Proverbs · Work

Who Wants To Work?!

Work…it is often called a “four-letter word.”  We run from it and avoid it, yet God has much to say in the Book of Proverbs about being a hard worker.  He uses a tiny insect to teach us how to be industrious.

Here’s today’s video lesson in Proverbs, Consider the Ant, found in chapter 6.

 

What tasks are most difficult for you to tackle?
What spiritual work will you attempt today?

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Responding to trials · womanhood · Work

Dealing With the Mundane Or Critical Times With Purpose

What mundane things does this day find you doing?  Going to work?  Washing dishes?  Caring for a baby or toddler?  Cleaning up a mess?  Perhaps yesterday was the very same and tomorrow will follow suit.  As you trod through your days, what guides your steps?  What makes you do the next thing and the next?

There are also those days when the situations makes your heart race and your steps quicken.  We gasp at the thought of those days that are marked by trial and difficulty.  How will you respond?  What will keep you from coming apart?

Proverbs 4:11-12 gives good encouragement about how we can do more than just survive both kinds of days.  Watch the video below to hear the wisdom we get from God’s Word.

Where does today find you – walking the monotonous, plodding steps? Or are you running in a trial?  I pray you now have the wisdom to know how to make the most of each kind of day so that you know what to do next and how to keep from stumbling.

God has a purpose for today.  Make it count for His glory.

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Family life · home · refreshment at home · Winter · Work

Making Leisure Days Productive & Restful

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Tennessee finally got a snow day!  I’ve been waiting for this since Christmas time!  In honor of all restful Snow Days, I’m going to wait to post a video today, but will get one out next week.

Let’s just do a fun post today about ways to make leisure days restful, but still productive. We all know how to rest, but how can we take a rare day at home both productive and restful? Is it possible?  Yes!  Here are a few ideas:

Let’s start with what we need to get rid of in order to rest:

  • Television
  • Facebook
  • Computer “stuff”
  • Texting

Let’s lift our face out of a screen and up around us at the people and place where we are!

Leisure activities:

  • Pick up a magazine and get inspiration for decorating your home.
  • Go through cookbooks and mark new recipes you want to try.
  • Read through an old journal and be blessed at the memories you recorded.
  • Read a book – one you’ve started and not finished or one you’ve wanted to get into.
  • Take a nap – Of course!

Things to do with others:

  • Play board games
  • Read aloud
  • Go outside
    • On snowy days – walk in the snow, build a snowman, shovel someone else’s sidewalk.
    • On warmer days, clean up the yard.  Take a walk.  Sit on the porch swing or rocking chairs.  Read out there!
  • Bake together

Around the House:

  • Work on a project you’ve neglected – hemming jeans, sewing buttons on, crafts like stamping, calligraphy or memory books.
  • Rearrange the furniture – a favorite of mine!!
  • Redo the decor on a mantle or bookshelf.
  • Straighten out drawers.
  • Oraganize something that is messy – a closet, a pile on the counter or floor.
  • Freshen up the kitchen by decluttering the countertops.

Don’t let snow days or leisure days be wasted by just hanging on the couch all day.  A little rest is good, but leisure days can be productive rest!

Have you had snow this week?  What fun things did you do while you were home?

Happy snow days to you, my friends!

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children · Christian Life · Family life · refreshment at home · Women's roles · Work

My Most Embarrassing Moment and a Lesson About Priorities

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Have you ever been asked about your most embarrassing moment?  Mine is ingrained in my mind like a freeze-framed DVD on the computer screen.  It happened like this –

Our four year-old daughter, Whitney, was attending pre-school at the Christian school in our area.  Ministry was busy and finances were tough.  Then out of the clear blue I got a phone call from the principal where our daughter was attending pre-school.  It seems they were in dire need of a second grade school teacher because the current teacher had quit.  He asked if I would pray about teaching the class for the year.  The whole year?  How could I swing that with all my other responsibilities as a wife, mom and pastor’s wife?   As my husband and I talked and prayed about it, we felt that perhaps this was the Lord providing for our needs.

As we prayed, I also consulted with my parents for their advice.  I clearly remember having a phone conversation with my dad where he discouraged me from taking the position because of the age of my little girl and her needs.  She would be home in the afternoon when I would still be at school.  I regretted later not heeding his warning!  But we reasoned that she would have time with her daddy while I was gone.  We failed to consider the many ministry responsibilities that would call for his time.

So, yes, I took the teaching job.  From the very first afternoon when I saw my husband pull out of the school parking lot with our daughter in tow, I regretted signing my name on the dotted line of that teaching contract!  But now it was too late.  We got into a routine – Whitney rode to school with me in the morning where she went to pre-school and I headed to the second grade classroom.  Her daddy picked her up at noon when her class was finished and they would visit church members together in the afternoon or she would play while he studied.  Some days, due to the need to visit the hospital or attend a funeral, she would spend the afternoon with a friend and fellow-pastor’s wife.  When I would hear that they had made cookies, played house or beauty shop, it would tear my heart in two!

Along with school, of course, were my ministry responsibilities.  I tried to keep up with activities and the people of our congregation.  One evening, desiring to show my concern, I approached a woman whose mother had been very ill.

“Mae, how is your mother doing?” I asked.  Her expression turned to disbelief, and she said in a somber tone, “Denise, my mother died two weeks ago.”

At that moment I wished could die!  How embarrassing!  I apologized for my blunder and somehow found my way to my seat where my face slowly returned to its natural color.

That’s what happened as a result of having too many plates spinning in the air and trying to keep them all going.  Now one had crashed to the floor – and in church of all places – the place where I should have been demonstrating care and concern!  I realized at that moment that I was doing too much, and that I wasn’t giving ample time or attention to the things that were most important.

Though that year was difficult, I learned the greatest lesson from that experience.   I learned what my priorities were, and working outside my home while I had children to raise was not one of them!   Hence, that was my first and last job, not because I was too lazy to work; I had just learned the hard way that the best (and most fulfilling) job for me was raising my girls and being a help-meet to my husband.  Nothing else in the world really mattered.  There were still times when I’ve felt I was spinning plates, but I had learned through my embarrassing moment not to allow those plates to be the ones that were closest to my heart.

How do you balance all the busy things going on in your world?  Is there something you feel the Lord would have you to give up? 

Family life · home · Home making · organization · refreshment at home · Work

Breaking the Habit

“Negative Habits Every Family Should Break”  is the title of the series my husband is preaching on Sunday nights. This past Sunday night he encouraged families to get rid of disorganization. The very evening he was preaching his message, I was reminded of why it’s so important for my home to be organized.

As the service was being started, one of our very own missionaries who was passing through the area, felt led of the Lord to come to Boones Creek Bible Church’s evening service. He was by himself, due to his family being away for a few days, and so he was on no time schedule. After spotting him in the congregation, my husband had him come up and pray during the service. When our missionary guest announced how the Lord directed him to our church, and that he was on no schedule, the Lord prompted my heart that he needed to come and stay with us for the night. It was no surprise that when I talked to my husband after the service, he felt the same way. And so, our missionary friend returned to our home after the service.

As my husband was preaching, and I had been given the prompt to invite this dear man to stay with us, I thought, “I’m thankful that everything is in order at the house. I’m not going to have to go home and apologize for the messy kitchen, dirty dishes or laundry piled up on the couch. Whew!” Oh, not that my house couldn’t have used a dust rag or mop in places, but overall, it was ready for a guest to drop in.

Being organized and tidy isn’t only about teaching your children good habits and responsibility, it’s also about being prepared to be used of the Lord when He prompts your heart. There have been times that I would have resisted having a guest enter my home, trust me! But on this night I was thankful that I was prepared – not so I wouldn’t be embarrassed, but because my lack of organization would have caused my husband and me to miss the blessing of serving this servant of the Lord! It was a delight to have him in our home, and to be able to quickly obey the Lord’s leading.

So, if you look at your lack of organization and say, “It’s just my family, and they don’t care!” You’re missing the whole point. First, we’re stewards of what the Lord has entrusted to us (that includes our belongings, as well as the training of our children), and secondly it will free us up to serve others.
Paul reminds us in Galatians 5:1 – Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. I realize that he’s referring to legalism, but disorganization can also be a type of bondage that keeps us from being free.

Look around your home right now and ask yourself if you’d be good with guests stopping in. If the answer is “No way!” why not start on a path to orderliness? Perhaps you could free yourself from the bondage of disorganization by:
FlyLady cartoon

  • Check out Fly Lady’s “Getting Started” Tips
  • Determine to get rid of 7 things every single day. Put the unused items in a black bag and when it gets full discard it – Goodwill, Salvation Army, Consignment – something!
  • Read Emilie Barnes Books on organization, such as “Organizing Magic: 40 Days to a Well-ordered Home and Life

If this negative habit has been a part of your life, it’s not impossible to get rid of it! Start today and make a little progress at a time. It will be so freeing, and you’ll be ready to serve at a moment’s notice!

Would you be ready and willing to serve others today? What would it take to get you there?

 

Work

Sweet Work

My new house has lovely carpet upstairs.  It’s soft.  It’s comfy.  It’s inviting.  When you vacuum it, you can see the lines where the vacuum was.  It looks neat and clean – until it’s been walked on all day.  Then it needs vacuuming again.

That is NOT a complaint.  It’s a fact.  That’s how all work is.  You do it today and it needs to be done again tomorrow.  It’s the same way with making the bed, washing the windows, ironing the clothes, or cleaning the bathroom sink.  But what a sweet sense of accomplishment to sit down and see the lines left in the carpet from the freshly vacuumed floor, or the sparkle of the clean windows, or the bed all in order with each pillow lined up and in their rightful places.

What is your attitude towards work?  Proverbs 13:19 tells us that “Desire accomplished is sweet to the soul.”  Work should be sweet to us!  How do you respond to a basket full of laundry staring at you?  What comes from your lips on Monday morning when you’re headed to your job?  With what kind of attitude do you fix a meal, change a diaper, sell a computer, sew on a button, type up a power point, or wash a dirty car?  Work is not a four-letter word.  To be able to work is truly a gift from our God, who values work.  To have the strength and ability to go hard after a job and see it to completion is a blessing.  If you struggle with that, can I encourage you to make it a matter of prayer?  Ask the Lord to give you the right heart about the work that fills your days.  He will.

Another reason to have a right attitude about work is our children.  If we expect them to be hard, happy workers, we must set the example to do heartily whatever our hands find to do.   We should teach them exactly what we want them to do and then expect them to finish the job – to clear the table, wipe the table, sweep up the crumbs, shake out the place mat or tablecloth, and replace the centerpiece.  Make sure they see the whole job all the way through before exiting the kitchen.  Don’t jump in and do it for them.  Make them finish the task until it’s completed.

You will be doing yourself and your child a favor by teaching them hard work ethics.  Not only will they be a blessing in your home, but they will grow up to be hard workers for the Lord, wherever He should call them.  They will learn that work is sweet when they watch and listen to you.  So smile!  The laundry in the hamper is awaiting your attention again.  =)

What do you do to have a right attitude about your work?

Pastor’s Encouragement:  Pray for a fresh divine anointing on your pastor’s ministry.  Pray that God’s working will be powerfully evident both in his personal life and in the spiritual life of the congregation.
Husband’s Encouragement:  If we are living in light of eternity, everything we think, do, or say is seen from an eternal perspective. Only two things will go into eternity—the Word of God and people. Be sure that you are focusing on the right things.

Does your husband have an eternal perspective that allows him to reject materialism and temporal values? Express your gratefulness for his value system, and praise him for putting eternal things before riches and other things of this world.

If this is a problem area for him, consider how you might alter your own value system and live for eternity in front of him, encouraging him to do the same. We will someday give an account for our failure to speak words of love and encouragement. Determine today that your words will be sweet and helpful, encouraging your husband to live for God’s Kingdom.

With love,