Tuesday, March 29, 2011


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Sometimes, not always. Hard work pays off.

For Brian, it is paying off in a huge way.

He met his company's list of certain goals and objectives/numbers he had to meet for the year 2010.

So they gave him a Big REWARD. His company is sending all of us on a week long, all expenses paid, trip to Disney World to stay at the Yacht and Beach Club.

But wait, there's more.

The girls and I did absolutely nothing to earn this trip.

Beside of course, supporting him on his way off to work in the morning, calling to talk to him and encourage him during his day and having three happy girls (make that 4) that are excited when he comes home in the afternoon. But that's actually a given.

Do I think my girls at 1, 3 and 5 could possibly appreciate a trip like this?? No way. They will coast through it and think that this is normal. I am WAYYYY to shell shocked from my trip to Haiti to allow my girls to think that Disney is, at all, normal.

So, God laid on my heart a big, juicy, extremely SIMPLE thought.

Do they deserve a world-wind trip like this? No way.

Do I deserve a world-wind trip like this? No way.

Could WE, the girls and I, earn it just like Brian has?


Would we then appreciate it more?


How do I do this?

So I asked for God's wisdom and guidance.

'Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.' Psalm 143:10

Experience has shown me that God is far more willing to show us the path that He wants us to take, than we are to follow. He is endlessly merciful, patient, tender and loving. If we really want to be led, we will... without fail, be led. Of that I am sure. When we need help, we wish we knew somebody who is wise enough to tell us what to do, reachable when we need him, and even able to help us. GOD is. Everything we need. The issue is confidence in Him. A confidence so complete that we offer ourselves without any reservation. He comes to us in the little things, in the ordinary duties which our place in life entails.

It's alluring to think of our place in life as complicated and complex, so that we waste a lot of time thinking of the 'will of God'. God has the answer. HIS Word.

I've heard it said...
Ask yourself these three things to be sure you are following the will of God:
1. Will I follow God, no matter what the cost?
2. Am I reading His word and praying?
3. Am I obedient in what I know today of His will?

So, where God has me now is here. Right here. With these three little girls, that I am trying desperately to raise in the knowledge of Jesus, with humility and grateful hearts.

The three girls have an opportunity to earn this trip with me.

The word REWARD occurs 55 times in the NIV. I was hoping that at least one of them would help me in deciding if earning a reward trip was right.

Oh boy. God made it TOTALLY clear.

'I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.' Jeremiah 17:10

'For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.' Matthew 16:27

'Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.' Revelation 22:12

God totally and completely DIGS rewards! He promises US the reward of HEAVEN!

So I went full fledged into this REWARD for the girls.

I was going to make it complicated. Eek!
Scratch that.
My BFF taught me that easy and simple is better.

Last year, I bought about 7 million, little-girl stickers at my neighbors yard sale. They live in, and spill out of, this awesome treasure box (also purchased for like 6 pennies at the yard sale).

THE DEAL. Anything Christ-like (or good) gets a sticker:

Kind words to a sister.
Obeying Mommy and Daddy.
Cleaning up after yourself.
Being loving.
Being compassionate.
Setting the table.
Being patient.
Having joy.
Being kind.

The list could literally go on and on forever....

The girls have to fill the hot-pink Disney posterboard with stickers.
Until there is no pink left.
Then, and only then, we go to Disney.
Only, the interesting thing is this. No matter what, my job is to help them succeed. To fill the poster board with stickers. To 'catch' them sharing, being kind...earning stickers. Then reward them with stickers and watch them be delighted. It never gets old.

It is working so well, it's humorous. Evelyn is still so young. So she manufactures ways to be sweet and loving.
'Daddy, I love you.'
'Sissy, you are so nice.'
And I give her stickers.
And she laughs and we laugh, because it simply promotes being sweet.

I have no doubt that Disney World will be fun.

But as we know, that is not reality.

This life is.

Watching two little girls be diligent and thoughtful about being kind, generous and sweet IS reality.

And for me?

Watching them EARNING this trip has truly been the most memorable part.


(ever)changingchapmans said...

I LOVE positive rewards versus punishing the negative. It is soooo easy for me (especially somehow with the physicality of boys) to lose sight of that! Great reminder and I am gonna have to steal it! Hope you don't mind. But it probably won't be a trip but some shorter term reward. LOVE it!! Thank you:)

aron said...

FANTASTIC idea!!!!! And have FUN!!

Megan Walkup Mathers said...

You get to go to Disney! How wonderful! Way to go Brian for being such an awesome, hard worker. You have earned a fabulous reward for your family! Jennie, you know what I think is amazing? Brian met his goals with his hard work at his job, yet he still had time to serve the Lord!! I can't even remember all the mission trips he went on last year but, HELLO he went to CAMBODIA and still met his goals at work! Another great way that God displays His love for His children. He will make ALL things possible if you delight yourself in Him!! YAY FOR HIS REWARD OF ETERNAL LIFE!!