“Servants, respectfully obey your earthly masters but always with an eye to obeying the real master, Christ. Don’t just do what you have to do to get by, but work heartily, as Christ’s servants doing what God wants you to do. And work with a smile on your face, always keeping in mind that no matter who happens to be giving the orders, you’re really serving God.” Ephesians 6:5-7 (The Message)
I have been talking about the many blessings God has given me as a result of the two trips I took to California this summer. This morning, approximately one week since I’ve been home from the second trip, I realized another blessing He gave. He has allowed me to reclaim my rightful title in this world. I didn’t realize it but subconsciously over the years my title had changed from wife/mother and then employee to employee and then wife/mother. It happened subtly over the years so I didn’t notice it but this summer, with the opportunity to truly relax two separate times, I realized what I want and that is to be wife/mother who helps supplement the household income instead of a working woman with a husband and children. I realized that it is possible to give my best to both “worlds” while keeping my priorities in their proper place.
The best part? I have two bosses who encourage that. Both of the men I work for are not just men who have a strong faith they live out every day, but very family oriented themselves. What a blessing! I realized my subtle shift began with my previous job as a medical transcriptionist. I’ve always been somewhat of a perfectionist and had the rule that I had to have all my work done before I could play. With that line of work, there are strict turnaround times – which means from the time the work came in until it had to be turned in to my boss, I had anywhere from 12 to 24 hours. And it’s a feast or famine type job – meaning I could go a day or so without any work showing up and then all of a sudden having six to nine hours of work waiting for me. It worked well for the ten years I did it, but it shifted my focus to always being on the clock, waiting, watching and making sure I got it completed no matter the day, hour, or sometimes even holiday.
However, God gave me two weeks this summer to reprogram and let the kind words of my new employers sink in. While the jobs I hold now are still important positions with deadlines, the deadlines aren’t as strict. I have the luxury now of stopping at a decent hour most days and spending the evening being the wife and mom, picking back up the next morning. Less stress…less demands…but yet still important assignments that I look forward to completing, still with the intent of wanting to do my best. In fact, because my priorities are back in the rightful place, I actually want to work harder and more efficiently to show appreciation to my bosses for allowing me the luxury of providing value to their companies while keeping my priorities in line with God’s word.
I find that while I have to work in this season of my life, I actually enjoy fulfilling the roles God put me in. I’m also learning the joy of stopping for an hour to take the kids swimming during the summer, working a little less on my children’s birthday, and having the luxury of teaching my kids important life skills because even though the work is still waiting for me, the stress of it waiting is gone.
I’m not saying anything derogatory about my old boss or my old job. I’m the one who subtly allowed that job title to claim top position in my life. I’m just thankful that God convicted me without condemnation that there is a better way and He wanted that for me…for our family.
I never thought I would be someone who said she looked forward to working and was blessed with the careers that God allowed her to have, but I can honestly say I am. I look forward to making a difference in the two companies I’m blessed to work for…because at the end of a productive day, I know that my true calling is waiting and encouraged by those I serve in the workforce.
© Cheri Swalwell 2015