Saturday, June 26, 2010

What's in a job?

Are jobs strictly the 9-5 (or more than likely 7-7,) makes money, has benefits, something to put on a resume to make me look great to prospective future jobs, commit my life to for better or worse, things that we do to fill our lives with purpose and meaning?  Sadly, most people I talk to think of their job as a necessary evil, and yet treat it like all of those other things.

I have multiple jobs, very few of them pay me in the monetary sense of the word, and most of them make me very happy.  Do I have days where I wish that I had the 9-5, get out of the house and make something of myself kind of job?  Of course.  But I would have to give up so many other jobs to have that, and it doesn't seem like a fair trade.  My full-time, non-stop, best job ever is Wife to the Best Husband on Earth.  This includes the sub-titles of Dog Mom, Future Mom of Baby Johnsons, Housekeeper, Gardener, Chef, Seamstress, Maid, Handylady, Laundress, Plumber, and many other waiting to be discovered talents.  I get paid in kisses, and thank yous, and sometimes chores done by him rather than me (those are the best!)  There are times when I do this job well, and times when I am horribly neglectful, but always I get to keep trying.  And on the days I can't try anymore, I get the day off with no consequences.

I am also Family Caretaker.  This includes baby sitting, taking folks to the doctor, shopping with people because that's their love language, being sous-chef for all family dinners, running errands all over town, and harassing people on FB ('cause harassment is their love language.)  This job is hard because there is part of me that wants to leave and cleave (sometimes to Antarctica) and there is part of me that loves these people and wants to care for their needs like I have for almost 30 years.  OK, well, I can't take credit for the first 5-10 years, it was a pretty one sided, my benefit relationship.  I knew that once I got married that the Wife job would supersede the Family Caretaker job, but I didn't know how hard it would be to find the balance that doesn't exhaust and/or exasperate me.

Then there is the Crazy Person who Loves Crazy High School Girls.  These girls are my heart!  I hurt when they hurt, and their triumphs are my greatest joy.  I am so proud of the women I see them becoming, and I can't help but love them.  This is sometimes frustrating, sometimes exhausting, always rewarding work.  It could be just 2 days a week for a couple hours a day, but sometimes turns into every day, lots of texts (thank God for unlimited texting!) or phone calls, or walks through the zoo, or smoothies and hard questions.  I totally stumbled into this job, and yet God has richly blessed my heart through the beautiful, spastic, talented, emotional, loving creatures that He put in my life!

There is a job I do that makes money.  It isn't consistent, most people wouldn't say that it qualifies as a job, and it definitely doesn't qualify as a job that a lady should be doing. Of course there was a time when the only acceptable jobs that ladies should be doing was nursing or teaching.  And then there was a time in our country when the women had to step up, provide for their children, and take the place of the men who were at war.  They did things that no one thought they could do, and our country survived through the determination of women willing to do whatever needed to be done.  Thankfully, history has taught us that we are stronger than we give ourselves credit for, and capable of doing anything we set our minds and hearts to.

Finally there is the most unknown, misunderstood, unapprecaited job that makes my heart smile almost every day.  This job doesn't have a title, set hours, or anyone I answer to.  It can look like recycling, or watering plants, or asking people how I can pray, or taking care of snacks for preschoolers so that the man who usually does this can get radiation treatments without worry.  It has an infinite number of functions, and it means so much to be able to do it. It's called church, and I love it!

I had a friend say to us the other day "Maybe God is preparing you guys for ministry."  My response, though it sounds so cheesy, was truly from my heart without hesitation, thought, or question.  "We are in ministry, every day, we just don't get paid for it."  I knew what he meant, and it's a possibility.  Though I still can't see how where my paycheck comes from is a determining factor of whether I'm in ministry or not.  I think it all comes back to what is my job, and am I doing it with joy in my heart to the glory of God?

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Do you ever find yourself saying "Some day...." on a regular basis, and then get annoyed with your own wistfulness? I noticed lately that all of the things on my Some Day List are things that people in my life have that I don't, or things that I think I need to accomplish in order to be good enough, smart enough, and get people to like me. And of course, the things I need to accomplish are totally arbitrary things based on what I think will make me who I think I need to be. But, alas, the problem with my Some Day List is that most of things on the list are not things I can accomplish on my own, or even if I can accomplish them I can't accomplish them in the time I am allotting for myself to accomplish them.

In the mean time, my Surviving Today List always supersedes my Some Day List, thus making the Some Day List feel more and more impossible. Impossible? For shame! Nothing is impossible with God! But maybe some things are not likely since they are not within His holy plan to sanctify me. So how do I know what things on the Some Day List are good things that I should strive for, and what things are good things that I should not worry about because they might not be part of the Future For Sure List? And even, more importantly, what things should be moved from my Surviving Today List to the Some Day List, and the other way around as well, so that the lists truly reflect what is important?

I think the main part of my whole dilemma is that I am not very good at trusting that God really does know the plans He has for me. It's rarely a conscious thought, but sometimes there is a little part of me that wonders if He knows what's going on. Of course He does, my logical Bible believing brain says, but my illogical fearful heart still quivers like a chihuahua. They are plans that give me a future and hope, for my good and His glory, even if they don't make sense or fit on any of my lists.

In the end the Future For Sure List is the most important, most neglected, most out of my control list that I have. The Some Day List is overwhelming with it's unachievableness, yet to some extent I need to pay attention to it so that I am not just stuck in the rut of today. The Surviving Today List is oft forgotten, neglected, and sadly mundane, which is true of everyday life in general I think.

I think the most important question though, is why do women feel the need to make lists?! Oh Lord save me from my list-full-ness!