"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."--Colossians 3:17 When I was getting ready to graduate from high school, I remembered having big dreams. Finding the cure for cancer. Making a difference in the world. I wanted my life to count. As class valedictorian, my future was full of hope.
Fast forward 25 years. A quarter of a century later, what have I done towards those big dreams? Nothing much. I haven't even gone on to get a Masters degree like most others I know. (I know, there goes my credentials, right?) There have been many times when I wonder if "just" being a mom means anything.
If I look at what I did today, it doesn't seem to amount to much. I helped Jonathan get dressed this morning. I put dinner in the crock pot. I read about the Panama Canal with Matthew. I talked with Janna about her English writing assignment. Oh yeah---and put a load of towels in to wash because that's when I wash towels in our house. Nothing really earth shaking. Definitely no cures for much of anything except for smashed fingers or hurt feelings.
If I let myself think about it too long, despair starts to settle in. What happened? Maybe there's still time to do something big. I'm only halfway through life, right? If I start now, I just might be able to pull something off.
When I find myself starting to think this way, I begin to realize that I have bought in to the world's lie about what is really "important" work. In the world we live in, it's the people who have the power, the talent, the personality, the looks, that really stand head and shoulders above the crowd.
I must confess that I have bought into that lie. For many years I have wrestled with myself, berating myself for not being and doing more. I felt like a failure and a disappointment---to my parents, to my teachers, to myself, and to God.
However, as I read Colossians 3:17, I am beginning to realize something. God is not disappointed at me at all. To Him, it is not the degree that makes one's work valuable. It's not the ability to wow crowds or make a statement. To Him, it really isn't about the work at all. It's about the heart. If I disappoint the Lord in any way, it's making light of what He has given me to do as a homemaker, wife and mother.
Paul tells me that whatever I do---whether it be big or small---I am to do it with thanksgiving to God. So if it means cleaning up the mess one more time, I do it with thanksgiving in my heart that I have little people in my house. If it means breaking up the fight, I do it with thanksgiving because I am blessed with more than one child. If it means washing those dishes, I can do it with gratitude, knowing that I have a houseful of people I love.
What a gift God has given us. To Him, it's not about credentials or doing big things. It's about rejoicing in whatever He gives us to do, whether it's tedious or not. When I seek to honor Him and glorify the name of Jesus, when I look for the hidden blessings to thank Him for in my work, not only is He blessed, but I am as well.