When You Wonder If Your Work Matters
The kitchen mat underneath my feet at the sink does little to comfort the ache that shoots through my arches, and throbs in the balls of my heels. It’s made for people who stand a lot, which most definitely qualifies me for the purchase. I do stand for most of the day, sometimes at the sink, and other times in the school room. Sometimes it’s in front of the washer and dryer, or beside the couch, with my arms full of warm, clean clothing that I’m folding.
My work today, includes preparing two meals from scratch and cleaning the kitchen twice, once after each subsequent meal. Tomorrow, they’ll be just as much work, and I’ll give the mat another testing to see if it helps. I admit, my expectations at this moment, are low.
The sink is most often my thinking spot, with the shhh of running providing adequate white noise. I wring my soapy hands, as I consider how to outline my work.
This is not a new debate for me. In my struggle to outline what it is I specifically do, I wonder if my work matters. Doesn’t it need a title or label to count? The various titles for women who work in and around the house are all fine and good, but for whatever reason, I just can’t latch on to such industrial sounding terms as, “domestic engineer”. I resist the acronym, SAHM (stay at home mom) because I am other things, in addition to “mom”.
Besides the housewifery and homeschooling, I also write, though most of the time, don’t get paid for it. I’m only recently able to, (without choking it out), call said writing, my work. That is my own baggage, though–a story for another day.
I’ve struggled to believe that without a proper name and a steady paycheck, my work still matters.
As I’ve come a short distance in navigating this thought, I fall back on the Word, which tells me that whatever I do, whatever my work looks like matters, not because of it’s substantive value, but because I matter to God, and I was made for good work.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 ESV
Whether I manage to find a comfortable title that fits my hybrid life of mothering, teaching, writing and ministry, or I don’t, doesn’t diminish what I do in God’s eyes. He SEES me, be it at the sink with my throbbing feet, or scrambling to scratch words down at my desk before sunrise.
I work because it brings me pleasure to do so, and because He’s called me to it. It matters for the same reasons. Work though I sometimes curse it, is a gift–an invitation to co-labor along side God, an opportunity to create and serve as a representative of a Kingdom bigger than this tiny spec in the universe. (1 Corinthians 3:9)
In working I find communion. The inevitable tension that comes with juggling numerous balls of varying weight, serves only to stretch me further in my understanding of just how much my work actually matters.
Your work matters to God because you matter to Him. Titles and paychecks don’t determine our worth in His eyes. He values our efforts because He made us in His own image.
I spray the last of the macaroni scrapings down the drain and leave the useless mat in search of my supportive shoes. My work today has been about feeding people, in both belly and brains. We have a history lesson to finish and another meal to make before sundown. Maybe, in between, I’ll manage to write something.
Sharing this post in community with the High Calling, (in response to the prompt, Your Work Matters to God)