I have this post on my work desk, where I see it often: "Wherever you are, be all there." (Jim Elliot) And I often find myself wondering but what if I CAN'T be all there, no matter how hard I try? I'm here, plugging away at it but my heart isn't in it. Then I remember a friend once told me if you're not happy where you're at, you either have to change where you're at or change your heart.
I cannot change where I'm at. I have to work, in this season of my life, even though I would rather be at home, running the household, keeping everything and everyone in line and on task.
So, I work on changing my heart. I read a blog this morning from (in)courage entitled "When You Feel Like a Failure" and it couldn't have been more timely. I have been feeling like SUCH a failure lately! I'm disorganized, forgetful, moods swings like the temperature changes in Michigan in the spring. After reading, I am challenged to answer this question: what does success look like to me?
Success to me is following God and His will, praising Him, giving Him the glory in everything I do. Success to me is a happy household where everyone's needs are met- meals, clothes on our backs, a roof over our heads. Lots of laughter, quality time, kindness, and understanding are also a part of my recipe for success.
I strongly feel that God's plan for me as a wife and mom is to be home, planning and organizing for our family, able to join my kids at school for functions and to be able to help out in the classroom.
I have been single for over a year now and have had to provide food, shelter, and clothing for the boys and myself. I paid off some serious debt (which felt wonderful!) and have a little more left to pay off. My car is 10+ years old and has needed some pretty significant maintenance and will probably need to be replaced sometime soon. For these reasons, I have had to work.
I've missed school functions, the boys have spent time being cared for by someone other than myself, dinner is later than I'd like, my house isn't as clean as I'd like, and my planning and organizing has severely backslidden, leaving me frustrated and feeling like a failure.
But, you do what you've got to do. And for me, for now, that requires working. So, I need to change my heart. But HOW do I do that? My heart LONGS to be at home. Thinking about continuing to work makes me physically sick to my stomach.
Romans 5:34 says: "More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope"
I am SUFFERING right now. But the Bible tells me that suffering produces these other things- endurance, character, and HOPE. Oh, and what's that? It says we REJOICE in our sufferings... I AM thankful that I am ABLE to work, that my employer is flexible with my hours and pays me well, that it is a fairly low stress job that doesn't overwhelm me, that through this job our needs ARE met.
I cannot make my heart not long to be at home. But I can tell my heart what my head already knows- that this is only for a season- and BELIEVE it and make the best out of it. Because, afterall, I have all the ingredients for my recipe for success, it just might not look the same as I'd like it to... for now...