it’s a process

Get back in your chair.
Eat your food.
Chew with your mouth closed.  
Stop goofing around.
There will be no desert, if you don’t eat the vegetables.
Just try it – you might like it!

Doesn’t sound much like leadership advice, does it? I had four little ones, living far from family, and often felt like I was just hanging on by a thread.  Especially at meal times.

I remember reading a parenting book during those days where the author described family mealtimes as a treasure… all the family gathered around the table, telling stories, laughing, enjoying the togetherness… and I thought, “What planet are they from?” I couldn’t even imagine ever treasuring meal times; they were just a lot of work for me.

And those mealtimes were work – for a season.  We worked on basic manners, and we worked on gratefulness, respect, patience, self-discipline, conversation skills, and the willingness to try new things.  Character issues.  Future leader issues.

It was easy for me to get discouraged and tired and lose sight of how the small daily details fit into the big picture. It was easy to compare and feel like others were doing something more significant for the Lord…

I still struggle with that today.

But when I take time to get away with Him, God reminds me that every experience in life is an opportunity to grow and develop… or to invest and build in to others – future leaders. The small things are significant. My life matters. The daily disciplines help develop character. I just have to remember that the spilled milk and the sticky hands are all part of the process.

Do you get lost in the daily grind? What helps you remember that the process is important?

PS: Today I understand. Mealtimes with my crazy, incredible family are a treasure… but I still have to encourage them to eat their vegetables.

in front of an audience of ONE

I read a blog today about a young lady who is writing a book and receiving a lot of flack for building her “platform” – her own reputation – as she launches this effort.  It made me reflect on how much we desire to do something valuable, worthy, significant with our lives... and yet don’t want to be prideful or showy or pushy about it.

I also thought about how God sometimes chooses to put us in the spotlight – as leaders, as writers… and some are given a platform: “popular”, famous, celebrity.  Sometimes the status is short-term; sometimes it is a life-style.  Praise God for those who represent the Lord on a BIG scale… in ministry, at bookstores, in politics.  May He protect them from temptation and criticism, and may He give them energy, health and strength to share love, forgiveness and eternal life with thousands!

And for the rest of us?  God has also chosen us and given us a job.  It may not be up in front on the platform.  It may be behind the scenes, not so flashy, but every bit as important.

I am content today to have had a part the last few years developing materials for our many Campus Crusade ministries in Mexico.  None of the materials have my name on them; I earn no royalties and sign no autographs.  I spent a lot of time doing boring detail work. But the result is quality resources that encourage and empower others to step out to reach and disciple others with God’s love. Sometimes I get a little feedback, but basically I have no idea how many people will use these materials – and I will never know…

But God knows! I stand on a platform in front of an audience of ONE… and that is good enough for me. I want to give my best to Him and for Him, no matter what I am doing.

And you? Whether you are at home caring for young children, serving in the church kitchen, working in the office, leading others in a Bible study, writing a blog – or speaking to thousands at a conference – do your best for HIM!  He is your most important audience, and He is applauding your show!

**Leave me a comment and let me know about your show! I’d love to pray for you!