Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,
as working for God, not for human masters.
Many of the conversations I have had with women lately have been about how we spend our time. It is probably no surprise that most of the women I have time to have lunch with or walk with are not working at the moment either. If they are, they are working part-time. But let me tell you what some of these women do when they are ‘not working’.
One is homeschooling two children, aged 10 and 11, coordinating and leading worship at her church, and working as administrative support to its two pastors, one of which is her husband.
Another is teaching Pilates, leading Bible study, coordinating a MOPS group, working part-time at her daughter’s new business, maintaining two residences, and supporting her husband who is a physician.
Then there is the gal who is on a board that is trying to open a preschool for hearing impaired children, planning for a state-wide women’s conference, traveling with her executive pastor husband, and maintaining several other projects.
And there’s the woman who is helping her daughter and son-in-law relocate with their infant child, coordinating a state-wide event, cheering on three other adult children, and partnering with her executive pastor husband as he travels all over the country.
And guys, they all had time for me.
Each of these women shared a heart to do what God wants and to do it well.
Each of them have set their own needs aside for significant periods of time to care for others: one had a parent with cancer, another had a father-in-law with a degenerative disease that lived in her house for seven years (!), another had a child and husband with cancer — at the same time (!), and another had two children with hearing impairments. Yet none of them complained about the burden, but rather, I am not kidding, rejoiced at the blessings that God had provided in their circumstances. They smiled as they shared their stories.
Pretty humbling, right?
Yet, just as humbling is the mother I was to meet with today. She has been raising three daughters for the last umpteen years, just started a part-time job, and is home today with the youngest who is sick. She is setting aside our time to walk and talk together, so that she can attend to her first calling — loving that little girl.
It’s not glamorous most of the time, is it? We clean up messes, kiss away hurts, wipe tears and noses. We shop for the exact see-through divided folder that every student has to have. We scurry to soccer practice in the rain, and then wash the muddy uniform after. We hold a ponytail while a little girl throws up in the toilet. We bake a batch of cupcakes at 11 pm, then clean up the kitchen afterward.
But, in those moments, we have to believe that we are doing God’s work. We are sharing His love and patience when our own is gone. Yes, we blow it. We lose our temper; we say the wrong thing. But in those moments, we are provided grace to have another shot at it. We get to witness the power of forgiveness. We get to see first hand how God changes hearts.
Today my day is not glamorous. I’m going to the bank, folding laundry, making dinner. Nothing to write home about. But, if God is my boss, and I’m glad He is, then He knows I can handle this today, and whatever it is He has planned for tomorrow.