Getting to work.

March 5, 2013 § Leave a comment

There has been a lot going on around our camp lately, both life and work-wise.work-in-progress1Image//Edited by ThisChickadee

Sometimes it can feel as if we are simply making circles around our home and lives without really getting anywhere. The hours are spent and somehow the list remains long.  As much as I know that is impossible (time does, in fact, march on and we are, in fact, crossing some things off of our lists), the spinning plates are giving me a headache and I find myself fantasizing about a different life. One with benefits and paid vacation.

You see, my beloved husband and I have our own business. It’s a great one that we are really proud of, but it requires a ton of constant effort and energy. And no set office hours. And while there are so many blessings we are grateful for when it comes to being self-employed, we also sometimes find our days rolling into one another without end. And I think about the grass being greener, get caught up in the “what if” game, and sometimes end up in the dumper because what I do isn’t working for me.

The thing is, we, as a society, put a lot of pressure on what we do.  First of all, we do it to provide for our family.  It takes a level of commitment unlike anything else because there is so much at stake.  Provision, sustenance, financial freedom and flexibility are pretty important. But on the other hand, we also seek meaning and purpose in it and if we don’t find it, something’s missing.

And most days, it’s just plain hard to find the joy. “Joy in working?” you might scoff. “No such thing.”  And it can feel that way.

A few Sundays ago, we had a speaker at church who talked about work [and it’s worth a listen, so go ahead and hear it here]. He offered up this amazing point that has stuck with me:

“When we see our jobs through the lens of faith, we can find joy.  It is not our job’s job to give us the fruits of the spirit.”

That turned the idea of “work” on its head for me.  Turns out, it is up to me to decide how I view it, the attitude with which I approach it. Will it be with gratitude or disdain, appreciation or resentment? For that which I earn a paycheck (sometimes) isn’t meant to BRING me joy by its own design.  However, joy can be FOUND in it if I exercise a few things like love, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. THAT is when joy appears in the work I do, when God is working through me. When I take the time to look around at our provisions, at the man I married who works so hard for us, at the walls around us that offer us safety and comfort, at the customers who truly value the work that we do.

The trick is how we think about it and what we do with it. We get to put our abilities and God-given talents to use.

Even when the To-Do list items are undone, when we’re spinning our wheels and banging our heads against walls, there can be joy. It’s true, we do see our business as a ministry.  Every project we complete, every improvement we make on someone’s home is helping someone live a little easier and trust the integrity of the craftmanship. But on the days when that vision and mission statement are far from my mind, I still seek to be glad that I woke up that morning, next to an incredible partner, and had the limbs, heart, and mind to get to work.

And that is definitely something to be joyful about.

What about you?

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