Pearls of Encouragement for Christian Working Moms
July Edition

Welcome
Announcements
Resources
Blog Comments
Article – How does your God esteem compare with your Self Esteem?
Final Thoughts

Welcome

We did it!! We now have over 1,000 women who have completed the CWM Survey. God is so good and that number is beyond my wildest dreams. Thank you so much. Who knows what number we will reach! You can still fill out the CWM Survey by going to http://www.christianworkingmom.com and click on survey on the home page. I apologize in advance for the long issue this time. There are so many different things I want to share with you. Please take time to read the various announcements and resources.

Announcements

Christian Working Moms are now a focus of research at a Christian University. Please read the following announcement and if you qualify send an email to Kerris to help her with her doctoral research.

Exciting new study – YOU can participate!!
Attention women: You have the opportunity to participate in some very exciting research that will contribute to helping other women find fulfillment in balancing their motherhood and career roles. We are seeking female participants with a Christian faith perspective who have completed a Master's, Doctoral, or professional (e.g., medicine, law) degree in any field of study and are currently employed with at least one child under the age of 18 years residing in the home. Participation would involve completing a short, confidential, and anonymous online questionnaire. If you fit these criteria, we would value your input to our study. Please send an email to Kerris.L.Oates@biola.edu for complete details on how you can help. Your participation would be greatly appreciated.

Resources

I wanted to tell you about two excellent books I have read recently and a new innovative witnessing tool. I have been reading Lost Women of the Bible by Carolyn Custis James. Carolyn looks at stories of women in the Bible that we think we know well and looks at them again with new eyes. Carolyn also shares that women in the Bible often had a hard time with the traditional roles of wife and mother. This book will challenge you to look at a new truly Biblical and accepting view of women. Click here to read more about the book.

Many of you know that I am a Marriage and Family Therapist as well. I am also reading Sacred Influence by Gary Thomas. I have read many marriage books over the years and have never quite read one like this. The subtitle of the book is What a Man Needs From His Wife to Be the Husband She Wants. Gary does a good job of explaining what we need to change as woman, what we can expect from men, and he does an excellent job of looking at really tough marital situations. When looking at tough marital problems he gives examples of women who have walked through that difficulty and came out on the other side to victory. You will not find simplistic answers, but you will find Biblical and God honoring answers to our marriages. He has also written a book entitled Sacred Marriage.
To look at Sacred Influence click here.

One last thing, thanks for being so patient with all of the resources listed. My husband found this resource. Campus Crusade has produced a mini video CD. It is very small and they call it a business card. The CD has a presentation of the gospel and you can even access different languages. You need to have access to Internet Explorer. The small CD’s only cost $1.25/each. They are so portable and you could hand them out very easily. People may be more interested in a CD and then they could talk with you later. Here is the link to purchase the CD’s. http://linc-store.com/lincstore.

Blog Comments
The blog has been a little quiet over the July 4th holiday, but it is still there. I posted a question entitled Needing Your Help. When you visit the blog, it may have moved to the left hand side. I want to know if you would be interested in purchasing CD’s or Bible Studies that I would develop and what you would like to see. As always you can post a comment on any subject you like. Just go to http://kimberlychastain.com/my-journal.
Article – How does your God esteem compare with your Self Esteem?

You cannot open a magazine without seeing an article on how to improve your self-esteem or how to improve your child’s self-esteem. Is self-esteem a biblical concept? Is there anything wrong with wanting to improve your self-esteem?

I think as a society and as Christians we are overly obsessed with self-esteem. We come dangerously close to making self-esteem an idol instead of worshipping God. You maybe saying, wait a minute doesn’t God want us to feel good about ourselves? I think God wants us to view ourselves through his eyes and not our own eyes or the world’s eyes.

Let’s look at the difference between the world’s view of self-esteem and how God views us. The world tells us you can do anything if you work hard enough and if you believe in yourself. The world says I am a wonderful person no matter what I do. We often hear a message from the world that beauty is really skin deep. Another strong message from the world is you need to take care of #1, yourself and do whatever it takes to get to the top. When the world talks about self-esteem you will often find your faults minimized. You may not be encouraged to take an honest look at yourself. How does God see us and what is God esteem anyway? First, of all God sees us as the crowning finale to his creation. We were the last things he created and He said, “It is good.” I really want you to drink in the thought that God created you (individually) and said, it is good!!
Recently, I had a close family member put herself down and I said, “You are complaining about God’s creation.” He made you and everything about you. He loves you just the way you are. God esteem is very different from self-esteem in that the focus is on God, the Creator, and not us. When we get too focused on self-esteem we take our eyes off of God. We also are not appreciating how God had made us and why he made us. Why did God make us? He made us to glorify him in everything we do. Our actions are to reflect back and give glory to the Creator.

The world often says makes your own way, you are in charge. God says in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you.” God knows what you are going to do before it happens. He knows the day you will die. We often have the illusion that we are in charge of our lives, but who is really in charge, God is in charge of every area of our lives.

God esteem differs in that our goal is to serve others and point them to Christ. That is very different from self-esteem that is all about getting your own needs met. God esteem is also about sanctification. Sanctification is a fancy word that means as Christians the Holy Spirit is daily making us more and more like Christ. We will not be perfect, till we reach heaven, but we are being renewed daily. Through the sanctification process God works on our faults and sometimes we have to look at things in our life that need to be changed. When we allow God to make a heart change in our lives, then those changes last. Much different from the world’s self-esteem changes that feel good for awhile, but will not last long term. Also, the world often makes excuses for wrong choices, but we know sin is very real and we are responsible for our actions.

In conclusion, the problem I see with self-esteem as defined by the world is the focus is on us and not God. Truthfully, we should not have any problems feeling good about ourselves. God sent his only Son to die for our sins and God loves us no matter what we do. God created us and said, “It is good.” Also, God chose us (you individually) to be his child before the world began. Now, that is incredible! The more you spend time focusing on what God has done for you and how much he loves you, you cannot help but feel good about yourself.(I want to add one word of caution, I realize, as a therapist, that sometimes you can be depressed and that can affect how you view yourself and God. A Christian therapist can help address that issue more with you.) Spend time meditating on how God sees you and begin to accept his view of you and not the world’s.

Final Thoughts

Is there an unwritten rule that in the summer, siblings must increase their frustrations with one another? I guess it is all that time together. Enjoy navigating sibling rivalry!!!

Till next time,

Kimberly M. Chastain

Kimberly M. Chastain, MS, LMFT is the Christian Working Mom Coach and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She is the author of 2 ebooks and an online Bible study. To find out how to receive coaching tips by email daily, go to http://www.kimberlychastain.com/cwmtips.htm. You can find more information about Christian Working Moms at www.christianworkingmom.com For a free, initial coaching session send an email to free@kimberlychastain.com.