Category Archives: career

The Path of Service vs. the Pursuit of Success

This morning I found inspiration and challenge in the words of Pastor Steve Schell, from a sermon he delivered on Romans 12:1 (bold mine):

Paul urgently appeals to every believer who understands the mercy we have received from God, to respond by completely devoting themselves to His service. This, he says, is the only appropriate way to thank Him. We surrender our lives to Him as completely as if we had placed our bodies on an altar like an animal about to be sacrificed, only in our case we are not there to be slaughtered but rather recruited into His service (Ro 14:7: 1Co 6:19, 20; 2Co 5:15).

Our full surrender will find its expression in a series of costly choices that lead us away from something we desire toward something selfless that God wants us to do. We choose a path that to the natural mind appears to lead downward, in the wrong direction. (Henri Nouwen, The Selfless Way of Christ)

Abba, in light of this passage, please show me the downward path You’ve chosen for my life. I am so tired of trying to pursue my own dreams and wanting to be more worshipful. I will oh so gladly abandon my dreams altogether if only I know that YOU have chosen a different path for me. I willingly and joyfully place myself on the altar and will completely devote myself to Your service. I choose a path of worship before work, praise before play, devotion before dreaming, and prayer always. Only show me the way within the Way. Guide me and direct me, so that I don’t just make up my own seemingly spiritual path that actually pleases neither me nor You! I trust that You will guide me. I’m Yours. Thank You for this beautiful word.

In Jesus’ name, amen!

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Disciplines vs. Distraction——-Which One Will I Feed More Today?

Abba, You are the Wise One. You are Wisdom. You have the complete perspective on everything. You know and understand how everything fits together and why. You know where this is all headed, and You know our secret motives, the things we don’t admit even to ourselves. You’re also the Sovereign One. Nothing escapes Your notice or Your grasp. You are ultimately in control of everything. Your impeccable wisdom combined with Your all-encompassing sovereignty leave us in a place where no worry is necessary. You know exactly what needs to happen when, and You are able to make it happen. Nothing can stop Your plans, not even our own human weaknesses or disobedience.

I confess that my human weaknesses are many. I fear that Distraction is among the worst of them, while Undisciplined-ness vies closely for that top spot. My heart is ever willing, but my flesh is so ridiculously weak. And while my heart craves the spiritual disciplines that will inevitably bring the flesh into line, my flesh is still the strong one. I’m still losing that battle every day. And I’m still not taking the battle seriously. I confess that I dawdle about Kingdom priorities but slavishly serve the busy-ness and bustle of the world’s priorities. I get sucked right into that vortex of meaninglessness and let the Enemy win time and again.

THANK YOU for this early morning time when You bring this to my awareness. Thank You for Your patience. Thank You for the spiritual disciplines, like special tools the mentor gives the hero in an adventure. Thank You that You are sending into my life even now a spiritual director or mentor who can help keep me accountable, who can keep steering me back toward the light when I drift. Thank You for the Holy Spirit, already in my life doing just that (if only I were aware of it & tuned to hear His voice!!). Thank You that You understand our human weaknesses. Thank You for reminding me of Your infinite wisdom last night at Bible study. Thank You for the creative ideas You’ve given me, and thank You that You will help me bring them to fruition. Thank You for my amazing family and this day to celebrate together–our last day before Ben’s school starts. Thank You for his new school and all the good that it brings with it. Thank You for our new schedule and structure!

Please bless this day with Your favor. May we have deep Real Moments as a family and slow down to really enjoy each other’s presence. Please help me manage my emotions so I can be even and strong tomorrow as I meet Ben’s teacher and drop him off for his first day at school tomorrow. Help me to shift back to excitement every time the tears start to come tomorrow (but give me time in private to cry my eyes out, because I know that’s good for me too!). Please help me sort out financial income avenues so that I can attend not only Art of Money but also B-school, and create something like Stratejoy’s Elevate Mastermind group. I would love to lead a group of ladies through a fun year like that! Also give me wisdom as to my screenplays and career strategies. Thank You!

In Jesus’ mighty name, amen!

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May I Pray More Than I Plot

Welcome to another week, Abba! Happy Monday. You are evergreen and always ready to begin anew. Fresh and exhilarating. Filled with the knowledge of all things. Aware of how everything works and what needs to happen for things to run smoothly, yet unattached to them “going well,” because You know the value of challenge and growth. You love each of us individually and equally. You’re especially fond of every single one of us. You are the reason for and source of everything that exists.

I confess that I lived another day paying so little attention to You—even on “the Lord’s day”! I confess that while I am 100% positive that prayer is the most important thing I do all day, connecting with You and spending time in awareness of Your presence, I still do so little of it. And I confess that I live, talk, and think way more about business and careers and self-fulfillment (for myself and others) way more than I do about spirit and things above and how a person’s relationship with You is going.

Thank You for bringing this to my attention. Thank You that it’s not a question of sacred vs. secular, but a matter of bringing the sacred into every moment. Thank You that You can and will teach me more of what that means and looks like and how to implement it in my specific circumstances. Thank You for Ben’s spiritual warfare breakthrough this weekend, speaking to fear and telling it to leave. Thank You for this amazing-sounding charter school for the arts that he might be going to very soon, and for the many changes that would bring to our little family. Thank You so so much for the growing circle of friends and community You’re bringing into our lives. Thank You for the great momversations I had yesterday at church and for my husband’s proactivity in getting us signed up to serve at Kids Connections so early in our time at this church. Thank You for his servant’s heart.

Please bring opportunities for him to serve in ways that are personally meaningful to him, where his personal strengths can really shine. Please bring me guidance as to how to best shape and structure and prioritize my writing, from fiction to non and which stories need to be told first/most and how to think of them so that they don’t take on more importance than they really have. Please bring me mentors and spiritual directors that can speak into my life and cut right to the heart with Your truth. Please heal my sweet baby and give us wisdom as to how to get through this winter season without all the drippy noses! You are so brilliant and kind. Be my vision, my guide, my mentor this week. May I pray more than I plot and give more than I take.

In Jesus’ mighty name I pray, amen!

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