Do you often wonder why? Why am I here? Do I serve a purpose? God says yes. No matter your age or your circumstances, you have a powerful purpose.
Do you have a passion for something? The poor? A country? Justice? Just because you are in school doesn’t mean you can’t do something about it now. Your purpose and your passion intersect—you just have to find where.
Read My Name is Erin: One Girl’s Mission to Make a Difference and:
- Discover and replace your fake purpose with your real purpose.
- Learn how to stop waiting and live as a mission-minded girl NOW.
- Be inspired by stories of girls like you that said “Yes, Lord.”
My Name is Erin: One Girl’s Mission to Make a Difference is one in a series of four books, which can be read in any order. The other titles are:
My Name is Erin: One Girl’s Journey to Discover Truth
My name is Erin: One Girl’s Journey to Discover Who She Is
My Name is Erin: One Girl’s Plan for Radical Faith
About the Author
A popular speaker, author and blogger, ERIN DAVIS has addressed women of all ages nationwide and is passionately committed to sharing God's Truth with others. She is the author of many books including Connected, Beyond Bath Time, and the My Name is Erin series. When she's not writing books, you can find Erin chasing down chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.
Read an Excerpt
my name is ERIN
One Girl's Mission to Make a Difference
By ERIN DAVIS, Annette LaPlaca
Moody PublishersCopyright © 2013 Erin Davis
All rights reserved.
Your Mission (Should You Choose to Accept It)
My name is Erin. I'm a Milk Dud–loving momma who is passionate about a few things, including (in no particular order) my family, the perfect scoop of ice cream, God's Word, a simple life on my little farm, and teaching young women to choose God's Truth.
I bet you're a passionate girl too. Maybe you share my love for farm living and own a horse or two. Maybe you're a writer like me, who gets jazzed about words, stories, and blog posts. Maybe you are especially passionate about children or there's a corner of the world that tugs at your heartstrings. Perhaps you are passionate about a certain band or sports team, fashion, or a well-brewed caramel latte. No matter who you are or where you live, I'm sure there are things that cause your pulse to race and your heart to go pitter-patter.
Some of our passions are simply a byproduct of our environment. We love what our parents love; we get jazzed about whatever makes our friends tick. But I have a theory that there are other passions, the ones that ooze from our very core, that have been woven into our hearts by a passionate God with a passionate plan to take the world by storm. Okay, it's not really my theory. God outlines our mission clearly in His Word. We'll get to that soon.
How can we know which passions are God-given? What should we do with those passions? Should we bridle them or let them run free, giving them reign over the way we live our lives and the choices we make for the future? Is passion a fire we should seek to control or something we should let consume our entire lives?
These are questions I've tried to wrestle to the ground since I was a little girl. (That's me in the fourth grade.)
Like a Chihuahua on a leash, I've bounced back and forth from place to place seeking to find my passion and then wondering what do next. I want to be turned loose with the things that most excite me, but I feel gently pulled back by a God who seems to desire to direct my passions for use in His bigger story.
Speaking of God, why did He make me? What is my purpose on this planet? Do my passions have anything to do with that?
These questions won't win me any awards for originality. People in every culture in every age have wondered, "What am I here for?" As one of billions of people on one planet in one solar system in one of many galaxies, I naturally search for significance. Self-help books tell us o find the answer within ourselves, but those books miss something huge—the God who created us. His Word says that we were created on purpose.
Isaiah 43:7 talks about His people: "Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made."
Read that passage backward. You were made and formed by God. Why? For His glory. Your purpose on this planet is tied to the God who made you. God and your purpose in life cannot be separated.
With that in mind, is God's heart the best place to take our passions? Is He in charge of deciding our purpose? Will He show us what it looks like to be created for His glory?
I've opened the Bible and asked God to answer these questions and to show me my purpose. I've squeezed my passions through the grid of God's Word. The result is a plan to live on mission, finding my purpose in using my God-given passions to do kingdom work.
Your Mission (Should You Choose to Accept It)
God has a purpose for your life.
That may sound like a cheesy bumper sticker or a mushy Hallmark card, but that single sentence can radically change your life. You are not an accident. Your life is not a series of coincidences strung together between birth and death. Nope. God has a mission for you. And much like the famous spy in Mission Impossible, you have the choice to accept your mission or simply let it self-destruct.
From here on out, you'll read the phrase "living on mission" a lot. Sounds like more spy talk! What does it mean? Living on mission is living on purpose. It is the opposite of floating through life, finding meaning here and there. Living on mission means building a life based on a goal. We will dig up the specifics of that goal in the chapters of this book, but for now, living on mission simply means to do what God made you to do.
Since no mission-minded girl should ever face the world alone, let me introduce you to some girls I know you're gonna love. Before I started writing this book, some friends and I traveled the nation interviewing girls just like you about what it means to live life on a mission. We went to big cities and small towns and everywhere in between. The girls we talked to had been exposed to plenty of Christian talk. They know how to talk the talk about God and purpose. (I call that speaking Christianese.) The girls went to different schools and had different interests, but they had something in common: They wanted their lives to matter. They longed to be a part of something bigger than themselves. But they weren't quite there ... yet.
They also loved to talk. That's why I've nicknamed them the Gab Gallery. From here on out, I'll just call them the Gallery. You'll hear their stories and read their thoughts throughout the pages of this book. Their role is to make you feel like you are part of a conversation about finding purpose (because you are!).
The Gallery girls loved talking about purpose. Of all the subjects we covered with them, purpose got them the most excited (then they really started talking). In fact, these were girls with passions for big causes like Kids Against Hunger, Compassion International, and Invisible Children.
We're not talking about lemonade stands and helping little old ladies across the street here! These girls saw the value in causes that influenced millions of lives. And yet, everywhere we went, there was a gap between the Gallery girls' passions and living their lives with a mission in mind. These girls were passionate, but they had a sideline mentality. "I will cheer you on" was their general attitude about anything big that was happening for the kingdom.
"Grown-ups are given all the credit if I do something big," they said.
"It's assumed that adults are just more sophisticated and smarter. They assume that we won't understand," they said when pressed about why they aren't living on mission now.
The Gallery girls said they wanted to live their lives on mission, but there was this sense that living on mission was something they would do later and that God had big plans for them "someday." They thought that mission-minded living was for people with college degrees, fancy jobs, and fat bank accounts. Sure, they prayed and read their Bibles, but putting their faith into action was for later. They knew a lot about God's Word, but they didn't yet base their decisions on God's Truth.
Hello. It's God Calling.
I became a Christian when I was fifteen. From then on, I was fascinated by people who did big things with their faith. I told anyone who would listen to me that God was going to use me to do something important too, but I didn't have a clue what that would look like. I admired missionaries who sold everything to reach needy people in faraway lands. I adored pastors who passionately preached God's Word to the masses. I loved the Mother Teresas and Billy Grahams who did radical things for the kingdom. The giants of the faith often talked about feeling "called." It was as if God sent an assignment directly to their smartphone, and they answered, "Yes, Lord!" Now, that's living on mission!
But me? I had math homework. I had a curfew. I had parents who seemed more interested in how clean my bedroom was than if I was living out my God-given purpose. From the very moment I became a Christian, I wanted to do big things for God, yet what was my purpose exactly? How could I live on mission when I was still so young?
And so I waited. I waited for tools I did not need and missed out on an exciting mission that only required obedience to God and His Word.
If I had a time machine, I'd go back and do things differently.
I don't have a time machine, but maybe I don't need one. This book isn't just about me. It's a chance to rewrite the pages of your own story, a chance to take it from an average tale to the kind of epic adventure that only gets written about girls who live their lives for something bigger than themselves. It doesn't matter how old you are. It doesn't matter if you've got a stack of homework to do. It doesn't matter if you're on the volleyball team, the honor roll, or the list of who's most likely to succeed.
God's got a purpose for your life. You are called to do important things just like the people who seem like giants of the faith. The question is, will you shift your thinking toward God's view of purpose? Will you let Him shape your passions into a mission for His glory?
There's that word again—passion. I know we just met, but I'm going to make a prediction. I bet there is a connection between what you're passionate about and the mission God wants to call you to. Or maybe God has set a passion deep inside your heart. It's lying there dormant, waiting for you to seek God's plan for the way you live your life from this point forward.
With that in mind, we will use passion as a starting point. In the space below write down the things you are most passionate about. Now, don't speak Christianese. Don't write down a churchy answer that you think might impress your Sunday school teacher (I doubt she will be reading your list). Get real about what really excites you. If you don't have a passion yet, that's okay. God wants to show you His passion in the pages of His Word, and it's contagious. It won't be long until you've got something really cool to be passionate about.
I am passionate about:
That list is just a beginning, a springboard to send us off in search of our purpose. Before we launch too high, we'd better take a minute to check in with mission control.
So put down your book for a minute and ask God to use this book to show you His purpose for your life. Your prayer might sound something like this: "God, thank You for creating me to bring glory to You. I'm not sure exactly what that means, but I want my life to matter. I want You to use me to do something big. Would You show me my purpose through Your Word?"
Putting a Leash on My Chihuahua Mentality
If you read My Name Is Erin: One Girl's Journey to Discover Who She Is from this series, you know that I consider myself a bulldog. I wrote, "While my twin sister was playing house, I was pretending to be the boss. Other girls are so naturally sweet that they come across like little cocker spaniels. I've always been a bit more like a bulldog."
I still think I'd make a pretty good bulldog.
But I can also be a dead ringer for a Chihuahua sometimes too. Chihuahuas are feisty little dogs known for barking often and jumping everywhere.
If you put a Chihuahua on a leash, he's not likely to walk calmly beside you like my Goldendoodle, Marley (good boy)! Most Chihuahuas would yank and pull and dart and struggle against that leash. It's as if they are looking for validation here and there to make up for the fact that they are lacking in size and beauty.
Chihuahua lovers, please do not send me hate mail. I am sure your pup is fabulous! And if imitation is the highest form of flattery, then I must be a fan because I've spent much of my life acting like a Chihuahua. Let me explain.
I have a twin sister who was born one minute before I was (a mere technicality), but I have all of the characteristics of a firstborn. I am strong-willed. I am driven. I love to achieve. I'm a hard worker who craves hearing "Atta girl!" Compliments are like a choice dessert to me. Mmmm, it's yummy when someone notices I've done something well.
That craving for affirmation and achievement has often sent me sniffing for purpose. In junior high, my search for purpose made me try to be the very best student in every class. Getting a B would throw me into a total meltdown. I had my beady eyes focused on a singular mission: to get good grades, which would lead to a good college, which would almost certainly score me an important job.
Fast-forward to high school. I still wanted to get good grades, but I was sniffing down a different purpose by then. I wanted to be popular. I wanted people to like me. In fact, I wanted everyone to like me. I wanted them to like me more than they liked any other girl in school. Surely if I had my own fan club that would give me purpose.
Jump ahead to college. I was determined to find purpose in the perfect career. Suddenly I was sniffing a trail that smelled a lot like a combination of my junior high and high school mentalities. I wanted to achieve a lot, and I wanted people to notice. I ended up majoring in public relations, basically studying how to make people and companies look good. I wasn't particularly passionate about it, but I thought having a career that made good money and allowed me to climb the corporate ladder would give my life meaning.
I also developed an eating disorder in college. I became obsessed with being thin. I yanked on the leash God wanted to use to direct me toward His purposes for me and tried to make myself matter by being prettier, thinner, and more attractive than the other girls around me. I became like a dog sticking his nose in a snake hole because that particular search for significance bit me back. The eating disorder took a toll on my heart and body, and it was ugly.
There are other things I have chased through the years in an attempt to find purpose. Sometimes it was closer friends or more stuff or a pet project. Sometimes it's even been spirituality. I'd convince myself that if I would just read my Bible more or pray more or get more involved in church, surely that would give my life meaning.
As I look back, I see I was trying to drink from very shallow wells. It's not that I was necessarily looking for purpose in "bad" things; it's just that nothing I chased down could give me purpose that lasted long. There was no significant mission I could focus on through the changing seasons of life.
When we look for purpose here and there, we shouldn't be surprised when the results feel empty. God warns us in the Bible that this will happen. I want you to drink from deep wells, girls! I want you to avoid my mistakes by finding purpose in what really matters.
With that in mind, let's approach my story like a science-class experiment. We'll dissect it and study it to see what we can learn.
First, let's examine my heart. I was specifically looking for purpose in:
I am sure there are one or two things on that list that you look to in order to give your life purpose. Maybe you've chased after all of them at one time or another. But, like me, I bet you've found them to be shallow wells. You cannot fill yourself up with them. You cannot make yourself matter with them. Let's take that list to the textbook of God's Word to find out why.
Achievement means to earn through your effort. It's not exactly the same as hard work. God actually applauds hard work in verses like Colossians 3:23 and Proverbs 13:4. As Christians we should work hard at everything we do as a way to show the world we want to put our best foot forward. The problem comes when we look to our hard work to give our lives meaning.
Many scholars believe the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes was written by King Solomon. Solomon achieved plenty. He built God's temple and a personal palace, captured foreign lands, secured his kingdom, grew and fortified cities, and collected lots and lots of gold (2 Chronicles 8). Yet all of that effort didn't give Solomon lasting purpose.
Solomon wrapped up Ecclesiastes this way: "The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man" (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
Solomon boils down our mission to just two tasks:
1. Fear God
2. Keep His commandments
Excerpted from my name is ERIN by ERIN DAVIS, Annette LaPlaca. Copyright © 2013 Erin Davis. Excerpted by permission of Moody Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
1. Your Mission (Should You Choose to Accept It).................... 8
2. Putting a Leash on My Chihuahua Mentality.................... 18
3. Waiting on Mission Control.................... 34
4. You're a Loser.................... 48
4. Purpose Stories.................... 62
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Im not christian i think god cant be proven or disproven
Finding great material for your junior high girl is a hard task. When I came across this series by Erin Davis I was thrilled. It is so relevant to what that age of girl is facing. The language is in a style that girls of this age will relate to. The topics are very needed and it is set up in a format that would be very conducive to using in a small group setting. Each of the books are stand-alone and can be done in any order. There are five chapters in every book so they could easily be divided up into a five week study. It is set up where the group leader and the participants would use the same books, there isn't a need for a separate leader guide. While I think it would make an excellent small group study, I also think it would be wonderful as a personal devotional book as well. Or better yet, get the series and do it as a starting point for some great mother/daughter discussions! I received a copy of the book to facilitate my review.
This is an awesome series for your tween. I would say eleven to fourteen(ish)-year-olds would enjoy these books. Erin writes in a way that will resonate with young girls. She doesn't shy away from tough issues but doesn't go places that would make moms uncomfortable either. I love that the books have places for reflection for the girls to actually write in the book and think about what they are reading. The books are small and cute (just what a girl likes) and a quick read. For me I could read each book in about an hour but for my daughter I would suggest reading a chapter a day so she can reflect on each chapter. As always, I think reading it with your daughter or before you give her the books will give you a greater benefit so you can have conversations with her about what she is reading. If you are looking for ways to open up conversation between you and your tween (and what mom isn't?) this could be what you are looking for. I highly recommend this series :) Copies of these books were given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Never read this. The title makes it seem like something it's not. I would recommend, Jesus Loves Me book one.