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Are You Looking to Expand Your Career Territory?

I Chronicles 4:9-10 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.

With the end of the year approaching at warp speed, I imagine I’m not alone in the busy-ness of the season. In fact, I’ve been so busy, I’ve pretty much neglected this blog, but the Lord is so faithful in guiding my steps that he’s redirected me toward it (Proverbs 16:9) using the above scriptures as divine inspiration. He is SO good!

There was a time in my life that I didn’t pray with any regularity. Even though I believed in God, at least theoretically, I didn’t believe that the Lord had any time or interest in actually responding to my prayers. I figured he had to have better things to do. My old mindset: Really, who am I — small and insignificant — to think God Almighty has the time to respond personally to me? New mindset: I now know that He does because He shows me all the time, and even though I’ve had a relationship with Him for more than 13 years, each time He reaches out to me, I’m still a little shocked and deeply humbled.

Okay, so back to the scriptures above, let’s consider the following:

  1. Jabez was honorable — more honorable than his brothers.
  2. He petitioned God for what he wanted. He prayed for the Lord to enlarge his territory (I would think this meant more land, more flocks, more riches), and (drumroll, please) God granted his request.
  3. He asked for the Lord’s blessing or “favor,” and he asked the Lord to be with him and protect him. He didn’t just rush out on his own to try to enlarge his own territory because he knew that would be a waste of his time.

So, what does all this mean? Why did the Lord answer Jabez’s prayer? What can you and I take away from this?

  1. Being honorable isn’t just a great brand attribute, it’s important to finding favor with the Lord!
  2. Jabez was smart because he recognized that he could do nothing apart from the Lord (John 15:5,8).
  3. It’s okay to set material goals for ourselves, and if we’re honorable and if it’s God’s will, He will grant our request(s).
  4. The Lord wants us to ask for what we want, and if we don’t ask, we don’t get. (James 4:2)

How would you like the Lord to expand your territory in the new year? Think about it, but don’t just think about it. Write down your goals in exquisite detail. Then live honorably, pray, and ask God to bless you, be with you, and keep you from harm.

Where to Look for Divine Career Guidance

Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you, and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.

For those who may be wondering why I haven’t blogged in a while, I decided to take the summer off because:

1. We moved to a new house on June 26th, and I wanted to pack, unpack, and get settled. In case anyone is wondering, we love our new house. We’re 100% unpacked; we’ve painted four rooms; and finished a minor renovation (with the help of an amazingly talented general contractor, RMR, whom I’m certain was hand-picked for us by the Lord himself) — thank you very much. 😉

2. We went on vacation. It was so nice to get away and spend some time alone with my hubby of 18 years! and …

3. The most important reason: I wanted to spend some time enjoying my three wonderful sons while they had the summer off.

Anyhoo, I’m back now and excited to be blogging once again.

I’ve been praying about some pretty big things lately — some personal and some professional. I have some BIG questions for the Lord, but I haven’t been hearing his answers. Perhaps you can relate?

Recently, I was texting Dear Son Number One to ask him a question, and I was astounded by how quickly he replied (like most teens, he texts at warp speed). His response was almost instantaneous, and I thought, “Wow, if only the Lord sent us text messages…”

And then I realized He does send us text messages but not on our phones — through His holy word, a.k.a. the bible.

Are you praying about some big things in your life? Would you like a text message from the Lord? Look in the bible, and remember He will teach you the way you should go, and He will look over you and watch you.

Thank you, Father, for your abundant provisions in my life. Thank you for giving us an instruction book to guide us. Thank you for your perfect love, and most of all, thank you for your forgiveness. Amen.

Keys to a More Abundant Career

Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

Since time immemorial, mankind has faced distractions — both internal and external. Author, Steven Pressfield calls these distractions resistance, and in his book, The War of Art, he says “Resistance is the most toxic force on the planet. It is the root of more unhappiness than poverty, disease, or erectile dysfunction. To yield to Resistance deforms our spirit. It stunts us and makes us less than we are and were born to be.”

Perhaps you’ve heard the expression “What you resist persists.” What are you resisting in your career? Is it networking, marketing, development? What can you do to make your task more palatable? If you feel overwhelmed, how can you break up your big to-do items and make them more manageable? Here are three options for you to consider:  do, defer, or delegate. Wherever you are in your life or career, what would you have to believe to trust that the Lord has you exactly where you’re supposed to be?

Take the words “should” and “have to” out of your vocabulary and replace them with “choose to” and “get to.” You don’t “have to” write your resume — perhaps writing isn’t your thing, and the truth is that if that’s the case, hiring a professional resume writer might very well be the smartest thing you can do. You don’t “have to” network. If you go to a networking even with that attitude, it will sabotage your success. Why not go instead with a strategy for making networking comfortable?

Byron Katie or Katie as she’s known says that “Reality is always more kind than the story we tell about it.” If you’re telling a story about reality that has you feeling less than abundant, consider changing your story. Remember, the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. Jesus came that you may have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10)

Coping with Job Loss and Career Change

Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.

The next time your stomach reels as you ponder the state of our economy, the banking crisis, or the job market, take heart.

God’s word assures us that there is a time to every purpose under heaven. That means that regardless of how bad things look as related by news reporters and stock market indices, God has a sovereign design behind everything.

If you’re one of the thousands of Americans who is out of work right now, remember that everything happens for a reason, and while it’s easy to fall into victim mode, it’s not useful.

Like seasons, jobs come and go. It’s part of God’s master plan. It’s natural to grieve for a little while after losing a job you really liked, but don’t grieve too long. Instead, think of what you can do to adapt to the change, in a way similar to how you would adapt to a new season.

When winter arrives, you get out your heavy jacket or coat, change the way you dress, and if you’re like me, you even change the way you eat. I love comfort food in the winter — like hearty stews, soups, and roasts. 

What can you do right now to comfort your soul and nurture your confidence as you face this new season in your life? 

One parting thought:

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

The Surefire Route to Career Success

Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.

It’s funny how hard I’ve been resisting the idea of writing a scripture-inspired career blog. The problem — in my mind — is that nobody else is writing a similar type of blog, and so I’ve been afraid that it would fail. However, scripture above tells me just the opposite.

Yeah, this isn’t your average career blog, it’s different, because it is committed and dedicated first and foremost to my Lord.

My prayer for today:

Thank you, heavenly Father, for blessing my business so abundantly and for the wonderful clients, mentors, and role models you have brought and continue to bring into my life.

Lord, I commit this blog to you first and foremost and to job seekers and prospective clients second. I pray that you will provide me with divine inspiration for its contents and use it to touch the lives of thousands of career professionals so that they would see YOUR wisdom, love, and truth and take comfort in your holy words and plans to prosper them and never harm them and plans to give them hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). 

Lord, scripture tells us you would never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). Father, please use me to pour your abundant blessings and provisions on each and every person who reads this blog. May they find comfort and wisdom in the words, not from me but from you, and may they commit their careers to you first, Father, so that they may have your assurance of success. I ask these things of you, in the name of your sweet son, Jesus Christ.

Amen.