And the Winner is . . .
Melissa Taylor

“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be.” Philippians 3:12 (NLT)

In 1992, I was in the second year of my teaching career. I loved teaching and had a heart for children. I worked hard and was rewarded for it. My school selected me as “Teacher of the Year.” When my second child was born three years later, my husband and I decided I would fully devote my time to our home and raising our children.

Until I became a stay-at-home mom, I never realized how much my identity was about being a teacher. I felt like I had lost who I was and began calling myself just a mom. “There has to be more to my life than this, “I proclaimed. I bought into the common worldview that I needed more in my life to be valuable.

Within a few months, I volunteered for various committees at church. I attended meetings, began teaching Sunday School, and worked hard to fill my days with worthy causes. I felt important again. A few years and another child later, the strain of trying to keep up this Miss Perfect-Worthy-and-Valuable front, was taking its toll on my family and me.

One Sunday in church, a prestigious award was given to a woman who devoted her life to God and serving her church. The presenter began, “This year’s recipient is younger than our winners in the past, but no less qualified. In her short time here, she has served on the wedding committee, children’s council, women’s council, Weekday School committee, taught Sunday School and Wednesday night programs, and put flowers on the altar during the month of February.” Then she said, “She’s also a mother of three and a wife.” It hit me then that it was I, and all of a sudden, I wanted to die. My husband was beaming and friends were silently cheering and telling me, “It’s you Melissa. You are the winner!” So why did I feel like sliding down under the church pew and hiding? Because God spoke louder than the presenter did that day. I heard Him.

While these accomplishments and titles were all nice, they were not who I was or wanted to be. Where was the part in the presentation that said, “Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her,” like Proverbs 31:28 says? Where were the words that mentioned that I was a devoted wife who stayed home to care for her family? What about that I was a woman after God’s heart, who takes on life from His perspective and with His priorities in mind? They weren’t mentioned because that wasn’t the case. My husband had been a victim of abandonment while I was “doing for others.” My children were not being cared for by me, but by the nursery workers at church. As for being a woman after God’s own heart? Please! I was doing God’s work, but I was not asking Him to be a part of it. This prestigious award came home with me, but even better than that, a new woman came home that day.

The next week I cleared my plate of anything and everything that was out of balance. I was a little nervous about letting people down, but I had to discover my identity as a child of God, and to believe that was enough.

Have you ever felt like you needed a fancy title, numerous achievements, or worldly rewards to feel important? If so, I challenge you today to discover the truth. Ask God to reveal His plan and purpose for your life. I promise that having the title “daughter of the King” bears greater reward than anything you could do on this earth. Get your life priorities balanced God’s way and hear Him say, and the winner is . . . you!

Dear Lord, show me my value as Your child, not in things of this world. Help restore my faith and believe that You are enough for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do you know Him?

A Woman's Secret to a Balanced Life by Lysa TerKeurst and Sharon Jaynes

Living Life on Purpose by Lysa TerKeurst

Join us for more Everyday Life encouragement

Application Steps:
Look at your calendar or your daily planner. Organize your activities so that God’s priorities are reflected in your tasks.

Reflections:
Do I feel important because of what I do or because of what God does in me?

Do I feel like a winner?

Power Verses:
Proverbs 3:6, “Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths.” (NLT)

Proverbs 16:3, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” (NIV)

Philippians 3:3b, “We put no confidence in human effort. Instead, we boast about what Christ Jesus has done for us.” (NLT)

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12 Comments:

Blogger Stacey said...

i needed that one today. i've been rather discouraged lately. i'm 22 years old, i have a husband and a son, and last friday i graduated from dallas baptist university. serveral of my friends have wonderful things lined up, like mission work, or big important jobs, or pursuing their masters degrees. but i'm not able to do any of that. my husband is also a student studying to be a minister. i work 3 days, and stay home 2 days with my son. since i graduated i've felt like i needed something greater...like i had no vision. but shortly before i graduated i remember the Lord wispering in my ear that my call was to take care of my family. i had forgotten that till i read the devo today. thank you so much for sharing your story. have a blessed day and take care...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I long so desparately for that, but unfortunately I must work outside of the home. I long to be "just Mom" not a "working Mom". I know I am doing what is best for my family, but it becomes discouraging when I read devotions like this one. I try to remember that I am doing what God wants me to. I pray that each Mom that is able to stay home to care for their families will know God's peace and assurance that they are right where God wants them to be.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today's devotional is right on. I have struggled with this myself and it is very encouraging. Also,I can identify with both of these comments. I have been in both positions. I pray for those moms who do work outside the home and those that work in the home. May God bless you both
His own special grace.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm trying to be that stay-at-home Mom, and we've managed to survive as a family on this mutual agreement for the last several years. Except we are drowning in our bills. How do I continue to believe that this is where God wants me when my husband is just not bringing home enough income? There's absolutely nothing that we could really cut out of our budget either, to "save" -

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you looked into maybe offering child care? Or maybe a job where you work a few hours in the evening when your husband is home? I know that is what my sister did, unfortunately that is not always an option depending on the hours that your husband works. I will pray that God will show you a way to make this work.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like you are having a very hard time. I sympathize with you and will be praying for you and others in the same situation.

Have you heard of Crown Financial Ministries? I hear them over the radio and they offer a Crown Money Map that has helped many people. If you are interested go to Crown.org. Don't despair, God will not let you down. He will show you the way out.
Bless you.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you considered working from home? I have been working from home for about 7 years now through 3 kids!! I started a new, not so glamerous profession in medical transcription, but it pays the bills and led me to a place where I am here for my kids and am comfortable with being "just mom".

Anonymous Spring said...

That is my life in a bottle. I am so overly involved in my church that I wear many different hats because our church is so small. I am youth pastors wife and womans ministry leader, plus a mother and wife. and byt he looks of it i am not ministring at home at all. HOw do we do this to ourselves? I have not even accomplished one thing God has called me to because im so worried about making everyone elses dreams come true. I have been called to finish my GED and still have to pass the Math section and yet it seems so far away cause its been almost a year since ive taken the test. I stumbled apon your website this morning, what an impact just in 1 hour!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was just talking about this today. I telling a co-worker how I felt like I wasn't doing any work for the Lord and how I was feeling worthless. I thought that I needed to be doing things like what I just read but, my friend told me that sence I had been there, most of my fellow associates have noticed a positive change in me. A change that only God could have done for me. That I was easier to get along with and joking around all the time. In the beginning they would say things like... oh no her she comes...The people that are put in my path I had been witnessing to and didn't even realize that I was working for the Lord but, other people were seeing it. God has been stretching me and teaching me this whole time. My friend said the reason I couldn't see this was because I am on the inside of the forest looking out, while they are on the outside looking in. What a blessing!! I am praise my God as we speak and thank you woman of faith for your web-site. May God continue to bless you and your families. Bev Breland.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is exactly what I needed to remind me each day. I do struggle with being a stay @ home mother of three children. I am a single parent and I am thankful to God for providing for our needs, but I do not always appreciate being at home with my kids. I wanted to finish my education and become a teacher. I thought I was doing this for my kids and my heart was changed. I have a selfish motives of getting that to feel more valuable.

"Dear Lord, show me my value as Your child, not in things of this world. Help restore my faith and believe that You are enough for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen." Amen

Jesus is enough for me and is not always easy to accept this in my situation. He led me to read this today and know Jesus is more than enough for me.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

God's voice is loud today, I felt and heard He was screaming and made sure I heard His voice with all the others talking around me. :)

Blogger Renee said...

Thank you for your devotion. My husband and I have talked about how the church today for the most part is not openly supportive of mothers at home. I have struggled for years with balancing my "calling" and #1 ministry at home with serving in my church. God has given me time this year to evaluate and lay my heart, schedule and desires bare before Him and has so confirmed where I am to be. I believe the struggle comes from wanting the approval of man or friends. When my reward and recognition should come solely from God. Thanks again, for confirming what God has been telling me for so many years.

In Him,
Renee

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