It might surprise you that author Diane Paddison doesn’t profess to be a superwoman.
As Diane served her family as wife and mother to her growing and changing family, she also served as an executive at two Fortune 500 companies. But as she suggests in the trailer of her new book Work, Love, Pray, Diane never set her heart on “climbing to the top.” Work, Love, Pray is about how professional women can reach their God-given potential while keeping a healthy balance between work and family.
The subtitle of Diane’s book is Practical Wisdom for Young Professional Christian Women, but really a working woman of any age will find wisdom and encouragement here.
Personally speaking, my favorite chapter is about how to set boundaries with your work while keeping your convictions and family life in mind. I’ve excerpted a story from this chapter, and you can read it below. I hope the tips are helpful!
You can learn more about Work, Love, Pray and find more resources for professional Christian women at Diane’s site: www.4wordwomen.org.
- Londa Alderink, Zondervan Trade Team
Balance Requires Discipline
Don’t blame Rachel Shephard if she’s feeling a little schizophrenic. She grew up being told she could do anything, be anything. Then once she finished college, she felt this not-so-subtle pressure to get married, have lots of babies, and stay home to care for them.
“Maybe someday, but right now I feel called to use my education and gifts to serve God in the marketplace,” Rachel, an independent consultant for a major health and wellness company, explains.
Rachel recognized her own competitive nature and desire to succeed, so when she married Luke, they put some boundaries in place so that their work wouldn’t squeeze the life out of their marriage.
“We both shared our goals and dreams for our respective careers to make sure we were both on board and supportive. Once a month we get out our calendars and schedule our lives around each other’s busy times. In eight years of marriage I don’t think we have ever missed a weekly date night where we shut off our cell phones and go out — just the two of us.”
For single women who hope to find Mr. Right someday, Rachel has some very specific advice.
“If you’re going to have a career, find a man who is secure in Christ — whose self-worth comes from God. Because Luke is confident in his relationship with Jesus, he doesn’t get jealous about my ambitions but supports and encourages them. He wants me to succeed as much as I want him to succeed.”
She also cautions single women to take their time and be choosy.
“It’s better to be unhappily single than unhappily married,” she warns.
Rachel and Luke established their priorities early on: their faith comes first, their marriage is second, and their careers are third. Balancing them becomes a matter of discipline, especially when it comes to career.
“The world tells us to strive for more and more money, so it’s easy to get into that trap that leaves little time or energy for the two most important things in my life. I love my job and could work at it twenty-four/seven, but I choose to say no even if it means I might not earn as much as someone else.”
Learn more about Work, Love, Pray.
Find more resources for professional Christian women at Diane Paddison’s website, www.4wordwomen.org.
(This post does not represent the views of Zondervan or any of its representatives. The writer’s opinions are their own, and are shared for information purposes only. To receive new blogposts in your reader or email inbox, subscribe to Zondervan Blog.)
About Diane Paddison
Diane Paddison (@4wordwomen) has held several executive positions for corporations, including Chief Operating Officer for two Fortune 500 companies, Trammell Crow (now CB Richard Ellis) and ProLogis. She is currently the Chief Strategy Officer at the commercial real estate firm Cassidy Turley and serves on two other corporate boards, Behringer Harvard REIT Opportunity Fund II and Air Advice. She is also an advisory board member for The Salvation Army and Harvard Business School Christian Fellowship Alumni Association and a Trustee for Oregon State University. Diane is known for seeking opportunities to gather professional women for connection and mentoring time whenever she travels for business. This passion for mentoring women inspired her to found 4word™, a national nonprofit designed to connect, lead, and support young professional Christian women to fulfill their God-given potential (www.4wordwomen.org). Diane and her husband have four children, and they live in Dallas, TX, and Portland, OR.