I’m writing today’s post in the mood of being encouraging. Let’s see how it comes out.
Recently, hubs and I were watching a show and one of the characters reminded another to remember that at the end of the day, it’s just a job. I’m sure you’ve all heard this phrase. In fact, you may have even said it. I’m sure I have.
As you know, I am a stay-at-home mom. This means my “job” is 24/7 and it really isn’t just a job. It’s work, pure and simple, but rewarding work. Sometimes I feel like I’m riding an emotional roller-coaster throughout the day. My boys can go from sweet and loving to very challenging in a heartbeat. I’m sure this is true for all parents (and if it hasn’t happened to you yet, just wait.) The other truth is that it can also go the other way from pull your hair out to cuddles and kisses in a heartbeat. Children can be unpredictable and that is one of the amazing things about them.
My” job” somehow requires me to be so much more than I ever thought I could be. It pushes and pulls me in all sorts of directions. I am challenged to rise to new heights all the time. And there are certainly times I fall to lower lows than I ever thought I could. The other thing about my “job” is that it is much more than looking after children. It involves managing a household -meaning grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, keeping a budget and a whole other assortment of mundane little tasks. Plus, during all of this I try to instill in my children a sense of awe for their Creator, recognition that they are well-loved, a desire to grow in wisdom and knowledge and an overall sense of peace and well-being.
What I do is more than a job. It is a calling. It is what I was made for. Every time I recognize this I get a little more strength to make it through the rough moments. Breaking up my routine for fun and laughter helps me remember that even the little things can be big things. When I spend time focusing on Who enabled me to do this job I see that I am more than able and am not limited. There is no list of to-dos that is too-great for me. I am blessed, fortunate, happy and to be envied.
The thing is that some of you do work -just a job. Some of you love what you do. Some of you hate what you do. Either way, it is a source of financial income for your household and you do it to provide for your family and maintain a lifestyle. I use to work one of these types of jobs. I’ve worked in food, retail (home-goods and clothing), office work and for a church. Some of these jobs I loved or loved for a while and some of them I did just because I needed to work. In some I had purpose. In some, I just wanted to run for the hills. But, the real part of life is your family. Big or small the people are what matters. Investing in the people in your life is what makes life real. And when we put income ahead of people we miss out. When the goal is to have all the “toys”, we find we don’t have time to play with them. And eventually we find that this “job” is consuming us. When we are home all we can think about is that project, or assignment or customer from earlier in the day. Even if it’s a good thing, if it is stealing from your family time and focus, then I ask you to ask yourself if it’s worth it.
That’s all good and well you might say to me, but I am too invested in this job. It’s already consuming me and at this point in my life I have no way out. I would like to contend that you do have a way out. Instead of saying “Remember, at the end of the day, it’s just a job.” try saying something similar as you start your day “As you begin your day remember that it’s just a job.” Remembering as you fall into bed completely exhausted at the end of the night having been completely consumed (at least in your mind) with your job is too late. Starting your day remembering it may just help you be focused on what really matters in life. It might give you some extra energy to finish up at “the office” so you can be free when you get home. When you are at work, then be at work. And when you are with your family, then BE with your family. All I can say is that if you are feeling overwhelmed with the things in life that aren’t the important thing then maybe a little mind change might be just what you need for a fresh day. Maybe saying those few little words at the right time of day might make all the difference. I hope so. It certainly can’t hurt, can it?
I can tell I had a rough night last night because of the way my arms feel this morning. Achy…tired…and sore. Today I wanted to wakeup joyful and happy. I wanted to know that it was going to be a good day. Mr. Yummy wanted to wake up around 5:30AM. To be truthful I am a morning person and early wake-ups are not usually a problem for me…except when I’ve had a rough night. And so today I began my day complaining about how I didn’t want to wake up complaining. Oxy-moron I know.
There are many mornings that I have to remind my little early riser that today is the day that the Lord has made and we will rejoice and be glad in it. Apparently, I needed to remind myself of that this morning. I was determined not to fall into that complaining rut for long. Pick yourself up by the bootstraps they say. And so I did. I turned to a friend for some words of advice and found this morning’s illusive joy!
I chose to hold back words of anger and frustration and replaced them with words of peace and joy. Those angry words drifted away. My mind has been renewed. Yummy and I ate some living food and are celebrating that this is the day that the Lord has made.
Now I am looking on my day with wonder and excitement. What does my Father have to show me today? What can I see if I open my two eyes wide and what can I hear if I listen for the whisper?
Certainly I have a pile of diapers sitting in the clothes basket waiting to be put away. Be assured that I have several more loads of dirty laundry that are calling my name. Without a doubt the dishwasher is full of clean dishes waiting to be emptied and reloaded. Don’t even imagine that there aren’t toys to be put away, floors that need to be vacuumed and scrubbed, toilets that need cleaning or weight that needs to be lost. The thing is that all these things amount to a pile of beans compared to what else awaits me. A somewhat elusive smile that peeks out of a little boy because Mommy cheers him on as he builds his tallest tower yet. A deep chuckle coming from the belly of another boy who is just learning to make his way around the room. A butterfly that is still hanging about even though the days have begun to cool just a tad. And more than anything else the words that will give me strength and encouragement as I navigate this day. Words from one who loves me more than I can imagine. My Father is full of surprises and I am ready to be delighted by what I will find.
Don’t forget that every once in a while you need to start again. It’s okay to have a do-over. May you find today that a routine filled with the aroma of love is all you need to take another step closer to all that He holds for you!