All posts tagged Working Women of the Bible

Alyson’s Story: Being A “Real” Woman of Grace

As we continue our Story Series, I’m thrilled to introduce you to Alyson Jones.  Alyson has both heart and style, which makes her an excellent lawyer and even better mother. I laughed out loud when she told me about the four pieces of literature that occupy her nightstand: 1) Newspaper/Huffington Post on-line; 2) Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns; 3) Lean In; and 4) Working Women of the Bible.  Her story resonates with us because she’s authentic — she’s not afraid to be a “real” woman and embrace grace. 

Alyson, please introduce yourself (and tell us the many hats you wear).

I am a working mother of two young boys, living in the deep south: Jackson, Mississippi.

What key events have marked your journey?

I do not have any major triumphs or catastrophes that define me. My initial influencing factor in my first 30 years has always been my father. He is a Cuban-American, who came to the United States when he was 11, and he epitomizes the word “work-ethic.” He is Catholic, and his demonstration of faith is completely introverted. I have never heard my father talk about God. He has attended mass every Sunday (or Saturday evening) ever since I can remember, and the general unspoken rule is that if you want to go with him, you are welcome to, but he will never ask you to attend. That rule goes for me, both of my brothers, and my mother. The next part of my spiritual journey, age 30 and continuing now, is one that my husband’s faith brought to me – Southern Presbyterianism. For this, you talk about God everywhere and invite everyone, all the time, to join with you!  I love having these two worlds combine because both are so very important to me – a deep, personal faith that can only be instilled by self-discipline, as well as a wide-open demonstration of showing grace and faith in God. 

What is your greatest struggle?

My greatest struggle is keeping balance, which I know is becoming somewhat of a cliché, but it is true. I want to be really good at everything I do, and I have to learn to let go of that expectation daily. Because, in fact, when I get the call that my child has the stomach bug and I have to leave work, the truth is, I am not my best at work. Alternatively, when I am preparing for three days for a client meeting without leaving the office before 9:00 p.m, plus traveling to attend the meeting, I am not really good at home. 

I struggle every day with analyzing whether I am making the right decision to work outside the home. I am a lawyer, so my personality lends itself to analyzing every side of the problem and finding a solution. I found my way to Mississippi after attending undergraduate at Ole Miss, then law school at Tennessee. I fell in love with an incredible man who moved back to Mississippi to farm, and I started my law career here. It is the deep south. Mississippi is not a friendly environment for a working mom; it is just not. 

For example, a couple months ago, our own Governor decided to speak out at a public forum about how working women are at the root of the educational gap in our Country.  He went on to explain his statement by saying that he simply meant that the stress of dual- parent working families effects children.  At the heart of what he said, and none of us can deny it, is that work adds stress.  With my over-analytical mind, I have been analyzing my life in context of his statements ever since.

How do you integrate your faith, home, and work? 

I try to stay involved with my church. I thrive on structure, and the church provides that for my faith. I would like to think that I could set aside a certain amount of time each day to focus on the Bible, because that is desperately what I need, but that is unrealistic for me right now. Instead, by staying involved in church, I am able to surround myself with people who feed me Bible verses, ask me to Bible studies that I may be able to squeeze in once a quarter, and force me to get involved with children’s activities so that I actually know what my children are learning. By integrating people with strong faith into my life, I believe I am able to have a more grace-centered demeanor at both work and home. (My children and co-workers may disagree with this statement!)  In order for me to deal with my struggles, it is imperative that I understand and can lean on the fact that God does not want me to be perfect and loves me despite my inability to be “good” at all that I do. 

Fitting faith into work and life is not easy, but it is essential. We will rarely find a purpose in our daily grind, and it is almost a guarantee that we will spend time searching for something that may be missing or will make our life circumstances better. Working Women of the Bible and the Bible itself help paint a picture of how to get through our lives. The Bible does not over-analyze or criticize, but instead, it features real-life struggles, much like our own, that have been around since creation and still hold true today. Some of these struggles do not have solutions, but they are real, have withstood the test of time, and provide a fountain of wisdom for modern-day working women. 

I am still on my journey of coming to Christ. It takes a lot of relinquishment of self-control.  I have not this mastered this journey, but I have come a long way. 

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received?

Trust your gut. Of course, that has to be done with a proper analysis of consequence, but if something deep down is stirring you up – whether in decisions at home or at work –  trust that feeling from deep within.

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Thanks Alyson for sharing your story!  Does Alyson’s story strike a powerful or familiar chord?  If so, please let her know.

How To Get What You Want From An Unreasonable Boss

Working Mom's Devotional

Esther, the Queen of Persia who saved the Jewish people from annihilation in the fifth Century BC, is a master at tackling problems at work.

To start, she understands how to influence an irrational, pompous boss. If she were alive today, she’d offer a pricey yet wildly popular seminar: How To Get What You Want From An Unreasonable Boss.

She makes it look so easy with a simple, three-step formula:     

Step One:  Take the Initiative

Esther doesn’t wait around for her boss, King Xerxes, to fix a crisis. When she learns the Jewish people are in danger – and that a plot to destroy the Jews is brewing in the King’s inner circle – she quickly takes action. Never mind that the King doesn’t like to be interrupted when he is busy sitting on his throne. Never mind that the penalty for approaching him in the royal throne room without an invitation is possibly death. Esther takes action.

Esther shows us that taking the initiative at work means having the guts to walk into the boss’s office and make the ask. 

Click here to continue reading about Esther at The High Calling. 

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Sometimes, it’s difficult to know when to ask, when to hang low, and when to push the envelope.  The Working Women of the Bible give us insight into these timeless questions.

We’re committed to sharing the stories of working women who are striving to integrate their faith, home, and work.  Do you have a desire to share your story?  Send an email to sdimickele@gmail.com by June 20 and stay tuned for details!

How To Raise Ungrateful Kids

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Most of us want to raise grateful children.  I’m convinced this desire is universal among my generation of parents.  We don’t want to raise kids with an entitlement mentality.  We want to teach them the value of sacrifice and hard work.  We don’t want out kids to be spoiled or ungrateful. 

It’s a constant struggle that none of us has perfected.

We scramble to limit TV intake and material consumption.  We try to teach our children about those less fortunate.  We say things like, “When I was your age, we never went out to restaurants.  And I always had to clean my plate!”

Yet I am convinced we’re missing a simple part of the equation.  A piece well within our control.

Grateful Parents = Grateful Children

Of course, there are exceptions to this rule.  But too often we blame society – including media, technology, and peers – and we fail to look in the mirror.  We fail to see that our own dissatisfaction models a culture of discontent among our children.  We fail to see that the reverse equation is likewise true.

Ungrateful Parents = Ungrateful Children

Let’s face it, kids are smart.  Show me an ungrateful parent, and I will show you an ungrateful child.

In Powered By Happy, Executive Beth Thomas argues that grateful employees receive more promotions and greater opportunities at work.  And she also encourages us to model this gratitude at home.  For example, she encourages us to include gratitude in our daily rituals – like going around the dinner table and saying one thing we are grateful for each day.

There are some people in this world who choose gratitude over and over again.  My mother is one of these people, and I’m convinced her example is likely the primary reason I have a positive outlook on life.  As I prepare for Mother’s Day, I am especially thankful that my mother is a woman of gratitude.

I want to be this same example for my children.   Don’t you?

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Getting ready for Mother’s Day? Only 6 days to go.   Terry Morgan encourages us to write a tribute to our mothers.

Work, Love, Pray (by executive Diane Paddison), Working Women of the Bible, and Chasing Superwoman are still selling as a bundle on Amazon!

Working Women of the Bible: Timeless Mentors For Modern Women

Working Women of the Bible releases today.  As we read about our foremothers, I’d like to ask a couple of questions.

First, who are our female role models?

Most of us can point to a mother, sister, or grandmother who has shaped our journeys.  Some of us have relied on teachers, friends, and co-workers to blaze our trails.  Still others have benefited from the example of women we don’t even know – women who inspire us as we simply watch their journeys.

Let me ask another question.  Who do women in our society look to as spiritual mentors?

If we’re honest, the women of the Bible aren’t at the front of the pack.  Maybe the church looks to the women of the Bible for answers, but most modern women don’t think the Bible has real answers for our generation.  If anything, we dismiss the Bible as “culturally irrelevant” and instead find solutions that look more like our lives.

Will you help me challenge this thinking? 

I understand that many of us still need to be convinced.  I too was skeptical that women in the Bible even “worked” outside the home, let alone could provide insights into my journey.  So don’t take my word for it.  Check it out for yourself.  Take your time, and read about women like Deborah, Rahab, and Lydia.  You’ll too be convinced that many things haven’t changed.  Their stories are our stories.  The working women in the Bible are some of the most remarkable mentors for our generation. 

The working women of the Bible each has a story.  A personal and unique story about how God redeems work, life, and relationships one life at a time.  Why am I so passionate about telling these stories?  Because in many ways, we’ve missed them.  We’ve gone through the motions in our Sunday School lessons, and we’ve forgotten about women like Huldah and Priscilla.  Women of amazing strength and power.   Women who quietly lead by example.  Women who can show our generation how it’s done.

Will you help tell the stories of these timeless mentors?

Lydia: Risking Your business for Your faith

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Lydia of Philippi is often called the first European convert to Christianity.  She undoubtedly represents the “new” modern woman of her day — a business woman who enjoys profitable trading throughout the Greco-Roman world. Lydia is a dealer in purple cloth at a time when purple dye is the most expensive and sought after dye in the Roman world.

Which means Lydia has plenty of capital!  She is a woman with resources, the head of her household, and wildly successful in business. 

Yet Lydia upsets the status quo when decides to follow Jesus.  None of Lydia’s clients share her newfound faith.  They probably thought she had lost her mind when she converted to Christianity.  Some of them probably considered cancelling their business contracts.  As if her conversion isn’t bold enough, Lydia next decides to risk her life for her new faith.

The Apostle Paul and his companion Silas are flogged, beaten, and thrown into prison soon after they arrive in Philippi. This would have been the perfect time for Lydia to get out. Or at least go under cover and be a closet Christian. Is following Jesus worth this much trouble? It’s one thing to be affiliated with a minority religion. It’s another thing to be affiliated with common criminals.

Paul doesn’t know how to fly under the radar. He doesn’t even try. Being a Christian means upsetting the status quo. What has Lydia gotten herself into? Yet she doesn’t run the other way. She doesn’t tell Paul to keep his distance. Just the opposite. When Paul and Silas are released from prison, guess where they head? Straight to Lydia’s house.  In fact, Lydia’s home isn’t just a haven — it becomes the official meeting place for the first church in Philippi.

How’s that for a little business development!

Not many of us have risked our business for our faith. We haven’t harbored fugitives who are running from the authorities or sent aid to our friends in prison. We continue to go about our work and play it safe. But we each have our own resources.  Like Lydia, God longs to use our unique style and recourses for a greater good. 

How does Lydia inspire us to risk the status quo for something greater? 

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Working Women of the Bible releases next week!   Thanks for following our pre-launch mini series:

Would you help me share the untold stories of these amazing women?