/ 28.6.10 / 5 Comments / ,

Preparing for the Most Important Jobs of our Lives....

Rebekah and I will be having tea again this morning...and I know exactly what we will be talking about. The topic doesn't come from any book..it's just been on my heart this morning. As I was having devotions, I was thinking about a song I wrote last year that I sang for my sweet daughter-in-law last week. It's called, "The Heart of A Servant".    It's about one of the most important jobs in the world..one that almost EVERYONE...man or woman ends up doing and yet this job it is one of the least appreciated and poorly prepared for jobs in the world...that of being a parent.

Near the End of the Parenting Journey

We are rapidly nearing  the end of the most intensive part of our parenting journey. Our little chicks have been leaving the nest one by one and of course, like all parents, we are anxious that their first flight be a successful one.  I find myself worrying--"Have I prepared them adequately? I know my husband's thoughts are consumed with the same concerns.  We quit worrying, long ago, about our own personal dreams and aspirations. We have a whole lifetime ahead of us for doing that. But our children need us now. The opportune moment for preparation is TODAY.

We are talking about things like college, ministry, character building and future relationships. Our natural instincts with our oldest children are to find the best college or the best opportunity for developing our children's natural gifts and talents with an eye to future occupations.  And of course, we think often about how we and they are going to pay for all of this preparation. Possible scholarships, financial aid, SAT scores,  jobs...are all part of our decision making process.

Do We Have The Right Focus?
But this morning as I was thinking about the song the Lord gave me about being a servant as we love and train our little ones and reading Colossians 3: 17-25, I began to be concerned that we might be focused on the wrong thing altogether!

Our Real Job
For those of us who are Christians, our real 'job' in life..is to become more like Christ...to love Him more...to serve Him with all our heart..and to love our neighbor (and our family) as Christ as loved us.  Our lives, regardless of what job or occupation we might spend our days pursuing, will ultimately become very daily...and that daily focus must be to grow in Him. Relationships are God's best training ground for developing character in our lives.

With that in mind, I realized that the job of being a good husband or wife and a good parent, jobs that fall to 90% of us regardless of how we earn a living...must be prepared for!  And if we don't do that preparation before our young adults leave for college, we may never get the chance.

What is most important: Family or Career?
Whether you are a doctor, teacher, engineer, lawyer, or computer tech, you will also most likely end up with a job for which you will be far more concerned about your performance than in your career--..that of being a good  wife or husband, mom or dad.  Yes, we must prepared for the jobs that provide food for the table and I know the Lord wants us to pursue those things he has gifted us with and uniquely designed us for. But
 
the most important thing we must do well at is living our lives 
in the Love of Christ. Loving those he has given us to care for.

The Lord has amazing ways of making the finances 'work out', especially for families who put their trust in the Lord and who put their calling of living godly lives ahead of their desire to have a great career.

Visiting An Amazing Family...
We spent such a special and enjoyable day with a family who, like ourselves, have done exactly that. The stories of our ups and downs with cars and the other mundane joys of making ends meet were so similar that I laughed out loud.  Honestly, I felt so humbled in talking with the mother because she just exudes the Lord's peace and wisdom. I felt that I had so much to learn about the ways of the Lord after talking with her. It wasn't what she said or didn't say..it was just her whole countenance and manners and spirit. But I have not suffered like she has...three whole years of simply waiting on God to restore her health while she lay on the brink of death.  I've never known a single woman alive who has had to go through a trial like that..nor such a sweet family who carried her through it with such grace.  You cannot help but be changed and affected..and she and her family have been.

Both our families, like so many other home school families, are grappling with the question of how to best help spring our children from the family nest so that they have the best possible future. As we talked, though, of our lives and our journeys...it was really a story of how we each learned to love our husbands and our children and be good parents.

Careers and ministry dreams eventually took a back seat to the most important job of our lives...loving those God has put in our care the way He would love them and teaching them how to do the same thing.

Do Not Worry About the Future!
So though I am anxious for Rebekah's college pursuits and the possibilities on the horizon as we look into fashion design or how to clep courses for credit, and Jacob's SAT scores and 'can we get a scholarship at our nearest university' for his pursuit of a Criminal Justice degree,  I remember what the Lord says in


Matthew 6: 31-34
Do not worry and be anxious, saying, "What are we going to have to eat? or, What are we going to have to drink? or, What are we going to have to wear? For the Gentiles wish for, crave, and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all.

But seek (aim at and strive after)first of all His kingdom and His righteousness and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.  So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.
Our Lives Should Be Stories of God's Amazing Grace and Provision
The stories our families shared yesterday were a memory book full of miracles of God's provision in the most difficult of circumstances. We all planned our careers and pursuits..but none really turned out the way we had quite planned. And still...we have grown in the Lord...we love our children and each other and more importantly...our children love the Lord and each other.  Like so many Christian homes chool families, we have very little of this world's goods to show for our 20+ years of marriage and career pursuits...but we have served the Lord with our whole heart and laid down our lives for our families. 

How I Will Prepare My Children for the Future
So I will do my best not to worry about my children's futures while making every diligent effort to help them pursue their goals, but while we are doing that...I'm going to do all I can to help them focus on the Lord and becoming more like Him...and how to be the best wife, husband, father, or mother they can be--the best school I know of for developing Christ-like character.

Because careers come and go and change, I will try to help them realize that success there, while very important, is not the most important thing.
 
With all our best efforts, careers and jobs can fail...but if we fail to love and serve our families there is nothing that will console us.  

As we learn to love our spouses and children and to meet their needs, we become more like Christ and more fit for the kingdom of heaven. 

May we always keep an eternal perspective as we guide our children towards their future pursuits and lifelong happiness.


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5 comments:

Geetha Srinivasan said...

In one word, this post was "faithful". Faith is the most important right?

Donna said...

Yes Geetha, Faith in God is all we really need. You should know..you live by faith every day while caring for your precious little son. My prayers are with you.

Trudy Callan said...

Loved this post. Much food for thought. I agree that teaching them to love and serve is more important than the career and education focus, as important as those are.

Gloria said...

We all have to have faith and of course hope. Thanks for sharing. Have a great week.

nannykim said...

Great post. I think our kids learn a lot about God and life by the way we parents live before them and with them. My kids have all finished with college. Debt free. I was very amazed at how the Lord provided. My daughter got a scholarship even though she applied at the last minute to Clemson--it was a God thing. Then after 4 years there she applied to 4 major Universities to get her Doctorate (it had to do with research ). She was accepted at all 4 and they would pay her to get her Doctorate! She chose one and did get her Doctorate! We never could have imagined this (she enjoyed her time there and the research. When she got her doctorate they asked her what her plans were --she had just had her first child that month and she told them for now she planned to stay at home and be a mommy! ha...they were a little shocked. She is now carrying her third kiddo.) Both of my sons got scholarships too. WE couldn't believe that my youngest one was able to do this because he has aspbergers (sp?) and has always struggled with math. He graduated this past December and got his second Lt. commission. He now is doing some training for the guard. Anyways, each kid pursued their loves. My middle son works for Microsoft and loves it, but he may move back to the South because he is thinking of marrying someone back here! ANyways--God can and does do amazing things when we seek Him first and seek to raise our kids to His glory.

“There's nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.” ~ Margaret Sangster
Welcome to Comin' Home! If you lived nearby, I'd invite you over to my neck of the woods for a nice long chat and a cup of tea out on the deck. But since we can't do that, I hope you'll stay and look around. I love learning new things and sharing what I learn with friends. Comin' Home is where I share tips from my many projects. Let's have some fun together! XO Donna

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