On Tuesdays I join with Emily and others at Chatting in the Sky and take time to notice something small we might have overlooked in the everyday and "unwrap the gift" that it is.
Maybe this isn't so small. But it is everyday. And I don't always think about it. Cause when things are everyday, we forget to think about them. But...I like my job. I really like it.
Two and a half years ago life looked different for me. Maybe not on the outside--married, two kids, same house, same faith, same neighbors. But my everyday looked different. My inside was different. I was four years into my own home business in direct sales. I won't slam direct sales--it can be profitable and is very flexible. It was a great option for me when I still had a little guy at home. And I loved it--great company, great people, great incentives. I won trips. I got lots of prizes. I got recognition. I got paid. I sought to honor God in my business, and got many opportunities to share Him with my customers. He was blessing my efforts. BUT, if I'm being honest, it consumed me. This is completely due to my overachiever, driven personality. Some are able to handle the achievements and still maintain a well-balanced life. I wasn't able to. I couldn't turn it off. I always wanted to do better and it was always there--always more I could be doing. I made my own hours, but I made a lot of them.
And I forgot how to relax. And I didn't spend much time being a friend. Or sleeping.
Sometime around January 07 I had a sense that something else was coming soon in my life. I had no idea what, but I prayed it wouldn't mean I had to give up my business... Then one day in April it came. It was a different job. The Children's Ministry's Director position was open at my church. It had been open for several months--with a dear friend serving as interim director. I knew I was not the one for the job for SO many reasons and told those who thought I should apply exactly that for months. Yes, I had a MA in Educational Ministries--but I always pictured myself with college students (did that for many years) or with high schoolers (did that for many years too) but not ministering to kids (other than my own, of course). Sure I loved kids, and loved VBS and had lots of ideas about Sunday School and church ministry--but I didn't want to be on church staff or in charge of the whole deal. It wasn't me. I mean, Children's Ministry Directors had sweet voices, kind smiles and wore denim jumpers with animals applique'd on, right? (no offense if you wear those--but that is not me!) Surely I wasn't the one.
Yet, I love God. And I want to live my life the way He wants me to. And I've told him that and asked Him to lead me. He did. The short version (I know you are wondering if I EVER have a short version, huh? I'm nothing if I'm not wordy.) is that in about a 8 hour time frame I went from telling my pastor that I wasn't the one for the job--thank you very much--to thinking maybe I was. God completely changed my heart.
It was nothing short of a miracle, folks.
It was like the fog cleared and I knew what I was supposed to do and I got all excited. We are talking heart-beating-super-fast excited. My hubby (when the initial shock wore off) felt really good about it too. Because I need all sorts of reassurance, I asked God to make it absolutely clear to me--and in another only-God-could-do-it moment on a women's retreat shortly thereafter He did. So I asked God to help me be obedient, and to help me be willing to give up my business (in a rare moment of clear-thinking I KNEW I couldn't do both jobs). I asked him to take away the pain of letting the business go.
I never felt any pain. There were some bittersweet moments, but the joy of knowing I was doing what God asked me to do outweighed any difficulties in letting go.
So, you see, I am as surprised as anyone that I like my job. But I have had no regrets. I love the great kids at our church. I love partnering with their parents to help them grow in their faith. I love leading volunteers. I love being a part of the bigger picture of our church's ministry. I love that I get to be the philosophical, theoretical me as I set direction for our programs and I love that I also get to be the hands on me--making vbs decorations, teaching baptism class, hugging preschoolers. And guess what folks? I don't even wear a denim jumper--apparently that is not required!
AND, I love the people I work with. We are in a transition time at our church--our pastor of 14 years felt God calling Him somewhere else--and we have been 7 months without him as we look for a new pastor. This could be a really hard time--working on a staff without our leader. And in some ways it has been. But the folks I work with are muy fabuloso. We work together well. We collaborate and support each other. We let each other have our grumpy days. We put up with each other. We tease each other. We laugh a LOT. We challenge each other. We point each other to Christ (most days, anyway). I love each one of them. And did I tell you that I work with my sister?? How cool is that??
Here is a picture of our church staff--we took it as a goodbye present for our pastor. It's supposed to be the rest of us caught red-handed ransacking his office. (that speaks volumes, huh?)
Aren't we just the funny bunch?
I like my job. I actually love my job. And that's nothing to take for granted. Can it be tedious at times? Absolutely. Are there frustrating moments? Of course. What job or ministry doesn't have those?
Yeah, this is everyday. But it's not small. I'm thankful for the gift of liking my job. I'm so glad I unwrapped it today.