One day my husband came home and told me about this guy he worked with. Last night he and his wife cooked up some of best steaks they could find and ate in splendor. When my husband asked how his kids liked the steaks, he was told they didn’t get any. They had left over, freezer burnt ice cream…
Our verse this week is ‘She is like the merchant’s ship; she brings her merchandise from afar.’ Our book gives us a good picture of what this looks like. In 2 chronicles we find out that King Solomon liked extravagant and unique things. He would send his merchant ships out to bring back gold, silver, ivory, and animals to adorn his palace. These ships would take three years in their search for things to bring back to their king. They went to different countries to find the best in quality for the best price that could only be found in those places. No amount of time would keep these ships, and the teams that sailed them, from gathering great things from every place they could get to. Nothing artificial, nothing second best. They gathered from where each prize originated from, as that was where you would find the best quality.
This week is all about what effort and product are you putting forth. Are we giving our best? Or are we saying ‘well this is good enough’? I started with the story about the kids who ate freezer burnt ice cream because when we look at what we have given our family, is it the left over freezer burnt ice cream or is it the best gold, silver, and ivory we scoured the farthest reaches our merchant ship could reach? Like the merchant ships we are called to put forth our best effort. In Colossians 3:22-24 we are told to work with all our heart because in the end it is the Lord we are working for. The effort we put forth should be the same as what we would put forth if it was the Lord standing in front of us.
I’m guilty of giving the ‘freezer burnt ice cream’ effort to my family. When I get home from work and fix dinner, when my daughter wants to play, when my daughter is finally to bed and my husband and I get time together, I am guilty of giving the left over freezer burnt effort. On page 78 of our book Elizabeth George tells us ‘Your family – not your job or profession, your hobby or your volunteer work – is to be first in your heart!’ How true is that?! Many time when we give half an effort, it is because we are tired. Who wouldn’t be after the long days at the office?! But we need to make sure we are saving enough of ourselves to be able to come home to give the same effort we do at our jobs, as we do at home. Saving enough energy to come home with the delightful attitude we spoke about last week. It is hard to find that balance to be able still do a great job at work and also come home with enough energy to give the ‘merchant ship’ effort. In point 1 of the ‘How-To’s of Beauty’ Elizabeth George offers some good advise to putting your family above other things that steal your energy. Spend time this week putting those points to practice and leave your comments on what part was particularly tough for you or offer advise on how you find the balance.