Monthly Archives: January 2007

Success.

Growing up, I was engaged in a culture that taught to be successful, you have to do everything within yourself to have a huge career, so that you can make big money, so that you can put it away for retirement, so that you can have all the best things, etc., etc., etc.  Now, that may sound really superficial, but if you really stop to think about it, that’s what society teaches everyday. 

It’s kind of like this inbred philosophy you learn as you grow when you see things happen around you.  You see families where the Dad is never home to play with his children, because he is always at work.  You see the Mom who is constantly pulled between working to meet the budget, or making the children’s school awards assembly. You see more emphasis put on our IRA’s and 401K’s than our SRP’s (Spiritual Retirement Plans).  Simply put…you see a world that puts more emphasis on money than any other “valuable” thing.

I began working while I was in high school.  From there, I fought hard and worked fast in order to prove myself, and eventually moved up and up the corporate ladder where I had what most would call a very good career.  With continuing opportunity for advancement, I was making good money, eligible for good bonuses, had an officer title in the company, received countless pats on the back, and was really feeling successful at the age of 23.  However, God began working on me and telling me that my view of success was all distorted.

He began to show me that it was not right that I was getting home from work after my daughters were already tucked in bed.  He began showing me that it was not all about the “almighty dollar”, that I didn’t have to work in vain toward securing my own future (retirement), when He was in control.  My “valid” reasons and justification for the overtime, company meetings, regional parties, networking among my peers, and office politics were not the reason for my life.

When the world continues to tell you that it is all about “You”, and that your future and success depends solely upon “You”, I hope you will stop to listen to what God says about it.  It has made a profound effect upon my life:

“…wisdom brings success.”  Ecclesiastes 10:10

“Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom.”  Proverbs 4:7

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”  James 1:5

“…and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:2-3

“But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; … But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God – and righteousness and sanctification and redemption – that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.” ” 1 Corinthians 1:27, 30-31

The reason why we are here is to bring glory to God, and to work toward saving others through Jesus Christ!  God does not intend for us to be consumed by making all the money we can for ourselves.   “…but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.”  Ephesians 4:28

The world (including some in my extended family) thinks I am crazy for leaving my job to care for my children.  The world (including some in my church) thinks that we are poor, living in a self-made poverty among the “land of opportunity”.  The world (including some in my town) believes that fame and fortune supersede the benefits of sacrifice.

Now that I am a “homemaker” and not next in line for “Branch Manager”, I am constantly amazed at how God really does provide.  We have not suffered.  We have eaten every meal (and then some!).  My children are happy.  My husband and I are agreed upon our future.  My bank account has never been overdrawn.  My bills are being payed.  My future is secure.  And, for the first time in my life, I feel myself really depending on God to meet our needs, and it feels great! 

His promises of provision are true.  Words like love, and grace, and honesty, and integrity, and purpose are “valued” much more than words like dollar, and prestige, and power, and control. 

Now, I know there is the “flip” side to my situation.  I am not saying that we should not work toward bettering our financial and provisional circumstances. There are many families who are unable to do what we are doing.  It is a tough, hard world where it takes alot to make ends meet.  Many mothers are not able to be at home.  Many fathers have to work long, hard hours.  Some have to be the “executive”, and things like networking, communication, productivity and extraordinary commitment to a job is a necessary and commendable attribute. The point I am trying to make is this:  our emphasis and priorities should be on the things of God, rather than our self-reliance to “succeed”.

When we “die to self”, and allow God to control all aspects of our lives, He then can show us that He means “business”!  Unfortunately, it is usually in the area of money that we fail to let go and let God lead.

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9 Comments

Filed under Career, Children, God, Priorities, Success, Uncategorized, Wisdom

Speaking.

For 2007, I have resolved to reading through the bible.  I have read it through once before, but I’m ashamed to say how long it took, so this year I figured I needed some accountability!  So…I have been asking who might be interested in participating in an e:mail accountability/encouragement group to read through the bible, and I’m happy to report that we now have 12 members! 

What an encouragement it has been to hear some of the comments, questions, and revelations of our members!  We e:mail each other weekly with our thoughts.  Some of them have been:

“I am beginning Chapter 29 of Genesis this morning.  The only thing I’m going to say about this week’s reading is that God is good!  He specifically pointed out a particular section of scripture to guide me with something I have been unable to resolve.  I have been unsure how to handle a particular situation, and it was like God wrote these particular three verses for me.  It is good to know that He cares just as much for me as He did the people those many years ago, and I am humbled and honored that He would take care of this situation for me! “

“Hope everyone is having a blessed time reading through the Bible.  I’ve found that by reading it slow..it helps to better understand the scripture and God is able to reveal stuff to us when we aren’t in a hurry.  Imagine that?….If we’d just slow down….we might be able to hear God :)”

“Just the first 15 chapters have armed me w/more detailed info and I was very happy during Sunday school when I was able to explain some things the others weren’t aware of.”

“I think we may be going off of the bible “stories” instead of what is actually written in the Bible. Like the Christmas story – I gave the girls in my Sunday school class a quiz about the Christmas story – they all answered the same questions wrong. We then read what the Bible said and we saw that the story has been “added to” over time. Unfortunately, being a new Christian that has not read through the Bible, I have many of the stories in my head, but not much of the actual text”

“I honestly think that I will get alot more out of reading the Bible this way, especially with the help of you guys!!”

“…reading your comments are sure to help me as well.  I’m not the type of person that enjoys reading, but I’m finding it hard to stop and put it down..”

“I have never read the Bible from front to back either! I think 16 chapters in Genesis is a great start. I have found since joining this group and reading the comments from others it makes it so much easier to read. This has really been a blessing for me!”

” Praise the Lord, I think I’m finally learning to listen to what He has to say. I have already learned so much! And I have discovered things that I didn’t know before. Thank you all for joining this group. I look forward everyday to see if anyone has discovered anything new, or just to be in contact and be accountable to sisters in Christ.”

As you can see, this is sure to be a great thing!  God is speaking so clearly to each one of us through his Word, and we are all serving as encouragers to each other to be committed to bible study. 

I pray that you are also being faithful in reading your bible this year.  God has so much to say to us if we will just be still and listen long enough to hear. 

If you are interested, we would love to have you join our group!  

5 Comments

Filed under Bible, God, Resolutions

Life.

hpim1733.JPG  As a mother of four, it is all too evident to me how God is Life.  The bible says that even before we were born, God knew us in the womb.  What an awesome thing to experience life!  At the birth of each one of my children, I recall just being speechless in His presence.  That He would use me to bring another human being into this world is just pure joy!  Without a doubt, a baby’s birth is one of the greatest experiences in this earthly world. 

I do not understand how anyone can doubt that life begins in the womb. My first sonogram experience was with my third child.  Seeing him in my womb with those little hands and fingers and toes, fully formed bones, and that little beating heart just left me speechless.  At one point, he even turned toward us and lifted his little hand and waved!  –really!  I think he was saying, “Hi, Mom!”  (I have proof….it’s on video!! 🙂  Anyway, whether he really meant to do that or not, there was no questioning that he was a whole, living child. 

Regardless of how awful this earth can be at times, looking at each one of my four children reminds me that God has better things in mind.  As I see each one of them grow and mature, I am just humbled to be their Mom, and of the awesome responsibility God has given me to guide them back to Him. 

I pray that I will live up to the task.

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Filed under Children, Creation, God

Everything.

Well….I’ve done it!  I’ve joined the world of blogging.  My daughters are probably thinking I’m in a mid-life crisis, especially since I’m also no longer wearing straight leg jeans, but it’s true…the blogging world is here! 

Why am I blogging?  Well…it seemed like the most logical way to combine the thoughts in my mind with a desire to interact in the adult world.  Most of my days are spent potty training, playing trains and watching Blue’s Clues, and actually, it’s an absolute joy to be able to do so!  I am so grateful that God has brought me home to care for my family, and am in continuous awe at His never-ending provision. 

Still, I often desire to interact in a more mature setting.  Being able to share my thoughts, revelations, successes and failures in this blog should help fulfill that need.  So…with all that being said, I’m glad you’re here!  I look forward to your comments, and our acknowledgment of all the things that “GOD IS…”!

P.S.  This theme is REALLY green, huh?!

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Filed under Blogging