We list WHAT we do and let that define us, instead of being first and foremost a child of the King and making Him the center of all that we are AND do.
By: Cami Lee
“This is a waste of time! I need to get to work on school, and this is taking too long!” Have you ever had God talk to you loudly through your kids? It happens to me All. The. TIME. And it happened again yesterday morning. I’ve noticed that my son has inherited my disdain of mornings, especially on Mondays, so I decided that it would be a good idea for us to start having a short devotional time before we begin school each day. Don’t judge me that I’m just now thinking of doing this with my kids. I never imagined that my 9-year-old (who loves to stall, by the way) would fight me on it. I even found an Adventures in Odyssey daily Bible reading, and my son absolutely loves Adventures in Odyssey. I was shocked that he wasn’t giddy over my announcement. That’s when I realized that my crazy life and the pressure I sometimes get under can be contagious.
Hello, my name is Cami, and just like many of you, I tend to take on a lot of stuff. Like, a lot. I homeschool my two kids (grades 4 and 1), I work for Exago as the Director of Administration and as a Coach, I’m the Women’s Ministry Director at my local church, I’m the wife of a pastor, and I’m a full-time mom. Oh, yeah… I’m also a disciple of Christ. Isn’t it sad how often we think that way? We list WHAT we do and let that define us, instead of being first and foremost a child of the King and making Him the center of all that we are AND do. Maybe that’s why things can get so topsy-turvy so fast. Life is full of busyness and most of the time it’s filled with very important things. I sat down planning to write a blog about how to work 4 full-time jobs and still manage to smile. Unfortunately, I’m not really sure how to do that. Actually, I’m not completely convinced that I want to, because the world is filled with people who plaster a smile on their faces and seem to be just fine, but are coming to pieces inside. How do we truly walk in peace in the middle of chaos?
A couple of years ago, in the middle of our school time, I had reached a place of frustration that was bad enough that I had to call a short recess so I could regroup and hopefully keep from yelling and having a hissy fit that would put a 2-year-old to shame. I even went outside because I didn’t trust myself to be around my children and not say something that I would regret. While I was standing on my back porch, God asked me why I was so short-tempered lately. I let the floodgates flow and told Him how my son wasn’t understanding the concepts I was trying to teach him, I had text messages coming through from work, my husband called to ask me to look through something he was working on, I got a What’s App message from one of the ladies on my women’s planning team asking about something for an upcoming event, I was out of clean socks because I was so far behind on laundry, and my family had been living on sub sandwiches and cereal for days because I didn’t have the time or bandwidth to cook. That was when He reminded me of something I’d heard in a sermon once— what, out of all of that, will matter 5 years from now? Wow. That reminder didn’t change the fact that I had stuff to take care of, but talk about putting things into perspective and lining out priorities! First and foremost, what would matter in 5 years is what will echo into eternity… my relationship with Jesus. I realized at that moment that I hadn’t been making that my core reason for being. No wonder I felt like I was in so much turmoil. I know it may sound cliche, but there is no bigger truth anywhere— God has to be the very center of everything. I can try and try to be what I need to be to everyone in my life, but it isn’t possible for me to do that on my own. Believe me, I’ve tried! I have to get my spirit and soul aligned with Christ and let the Holy Spirit work in and through me and then everything else will fall into place. What will matter in 5 years is the example I set for my children. Do they see Jesus in me? Do I set a good example of walking in and with Him? Do they see good fruit in how I treat people or talk about others when they aren’t around? What about the other people around me? Do they see Jesus when they look at me?
I would love to say that that was the end of my ever getting my priorities out of order and that I’m a powerhouse for God who never allows the stress of my responsibilities to get ahead of what’s really important, but I already threw a bucket of water on that cotton candy lie when I told you about my son’s reaction to my devo order yesterday. It’s a daily journey and we are all a work in progress. Thankfully we serve a God Who remembers that we are dust and loves us so much that He patiently walks this journey with us. To quote one of the wisest men I’ve ever known (who I just happen to be married to), “It’s not about perfection, it’s about growing and moving forward.” We must keep moving forward. To quote another very wise man, “Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:12-14, NASB)
Oh, in case you’re wondering about how yesterday turned out, we had a great conversation about priorities and what matters the most and then had our devotional time as planned. The day went smoothly. We all had a good and productive day. This morning my son asked me if we could do devotions again, which we did. #movingforward!
Cami Lee was somewhat born into ministry as the daughter of traveling evangelists and continued on that path when she married a Student Ministries pastor. Over the years she has served alongside her parents and then later her husband in various areas within the body of Christ. She has been serving with Exago as the Director of Administration since January of 2017. Cami and her husband, Virgil, live in Pea Ridge, Arkansas with their two children, Ayden and Meygan. Her favorite things are baking, spending quality time with her family, and reading. She's also a Civil War buff!