The Vintage Way
by Drenda Keesee
I look back on those “pioneer days” as the best of times. Exploring new adventures with our kids by our side and building a company that has had a lasting impact on our family and other families has been a thrill to experience. I wouldn’t do it any differently. I see our adult children now passionately working toward similar pursuits and goals, and I am eternally thankful we did life a different way than the norm.
I’m not saying everyone has to approach finances and family this way, but this was the American way in the early days of our nation. Entrepreneurship made up over 80 percent of all jobs. The rest of workers were apprenticed with the mindset of eventually owning their own business. Sadly, today those numbers are flipped.
Most people work…
…for someone else with little freedom or potential to one day own their job. Many moms join the workforce and leave their children to a school system run by the government. The impact on families has resulted in children who rarely see their parents and instead obtain their values, education, and direction from the state or federal government. The loss of the family business—a common family vision—is another factor contributing to the demise of family life.
Building a business is a learning process. It requires passion, dedication, growth, perseverance, and above all, character. This was the learning process that made America a great nation before our nation’s priorities changed, forcing families apart. Character is a vintage value missing in our culture today.
How would you begin to build a family business, whether you want to accomplish it as your only income source or in addition to another family member’s employment? The key to this decision is passion. Mompreneur Magazine recommends, “Investigate the types of businesses that offer the types of service that align with your passion. Set the intention to find a way to do what you really love to do. With the computer and telephone, the world is at your fingertips.”
For us, our passion was to help families fund their God-given assignments and live a great life of financial freedom. Freedom to follow God’s calling and vocation for your life trumps having “things” and losing sight of preparing your children for life. Don’t get caught in a debt trap. If you have a vision that’s greater than things, you can build real wealth in your children and finances at the same time.
Determine your passions. What problem can you solve? What area could you start to develop and learn? How could that become a business that serves your family and others? Where could you be apprenticed to learn and develop the “know-how”? What impact would the business have on your family in the short and long term? What could various family members contribute to building it, and how could it help your children integrate and develop their passions into adulthood?
Looking back, we really didn’t see all of the outcomes I am sharing with you in hindsight. Our passion to help families made it all worth it, and you have to believe that to ever take the first step (especially if you’re starting out broke and in debt as we did!). But as I write today, I am sitting on the front porch of our paid-for home with sixty acres after just returning from a wonderful ministry trip to Japan with my daughter. My granddaughter is sleeping upstairs, and our youngest daughter is in her room editing chapters of this book for me. My husband is planning at the office of the financial services company we started thirty-four years ago. Our daily television programs are teaching other families to engage in the Kingdom of God and manage their lives and finances as we have learned from God’s Word. All of this was homegrown from a seed of vision and love.
Our adult children are developing television programs, pastoring adults and children, writing worship music and recording albums, and building businesses. Our life feels very complete. Do we have challenges? Sure. But following God’s plans for freedom and taking responsibility for our lives is much more rewarding than renting our lives out to a corporation and giving our children to the government to control.
*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.