Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Toil

Adullam has been discussing over the last few months what it looks like to me a missional family. It has been a great series. One of the things that is important to the Adullam community is that we spend our effort and our money on the things God thinks are important. Cool building? Not really on God's heart. A church family who is actively loving the community? A great thing to fund. This attitude carries over into our family life too. This weeks topic (taught on by Matt Smay) was work.

Now, I must say, while he did a great job talking to those who have traditional 9-5 jobs, he did totally leave out about 30%a who don't get paid and work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are mothers. Matt read from Ecclesiastes and Genesis. He talk about the fall of man and how man's work became toil. In Ecclesiastes it talks about no matter how hard you work, you leave it to someone else when you die. You see, God never meant for us to define ourselves by our work. Yes, work is something you have to do and you can do in a God honoring way, but it is just a job.

What if you stopped planning your world around your career? What if you chose to believe that the time you spend developing relationships with others, serving and things like that is actually the important part of you week? Matt did some shocking math. We figure that "we just don't have time" for stuff other than work and sleep, but did you know once you take those two out you still have over %40 of your time free?

Motherhood is a little different. I am on call at all hours and my "work" looks a little different. It takes the form of laundry, sweeping, making beds, picking up, cooking, shopping, and everything else that goes along with being a stay at home mom. But this lesson can still apply in my life. Do I spend my time on things that are on God's heart?

Every day I make choices for how my children and I spend time. Just like I am not off the hook for doing my work, I need to be careful that I don't define myself by it. A clean floor is not more important than snuggle time with a little girl who is having a rough day. Beds made are not God's heart as much as friendships made are. I can choose to prioritise opportunities to serve, both my family and others. I want my children to see in my life that people are more important than things.

And then the hours when the house is quiet. The children are asleep and it is the closest I come to for "free time". Do I park my butt on the couch to watch tv or do I choose to follow God's heart and spend time in good conversation with my husband. Do I surf the net or plan fun activities that will help me get to know other moms in my area? Where is God's heart in my life? No one is exempt from toil, but it was never meant to define you. God, help me be attune to your heart. Let my energy be spent in ways that honor You.

2 comments:

amanda said...

Ha! You even found a Bible passage to justify your messy house!
Nice "work".

noelle said...

I totally agree! I learned a long time ago (when I had 3 babies, 3 and under) that a day spent cuddling all of them was much more productive than a day spent cleaning. The house would be dirty again, but their hearts would never be in that same place again.

I think as mama's to young children that it's easy to see our lives as toil and drudgery, but tending toddlers and helping preschoolers get ready for the big world is a huge ministry.

And the way we spend our time teachers our children about our priorities far more than any talking ever will.