The moment the door closed behind her she heard what could only be described as the chaos of multiple music boxes playing different songs at once. These music boxes were rooms in her home and these songs were the TV’s left playing, the squeaky toys from the dogs being chewed on, the dryer end cycle beeping , the multiple notifications going off on her phone all (in competition ) with the faint, deep growl of her belly and the racing beat of her heart.
She looked down at her list of things to get done between the moment she stood in and the pickup line she’d be parked in the afternoon.
Being all too familiar with the tug felt by her business it inevitably pulled her attention into an all-consuming task driven race against time. She immediately felt frustrated, overwhelmed, and nearly bitter for this day she woke to.
“How am I going to get it all done? “
She begins picking up the cereal bowls, wiping up the spilled milk and half used napkins. She throws the laundry into the dryer and questions whether she’s the only mother that feels burdened by her blessings.
“Count the dirty clothes and home as a blessing, they are evidence of a home with little feet “
she mumbles to herself ..
A discouraging voice snickers through her thoughts. "What’s wrong with you that you aren’t joy filled in the mess !”
As she enters the doors of her office, she’s happy to leave the sight of the things she cannot keep up with although her work leaves something to be desired.
“I don’t have time to keep the house picked up, the meals on the table, I don’t have time to spend with my children and my husband while building the family business. I don’t have the time to consistently workout, eat healthy or devote time to friends. I’m successful and I’m miserable. I thought this success would bring us joy. “
Have you ever felt this way, whether you have a business, work outside of the home or work tiredly as a stay-at-home mother and wife.
What does it benefit us as mothers to have success and "get it all done" at the sacrifice of peace?
Great gain of an easy lifestyle is an incredible appeal of success.
We often measure our standard of a successful day on external validation rather than approval of the spirit.
There are incredible opportunities to experience, there is great gain to be received from your diligence , there is growth to be seen from intelligent business and career decisions , there are records to be broken from great discipline but we must not forget, if it is all gained for the sacrifice of spiritual peace, it will always be for loss.
When we look at our blessings and feel overwhelmed, frustrated or in despair we’ve abandoned the words of wisdom that say “don’t be anxious, in all you do , talk with God, express to Him what you are thankful for and let God know your struggles” and reverted to using external validation as a compass.
Whether it is from compliments, affirmations, the bathroom scale, or book sales these measures assure us we are doing something good or right. External validation is also used for redirection in forms of criticism, disapproval, your store closing, a publisher’s rejection or 2 star rating on your recipe from those around your dinner table.
Using external validation as a measure of success inevitably leaves us feeling drained and frustrated.
It’s through a spirit led life that we are able to relax into a quiet confidence when surrounded by any visible measure of worldly success that begs for our attention and still experience peace and joy in all circumstance.
When we let go of our personal timelines and external validation of whether we are doing the “right thing” we discover that compliments, affirmations, book sales, disapprovals, careers or businesses ending and records lost, are all neutral. Whether good or bad they are neutral.
They are neutral because the value of success is measured rather by the excellence and sincerity of the Holy Spirit.
I know of individuals who only say yes to business decisions if it is fun to them and their employees. They have inevitably said no to a lot of good business offers and potential growth but it was important for them not to forsake the fun in life for the gain of wealth.
God shares with us that we should measure our decisions based on the promptings of His spirit and the consideration of what is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, and of good report.
The lord whispered to her and said, “don’t forget me. I asked you to open the doors to your store and yet you have not consulted me. You are successful and people sing your praises, but I am not mentioned. Return to the vision I gave you and you will find true success with spiritual peace.”
She knew she had been led down the path of a high standard for external validation without the guidance and promptings of the Spirit when she arrived at her success without the presence joy and peace. She was successful yet miserable and His name had not been exalted.
Regardless of the external validation of a decision being good or bad, profitable or useless we must first bring all things to God, consulting Him in all that we do so that our measure of success does not grieve the spirit but exalts it.
I heard of the story of a Christian songwriter and singer who was encouraged to pursue medical school to become a doctor. He was encouraged by his family and professors to continue his pursuit based on his outstanding performance in college. Additionally, He was repeatedly warned and advised against making songwriting or ministry a career. Despite the external validations to pursue a successful medical career He walked the spirit led road. If he hadn’t listened to the spirit, he admitted He’d be miserably successful in medicine. Thankfully, he allowed the spirit to guide him into sharing God’s Love through music, extending to places He never dreamt His testimony would reach. You may be one who enjoys praising God through the music written and sung by Chris Tomlin.
You will be blessed for your sincere belief that God will fulfill His promise to you. Be confident in saying no to a good thing so as not to sacrifice your testimony. Let everyone know you are led by the spirit for the Glory of God and let His gentleness be known. The good work He has begun in you, will continue. He will take your testimony of faith and spread it beyond places you can go.
Stay faithful and measure your decisions by the prompting of His spirit it is then you will find joy and peace in all circumstance.
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