Tag Archives: work

a nice surprise!

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Recently, while doing a rather mundane little side hustle to earn some extra money, an older lady called after me and gave me the nicest compliment for work I’d done and she wanted to be sure to let me know how much she appreciated the extra care given. Well, I can tell you that it was like cool water to parched land. I had had a particularly rough day and was feeling down about myself; you know how the devil can really get under your skin? Hearing such kind words followed by “God bless you!” really ministered to my down-trodden spirit. I often think of the following scripture:

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

(Colossians 3:23-24)

It reminded me that while my frame of mind was not in a particularly happy place at the time, I had done what was right. Someone took notice and showed a kind gesture. It may seem like a ridiculously simple thing but it causes me to remember to ask the Lord to use me in spite of myself. I thanked the Lord for doing so that day and for His kindness in her response to me. Try it! It may just turn your frown upside down!

 

thinking outside the box

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thinking outside the box

While taking just a few minutes to peruse Facebook this morning, I’m saddened to read posts about kids being destructive to others’ property out of sheer boredom this summer.

So, I only have one young one, so I haven’t entered the “Mom, I’m borrrreeeeeddddddd!” syndrome yet uttered from kids’ mouths who are already bored out of their goards this summer. I don’t quite understand how they can be so bored already.

Back in my day” (don’t you get tired of hearing that? LOL!) in the summer time, my sister and I always had plenty to do, my Mom saw to that. We had chores around the house, books to be read, VBS (Vacation Bible School), work in the yard with Dad, pool time & swim lessons, errands with Mom, choir tour & church camp, and trips to visit family. Honestly, there wasn’t time to be bored. If we even gave a hint of naughtiness, we’d have to deal with Dad when he got home and we did NOT want that so we found things to keep us occupied. Of course, we had our friends to spend the night, ride bikes, play outside and just plain ‘ole creativity because video games weren’t quite the rage they are today and smart phones weren’t invented yet.

My point is that we had plenty of constructive activity to keep our brains engaged and  our boredom to a minimum. There wasn’t much time to lounge around and be lazy. We were up at a decent time every morning (My Dad saw to that!) to accomplish our work and errands in the cool of the day, fun was reserved for later in the day. My Mom had us learn at an early age how to clean the house (I’m talking vacuuming, mopping floors, cleaning bathrooms and the like). I’m sure our Mom heard her share of complaints but we learned life lessons of how to work hard, the value of work, as well as earning and saving money since my parents opened savings accounts for us so we could watch our money grow and earn interest.

I hate to admit it, but I believe the downfall in negative behavior due to boredom with school age children lies largely with the parents. Children of this age are old enough to take on responsibility such as a job to earn money for the things they want. Okay, soap box moment: I heard once of a child who wanted his Mom to go back to work so (the kids) could have more money to do and have fun things. WHAT?! I’m sorry, but that is WHACK! Soap box rant over. There are plenty of jobs for kids such as a paper route, babysitting, life-guarding, pet sitting, and lawn mowing are just a few ideas. Learning age old skills such as knitting, crocheting, sewing, and the like are true talents that will serve our kids well. With Pinterest there are plenty of crafty ideas to inspire young minds to be creative, sell their wares and earn money for trips, toiletries, camps, gas, etc.

I believe these simple acts of keeping active minds busy will go a long way toward eradicating the sense of entitlement so many children and teenagers subscribe to. I think the Bible has some things to say along these lines as well:

Proverbs 31:27
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Ecclesiastes 10:18
Through laziness, the rafters sag; because of idle hands, the house leaks.
2 Thessalonians 3:11
We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies.
1 Timothy 5:13 
Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also busybodies who talk nonsense, saying things they ought not to.

Colossians 3:23                                                                                                                                  Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,…

Call me crazy, but aren’t we raising our children to be adults? On more than one occasion, I have conversed with an adult whose mission is to be the fun, hip parent; they desire to be a friend to their child rather than do the hard work of a parent. They want to be liked, and to them, the approval they seek from their kids trumps the calling on our lives to be parents.
My question to these fine people is: how are you going to equip your child(ren) for the real world when your goal is to be the “cool parent,” the one who dresses immodestly, the one who never disciplines much less sets curfews, or helps them learn life lessons that will prepare them for college and living on their own one day. And most importantly, life preparation without you as their parent, for this is probably the biggest life lesson to be learned. Grooming our children to stand on their own two feet, earning and saving money, value of hard work, cleanliness and learning how to clean house properly are all becoming such a lost art. Break the cycle and do the hard work that goes into parenting and preparing your child to fly the nest, hopefully well before they’re 20.

 

FoCuS

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FoCuS

So enjoying my current Bible study on the book of Nehemiah! Who’d have thought I’d find so many parallels to my own life. As always, I love connecting with other like-minded Christian women in a Bible study such as this one. Our same group, for the most part, had been together in the fall to study the armor of God, another incredible and enlightening study.

Back to Nehemiah. One of the many things I’m enjoying about this book is that Nehemiah had a focus that could not be distracted, no matter how much he was interrupted and tempted. He took on the task of rebuilding the wall for the people of Jerusalem and to honor God. This construction amazingly took only 52 days. Quite the feat for sure!

As Nehemiah and his men were busily working, Nehemiah was summoned by Sanballat and his company to come and meet in one of the villages. Nehemiah was able to discern rather quickly that this “meeting” was only a distraction and that they were scheming to harm him. So he sent messengers with this reply to Sanballat, “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” (Nehemiah 6:3)

What impressed me from this snapshot view within the story of the rebuilding of the wall, is that Nehemiah had a task to do which was put in his heart by God himself and nothing was going to thwart his plan. Focus was among his giftings, no doubt. In my case, the work that was put in my heart by God is to be a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) to my son. That said, my focus is to do just that. However if I’m being honest, too often, I allow distractions of life cloud my vision of the good work I’ve been given to do.

As the women and I discussed in our study group, we came to the conclusion that it is essential for us to clarify who it is God created us to be, as well as what He wants for us to do, so that we can more easily discern what opportunities fit into that vision and which ones do not. From this, a mission statement can be birthed for our lives.

For me, this is huge! Often we are bombarded with opportunities to do thus and such, all of which are “good” things. We have to come to the realization that we cannot do it all, nor were we meant to do it all. We have to figure out what fits into His plan and what does not. What is a distraction and what is not. Figuring this out isn’t easily done; we need the Holy Spirit to help us. Sure, God very possibly will put something in our hearts that we may be fearful of or overwhelmed by, yet He will equip us for that work.

For many years, I’ve struggled quite allot with learning to say “NO.” As a people pleaser, I worry that I’m letting the one asking me down if I choose to say no. What a trap! I’ve come to see that I have to draw firm lines and boundaries to keep me aligned with God’s plan for me, not my own, nor someone else’s. Why should I believe that I am the only 0ne who can do whatever it is being asked of me? Truly, this wrongful thinking is pride. It takes daily time in God’s Word with plenty of prayer to discern His plan.

I am thankful for this truth in my life. It has confirmed what I feel that God has been telling me all along, yet I’ve allowed distractions, such as the enemy, to deter me from my purpose. His lies can often be heard loudly in my ear causing me to doubt myself and what God has put in my heart to do. With God’s help, I pray that I might hear God’s voice above all others so that I can stay on the straight and narrow path He has put me on. To live in such a way is truly freeing!