That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. Ecclesiastes 3:13
I recently got a contract to be a regular contributor to a daily devotional called Living Faith. It’s been a major goal of mine, one I’ve been pursuing for over six years. All the other contributors are my writing heroes: Kristin Armstrong, Sr. Bridget Haase, Sr. Melanie Svoboda, Melanie Rigney, Fr. Kenneth Grabner, Amy Welborn. The list goes on. I am truly honored and humbled to have my work appear in the same publication as theirs.
When I announced the big news to my kids at dinner that night, I explained that this contract, along with my book contract, were my long-time goals. I told them how blessed and deeply satisfied I felt to have achieved both. After congratulating me, Zack said, “Now you’ll have to make bigger goals.” Mason and Jocelyn agreed. I was so surprised by their response!
As a mom, my first thought was: Is that how I react when my kids announce their good news? Do I immediately raise the bar and push them to accomplish more?
I’ve pondered these questions, hoping the answers are “no.” I don’t want to be a mother who pushes her kids so much they can’t celebrate where they’re at, or enjoy what they’ve achieved.
My next thought was: Zack’s comment is right in line with how society operates. We’ve created and bought into the concept that there’s always bigger and better around the corner, and we should be pursuing it. It’s what keeps us all on the treadmill of striving. It wasn’t always this way…
Back, after World War II, the American Dream was to own a home, get a job, and raise a family. It was simple, and I believe, the perfect recipe for how to live. Somewhere along the line, though, we felt unfulfilled. It sounds a bit like the Garden of Eden.
Adam and Eve had it all. They had THE perfect home, one they shared with God Himself. Imagine? Yet, the serpent convinced them there was more, and they should want it. We know the rest of that story.
Ever since, we’ve been created incomplete with a craving for more. Although we try to fill it with material goods, power, money, or some other vice, God is the One we’re supposed to be seeking to fill the void. He’s the only One who can make us feel complete. Nothing or no one else can even come close.
Seeing as I credit God for both my book and the Living Faith contracts, I do feel fulfilled. Should He prompt me to seek more, and open those doors for me, great. But for now, I want to enjoy the gifts He’s given me, completing the gift exchange by giving Him my gratitude, and the glory.
Questions for Reflection:
- Do I always feel incomplete, constantly striving for more?
- Or do I take stock of the gifts God’s given me, recognizing He’s the only One to make me whole?
P.S. – For those who don’t follow me on social media, I’m thrilled to announce that my new book, Grace in Tension: Discover Peace and Purpose, is due out with OSV this fall! I can’t wait to share it with you!!
P.P.S. – I’d be honored if you did decide to follow me on social media. I can be found on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, and Goodreads.
Although we try to fill the void with material goods, power, money, or some other vice, God is the only One who can fill the void.Tweet
Congratulations Claire! So well deserved! xo
Thanks a million, Christine! I’m still floating on cloud nine!! 🙂
Congratulations, Claire, on your becoming a Living Faith writer. I am not one bit surprised that the publisher of this devotional accepted you as a regular writer and I look forward to reading your first piece in that devotional, which is part of mydaily reflection. Also my congratulations on your Grace and Tension Book coming out this fall. God certainly has His Hand on you, both as a writer and as a beautiful parent to be a true spokesperson for Him …to share His message of Love to an aching world! And yes! Enjoy the present, marvellous accomplishment!!! Glad you pointed out the need to do that to your son!!!
Thank you so much, Jackie! I love that we both use the same devotional for our prayer time. Living Faith has revolutionized my prayer time. I can’t wait to share my reflections in it with you!
Congratulations, Claire! So happy for you!
Thank you, Michelle! That means a lot!!!
I understand the questions you had after the kids’ reaction. I’ve reflected on this as well. Especially in the last few months. I was constantly striving in my life and I got to a point that I said, “I’m done striving”. It’s hard, though, when you’re an ambitious person and feel like you should always be achieving for something else, or more. But I’ve been resting and relishing in the “simple” and hope that I stay in tune with God’s will for me.
Congratulations, Claire, on this wonderful accomplishment. You’re a gift to Living Faith!
Thanks so much, Sandra! I’m thrilled to hear you’ve been resting in the “simple.” I don’t know about you, but that’s been COVID’s gift to me: a much needed chance to exhale, slow down and enjoy the little things. Sending you many blessings as you relish the simple!