Past the Picket Fence


There was a time when I imagined myself arriving in life and living in a house with a white picket fence. Life would be neat and tidy because my hard efforts would have paid off. Life would be good.

So far, that day has not come. I have been blessed in many ways and I love my house, but life is rarely neat and tidy. Even more importantly, I have realized that a “neat and tidy” life is not the goal. The goal is a life that glorifies God. A life where He shines in the midst of my chaos!

There are two ways that God can be glorified in my life and in my leadership. First, by trusting Him in the midst of circumstances that feel out of control and letting Him be in charge. Second, when I am willing to obey and do the things He has called me to do even though they are terrifying. Neither one is easy! The first often requires much waiting which I am not very good at. The second requires risk, which is not my favorite.

For God to be glorified in your life, and in your leadership, you have to come to the end of you. If you are able to achieve things because of your fantastic abilities, there is no room for God to shine. It is all about you. If you play it safe and rarely step out of your comfort zone, how can God do the impossible?

God created you for a purpose. He longs for you to make a difference in this world. He is calling you to do immense things, things that will keep you up at night, so that He can be revealed to those around you in all His glory. The things He calls you to are outside of your norm. It will require that you allow Him to stretch and grow you and make up for your lack. He loves it when we are in that place!

Leading life well is about leading life God’s way. Here are some suggestions to get you moving in that direction:

1. Read God’s Word

Take time to digest it, meditate on it and walk in it! He is clear about what your life should look like when He is the one in charge.

2. Stop Rushing

When you read the Bible, you can’t miss how adamant God is about obedience. To be obedient, you must first slow down and listen to what He is telling you to do. He whispers. He waits for you to comply. If your life is lived at a frantic pace, odds are you will miss His instructions.

3. Be adamant about obedience

When you hear that whisper, you need to quickly obey even if it scares you. Moses comes to mind. His task was a big one: to lead God’s people out of Egypt and bondage and into the Promised Land. He did not feel qualified for such a task. He proceeded to point out to the God of the universe the flaws in His plan. That takes some chutzpah!
The exciting thing about Moses’ story is that, in spite of his intense fear, he faithfully obeyed and enjoyed an intimate relationship with God highlighted by God allowing Moses to catch a glimpse of Him from the back – His face would have been too much!

4. Know who God made you to be

Then know that you can move beyond your natural personality, abilities, talents, gifts and more if God is a part of the equation. If He calls you, He will also equip you!

Don’t fool yourself like I did. There is no picket fence! There will always be chaos & challenges. When they glorify God they are not in vain! Click To Tweet

What was the last big task that God gave you to do? Maybe it seems like a medium-sized task compared to what God asked Moses to do, but the fear feels just as big. What do you need to do to get rolling in the right direction? Do you need to get back in the Word? Do you need to slow down and listen? Are you willing, but lacking direction? How can a coach help you stop being stuck and so that you can start pursuing things that will bring God glory?

Marvae Eikanas

Marvae Eikanas

Marvae Eikanas is an author, entrepreneur, ICF certified coach, Career Direct Consultant, DISC consultant, and HBDI practitioner. She helps her coaching clients sharpen their skills, face their fears, eliminate funky mindsets, hone their habits, and cultivate clarity so they can THRIVE personally and professionally. Schedule a consultation with Marvae here.


  1. Avatar Michele on February 11, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    In the movie “All is Lost” with Robert Redford, he did everything in his power to save his boat and himself. It was only after he had exhausted everything in his power that he gave up. When he stopped trying, a boat came from out of nowhere and rescued him. I am learning to leave room for God and let Him do the miracles. Worrying gets you nowhere.

    • Marvae Marvae on February 11, 2014 at 9:28 pm

      It is an interesting tension between doing my part and leaving space for God to do His. Worrying doesn’t get you were you want to be. Mostly it just stresses us out! Like Robert Redford’s character in the movie you mentioned… sometimes the exhaustion is a tip off to us that we are trying to take over God’s part. 🙂

  2. Avatar April on February 11, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    I get the feeling you are spying on me with the timeliness of your topics! We are in the middle of a big move (as in the movers are loading the truck as I write), and I realize how much I’ve pinned my hopes, perhaps subconsciously, on this next place having the white picket fence. And I remember feeling much the same way when we moved here from the last place. Part of it is the hope that accompanies a fresh start, but you nailed it regarding a “neat & tidy” life not being the goal or expectation. Strip that away after calling it what it is, and I’m left with a new location with new opportunities to serve God and let him shine in the midst of a new chaos! Seriously, have any of us ever met someone even in their 80’s who says that at some point, life ever became neat and tidy?! I guess I was going to be the first. 🙂

    • Marvae Marvae on February 11, 2014 at 9:28 pm

      I am right there with you obviously! 🙂 The good news: realizing your expectations of a “neat and tidy” life is the beginning to shifting your focus! Excited to hear what God has in store for you in your new location!

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