BALANCING CAREER AND FAMILY
Driven to build a home on rock instead of sand
Meet my friend, Karen Ehman. I first met Karen was when we moved to our third church. She was a neighbor and a teen. I saw her zeal for life, her sharp mind, and her great sense of humor (as in this video);
but I also saw her sad mind and soul due to her broken home. I became her friend and invited her to a youth group at our church. After she trusted Christ, I followed her life and saw how she desired to use her gifts and talents for God’s glory. She continually made choices that enabled her to do what she loved by keeping her priorities in order with God first, family second, and career third. She came from a broken family, and she was determined that she wasn’t going down that same road. I have always admired her choices of not allowing too many speaking engagements to interfere with raising her kids and being by her husband’s side. When appropriate, she even used the family in her ministry, by occasionally allowing them to go with her on her travels and by giving them purpose like helping with her book table. Her college sweetheart has always been her best supporter. Hear her story of how she trusted God to be her father when she was fatherless, and how she is still trusting Him today.
Recently I went to a ladies’ function and watched a Christian comedian, Chonda Pierce, who shares her personal life in her presentations about how her family suffered from her being away from home most of her life with her ministry. This is a very loving woman, who is exceptionally funny, but her chosen order of priority had severe consequences on her family. That rocky road of a repeated pattern of a broken home is exactly what Karen purposely tries to guard against, due to her ambitious personality and career goals. She wants different results that will reap good consequences.
Is Karen perfect? She knows better than to say that; in fact, on her video she said she is a sinner like we all are on earth, but she still aims high in trying to do her best within her own personal circumstances. Even when Karen was in high school, she was observing other authors’ lives who also had a speaking circuit, and noticed how they chose to model the healthier consequences of their family systems that put their careers after God and their family. She knew that there were no perfect homes or people, but she did realize that some homes just seemed healthier than others because of their deliberate choices.
Are you building a peaceful, orderly home, where you trust Christ to guide you to make better choices? Do you want a home where you can escape the disorder and chaos of the world, a place that will draw people in, rather than drive them away? Sometimes that seems like an impossible task; but trusting in Him, certainly is an important key in trying to make that goal possible!
Karen is an author and speaker for Proverbs 31 Ministries (proverbs31.org) and her personal website is karenehman.com. If you are interested in any of Karen’s books, they are located on her site, in book stores and online. As a youth, I told her that someday she was going to be an author. Well, that observation came true and her last book, Keep It Shut: What to Say, How to Say It and When to Say Nothing at All, even hit the New York Times.