Emulating Wise, Professional Women of Integrity

Ann Voskamp wrote the forword to Desperate.

I’m telling you not because I think it’s completely wonderful (it is!), but because she wrote it while sitting in the ER. After I received her forword, I called Sally and said, “I don’t think I could have done what she did, writing this beautiful, thoughtful forward while sitting in the ER with a nasty bronchial infection. Heck, I can’t write if I have a cold!”

Sally replied,

“Ann is a professional.”

And I lost my words.

I always have a million “good” reasons not to follow-through with something I said I would do. I’ve gotten too busy, or I’m sick, or I just don’t want to do it anymore.  The word “professionalism” has never entered my mind. Wow.

Ann is an expert at her work. She not only has a gift, but she chooses to keep at it. Sally is this way as well, and so I have before me two wise women who refine their gifts day in and day out, and who keep their word. I want to join their ranks. I want to live out of integrity, because really, that’s what a professional is, someone who has integrity. They are an expert because they choose what to do and what they will be able to do, and then they do it. And they do it well, because they know their strengths and their limitations.

What I also know about those two women is that they choose to be “professional” in their homes first. They have spent hours and hours investing in their families, and I would say they are experts with their family puzzle (as Sally calls it). They have not offered crumbs, but feasts of their time and energy. I am grateful for their example.

I don’t want to be Sally or Ann or anyone else, but I do think it is prudent to emulate wise women.

Professional women.

Women of integrity.

What kind of woman do you want to be? 

Find wise women to learn from; watch them, invite them to coffee, get to know them. They are a gift.

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  • Linda Stanhope

    I want to be like that too! Great post! Thanks!

  • http://joyfulmothering.net Christin

    Oh wow…yea that kid of hits me, too. I can be terrible about following through on things (just ask my husband). Seeing it put in this light kind of changes my perspective. Maybe that’s why I cannot write an eBook. I make excuses. Eye opener. Thanks, Sarah Mae. xo

  • http://myhometableau.com/ Johanna Hanson

    Oh, I needed to hear this this morning. I definitely tend to give excuses and fail to follow through on things. Thanks for a great reminder. Like you said it isn’t about being like a particular person, but about finding what our own calling is and then being committed to it and professional about it. And it certainly helps to have some good examples to follow!

  • http://www.facebook.com/bethcordi Beth Cordi

    I definitely needed to hear this today (and a reminder every morning, probably). I guess I need to work on that “homework” from you and stop getting so sidetracked by the 1,000,000 other things that tempt me. :)

  • http://www.toodarnhappy.com/ Kim Hall

    I am in the midst of reading Tommy Newberry’s book, Success is not an Accident.

    Two phrases from the book continue to resonate with me:
    Feelers take initiative only when they feel like it, and decision making is wired to your short term emotional appetite.
    Doers act their way into feeling, and continue to stay focused on long term goals.

    The Doer, to me, describes perfectly the professional you describe, and it is definitely my newer, better model for living.

    • http://cherionethingivelearned.blogspot.com/ Cheri Gregory

      Great quotes! Sounds like a book I need to grab.

      Today, thanks to this post, as I worked my way through my afternoon schedule, I did what I’d pre-decided to do…without wondering if I “felt like it.”

      Amazing how much easier it was to dive into each task without going thru an internal debate first!

  • http://www.moretobe.com/ Elisa Pulliam

    I have three main verses that continue to guide me back to center…calling…purpose…and professionalism:

    1. To live as a servant of the gospel by the gift of God’s grace (Eph 3:7)
    2. To be a woman who teaches, trains, and loves (Titus 2:3-5)
    3. To be a mom and wife who laughs at the days to come and whose family calls her blessed (Prov 3:1)

    And I have settled on a mindset of serving family first, from that overflow my in-real-life community, and from that overflow the world beyond (literally extending beyond my community/town outward and online). When I stack things in this order, it seems to work best.

    My gifts lie in casting vision, creating things, and working in my passions without limits, which by default means I’m not a gal who likes follow through, mundane, or perseverance. It makes the calling of motherhood a challenge, but if I apply the above verses and principles, I can fall into repentance quickly and get “centered” again.

    I’ve also found that I can’t do this alone. I need the accountability of my husband, who really acts like my life coach (long before I became a life coach and taught him all the principles). For the last year, I have also been blessed with a team of women that serve as my ministry advisers and a few close friends willing to deal me the truth when my vision side wields out of control or my give up side takes over. This accountability has been huge, and they should get the credit for how God has worked through them to keep More to Be going when I would have given up.

  • http://gracefulabandon.blogspot.com Lisa Grace

    Too true. Thank you for sharing this reminder. I had never really connected integrity and professionalism like this before.

  • DebbieJTaylor

    Wow. That’s really startling – in the sense that Ann seems so real and tangible, and yet she works so professionally. Wow. THAT is the kind of woman to pattern home & work after – the living out Proverbs 31 and Titus 2. Imperfectly but yet so well… Thanks for writing this today.

  • Janelle

    I can’t wait for your book!

  • willowandlaylasmom

    I am truly amazed by women such as Ann and Sally. I’m surrounded by such women each day as well…

  • http://www.facebook.com/renee.c.parris Renee Crawford Parris

    Love this post. That professionalism separates the doers from the dreamers. I needed that today.

    • http://twitter.com/seamstostreams Amy H. Walker

      This is so (painfully) well put…I’m ready to step out of my dreamworld!!!!!!!

  • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

    I may not be a woman, but I DO work in an Emergency Room. Being able to juggle work and family (without stealing time from either) is no easy feat. But that pales in comparison to being able to get anything done in an Emergency Room–that is a testament to her focus and resilience. It’s not exactly the most peaceful environment. Mrs. Voskamp is most definitely a professional.

  • Angie

    There are a lot of things I don’t know and few that I do…and one thing that I DO know is that I AM a professional. I am a singer. So, when I walk into a situation where I have to sing or I am fully confident and I am absolutely dependable…bankable…a professional. I’m not a huge Lady Gaga fan, but I heard her in an interview once say, “I’m a closer.” And I LOVED that, because in my singing efforts, I close it out, I do the deal and I get the job done. But I AM NOT a professional when it comes to my home. I am still learning how to do this “homemaker” thing. I so desire to be good at it, but I’m just not yet. I am a total type B personality and have a very artistic temperament, so sticking to a daily schedule is like pulling teeth for me. However, I believe that God is working on me daily to help me be as confident and professional at home as I am on stage, singing. :)

    • kris scorza.sobieski

      angie…thank you for sharing. i’ve used the word finisher to describe what i want to be, but closer feels even stronger. and is the prod i need in an area i want to glorify god in–each day a little more than my yesterday efforts.

    • Sarah at 2dogsandapushchair

      I do my singing while i ‘do’ the house, till my two year old tells me to stop and sing her rhymes instead! (Mummy! Don’t do that, do mine?!) I’m quite like you describe, and had to introduce one thing at a time, one per month, till I got there. This was how:
      http://www.flylady.net – free, honest, simple. People who really want to change really do with this way. And in her words “housework done incorrectly still blesses your family”. I had to ditch the perfectionism, but could keep the professionallism – cause my family deserve that. Readng this post has reminded me that my family still deserve the the professional, all warm and realistic.Doing what I said I would, because I know I can.

  • http://bohemianbowmans.com/ Jessica

    Ooooh, that’s good.

  • http://twitter.com/seamstostreams Amy H. Walker

    Wow. This is a much needed prick. Combined with something else that came across my path about the emotions and the will…a lesson I ever need to relearn…which shall I let rule me? Will I align my will with truth? Thank you for putting this out there. I have a feeling this is THE FINAL WORD that will make me bite the bullet and do what I need to do…long story there but thank you.

  • http://www.smallishblog.com/ Evelyn Rennich

    I often think of a “professional” as someone who has it all figured out in a certain area, which is why I wince a little bit at the idea of me being a professional wife or mother. I don’t have it all figured out and never will.

    What a great reminder, then, that maybe professionalism is what I do consistently. If my main jobs are to support my husband and raise my kids, may I strive for excellence and consistency in those areas. And may the result be that I am walking worthy of my calling, Eph. 4:1-style!

    Thanks for this wonderful post!

  • Belinda

    Great post. Something to think about – something to share with my teens as they develop their sense of professionalism. Thanks.

  • Jen V.

    I need to work on bringing professionalism to my home and my parenting. It’s easy to not do things somehow when it’s in my own home. Perhaps I need to value my agenda and goals at home more than I do. I don’t like letting other people down and will do all I can to keep my word to others, but I often let myself slack off when it comes to things for me or my family. Definitely some pondering to do and changes to be made!

  • Beth WIlliams

    I want to be and am a woman of integrity. I strive daily to be on time or even early to work and stay late, I do what needs doing–what I’m good at.
    At home I strive to be a loving, caring helpful wife. I do little things to make my husband’s life easier.
    Throughout life, in general, my main goal is to be a woman of my word. If I say I’ll do something or be somewhere at a certain time I do my utmost to be there. If circumstances prevent me then I let people know.
    I am a Christian who prides herself on keeping her word!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=686442200 Kristine McGuire

    This is good, challenging. Thank you.

  • http://denisejhughes.com/ Denise J. Hughes

    I love this post. It reminds me of the verse in James 1:22 that says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” I want to be a doer, not merely a hearer. I want to be a person who follows through, and your story of Ann here is beautiful. Thank you.