Thursday, August 21, 2014

Living to Bless Instead of Impress

My prayer over the past few weeks has been that my life here at home will glorify God. My life here mopping the floor, going over letter sounds, folding laundry, reading books out loud, and cooking dinner. My life here that is largely unobserved except by two (soon to be three!) small boys. That life that no one sees. The life where no one really knows what I do or how I do it. I want it to honor God. 

My desire is that my life would bless those in it, specifically my husband and children. Then spreading around to other family members, friends, church people, acquaintances, and even the Wal-Mart cashier who tells me how terrible it is that I don't know how many months old Kevin is.  But it's hard to live with that in mind. It's hard to live daily in a work that no one sees and seek to honor God. It can seem like it doesn't matter. 

The big temptation is to try to impress those who only see me occasionally instead of trying to bless those who closely interact with me. It's much nicer to seem impressive and have people look up to us. It's flattering to have people think we are good mothers, intellectual women, generous wives. But we don't have to actually live it out daily for those people to think those things. It's a bad system of rating how we are doing in our work. 

The question is not, "Am I impressing anyone?" The question is, "Am I blessing those in my home?" 

Am I truly a blessing to my husband? There are ten thousand tips and ideas to share here but I just want to share one that I've been working on the past few months. I've been trying to think about what he needs instead of what I want. For example, if he calls to say he has to work over I want to respond with, "Ok, can we bring you dinner? Anything specific we can pray about for you? Will you get a chance to facetime with the boys?" Something that lets him know that he is important and I understand the challenges of his life. I know he would rather be here with us.  I don't want to make him feel bad about something he can't change. I try to express our appreciation for what he does for us and let him know we will miss him without making him feel bad. I want to leave him energized for his work not weighed down.  I want to be his safe place. 

Am I truly a blessing to my children? Once again I'm going to focus on the idea I've been working on. I want to take the time to train the boys in what to do and why we do it. I don't want to only focus on what we don't do. For example, I want to teach my boys that we are a family and a family is a team. Families help each other grow and learn. So yes, we discipline for pushing and fighting. We have a "hands to yourself" policy. But when this happens we also discuss our family being a team and how blessed we are to have our family and then we practice helping each other. We also talk about working together as a team at other times. And it's working, slowly but surely. 

Am I making our home a blessing to our family? My family will know if they are important by the way I keep our home. Order is necessary for learning and growth. Now families are messy; it's not a museum, but I'm not embarrassed for someone to drop by either. We are learning the concept of stewardship: everything we have belongs to God and He wants us to take proper care of it.

Once I've taken care of these necessary things I find I have little time to worry about what anyone else thinks of me. Some people will like it; some people will think I'm strange; some people will wonder how I "do it all." (I don't; I am only one person. You prioritize your family's needs and go from there.) Focusing on being a blessing will not leave us with time to worry about impressing anyone. And that's a good thing. 


  1. It's been way too long since I've stopped by, Lisa. Life has been so busy...and lately, incredibly sad for me. But I love this post! It's taken a long time, but I am finally comfortable "in my own skin" as people say, and have stopped trying to impress people. I just want to please my Lord. Everything else is just chaff.
    Much love to you,
    And prayers for you and your new little one on the way! :)

  2. Thank you, ladies! And Lisa, I was so sad for your family when I read about your dad's death. I'm so sorry for your loss. Thanks for stopping by and catching up! It's so nice that we can learn things as we grow that allow us to better serve God. I appreciate your prayers for me and baby Caleb!