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?

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