You will always have more opportunities than your resources to respond to every one of them. So how do you decide what stays and what goes? How do you decide what to say yes to and say no to?
That is the question for Gather Women in 2016. So many hands raised, so many strategies that could propel us forward. Which path to take? Where and to whom and and to what work is God calling us? What are the seeds we must plant, and the soil we are to cultivate?
Our first priority is to Gather…the One, the Few, and the Many.
To Gather in a way that brings us back into face to face relationship and community. To Gather in a way that forges strong links woman to woman across this great nation. To Gather in a way where we feel seen, heard, and are given space to find and use our voice rising up from, and on behalf of, the women of Canada.
The word priority came into the English language in the 1400s. It was singular. It meant the very first or prior thing. It stayed singular for the next five hundred years. Only in the 1900s did we pluralize the term and start talking about priorities.
Leo Babauta says in The Power of Less that achieving anything audacious means you should limit yourself to fewer goals, and you’ll achieve more. At the same time, you must narrow your focus on your projects.
I must admit, I am strongest when I am imagining the future. I take in all the possibilities. I multi-task and try to make many things happen all at once. This strength works against the importance of focus. We need women across the Gather network who bring strengths of both vision and focus. This takes audacity because the world is showing up in a myriad of ways knocking at the door and asking us to spread ourselves thinner, and to answer questions they are asking.
We only want to meet God's expectation in 2016. At Gather Women we believe that expectation is to live deeply and fully in His presence - and to invite other women into that same relationship - with God, and with themselves, and with each other.
“The things that matter most should never be at the mercy of the things that matter least.” – Goethe”
“I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.” (Jesus, John 17:4). Jesus had more work and a bigger project than any man or woman in all of history. And yet He finished it. All completely done. Check mark. How? Clarity. Fearlessness. Strength. And a searing Focus on His mandate. He was pulled here and there by every religious and political sect, and His followers. Yet He remained focused on His strategy.
At Gather Women, we do not want to sacrifice the thing that matters most for the things that matter least. We want to get clear on the one thing. Focus on it.
You can help! Share with us what your 'one thing' would be for 2016. Share with us what it would mean for you to be connected to the One, the Few, the Many and with linked arms, Rise as Canadian Christian women coast to coast. Let's focus on what really, really matters. Let us Gather.
Cathie Ostapchuk is a Co-Founder of Gather Women.