Hard Workin’ Gals: How to Find Your Work (Part 2)

Hey girls! Continuing right along with the topic of young women and their work, I want to talk a little today about how to go about figuring out what work you should do! There are a few things a girl should keep in mind when choosing her work.

Is the environment healthy?

This doesn’t mean perfect, but it does mean you need to be wise. Working closely as an assistant or secretary to a man (other than father, brother, or husband) could be asking for trouble. (These situations aren’t always disastrous, but they need to be approached cautiously.)

Does the work keep you from serving others?

There is no cut-and-dried formula for how much time young women should devote to various types of work (including her “paid work”, household chores, church/community projects, etc.) There are also seasons (as I have experienced) where your job may demand the majority of your time and energy, leaving little for family and investing in people.

The key is balance, and evaluating your work on a regular basis in light of how things are fleshing out with other priorities in your life.

In this job, can you become more of the woman God created you to be?

God created us and we should seek, as we work, to develop the things He placed deep within our nature.

I love thinking of my work in this way: In the work I am doing, how can I develop the characteristics God has placed within me as a woman- gracious, nurturing, strong, life giving, feminine, creative, gentle, helpful?

There is so much scope for growth of our character within the context of our work. This is exciting!

For me, it’s about more than just putting in the hours and making the money. I want to do my work not only in a way that honors God, but so that I am living out who He created me to be as a woman. Even though one of my particular “jobs” includes extensive leadership of other people, my goal is to nurture those people as individuals, invest in their lives, and encourage them. In marketing and customer service, I get to exercise creativity in strategizing, learning, implementing new methods and ideas, and interacting with customers.

Do you have a stewardship mentality?

It’s about more than earning money, although that’s part of it. It’s a heart attitude of using the resources of time, talent, and energy as good stewards.

Good stewardship doesn’t happen by default. It takes intentionality. The bad steward buried what he had. The good one put a sound mind and creativity to work and got busy multiplying what he’d been given. Which will you be?

 Which one of these stuck out to you the most? 

love,

Allison

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Hard Workin’ Gals: Should Christian Girls Have Jobs? (Part 1)

I have heard a number of questions from girls about work and money, and I want to address several in this post.

Some are wondering if Christian girls should even have jobs?

If so, what kinds of jobs should they have?

Should they be spending 100% of their time on household and church work, or is it ok to pursue other work, as well?

Is earning and saving money a bad goal?

Is it Biblical to have a job and save money as a young woman?

To start with, there are  a few fundamental truths about work, money, and women that we need to understand:

#1. Work is created by God, and as women, we should thrive upon hard work and productivity.

There is a problem in our generation of laziness and selfishness. Work is often seen as a bad thing, and many, especially in their youth, do everything they can to spend the bulk of their time on “feel good” entertainment and the least amount of time necessary on work.

On the other hand, when women choose “careers”, it is sometimes with selfish motives. We need to get back to the fundamental practicing of good stewardship.

Work is not a bad thing, but neither is it something we do just for ourselves.

God has given each of us the privilege of stewarding the time and talents He has blessed us with. We can waste them, or use them well.

Read Matthew chapter 25 to see how Jesus feels about our use of what He has given us. He obviously want us to multiply it, not go dig a hole and bury it.

Many girls don’t realize the potential they have. Unmarried young women have incredible amounts of time and talent that should be put to use!

There are hundreds of ways to spend this time, but some girls get stuck without a vision or plan.

Some wonder what they should really be doing. Others just go with the flow and don’t give it a second thought.

Today my goal is to encourage you girls to do this:

THINK BIG.

Don’t sit there saying, “I wish I knew what I’m supposed to be doing.” or “I wish I had more money.” or “I don’t think ___ is ever going to happen for me.”

Get a vision, write down some goals + how you are going to achieve those, and go do it!

If you’re wondering if you should have a source of income or not, and if you should really even have “work” goals, I want to encourage you with this:

#2. Earning income and working hard is not only practical, but Biblical.

The Proverbs 31 woman is praised for her virtue, but take a look at her business savvy and income earning, as well.

“She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hand she planteth a vineyard…..She maketh fine linen, and selleth it, and deliverth girdles unto the merchants.” (Prov. 31: 16+24)  

Here was an ambitious, diligent business woman! She clearly took good care of her family, honored and helped her husband, and had some serious business skills to boot! She was productive, and thrived upon serving others and working hard. 

Being business minded is Biblical, and earning money is, too.

I think God smiles to look down and see girls getting creative about using their time and talents TO THE MAX!

He wants us to delight in working hard.

God is a Creator (look at everything He made!) and He wants us to create with our hands (that He formed), and to figure things our with our brains (that He intricately knit together).

Some of you girls are concerned about finding the right work to do. You may be wondering how your work will fit in with a possible future of being a wife and mother (a high calling) and your current job titles as daughter and sister.

#3. It is entirely possible to work hard + earn money while still loving home + family and embracing our femininity.

There are so many opportunities for work that fit beautifully with home and family. Working hard and even earning money does not mean we quit being the nurturing + feminine women God created us to be. 

Earning an income will not somehow turn a girl into a full blown feminist who will struggle to be content with being “just a mom” someday.

I believe that the struggle with contentment now or then is a heart issue, and an identity problem that needs to be dealt with by finding our security, identity, and fulfillment in Christ.

Finding satisfaction in a job well done and money earned is NOT A BAD THING! 

I would argue that earning money and working hard now is actually one way for girls to prepare for the rigors of motherhood.

It is my opinion that the discipline of learning to earn, save, and budget money, as well as the discipline of keeping a demanding yet balanced schedule will make for a more sturdy, capable woman in the long run.

Whether a girl ends up being a single missionary in Africa, a wife and mother, business owner, or a cook at an orphanage, her younger years spent learning discipline and hard work will be a huge asset later on.

(Disclaimer: There some things a girl should keep in mind when choosing her work, and not just every job opportunity is a good choice for young women. I will be exploring different ideas for work/earning money in the next post in this series.)

 I look forward to continuing the discussion, and would love to hear your thoughts and feedback!

-Allison

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Making Your Phone a Servant Instead of Being Its Slave

On my first blog post, one commenter asked me to write about, “Cell phone management-do you have a smart phone?  How to keep texting + social media in check”.

First of all, phones can be excellent tools for life, business, and relationships.

The problem is, sometimes we get all out of whack and become a slave to our phone, instead of the phone being our servant.

When you can’t go without constantly checking your phone, when you think about it OFTEN, when you stay awake at night checking “one more thing”……you just might be in danger of slavery to some DUMB smartphone!

In answer to the particular questions the reader posed:

“Do you have a smart phone?”:

Yes, I do.  I did not have a phone until my late teens, when it became necessary for my job.  I then got a little flip phone, and updated some time after to an older model basic iPhone.  I have my second iPhone now because the first one wore out. The phone I have now was given to me for a fantastic price by a coworker, but if I needed to buy a phone, I would definitely recommend looking for a refurbished, older one online. But that’s just my opinion.:)

“How do you keep texting + social media in check?”

I have used a number of different ideas + disciplines in this area. Here are some favorites:

  • The JESUS FIRST principle.  For me, the single most distracting thing to early morning time with the Lord is a phone. I choose to keep mine on airplane mode most mornings. It isn’t a legalistic rule, and occasionally I need to send a business or personal text immediately when I wake up, but I shoot for not turning my phone on until I have had my time with the Lord.
  • A MEDIA FAST. Basically, the way I do this is enlist a friend (I’ve got a good one who has done this with me several times!) and set a certain time frame for a media fast. (I’ve done it alone, too, but it’s a bonding thing to do with a friend or sibling. We like to practice “replacement” and make a bigger than usual Scripture memory or Bible study goal during our fast.) For me, a media fast usually includes refraining from all non business social media, websites, and email.  It is always so refreshing and I’ve never regretted going a week or more without these things.
  • Keeping PUBLIC TEXTING TO A MINIMUM. This is something my sis and I made a pact about when we got our phones, and we still keep each other accountable in this area. We decided that whenever possible, we would send text messages in private. It really isn’t that hard to step away from a conversation and send a quick response. I do alot of texting with my job, but if I am at a social or family event or hanging out with my siblings, I can easily see if a work text comes in and step out of the room to take care of it before rejoining the group.
  • Having SOCIAL MEDIA FREE DAYS. This is another one that is huge for me. Although I use Instagram for personal and business, I don’t want to be using it every single day!
  • Use VERY FEW NOTIFICATIONS. I really don’t need to know every time I get an email, or someone posts something new. I can check those things when I have time! I choose to have zero notifications other than text and phone calls. For emails and social media, I have to purposely check, and I like it that way.

Do any of ya’ll have tips on how to manage phones? They sure are handy, but we’ve all seen them become monsters, too! I know neither I nor you want that in our lives, so we’ve got to be proactive! 

-Allison

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How to Deal with Being Overwhelmed

Hey friends!  So, today I am going to share a few candid thoughts on a topic that I am guessing most, if not every single one of you, can identify with- BEING OVERWHELMED. Sound familiar?

I remember talking to my brother Mitch about this a few years ago, and just telling him what a major problem it was with me. I would get big-time stressed-out over things like a full schedule, big decisions, last minute tasks, leadership, and the list goes on and on.

Maybe later I’ll write more about my journey with anxiety (do any of you struggle with that?), but for now I’m specifically talking about that overwhelmed feeling.  You know, when you feel like you can’t possibly do everything you need to do, or that life is general is just too much?

Can I encourage you with something?  Please don’t stay in that place of overwhelm!

I think that when it comes to this thing of being overwhelmed, we have it all wrong.  It is easy to feel that “I am so overwhelmed” and stay helplessly there. But remember:

Overwhelmed is a FEELING, not a REALITY.

What we need to do is identify how we got to this place and what to do about it. Living in a state of being overwhelmed is not the fullness of life God intended for us.

Here are a few things I’ve found to make a HUGE difference for me when I am getting overwhelmed.

  • Spending sufficient quiet time with Jesus every morning.  Really, this is such a big, big deal.  If I rush through my time with the Lord, or am not really truly seeking to know His heart more on a regular basis, I begin to have major problems.  I have found that I get overwhelmed so much more easily when my relationship with Him is suffering.
  • Speaking the truth to my heart.  The Bible says that David “encouraged his heart in the Lord”. Sometimes we don’t even realize the lies we are being fed or even saying to ourselves.  When getting overwhelmed, I need to tell myself things like, “You CAN do all things thru Christ Who strengthens you”.  Or, “If Christ is for you, who can be against you?”  There are so many verses and truths that apply here.  On the flip side, it is too easy to go down the detrimental road of telling ourselves lies like “No one cares.” or “I can’t please anyone.” or “I am such a failure!”
  • Evaluating my schedule + priorities.  Sometimes when I am getting overwhelmed, it is because I have not prioritized correctly.  There are times when it is helpful to step back and ask, “what all is on my schedule right now?  Are these the priorities Christ wants me to have or are there some good things I need to cut to make room for the best things?”
  • Getting sufficient rest.  Again, this is HUGE for me!!! For some very silly reason, when I have extra much to do I tend to cut back on sleep. Those are the very times when sufficient rest is most crucial!  We are not super-humans- God created night-time for REST and trying to make it on insufficient sleep on a regular basis is not healthy or wise.  Obviously, there are seasons when we cannot control this, but the majority of us have the ability to choose to sleep.:)
  • Seeking Godly counsel.  Sometimes when I am starting to feel overwhelmed, or trying to figure out whether or not to say yes to a particular activity, I call  my dad and ask his opinion.  For me, this has been a super helpful way to get another perspective (from someone I trust and admire greatly) on the situation. I highly recommend finding that person in your life that knows you- personality, priorities, and schedule- well and will tell you their honest opinion/counsel about whatever decision or struggle you are having.

Friends, God is for you!  He smiles on you.  He wants to help you with whatever you are struggling with.

love,

Allison

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May Goals

 

It is May already, friends.  My heart is full, the days are full, life is full.  Full of blessings, grace, opportunities, and moments to seize.  It is the people that matter, ya’ll.  It’s the moments we really stop to savor, the times we listen to the Holy Spirit even if it seems crazy.  Taking time to call up that friend and meet for coffee, praying for that person who just keeps being on your mind. There’s always a reason, someone who needs love even when you don’t know why or what they’re going through.

Time is a valuable asset.  If we want to make time for people, we have to be intentional.  Life will happen and we won’t know where the days went, unless we seize them with intentionality.

“All we have to do is decide what to do with the time given us.” J.R.R Tolkien

We all have 24 hours a day, but the question is what we will do with it. God gives us time that we may steward it for Him.  He asks us to do everything with all our might, for His glory.  That includes our work, relationships, and even our rest time.

Lack of intentionality with our time breeds regret.

Goal setting is one valuable way to be intentional with the time we’re given. While some people are more goal-oriented than others, I believe it is helpful for everyone to step back from time to time and evaluate where they’re at and where they’re headed.

Today I am going to share with you my 10 key May Goals.  I want to work hard, play hard, and above all, do it all with love. The following are 10 goals that I am setting for this month:

  1. Finish memorizing Philippians 1 (recite to Liz with no prompts!)
  2. Run 35 miles- gonna try to snag a little quality time with a sister for a few of these miles.:)
  3. Read “Follow You Anywhere: 22 Little Lessons for Team Leaders”
  4. Take the little siblings on a park/picnic date
  5. Execute large cleaning + painting project at work
  6. Write 7 encouraging notes
  7. Interview + hire new hotel team member
  8. Do 6 blog posts
  9. Invest $__ (specific amount of money I want to invest this month)
  10. Schedule time to nurture relationships (cleaning for a busy mamma friend, talking over coffee with another friend, having heart to heart talks w/ the siblings, etc.)

What about you?  Do you have any goals for this month?  I would love to hear what you are challenging yourself to do currently!  With Jesus Christ, you are capable of MORE than you know!  He will give us the strength and wisdom to accomplish everything that is His will for us.  I’m cheerin’ for ya!

-Allison

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