Category Archives: Work

Four Guaranteed Experiences, and One Thing You’ll Never Experience, When You Step Out in Faith to Do God’s Work

We’ve been meeting bi-weekly for some time now. The closer we get to November 4th, the more sense it made to be in closer, more frequent contact. Yes On 1 has been a massive undertaking. The goal is to mobilize pro-life voters to pass a historic amendment to the Tennessee Constitution and bring life back to our state. A wrongly decided state Supreme Court decision in 2000 made Tennessee an abortion destination by interpreting a “fundamental right” to abortion in our state constitution and undoing the most basic legal protections for women and unborn children.

Around the time of one of our meetings, our regional coordinator sent an email reporting on the ways many of our volunteers have experienced personal trials as our campaign is coming down to its final days. He also gave us scriptural encouragement to continue on in our work.

As our enemy sees us giving our all in service to others, attacks are inevitable. Here are 4 guaranteed experiences that are destined to challenge you as you seek to do God’s work.

I am going to operationalize doing “God’s work” as doing “service,” or serving others- individuals, groups, or even entire communities. In our work with the Yes On 1 campaign, my wife and I have served voters who needed to understand the issue Amendment 1 intends to address. We also have striven to serve volunteers who are passionate about creating positive change in Tennessee. Ultimately, we hope our efforts serve vulnerable women and unborn children. Service to others is God’s work.

Fear. There are going to have bouts with fear when you set out to serve others. I see fear often in the eyes of social work students I am serving at Union University, who have never yet had to sit across from vulnerable people and be competent, compassionate helpers. The fear of being misunderstood, being rejected, or being defeated can be paralyzing. But you can’t be (or stay) paralyzed. You can’t stay stuck wondering, “What do I do now?” In a world that needs your connectedness, you can’t afford to be shut down and out of the fight.

Frustration. The work of serving others is rife with frustration. Service is messy, under-appreciated, and not immediately fulfilling. One of the questions we ask job candidates at Youth Villages is, “How do you gauge your personal effectiveness?” One of the reasons this question is so important is, if you are expecting to rely on “warm fuzzies” to get you through the difficult days, it ain’t gonna happen. The paycheck won’t keep you on the job either, because too often long hours serving others ends with too few tangible results. People don’t always follow through on your good ideas. And when they do, it isn’t often enough that you will get the gratitude you deserve. Nobody who serves others long does it for a paycheck or a pat on the back. It takes a long-term view and an inner-confidence that you are making a difference through service.

How is this tracking with you so far? Well, take some time to ponder over the first two of four guaranteed experiences you will face when you do God’s work of serving others. We will have two more guaranteed experiences, and the one thing you are guaranteed to never experience, in the next post.

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Making the Most of Space

(Check out my video on utilizing time and space!)

It is the final frontier and all…

I got married 8 years ago and moved into the first house my wife and I would share together. It’s a small, 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom house out in the county. Cozy, quaint, not very new, but what do you expect for your first year of marriage, right? It was exactly right for that time in our lives, when there was still the sheen of all things new and we had rose petals and lace left over from the wedding.

The neat thing was, since it was a 2-bedroom and there was only two of us, and we only needed one room to ourselves (obviously), I got to set up the extra room as an office. I wasn’t a “professional” yet, and I wasn’t even back in college yet, but I was a youth pastor with tons of books and plenty of projects I could spread out over the nice, albeit inexpensive, desk that my wife bought for me. She even decorated everything in wood-grain and saddle leather, real manly digs, for my own personal work space. It was great.

20131105-103821.jpgAbout the time that I really started needing an office (I went back to school), baby boy #1 comes along. And, in addition to commanding all attention and every waking moment, most of which he created for us when we preferred to be asleep, he also demanded space in our house for himself. After a few years, baby numero dos bounces in, along with a master’s program and my job as a psychiatric crisis responder.

The next thing I know, I’m waking up at 6am on the couch, with the TV on blue screen, a textbook on one side, a crisis assessment on the other, and my laptop perched precariously on my knees. At least 3-4 nights a week. The wood grain was painted over, the saddle leather was stored away, and all my office supplies had long been replaced by wheels and balls and squeaky toys. I was in no-man’s land! I still am, sort of. Thankfully I am no longer in college and I have a nice office at work, but I’m still in that same house with no space of my own.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my home, and while we could use extra space, I’m happy there. Even during those trying times work-wise, I was able to make the best of it:

  • I maximized my time and tried to stay mobile and organized.
  • I tended to work when I was at my best and most productive (even if it was 1am).
  • I learned to embrace and enjoy the chaos that sometimes surrounded me.
  • And I got my family used to me working while they were doing other things. Even though work and family time seemed to blend and blur, we were together a lot and I didn’t have to miss out on many happy moments I otherwise would have.

    But the main point is that if you are going to get anything done, you have to have space to do it. I included a link to a great article I read just this morning that talks about how to be more productive by adapting your work space. I hope it helps, and I wish you all a great week!

    So how are you setting yourself up for success? How do you make the most of it with limitations that you may have in your space? Let me know in the comments!

    Copyright (c) 2013 Glen Gaugh