Encouragement for Today - May 15, 2007


May 15, 2007


And the Winner is . . .

By Melissa Taylor


“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be.” Philippians 3:12 (NLT)



In 1992, I was in the second year of my teaching career. I loved teaching and had a heart for children. I worked hard and was rewarded for it. My school selected me as “Teacher of the Year.” When my second child was born three years later, my husband and I decided I would fully devote my time to our home and raising our children.


Until I became a stay-at-home mom, I never realized how much my identity was about being a teacher. I felt like I had lost who I was and began calling myself just a mom. “There has to be more to my life than this, “I proclaimed. I bought into the common worldview that I needed more in my life to be valuable.


Within a few months, I volunteered for various committees at church. I attended meetings, began teaching Sunday School, and worked hard to fill my days with worthy causes. I felt important again. A few years and another child later, the strain of trying to keep up this Miss Perfect-Worthy-and-Valuable front, was taking its toll on my family and me.


One Sunday in church, a prestigious award was given to a woman who devoted her life to God and serving her church. The presenter began, “This year’s recipient is younger than our winners in the past, but no less qualified. In her short time here, she has served on the wedding committee, children’s council, women’s council, Weekday School committee, taught Sunday School and Wednesday night programs, and put flowers on the altar during the month of February.” Then she said, “She’s also a mother of three and a wife.” It hit me then that it was I, and all of a sudden, I wanted to die. My husband was beaming and friends were silently cheering and telling me, “It’s you Melissa. You are the winner!” So why did I feel like sliding down under the church pew and hiding? Because God spoke louder than the presenter did that day. I heard Him.


While these accomplishments and titles were all nice, they were not who I was or wanted to be. Where was the part in the presentation that said, “Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her,” like Proverbs 31:28 says? Where were the words that mentioned that I was a devoted wife who stayed home to care for her family? What about that I was a woman after God’s heart, who takes on life from His perspective and with His priorities in mind? They weren’t mentioned because that wasn’t the case. My husband had been a victim of abandonment while I was “doing for others.” My children were not being cared for by me, but by the nursery workers at church. As for being a woman after God’s own heart? Please! I was doing God’s work, but I was not asking Him to be a part of it. This prestigious award came home with me, but even better than that, a new woman came home that day.


The next week I cleared my plate of anything and everything that was out of balance. I was a little nervous about letting people down, but I had to discover my identity as a child of God, and to believe that was enough.


Have you ever felt like you needed a fancy title, numerous achievements, or worldly rewards to feel important? If so, I challenge you today to discover the truth. Ask God to reveal His plan and purpose for your life. I promise that having the title “daughter of the King” bears greater reward than anything you could do on this earth. Get your life priorities balanced God’s way and hear Him say, and the winner is . . . you!


Dear Lord, show me my value as Your child, not in things of this world. Help restore my faith and believe that You are enough for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Related Resources:

 A Woman’s Secret to a Balanced Life by Sharon Jaynes and Lysa TerKeurst


Living Life on Purpose book and life planning journal, by Lysa TerKeurst


Do You Know Him?


Application Steps: 

Look at your calendar or your daily planner. Organize your activities so that God’s priorities are reflected in your tasks.



Do I feel important because of what I do or because of what God does in me?


Do I feel like a winner?


Power Verses:

Proverbs 3:6, “Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths.” (NLT)


Proverbs 16:3, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” (NIV)


Philippians 3:3b, “We put no confidence in human effort. Instead, we boast about what Christ Jesus has done for us.” (NLT) 



Proverbs 31 Ministries

616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road

Matthews, NC 28105


Originally published Tuesday, 15 May 2007.