I have someone really special to share with you today. She's been with me since day one. We've moved through almost every live stage together. We walked through years where we were the best of friends and years when our maturity levels got the best of us. She's a motivated woman who has always said she will be the first female president and I have no doubt in my mind that she could. She's my sister, Anna, and she's a daughter of Christ, wife to Nick, momma to toddler Jayce, and full-time worker in city government. And she's here to today to talk about the Working Woman...and if you're wondering if that's you, it's all of you...so without further ado, words from my sister.
Colossians 3:23-24 "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart. as working for the Lord and not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."
To many, work means the 9-5; get up, get dressed, go to work, come home, and do it all over again. To me, work means so much more and encompasses so much more. Work is not just the 9-5 job that I was hired for five years ago, it is the 24/7 job that God blessed me with 3 1/2 years ago (my son), and the 24/7 job that God blessed me with 8 years ago (my husband). Sure, the 9-5 one pays the bills, but the all. day. every. day. job is the one that has my focus and heart.
Let me explain what work means to me...and what it means to be a "working woman" in a society that rewards busyness and encourages a "hustle-and-bustle" lifestyle...and how do we create our identity amidst this?
As Colossians 3:23-24 states, "whatever you do, work at it with all your heart.." I find this to be increasingly true in our work. Whether it be your work as an employee, mom, or wife, work at it with all your heart. I know that what keeps me encouraged at my 9-5 job is knowing that I am passionate about what I do, caring towards the people I serve, and hopefully spreading Christ through my every day attitude to residents of the City I serve. Whatever I do at work, I do it with all of my heart. This makes my day not only more enjoyable, but bearable and less of a "required" job, and more of another way to use the resources God has blessed me with. I'm not there to compare myself with what others are able to do, or to to complain about what's on my own plate, or to keep up with the tasks of my co-workers---instead I focus on doing the jobs that is set before me and doing it with all my heart.
"As working for the Lord and not for me." This is one of the most important parts of the verse to me. It is sometimes hard to live in a society that is so materialistic. Sometimes it seems routine to go to work so you can just pay the bills and spend the money. However, I am reminded daily that I work for the Lord and what I do is for the Lord and not for myself or my (or my family's) worldly desires. I choose to work to serve others, which in turn serves the Lord. I choose to work to show my drive and independence to my son, which hopefully instills the same value(s) in him so that he may one day also choose to serve the Lord. I choose to work for the Lord, to serve others, and to show in action what it means to have faith, be graceful, offer forgiveness, and love without condition.
My 9-5 job is not technically in ministry, it is actually in the government sector, but I still use it as a unique experience that God blessed me with to use the talents he gave me to spread his good word to others. I think the nature of my job (government) shows even more that we can use our work environment as an incredible channel for Christ! I try not to get hung up on what the world says my role is as a female in our society. Instead of focusing on the demands of a multi-tasking, money-driven, always seeking to overachieve or "do more" society, I (try to) focus my attention on using my job to serve the Lord. All the other little things will get done, but my priority is in the task that provides the greatest opportunity to serve the Lord.
I don't think there is any wrong or right way to have a family and a work life, whether it be to stay-at-home or work outside the home, no matter what, it is still work. I believe God just asks that whatever work we choose, and however we choose to be a woman in this society, we do it with all of our heart for the glory of his name. I choose to go to a physical workplace every day, and others do not. No matter what the choice, I think as women/mothers/sisters/wives/daughters, we need to show that whatever we choose, we are doing it to serve the Lord.
We are working for the glory of God and His reward. This attitude drives me every day to be a better worker, mother, and wife. I choose not to compare myself with what others are doing, what society says I should do, what my husband is doing, or what I was raised to think was appropriate---I look to the Word and see that whatever I choose to do, I should do it with all of my heart for the glory of God. I think remembering this in every aspect of our "work" (at home, away from home, with family or with co-workers) is a daily reminder of what Christ asks of us as women and workers. When I know that the work I am doing serves the Lord, it helps me to know that my life is balanced and that I am providing a positive example to others of a "working woman."
She's pretty incredible ladies, don't you agree? And we both would love to hear more from you about being a working woman in the comments section or throughout social media. I'll be sharing more thoughts throughout the spring and The Influence Network will be hosting a class tonight all about the Working Woman. Classes are $10.00 and you join along from the comfort of your own home. I'll be listening in and would love to see you there! Tonight's class starts at 8:00pm CST and you can get more information and register here.