By Leigh Ellen, contributing writer.
Growing up, I had many wild ideas of who I wanted to be. Most of these theories were influenced by the shows I was watching, the music I listened to, and the people I was surrounded by.
When I was 14, my dream was to move to New York City and become a hairstylist or makeup artist. Of course, having the funds or schooling to actually make this happen was never a thought in my young, naive mind.
Now, over twelve years later and many hours in cosmetology school, I know that’s not the job or plan God has for me. God had a much more simple plan for me to become a wife and a work at home mom.
No matter what career or role you play in your life, we all want success. We all want to do our jobs well. Everyone wants to be a someone.
So how do we achieve our goals without obsessing over fame or admiration?
We live in a really small town in the mountains of North Carolina. If you sit down at the local coffee shop, you will probably see someone you know. Everybody knows everybody here. It’s nice to run into someone that instantly knows who you are.
I believe we all have a deep longing to want to be known (I Cor. 13:12). I think it’s God’s way of reminding us that we were created for relationships and that we weren’t meant to do life alone. We need people to know us, love us, and grow with us.
It’s our own selfishness that takes this longing and turns it into a sin by wanting fame instead of true, authentic friendship.
We want to be the next big thing instead of focusing on who God has created us to be. We want our children to be star athletes, dancers, and excel academically. We want to make a name for ourselves and those close to us.
What’s your definition of success?
We all have different theories on what being successful is. To some it’s becoming rich or well-known, and to others it’s just about getting through the day without losing it.
Our culture views motherhood and homemaking as a compromise in life. The world tells us that when you choose to be a mother that you give up on ever being anything else. You’ve lost your chance.
First of all, God has made us for so much more. Our success should be more of how much we are growing and less on what we are right now. Growing to be more wise, more loving, more patient, more compassionate.
Whether you are a business owner, a struggling homemaker, or a mom that simply wants her children to listen, it takes lots of prayer and seeking God’s plan for each day. But instead of focusing so much on finding the perfect business plan, cleaning schedule or discipline technique, we must seek growth in our lives.
When I listen to someone older and more wise speak about following God’s Word throughout parenthood, I begin to relax a bit. Hearing someone who has been through the trials and made it to the other side brings me hope.
My point is that God is working in us. Each day if we invite Him to come in, we will grow a small step closer to who He has created us to be. This can only be done when we study His Word and follow His commandments. That’s when Christ can truly work in our hearts.
So let’s focus more on growing as a woman of God than being successful.
When we lay our lives down to Christ, our failures and challenges seem less important.
Luke 17:33 says:
“Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.”
Instead of seeking selfish gains in our lives, we should offer our lives as a sacrifice to the Creator. Seeking His face, His fame, His glory. That’s when we will find true success in this life.
What area in your life do you need to focus more on growth than on success?