Provide the Finishing Touch
by Drenda Keesee
After reading the wonderful monographs of childhood from my children, I realize what mattered most to them is relationship. It’s easy to get caught up in the work of building a family and miss out on the relationships in building a family. Sometimes we think that what we’re doing is the most important task— cleaning house, doing laundry, washing cars, and working, working, working. And while all these things are important, Jesus said it best when addressing Mary and Martha.
“‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her’” (Luke 10:42).
We often get caught up with the hustle and bustle of keeping house and maintaining everything, but we forget what is really important…
Our children don’t remember washed cars! They remember the joys of laughter, times together, and the relationship of knowing Jesus through our relationship with them.
Many times I was laboring while our beautiful children were jumping on the trampoline with their dad or hearing one of his famous stories. And while I did make things fun and enjoy great times with my children, I still wish I would have made more time for the simple joys, the vintage pleasures of rolling on the floor laughing or playing outside. Like Martha, I reasoned that someone had to do the work. It’s easy to reason that tomorrow we will have more time with our family, but unless you make it a priority today, that day never comes. Don’t get caught up in the duties and lose the beauty of simple relationship. Are you building a relationship with your family and with the Creator of family? That’s what will be remembered in the end. It’s not things that children need more of; it’s time.
We have to take account for how we spend our time on the earth. Personal responsibility is the first movement toward change and reconstruction. Do it for yourself and for those you love. Many have chosen to let the government or institutions take responsibility for their lives, their children, their finances, and choices. The problem is, when you give away personal responsibility, you also let go of the freedom you had to make a life for yourself. Life becomes robotic and hopeless because others become our source instead of God.
As we reach the end of our journey, I want to give you the opportunity to commemorate your family and to commit to yourself that you will restyle your family using timeless ways that hearken back to a vintage system—God’s system. I encourage you to commit to making a change in your family, listen to God’s direction, and move forward with the right foundation.
Parenting is a great calling. God called you to your family, and He has given you the grace to do it. My desire is that you leave this book with a renewed vision for your family and recapture the love and simplicity of days gone by . . . more of what matters. We have to weather the storms and fight for our families. We have to fight for the time-tested family model and revitalize honor toward the family system. There’s an attack on families, children, and unborn babies, and it’s our job to lead the movement to save them. The best defense is a great offense—a family that shines in a dark place. We can pray that the culture will turn back to the vintage model and realign themselves with their origin and purpose from God’s Word, but we have our part to play, and it starts with personal revival.
You have the baton. Generations have come before us and may come after us, but right now, it’s your turn. Your story is being written in history. The stories that your grandkids are going to tell about you are being walked out right now. The victories that your kids are going to see are happening right now. You may have made mistakes, but it’s not too late to make a change in your situation—to be refashioned and repurposed and reclaim the promises of God for your home. It takes courage, but the moment you step up, God is going to meet you at the doorway to home.
Live by faith—that is the most exciting way to live!
If you have anything in your life that is keeping you apart from your Father, your Creator, something more important than God, you need to reestablish your foundation. Things in moderation are good, but God should be the clear center of your family. And sometimes it’s just that you’re letting the cares of life choke God and His design out. That doesn’t work. Only God as the center works.
Maybe today you’re struggling in your marriage, or you’re struggling as a single parent—God’s grace is sufficient for you. God is more than enough. Stay committed and let Him show you there’s a way out of the pain without running away. There’s a way to victory. There’s a way to healing. There’s a way right now if you choose forgiveness. Run to God; He has the answers for your life.
I encourage you to speak this prayer out loud and make a commitment in your heart. If you want to humble yourself
before your Father God to show you and teach you, open your heart and take a step of faith. God will act.
Lord, I thank You for healing in my family, my marriage, and in myself. I dedicate my family to You, God. Please give me direction on disconnects in my family and things I need to change. I thank You for the grace to make the changes I need to make, and the wisdom to know how. God, give me wisdom to help fight for families and marriages all around the world. I thank You for healing in the culture. I commit my heart to doing this Your way. I am going to fight for my family with Your Word and Your principles, and I know You will meet me there and give me the ability to overcome. Thank You for the great calling You’ve given me to be a parent. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
I encourage you to commemorate each of your family members by writing five qualities you admire in them and sharing them with your family. Make a written commitment to yourself that proclaims the changes you would like to implement, the parenting insecurities you’re leaving behind, and the end result for which you’re aiming. Sign it at the bottom and keep it somewhere safe to remind you of the commitment you’ve made to your family.
Excerpt from “The New Vintage Family” by Drenda Keesee
Drenda Keesee’s contagious zeal and humorous personal experiences help make her ministry of spiritual, emotional and relational wholeness one that will bless your life and spark a new fire in your spirit.
A wife of over 30 years and a mother of five children, Drenda has ministered at churches, seminars, and conferences, and through the mediums of television and radio, for more than 20 years.
Her books, The New Vintage Family, Better Than You Think, and She Gets It are available wherever books are sold. In these heartfelt books, Drenda shares her personal journey and the life lessons that have brought her to where she is today, as well as practical answers that all people need to live a joyful life.
Drenda and her husband Gary founded Faith Life Now, a ministry designed to spread the message of freedom in the areas of finances, faith, marriage, and family. Faith Life Now hosts conferences worldwide, and sponsors both Fixing the Money Thing, which Drenda co-hosts with her husband Gary, and Drenda.
Through their own life experiences, the Keesees have found the principles from God’s Word to be powerful and effective. At one point, Drenda was a young, suicidal feminist with no hope of ever being “good enough” for her own standards of perfection. She never wanted the “inconvenience” of a husband or children, and she was on her own path to success. But the stress of trying to achieve perfection and perform for love left her broken and used. She had success, but it was nothing compared to the pain and loneliness it had also brought.
That’s when God got a hold of her heart. It was there—at her lowest point—that she found the One who accepted and loved her, faults and all. Since that transformation, Drenda has had a passion to reach women who find themselves where she once was.
She married Gary after attending college, and there she found herself in a personal boot camp of sorts. She says, “I cried and told God, ‘I can do anything but be a wife and mother.’” She committed to learning how to do it God’s way. Through the many years of raising their children and struggling to make ends meet, Drenda learned from their mistakes. “I didn’t know how to be a wife and mother, but God saved our marriage, taught us how to parent our children for success, showed us how to have financial success, and then irony of all ironies, He called us to ministry.” It’s truly because of these life experiences that Drenda can now share so many insightful principles for people who are now going through the same struggles.