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Vocation Starts at Home

Note: this article was written for the fall edition of Lutheran Life. It was written before COVID-19 was a worry for the world. As we are now in this new time of social distancing, working from home, and canceled events, consider how you live out your vocations under your own roof.

 

As you consider your vocations, it’s appropriate to start with where you live—right in your very living room. Take a moment to consider whom you live with. Perhaps a spouse, child, parent, or friend. What are practical ways you can love and serve those under the same roof?

Vocational work at home means recognizing the role you play in your family unit. Your very presence in this home holds the potential for you to carry out the good works God has prepared for you to do right here.

April 2020 Everyday Faith Calendar

As a mom of two toddlers, I spend a majority of my days repeating myself over and over. This constant repetition typically happens for one of two reasons: one, my toddlers do not always listen the first time that I say something, and two, my toddlers are constantly learning—and learning comes with lots of repetition. I repeat words that they are learning, I repeat our schedule for the day so they know what to expect, I repeat stories that they want to read over and over again, I repeat expectations when behaviors fall short. You get the idea.

Continuing Community from Afar

Right now, something I’ve been hearing for ages is turning out to be more shallow than I had previously believed. We’ve all probably heard at some point that we live in a time where we are more connected than ever. But now that it’s recommended that we socially distance ourselves from one another to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we can feel how devastating and lonely it is when we are not physically interacting with others in community.

Accepting Your Baggage and Flaws

We are always our own worst critic. When it comes to our job, our roles in life, or our appearance, we always find something to critique.

Imagine you're meeting someone new for the first time. You are having a conversation and getting to know one another. You may say something the other person does not agree with or may find odd. They may be secretly judging you, or worse, they are judging not so silently.

You May Not Need All of Your Books, but Someone Else Does

Arch Books, The Story Bible, Follow and Do, Growing in Faith, and Portals of Prayer for Kids—all of these titles are children’s books and resources that are used to foster the knowledge of Christ in children twelve and under. Maybe you’ve bought some of these books for your own children. Maybe it was just last week. Or maybe it’s been a long time since you’ve had little ones in need of spiritual nourishment. So, what do you do with books you no longer need? Or with books you simply no longer need to hold onto? Below are a few ideas to consider.

Hoping for Significance: Sharing Meaningful Scripture

“I want to do something that matters,” Jack said as we were having coffee at the local shop. Jack is a twenty-year-old college student who began to attend our church recently. I hosted a college meet-up in our local coffee shop, and we were talking about what we were looking forward to in the coming year. Our group almost collectively, as if on cue, lowered their gaze and nodded almost imperceptibly in acknowledgment of Jack’s comment. I asked the small group if they felt like they had done something meaningful in their lives so far. At first, there was silence, which rang so loudly in my head. Then, Corinne said the classes she was taking were somewhat meaningful, but she felt an itch to do something deeper that excited her.

As our group talked through their hopes and dreams for the new year, it was tough to let go of Jack’s comment. Each of the young adults agreed on some level—almost as though each of them was hoping for a significance that they felt they lacked. I prayed a quiet prayer.

Heather Ruesch’s Experience at the March for Life

Friday, January 24, 2020, marked the 47th annual March for Life in Washington, DC. Each year, hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children walk in protest through Capitol Hill on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortions across America. This year’s march theme focused on the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote in 1920.

March 2020 Everyday Faith Calendar

I don’t know exactly what your phone looks like or more specifically what you choose to keep on your phone. If your phone is anything like mine, I am guessing you keep pictures stored on your device. My phone actually holds an embarrassing number of photos and videos, mostly of my two toddlers, which I back up to a cloud-based storage system. Once the photos are backed up, I delete the files from my phone—which then allows me to fill it back up again with more pictures and videos. Honestly, this probably says more about the limits of my self-control than anything else.

The Aching Question of Marriage: Will You Fight for Me?

My husband and I have been married for 19.5 years. That .5 is worth noting, based on the shape of our last year.

The truth is, while the lyrics are terrible, Pat Benatar got pretty close—love (in marriage) is a battlefield.

Faithfully Living with Law and Gospel

For me, 2019 brought nearly every major life change a person can encounter condensed into a short amount of time. We moved, bought a house, my husband began his first call, we had a baby. In the midst of those big things, I was surviving by abiding. I was learning what it meant to abide in Jesus when I felt as if I couldn’t string two coherent thoughts together at any given moment. I was learning to accept and extend more grace for myself than I ever thought possible. It was Gospel living at its most extreme. Now, we are done moving, the baby is six months old somehow, and we are settling into a new routine. It’s good. This new routine brings with it some breathing room, some space to not just survive but to strive.