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Chip and Joanna Gaines: 11 Godly Secrets to an Epic Marriage and Family

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Learning to Measure Success in Units of Joy

When I was a young woman I longed to finish college so I could finally obtain a high paying job that could give me financial security. As a college student I waited tables to make ends meet, but they hardly ever came together. I scraped by, counting change for gas, begging the phone company to give me another week and not turn my landline off. The difficulties of working full-time while attending college full-time are what eventually convinced me to join the military. They offered a dependable income, free housing, and a chance to travel. Sounded good to me. I can still remember gazing at martini stir sticks with glass fish at the top in a Pier One magazine, and thinking that once I got settled into the military I could afford finer things. Yep, I gazed at grownup bobbles yearning to possess them. It was how I measured success. To not scrimp and save, yet never get ahead. To own a home! A two-story, white colonial with navy blue shutters… That was the measure of success.

Designer clothing. To be able to shop upscale, not WalMart clearance rack.

I wanted a car that was dependable, one I didn’t constantly worry about breaking down.

That was the measure of success.

A saving’s account that I never had to dip into.

Taking two-week vacations where you got on an airplane and flew somewhere exotic. Not the back of your parent’s stale minivan for eight hours.

That was the measure of success.

You hear people brag about their children getting into Harvard.

Mothers brag about their son’s promotion. He’ll have to travel more for work now, but they can also get the bigger house.

This is a measure of success.

Career advancement, more pay, a bigger home.

Monogrammed dresses for the daughters. Shiny, new toys for the boys.

This is a measure of success.

Winters at Disney. Summers in the mountains.

Good grades, awards at the end of the year banquet.

A perfectly manicured lawn to match perfectly manicured nails.

This is a measure of success.

I’m not sure when the shift began in me. Somewhere along the way, the two-story house didn’t make me as happy as I thought it would.

My husband’s promotion only meant he was never home.

Brie Gowen
Brie Gowenhttp://briegowen.com/
Brie Gowen is a 30-something (sliding ever closer to 40-something) wife and mother. When she’s not loving on her hubby, chasing after the toddler or playing princess with her four-year-old, she enjoys cooking, reading and writing down her thoughts to share with others. Brie is also a huge lover of Jesus. She finds immense joy in the peace a relationship with her Savior provides, and she might just tell you about it sometime. She’d love for you to check out her blog at BrieGowen.com.

Chip and Joanna Gaines: 11 Godly Secrets to an Epic Marriage and Family

Chip and Joanna Gaines are teaching us important lessons about marriage and family as they walk away from their HGTV show for the sake of their family.

‘My abuser is here today’: Miss Kansas Uses Interview Portion of Pageant to Call Out Abuser Before Being Crowned

Miss Kansas 2024, Alexis Smith, has captured national attention not just for her beauty and charisma, but for her bravery in addressing a deeply personal and harrowing issue: domestic abuse.

Rory Feek Remarries 8 Years After Losing Wife Joey to Cancer

It's been 8 years since Rory Feek lost his wife, best friend, and music partner Joey Feek to terminal cancer. Now he's tying the knot again, this time, with daughter Indiana by his side.