The Welcome Home
February 17, 2003

An Honest Evaluation

Friends and dearest sisters in Christ~

A couple of months have passed since I last wrote you and I've been experiencing such an array of emotion over this great length of time with no new letters and no greetings of encouragement to you. I’ve been mindful of the especially great opportunities of the New Year and Valentine’s Day and so, with all the emphasis on love and expressing appreciation, I am writing to thank you for the continuing opportunity to share with you and, LORD willing, I'd like to begin anew writing to you, sharing ideas and, hopefully, inspiring you to press on toward the mark and strive for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. [Phil. 3.14] But first I want to share with you some thoughts, or what I’m calling: an honest evaluation.


In addition to the business and busyness of family and holidays, I've attempted to attend to the things I write about: concentrating on loving my husband, children, and grandchildren, and to learn more about creating a ‘welcome home’ for them and for anyone the LORD chooses to send our way. One great hindrance to really loving my husband and really loving my children is time spent away from them… O, I don’t mean away from home, for this is too important a time and too important a gift to neglect by spending time away from home. But, you know what? Here's part of that honest evaluation: I’ve been away from home right here in my kitchen. I’ve been all over the world, in fact. How, you say? It’s been a steady and well traveled path for several years now… and the vehicle has been this computer. This computer's allowed me to minister via email to women all over the world... to write and send out Bible Studies. This computer's allowed me to visit and make new friends, learn hobbies, learn about hundreds of great sites for everything from child care to sewing to geography; from soap making to landscaping; from grammar to gardening and lessons plans to unit studies for homeschooling. The initial draw was freedom to study at any hour, to locate hard to find items and articles and then the thrill was email: O, blessed email from sea to shining sea and then my delight was in a couple email lists: hearing from friends I’ll likely never meet this side of heaven. Soon, my time was being stretched thin and my attention divided in too many directions and the things so dear to me began to lose that "first place" importance.


You see, we all give our attention to those things that are most important to us, really. And, though my husband and children *really* are *most* important to me, I had begun to allow other things to steal my affections for them by way of time that was rightfully theirs, time that was really too precious to squander. And so, after a tearful 'heart to heart' talk and after some time away to really regroup, to consider what’s most appropriate, to talk with my husband and children and to attempt a more balanced approach to each day, I had to eliminate some things that were, for now, not the best use of time and attention. O, I was very sad to do this at first. Maybe you’ve had to make changes and eliminate “good things” in your life in order to do “better things” with your time. If so, then perhaps you’ll understand what I’m talking about.


Maybe this has all been for more benefit than just for me and our family. Maybe you have some things going on in your life that are gobbling up your thoughts and chopping away at your time. Maybe you’ve been allowing yourself to be stretched thin where your attention is concerned and it’s time to do some honest evaluating… maybe it’s time for you, too, to dedicate yourself to thinking things over, to talking with your husband---yes, ouch! his answers may be very blunt and very needful for you to hear---and to refocusing your attention. Maybe you’ve allowed yourself the same luxury I’ve been allowing here… studying too many things on the net and reading too many articles and participating in too many lists or email groups. Maybe it’s just not the right season for all that just now. I pray my hard lessons will inspire you to take some time to consider your days. I pray you’ll be brave enough to talk with your husband about what he thinks about how you spend your days… an honest evaluation. You know, sometimes an honest evaluation can really be a painful revelation---but I tell you the truth: the subsequent freedom is worth every tear you may shed. And the freedom and trust you’ll increase with your husband (as you obey and implement change) is priceless.


"For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" Philippians 2.13


You are a priceless woman. And because I have a new-found respect for both your time and mine, I pray to use time and space wisely. And so, with the encouragement, help and blessing of my husband and family, I pray to be about once again writing letters of encouragement, topical messages, and ‘good things’ for you. Hopefully, these will be sent on a weekly basis as was my original practice.

I appreciate your kindness, your letters and good questions. I pray to be disciplined to reply quickly in the allotted time I have each week. And I pray if you’ll ask for and allow that honest evaluation (from the LORD, yourself *and* from your husband), that the LORD will abundantly bless you beyond all that you could ever ask or imagine… as you seek to serve and obey Him (and him ;-) too!).

So… for the first of 2003… I send you love and Welcome Home!

With sincere love and thanks, pamela spurling
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