From Our Hearts to Yours
I remember reading an article in the Los Angeles Times about a concert pianist who was asked about the secret of his success. He answered, “Planned neglect.” He then related how he first began to study the piano. He was young, and many things were tempting and tugging on him for his attention and time. So each day he began to take care of those tugging demands. Then, after taking care of all those other things, he would return to his music, meaning his music was getting the leftovers of his time and energy. But one day he made a decision to deliberately neglect everything else until his practice time was completed. That program of “planned neglect” accounted for his success.
If you’ve tried to be all things to all people and ended up failing on most fronts, here’s a solution: Daily develop and fine-tune the strategy of the concert pianist. Plan to neglect nonpriority projects, issues, activities, and distractions in order to complete and manage well those roles and responsibilities that are truly the most important. Then see what you can do with the lesser items on your list.
What are the few areas in your life that are most important in God’s eyes? Are you a son or daughter? Spouse? Parent? Sibling? If so, these are roles where your planning is most vital. This is your God-given family—a stewardship and priority given to you by God. What one thing can you plan to do today to enrich the lives of those closest to you?
Are you stressed out by your responsibilities? At a crossroads in your life? Wondering what to do about a complicated relationship? Don’t guess about the next step and hope for the best. Get a clear view of the right path as you follow God’s wisdom found in the book of Proverbs. Elizabeth George takes you on a journey through the 31 chapters of Proverbs, which cover the matters closest to your heart in Proverbs for a Woman’s Day.
Rumor has it that work is a consequence of the fall of man. If Adam and Eve had not eaten that apple, we wouldn’t have to work today. But in reality, work existed before the Fall. Long before that first bite of fruit, we witness God at work in the creation of the universe.
In Genesis 1:1, we meet God punching the time clock, so to speak, as a worker: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Finally, when the work was completed, on the seventh day God “rested from all His work which [He] had created and made” (Genesis 2:3).
Also after Adam and Eve were created, God told them to “be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:28). That sounds like work to me!
My fellow working friend, it’s obvious God created us, both men and women, to be workers. He knows that our physical and mental makeup thrives on work and creativity.
In 15 Verses to Pray for Your Husband you’ll discover key Bible passages you can use as a springboard for lifting your husband up to God. Praying the Scriptures is especially powerful because you are actually praying what God desires for your spouse.
I’ve been experimenting for years with what I call my “attitude helpers.” They help me get my work done with a happy heart—even the things I don’t like doing!!!
- Prayer always helps — Pray about your attitude toward your chores, the people you serve at home, and your schoolwork. Ask God for His help and His attitude. He can definitely turn your heart into a fountain of joy.
- Use Scripture for a pep talk — Make a list of verses right out of God’s Word that encourage you while you take care of your responsibilities. My favorite is Psalm 118:24—“This is the day the Lord has made; [I] will rejoice and be glad in it.”
- Do your work “as to the Lord” — When things seem unbearable or impossible, Colossians 3:23 comes to the rescue: “Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” This reminder pours fresh joy into an empty heart.
- Tackle your tasks wholeheartedly — As you face tasks (even homework!), make a conscious decision to tackle it energetically and joyfully. A halfhearted attitude will produce halfhearted results—and you sure don’t need that!
- Tackle your tasks energetically — Whatever chore or school project you face, take on the challenge. Roll up your sleeves, “do it with your might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10), and finish fully. You, girl, are on a mission!
- Tackle your tasks creatively — To help make each task exciting, ask yourself, “How can I do this differently? What would make this more fun, more enjoyable?” And my favorite? “How can I beat the clock—do this faster, finish sooner, zip through it?” Do whatever you can to make a game out of your work.
- Tackle your tasks joyfully — The key to joy is to look at your responsibilities at home and school with anticipation rather than dread. See your tasks as challenges rather than drudgery. Look at each demanding job and decide to do it, to do it well, to do it as to the Lord, and to enjoy doing it. Oh, what a difference joy makes!
Beautiful in God’s Eyes for Young Women surrounds you with inspiring Bible verses and Elizabeth’s encouraging guidance. You’ll discover purpose and confidence you’ve only dreamed of having.
Like the farmer who is diligent to sow seed so that there might become crops, parents must wake up each and every day and sow God’s life-giving seed into our children’s hearts. That’s your part. And God’s part is to produce the harvest. It’s up to Him to move your child’s heart. He is the one who brings him or her to a full knowledge of His Son, Jesus Christ.
So rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him in faith. Know that He will do His part perfectly and in His timing. God is completely sovereign. He knows all things and is in control of all things, including how and when He will transform your child’s heart. Remember, the timing of the harvest is in God’s hands (Psalm 31:15).
When you find yourself worrying, don’t!
Don’t get impatient if time is passing and your little—or big—one is growing up and has not yet experienced personal faith in Christ.
And don’t compare how God is choosing to work in your child’s life to His plan for other children’s lives. The timing is totally up to God. You cannot “make” salvation happen. You can only do your part in faith. And you can only sow the seed—and pray. Then your heart can rest in faith.
In Raising a Daughter After God’s Own Heart, Elizabeth George provides an engaging and inspirational resource for every mom who wants to lead her daughter to a godly life by example, encouragement, study, and prayer.