless retail store hours were extremely hard on her family.  She was never home for them.  So 22 years ago, she decided to change careers and to go into banking.  She started as a bank teller and was overwhelmed her first two weeks with the sheer amount of things there were to learn.  But she stuck with it and soon was moved into bank management and she started climbing the corporate banking ladder in Holland.  When she realized that she was still missing out on her home life with all of the extra corporate duties, she requested to be moved down to work as a simple branch manger closer to home.  She doesn’t regret her decision one bit.  She now has time for her family, her friends and also to give back to her community.  –And if anyone asks her personally for financial advice, she tells them to come down to her office during business hours.  Her relationship management skills clearly help others as well as herself!

March 21, 2014
by kflabarge@gmail.com
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What is your purpose in life?

“To follow God’s call.”  –Mindy Thompson

Mindy is an extraordinary woman.  She is a former marine, (Fewer! Prouder!) a talented musician and superb soprano vocalist and also the single mother of three boys.
As the former office manager at First Presbyterian Church of Allegan, she has heard God’s call on her life to be a pastor.  She is now a student at Western Theological Seminary. –While being a single mom of three and going to Seminary full time would be hard enough for anyone, now she is facing some life changing health issues which would discourage any of us.  Yet despite all of this, she is determined that her purpose in life is to follow God’s call.

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Mindy and I met this morning at Mug Shots Coffee Shop in Allegan, Michigan before she headed to Holland for her Church History class.  Then I got busy with church work all day and forgot to post this until my husband Bill asked me about it right before heading to bed. My Lenten Experience Experiment continues, better late than never.

March 20, 2014
by kflabarge@gmail.com
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What is your purpose in life?

Deb Booth is a member at First Presbyterian Church of Allegan who is about to move from Allegan to Pullman with her caregiver.
Deb and her house mate Johnny are a familiar pair in downtown Allegan where they frequently save pop cans from the trash
and keep track of the news and the local happenings by walking everywhere and talking to everyone.  They have many friends in town.
Deb is worried that she won’t be able to do as much walking once she moves to Pullman, and that she will lose track of people.
When I asked her what her purpose in life was, Deb said:

“Be happy.  I hope so.  Pray for Debbie that she can come back and visit.”
–Deb Booth
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On Sunday we will ordain Deb to be a Deacon, and her commission will be to spread God’s love in Pullman.  I hope that she will be happy in doing so.
This is day 14 of my Lenten Experience Experiment.  As I am learning more about other people’s spiritual lives and their purposes in life, I am stepping for a minute into their shoes and looking at their lives from their perspectives. It is a humbling experience.

March 18, 2014
by kflabarge@gmail.com
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What is your purpose in life?

My Lenten Experience Experiment continued today when I asked Christy, the Store Manager over at the Grandville Tuesday Morning store to participate in this project.  As usual, when I stopped by to pick up a new notepad for my purse, I found a couple of other things that I could use, all at greatly discount prices. 🙂
However my purchases did not stop Christy from giving a wonderful and complete answer to the question:
“What is your purpose in life?”
“To co-exist, to love everybody like Jesus did, and to raise kind and compassionate children.”
–Christy Le Pitre

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March 18, 2014
by kflabarge@gmail.com
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What is your purpose in life?

Ashley is the friendly and kind voice that you often will hear when you go through the Biggby Drive Through on Chicago Dr. in Grandville.
When I asked her my question, I was kind of getting worried, since I hadn’t found anyone to participate in my Lenten project yet today.
Ashley! (Her nametag has the exclamation point), did not hesitate at all when I asked her,
“What is your purpose in life?”   She said,
“To make people happy.  –That should be everyone’s purpose in life because to make someone happy is to make yourself happy.”
–Ashley Brock
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Ashley is currently studying to be a pastry chef, and has big dreams to eventually open her own pastry and coffee shop.   I am sure that would make a lot of other people, and Ashley herself VERY happy!