What Makes a Worthwhile Life?

Plumfield Dreams: What Makes a Worthwhile Life?

Over the last several years I’ve spent a lot of time looking around me, pondering the way we live in our home, and the way I see others living. And I’ve reached some conclusions.

It’s important to know at the beginning of this conversation that in this household we approach life as having this one ultimate aim: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever”. Glorifying God is nothing less than what I owe Him, for what He has done for me. It’s also what I want to do, because of what He has done for me. That “enjoy Him forever” part? I get to have that as a goal along with glorifying Him? How amazing is that? And you know what I’ve found? If I shoot for the “glorify God” part, I always get the “enjoy Him” part along with it.

So anyway, I’ve looked around and I’ve identified some things I don’t want.

I don’t want to be a slave to my things. I don’t want to miss my children’s little years. I don’t want to be too stressed with trivial things to enjoy life. I don’t want to be so busy I spend our lives hurrying my family. I don’t want to be too consumed with myself to notice the needs of those around me. I don’t want to regularly utter phrases that start with “I wish I could…” and end with “…but I don’t have time”.

All this pondering has simplified life for me. Here’s what I’ve concluded:

  • My role right now is to raise our children, “training them up” by showing them what it looks like to live a life that glorifies and glories in the Lord. It’s the biggest honor and privilege I can imagine (as well as the most frightening responsibility). I LOVE being home with my kids. Sometimes I can hardly believe something this fun could be what I should be doing with my time.
  • I have to SHOW my children what loving the Lord looks like. And of course we all automatically think that means praying and reading the Bible, and a huge YES to those things. It totally means that, because those things are how I draw closer to the Lover of my soul. It also means loving those around me, showing my kids that life is about something bigger than us. I think that means loving those closest to us – our biological family, our church family, our friends – in the active, “love is a verb” sense. And I think that means loving those close to us in proximity (neighbors, coworkers) in the “love is a verb” sense. You know we don’t do this anymore? I don’t know my neighbors. I don’t even know the names of most of my neighbors. That has to change.
  • Love lived out is messy and intimidating and unpredictable. It’s vulnerable. It’s sending cards, and baking cookies, and shoveling walks because we can, and being there to laugh and listen and comfort and cry and pray. It’s our time.

Active love is a calling. People are the important thing. They’re the only thing we can take with us, as they say. When I ponder all this deeply I recognize that I can’t do any of the above, especially that last one, if I’m too consumed with activities, meetings, my stuff, etc. I don’t want to be consumed with those things. Okay, if I’m honest, occasionally I do. But I don’t want to want that. So I’m asking the Lord to constantly pull me up short and make me remember that I know my role for now – the only time I have – and it is to glorify God through the active love of my husband, my children, and my family/friends/neighbors.

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. Ephesians 5:1-2


Okay, ladies, I took a leap and signed up for the (in)RL conference. When I tell you more about it you’re probably going to think it wasn’t much of a leap, but it felt like it to me. And there’s a subsequent larger leap I am considering – and that’s where you come in. I need your input!

(in)RL stands for “in real life”, and the idea behind this conference is to encourage women to engage in “local, real community”. Essentially, it’s a call to step away from our computers, iPads, and smartphones and spend time actually – get this – together. The conference is two days, and it’s FREE. It includes access to inspirational food-for-thought (and -chatting) webcasts from some popular bloggers. On Friday, April 26th, we are encouraged to watch the webcasts at our convenience. Then, on Saturday, April 27th, to “meetup” with women from our area. This is an opportunity to spend time enjoying one another’s company, to engage in conversation about the topics addressed in the webcasts, and to build on relationships (and make new ones).

Here’s where the bigger leap comes in. There is currently no meetup scheduled in my area. The closest meetup is in Warsaw, with others even further out than that. So I’m considering hosting the meetup myself. It would be easy to just watch the webcasts on my own, and call that good, but then that’s not really the point, is it?

What do you think? Does this sound like something you would enjoy? Will you join me?

Winter 2013 HelloMornings Challenge

In the fall I learned about an online social network called “Hello Mornings”. The idea behind it is to use accountability and encouragement to help women rise before their households and spend time with the Lord, in exercise, in planning, etc. It fell in line with something I was already trying to do – get up several hours before Aria so I could have quiet time before the craziness hit. I signed up for a Twitter group (there are also Facebook groups), and each morning I tweeted with a bunch of other lovely ladies. We let one another know when we were “up and at ’em”, our thoughts on that day’s readings, our prayer requests, and more. It worked wonders for me, and I loved it! In the last week or so of the challenge I started to lose steam a little, as the exhaustion and morning sickness of first trimester pregnancy set in. I’ve struggled to get back into the routine ever since, so I am very excited to announce that a new session of the HelloMornings Challenge is starting January 28th! Won’t you join me?

The Hello Mornings crew will give you all sorts of tips and tricks for making the adjustment to productive early rising, and they even provide us with an excellent devotional written by two of the ladies on the team. The devotional for the fall, Kept: Secure in His Hands Whatever I Face led the reader on an exegetical study of 1st Peter. I found it so refreshing, a devotional book that actually has you study the Bible! The winter devotional, Abounding Hope, can also be found on Amazon. But, if you sign up for the challenge, you can get it for free! If this sounds like something that would benefit you, I hope you’ll join us!