Unfulfilling Work is Honorable

In the 1970’s, a book transformed the American workforce. What Color is Your Parachute, by Richard Nelson Bolles, has been revised countless times since it first appeared in 1970 (self-published, then traditionally published in 1972). It has sold over ten million copies. The book advises job seekers to match their passion and their careers. Sounds pretty normal by today’s standards, but when it first came out, it sparked a revolution. Back in the day, a job was a job. Nobody expected it to be fun, fulfilling, or meaningful. It wasn’t a means to self-actualization; it was a means to a paycheck. Parachute changed all that. It spawned a movement toward self-fulfillment in the workplace.

We are, however, returning to pre-Parachute days. Job-seekers can’t afford to be picky. In today’s economy, any job will do.

There is no dishonor in labor. Three cheers for unfulfilling work! It’s still work, and it’s honorable. And it pays.

In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:19, NKJV).

No, it’s not an ideal situation, because it was part of God’s curse on a sinful world… even so, work is honorable. You might flip burgers, scrub floors, stock shelves, shovel ditches, type data, or move merchandise. Stand tall; stand proud. You’re doing an honorable thing. You’re putting bread on the table. Work hard, as if you’re serving the Lord. God’s blessing will be on you. Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men. (Proverbs 22:29, NKJV).

What about your soul’s deep satisfaction?

Learn to distinguish your vocation from your avocation.

  • Vocation: a person’s employment or main occupation.
  • Avocation: a hobby or minor occupation.

Let your vocation pay the bills. Let your avocation fulfill your heart. So you wanna be a rock star? Do it evenings and weekends till it pays well. So you wanna be an author? Don’t quit your day job. Cake decorating? Woodworking? Wanna be a bass fisherman? Make it a family affair, on days off, or after work. Make it your avocation.

It’s more fun that way. The surest way to suck the joy out of an activity is to make it pay the bills. I don’t care how much you love it, it’s going to feel like work. Especially your kid needs braces and the bass aren’t biting. Or especially when weekends keep coming and you have to stand and deliver another sermon!!! (Yes, it can feel like work, I confess).

Do not insist on a satisfying vocation — at least not now. Not in this market. If you can swing it that way, fantastic. I’m one who’s been blessed that way. By and large, I love what I do. If God opens that door, by all means step through it.

If he doesn’t, or hasn’t yet, no harm done. Be grateful for a job. Don’t sulk at home, unemployed because no job is “speaking to you.” Let your bills speak louder than your fantasies; take whatever work you can get.

Your family will thank you. Your creditors will get off your back. You’ll have the pride of labor. And God will be pleased.

If the plane’s going down, any color parachute will do.

I know jobs are hard to come by. I hear the stories every week, and pray through a roster of needs, which includes more job-seekers than I can count. Please don’t read this as saying it’s easy. I’m not blaming anyone who can’t find work. My heart is with you. Take what you can find, at least for now. And work anywhere you can till God opens better doors. 


MM: I Hate Proverbs 31 Wymyn


Memo To:  All Normal Women

From:  Margi, Wife, Mom, Attorney, Professor
RE:  I Hate Proverbs 31 Wymyn

I have decided I hate the Proverbs 31 woman.  [If you don’t know who she is, click here.]


I feel a lot of pressure to be her.  From my husband? No.  He seems to be content with me.  This anniversary (our tenth) I gave him a card that read, “If I hadn’t found you, I’d be driving somebody else nuts.”  He laughed. Cautiously.


octomom2.jpgI am, in many ways, what I think a good feminist would call, successful.   I am highly educated.  I am independent in thought.  I am assertive.  I am feminine but not wimpy.  I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never let him forget he’s a man.  I’m a woman, W-O-M-A-N, woman.  (Remember that one?  if you don’t it is because you are younger than 40).  I work at home, outside the home, I volunteer, I exercise, I cook, I try to look good.  I am friendly.  I am kind.  I help others.  I play with my children, I help them with homework.  I do laundry, I iron, even my husbands undershirts (my policy, not his).  I can play Candyland and Twister and still relate to and with highly educated, successful professional business people.  I am expressive, progressive, aggressive, impressive, obsessive and . . . depressive.  

Continue reading

HeavenQuake… (on LOIS PETERSON)

There was a high magnitude quake in the evangelistic spiritual realm over Chicago today. At its epicenter was the passing away of one of the finest evangelists I have ever known.

I first heard the name of Lois Peterson disdainfully–almost as if the speaker was spitting. She was not popular among the old guard at my church.

  • “I can’t believe that she lets people smoke at her Bible study.”
  • “A woman shouldn’t teach men.”
  • “She’s not under anybody’s authority.”
  • “She doesn’t believe in the old sin nature.”
  • “Her ear rings are too big.”
  • “She said ‘damn’.”

Others despised her for these reasons. The rest of us loved her for them.

Continue reading

Margi’s Memo 4: Self-esteem

Margi’s Memo
From Margi: Wife, Mom, Attorney, Married to a Pastor
To: The Gals in Our Church
Re: Self-Esteem

I remember it well. There I was, all of 18 years of age, walking through the college campus at Cedarville College in Ohio and I heard, “So how’s the weather up there?”


I honestly had never given that much thought to my height or how I looked until that moment. It was a defining moment for me.

For the rest of Margi’s Memo, please click here.

Margi’s Memo

April 11, 1007

Margi’s Memo
From Margi: Wife, Mom, Attorney, Professor, Married to a Pastor
To: The Women Who Feel Guilty Looking at the Size 4 Next Door
Re: Capacity

She bit her lip to keep from biting his head off. It took every ounce of will power to fight back the tears. How could the man she loved so much say that to her? How could he not get it? She knew he said it innocently; but she had hoped he would have gotten it by now.

“You don’t work,” he’d said. “So you should get up with the baby at night.” momkissingchild.jpeg

To read the rest of Margi’s Memo, click here.

New Blogging Friends


I recently attended the Mt Hermon Christian Writers Conference. What an incredible weekend at a gorgeous facility. It was overwhelming to meet so many published authors and devoted followers of Jesus. Everybody wanted to make a difference for the kingdom. I learned a lot about writing. It’s waaaaayyy harder than I ever realized. I also learned a lot about publishing… it’s way harder too. The best part was meeting a lot of excellent people. I’ll keep you posted if anything develops on the writing front. Pray for wisdom and excellence for me as I try to write about Bringing Peace to Your Inner Mess.

We had a meeting of fellow bloggers. Here’s the list. I learned so much from these guys. It’s really humbling to be around people who are doing so much cool stuff to teach and encourage others on the internet. Check out these blogs:



  • Actual Unretouched Photo (daily life of a busy mom) and The Amazing Shrinking Mom (same mom, talks about dieting naked–going public with your intentions to lose weight–funny, honest stuff)- Melodee Helms
  • MommyLife (a mother of TWELVE, and a top 100 mommy blog in the country.  Barbara helped me a lot at Mt Hermon)- Barbara Curtis
  • Relevant Blog (with a new book about parenting in postmodern culture, Mary blogs about the life and spirit of mom/writer)- Mary DeMuth
  • maxgrace.com (my blog about a perfect pastor and his flawless family)- Bill Giovannetti
  • Christian Work at Home Moms (a place for work at home moms to promote their business, and to receive spiritual encouragement)- Jill Hart
  • Larry’s Bible Blog (comments on Scripture and life from a published author and editor)- Larry Wilson
  • Spaghetti Pie (thoughts and reflects on daily life from a busy wife/mom/author)- Tina Howard
  • Parenting Solo Devotionals (daily devotionals especially written for single parents) and
  • Rebuilding Hackberry (about helping rebuild a town in Louisiana)- Doug Mead
  • Moral Movies (movie picks and reviews from a Christian perspective)- Dean Anderson
  • Exploring Adoption (resources and info for exploring adoption)- Laura Christianson
  • Writebrained (author, editor, and humorist blogs about life and her upcoming wedding)- BJ Hamrick
  • Why didn’t you warn me? (resources and help for small group leaders) and Sometimes I feel like a piece of bologna (the sandwich generation; taking care of our parents as they get older and our kids while they’re still at home. Resources. Reflections)- Pat Sikora
  • Happy Feet (everything about taking good care of your aching feet–more about callouses and fungi than you ever hoped of knowing)- Jon VonHof
  • Goddess Worship (a Christian investigation of goddess worship–stuff about Mary Magdalene & the daVinci Code myth)- Susy Fiory

Thanks to Jill at Christian Work at Home Moms for helping to organize this list.

Pour a cup of coffee, stretch out in the recliner, put a pillow on your lap, and your laptop on the pillow, and check out these blogs!