Category Archives: Work

Working Unto the Lord…

23 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, 24  knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. ~ Colossians 3:23-24

I thoroughly enjoy the work that I do.  It is a unique and rewarding career, of which I am part of a small office that allows me to work pretty independently with a flexible schedule.  In fact, it is hard to believe that I have already been there over 6 years.  God has truly blessed my family through this job, as I  have had great opportunities set before me.

Most jobs have some cyclical nature to them and mine is no exception.  Our office is typically busier in the winter, spring, and fall, with a summer slowdown.  However, the past few months have been extremely busy for me at work.  By no means is that a complaint, just a reality of my current work situation.  After a busy spring, I was looking forward to having a nice relaxing summer, with frequent Friday afternoon golf outings with my son and friends from church, and surprising the kids by coming home early to go to the park.  Instead, due to a resignation in our department, I found myself picking up extra work, while keeping the clubs locked in the trunk of my car.

Despite our plans, God often takes unexpected life situations to teach us the truth of Scripture.  In this case, I was constantly energized by the Scripture passage in Colossians (quoted at the beginning of this post).  I’m thankful that God is not silent regarding the day-to-day tasks of this life on earth.  And why would he be, because he cares for his children.  This summer, God gave me great perspective that even though I was drawing my paycheck from my employer, it is not them whom I was ultimately serving.

To be honest, it would have been easier to “mail it in” and do the minimum to get by, or to stress out and lash out at those close to me (something I would have done in the past).  But God (yes, one of those “but God” moments), gave me the grace to persevere.  In fact, the greatest reward for me is hearing my wife say, “I feel like you have done a good job of balancing work and family”.  I often fear allowing those two seemingly competing time and effort requirements to become unbalanced.  I praise God that he gives us the victories that we need.

Blessings,

Travis

 

SIDE NOTE: Don’t get me wrong, this by no means indicates that my family and I did not have a great summer (complete with a family vacation, trips to grandparents’ houses, and a fun filled day at the Iowa State Fair).  However, this probably means that our summer didn’t quite go as “we” had planned.   God ways are not our ways for his ways are higher (see Isaiah 55:9).

 

Working out God’s Word

The month of February has certainly been a very busy and impactful month in my life, no matter which way you attempt to define it: work, faith, family, finances.  Our family spent two separate three day periods away from home while I had to travel for work (we call these “mini-vacations”).  I also logged over 2000 work miles on my car.  These are certainly some tangible measures of a busy month.  Beyond the tangible, God was doing intangible work as he delivered on his promises while I committed at the beginning of the month to seek Him more intentially.

1.  Work can become a consuming force in my life, if left unchecked.

This year has marked quite a few changes for me in my workload.  I have accepted some new roles within my office, while transitioning out of some of my past roles.  All of which is very exciting and fulfilling to me, as I truly love the work that I do.  In general, I would classify myself as a driven person.  Growing up, this trait fleshed itself out as academic and athletic success.  Now in the workplace, it becomes a zeal to serve our clients better in our relationship based business.  God has simply taught me that my zeal for him must be above all other zeals (i.e. work, sports, family, etc.).  Or simply, no other gods before Him!  I believe that God is delivering on His promises.  As I seek Him, He is directing my zeal towards the heavenly things that truly matter.

2.  God is forever faithful to His promises.

This one is definitely not a “news flash”.  I have known this to be true for a long time, but it never ceases to amaze me when and how God delivers on his promises.  This month, his provision for our daily needs and financial provision have been at the forefront of my  mind.  Just days ago, my wife and I scheduled my last student loan payments and my family is now debt free (except for our home).  It’s a freeing feeling.  The bondage is gone as God provided the path to freedom.

That’s two for now.  I hope to outline some more in the coming days!

Blessings,
Travis

Life in Review: 2010

Considering 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 all involved births or a miscarriage, 2010 could be rated relatively boring in comparison.  However, that was certainly not the case, so I thought it would be beneficial to take a brief look back at various areas of my life as a marker looking back and an opportunity to look ahead.

Work
Where to start?  It was quite a year.  I received a promotion and continued to take on increasing responsibility.  In fact, one of my co-workers retired at the end of the year and we hired an analyst so that I could take on more revenue generating responsbility in the office.  God has continued to bless my work and grant me favor with my co-workers and colleagues.  Praise God!

Chilren
No additions to this category this year (as mentioned above), but our children continue to grow, change and develop.  Abel and Amariah both started pre-school this past fall.  My wife, Angela is homeschooling this year and using the Sonlight curriculum.  So far it has been very profitable academically for our children and worth the up front cost.  It’s really neat to watch our children learn and hunger to know more.  Abel continues to love to build with Legos, he is a detail oriented four year old.  Amariah has the most creative imagination of any child I have ever known.  She loves to sing and play make believe.  Isabel and Elliana are now over 19 months old and walking / running / climbing whereever they please!  It’s so much fun to watch them interact with each other and their older siblings.  Children certainly have a way of keeping things in perspective.

Family
My brother got engage to his college sweetheart and we look forward to their wedding in April.  My sister and brother-in-law are finally catching up with us on the kid count and are due to equal us in March of 2011.  My parents continue to be blessed with good years farming and enjoying their seven grandchildren.  My mom had another good year of tests at Mayo. She has now been officially cancer free since her last surgery in December of 2007.   What an amazing work of healing and restoration.  I continually praise God for his goodness and do not take my time with my extended family for granted!  

Church
At First Family Church, we finished series in 2 Peter and Romans, and did a topical study on the Gospel-Centered Life.  We also spend the entire year in our “new” facility.  It was nice to finally have a place that we call “home” after being a mobile church.  We led a Lighthouse group for the first half of the year and then took a break beginning in the fall to take a year to “recharge” from the demands of having a young family and leading. 

Spiritual Growth
It was a good year of growth for me in some theological areas that I had been studying coinciding with the various sermon series.  However, I found myself struggling with consistency in scripture reading off and on.  When my work schedule became hectic, I found myself leaving God with the leftovers… ouch… that’s a tough thing to admit and something I am not very proud of.  I did not have a formal bible “reading plan” outlined at the beginning of the year, and found that did not serve me well.

Eternal Outlook
While, my posting was down this year (only 21 posts = yikes!), I feel that each year God is changing my outlook on life and focusing my gaze eternally.  I want to have a year that counts for eternity and be able to look back with satisfaction that I am not only encouraging christian living with an eternal outlook, but living as a Christian with an ever increasing eternal outlook.

Blessings!
Travis