Character Study: Measuring Up

  I am a working girl, not a mommy blogger.  On Mondays it’s back to the trenches for me — fleshing out my faith in the middle of piles of paperwork and wondering when I am going to deal with that mass of laundry that keeps growing in the closet.  Will my house ever really be clean?  Will I ever see the bottom of my desk?  How do I find time for ministry in the midst of answering a million e-mails in my 9 to 5 and then coming home to feed my husband?

Questions like these cause me to wonder if I will ever “measure up.”  Do you know what I mean?  In my head, there is this woman — the one who has it all together.  I haven’t actually  met her, but I know she is out there — taunting me with her perfection.

To try to make sense of it all, I make myself stop self – obsessing by sitting down for a spell with my Bible and a journal.  This past Sunday, I slowed down my pace and dug into some Scripture for a much needed re-adjustment of my perspective.   In Acts 16, I read about a woman who “worked hard for the money.”  She was a single sister named Lydia. There are just five short verses devoted to her story in the pages of Scripture, but I gleaned so much that has helped encourage me to skip with a lighter step this week.

First off, this sister was diligent in business.  She worked hard with enthusiasm, singleness of purpose, and she had “smarts.”  Her work life was characterized by competence and character, which created influence.

And what was she doing with her hard earned success?  We see her in community with other women, using her powers of persuasion to point others to Christ.  Lydia was a woman who

  • worshiped God freely with abandon
  • understood the importance of setting aside time for her Savior in the midst of a demanding schedule
  • dedicated herself to intercession
  • acknowledged that her source of strength was her Savior
  • hungered for truth, listened attentively, and responded in obedience
  • opened up her heart and home to others and shared generously
  • lived and worked “in” the world, but was not “of” it

Lydia was a seeker — a passionate person who was others focused.  Her life gave me hope this week — work and faith can fuel each other if my heart is settled on the Savior first.  May my heart be prayerful and my desire to sit at His feet never wane.

How do you flesh out your faith in the midst of your crazy schedule?  What about Lydia’s story is an encouragement to you?  Do you know a “Lydia” whose walk has encouraged you?   I would love to hear your thoughts!   Let’s sit for a spell and strike up a conversation below.

Joining Sarah for Patron Saints and Spiritual Midwives.

Photo Credit

4 responses

  1. i think this is a lovely tribute to lydia. and it reminds me that i can be a working gal, a wife, a homemaker, & above all & through all, a Christ follower. i can be all of those things. but i cannot be any of them perfectly. lydia seemed to be better at prioritizing than me. maybe she had cascades of laundry in her house, too… but she was making a mark where it counted. with Jesus. on others.

    • I love how you phrased it, Danae — “she was making a mark where it counted.” I am trying to remember that it’s more important for me to be intentional with the people that God has placed in my life — even if the house isn’t perfectly clean, I can sit down and have a chat with a friend. That is more important in the long run…. investing in others.

  2. Most of my adult life has been as a “working woman” too – including as a working mother, and I’ve always loved Lydia for those same reasons. I love that we get to be part of the work of the Gospel in every sphere of our lives and vocations.

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