We spent our Labor Day at Chuck E. Cheese. Well, not the whole day. We were actually only there for about an hour. But, be honest, parents, doesn’t one hour feel a little bit like a whole day when you’re in Chuck E. Cheese? The kids played up all their tokens, claimed their tiny prizes, and we walked out into the blazing 102 degree Texas afternoon.
The whole drive home all I could think about was all the work that I needed to do. I needed to clean, to do laundry, to make dinner, to bathe three kids, to hand out vitamins and brush lots of little teeth. I needed to go through all of the bedtime routines: closing closet doors, getting blankets arranged just right, finding the special stuffed animals, prayers, and kisses. I needed to write something for my blog. I needed to text some friends and check on them. I needed to clean up the kitchen after dinner, spend time with my husband, and lay out the kids’ clothes for tomorrow. I was going through all of these jobs that I needed to do (some more enjoyable than others), and to tell the truth all I really wanted to do was take a nap.
I sat in the passenger seat, half asleep, chuckling to myself about the supposed labor-free Labor Day and all of the here-we-go-again work that awaited me at home. And then this verse came to me: Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. (Psalm 127:1) Now, ninety-seven percent of the work that I do in a given day is identical to what I did yesterday and what I will do tomorrow. And, it’s easy, especially when I need a nap, to start thinking of my day as just a series of pointless jobs that almost immediately need to be re-done. There are days when I feel like I am constantly working at accomplishing nothing much at all.
But, God has called me to this work. He built this family. And there is purpose in what I do, even in the flossing of little teeth (which is one of my least favorite jobs). Not just because it will help the kids not to get cavities, but because nothing that I do is wasted effort, not if God is in it.
Tonight when most of the day’s work was done, I bathed the kids, and Emerald had a brand new princess nightgown to wear, so she asked for a hair bow to wear to bed with it. Sometimes I wish she would stay two forever. I tucked the kids into bed and sat down here to write.
And here, too, on this blog, I wonder if God is building a house that I am rightly laboring in. I wonder if I am right in thinking that He has called me to this. Yet, I think I can see Him working here.
And, so I labor on.
And, I will start a new day tomorrow, filled with all the same jobs that I did today, and I will begin it believing that I won’t labor in vain. Because God can move in a mother’s day, when she is just being her ordinary self. And He can accomplish His will through a little blog when its writer is unsure. And, He can work through your work today, too. Because no detail of our lives is out of His notice or reach.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24
It’s not in vain! You are the only blog I had time for this morning before we start out first day of school. Thanks for the encouragement! And an hour with the giant rat feels more like a week! Thank goodness one of my kids is terrified of him, so we don’t have to go there. EVER!
Ha ha ha, Laura! The one time you’re thrilled to see your child terrified! So funny. And, thank you so much for your encouragement! I hope the first day of school goes great!
I am kind of teary reading this. My days of “laboring” for our family have changed much. And my work is often the intangible work of prayer for our adult children. Like you, I labored over those daily tasks that were so repetitive. Now our children our out on their adult-life own and sometimes it is hard to watch the choices being made. Now the struggle is believing in seeds sown and planted and watered. Day after day. And finding purpose and meaning for me beyond the role I had as active mother of children in the home. Like you, I write to encourage moms in this season of life…and sometimes it feels so pointless and I wonder if I am really doing what God has called me to do. But I can’t not, and so I do….if you know what I mean…and I tend the home my husband and I have made and trust to hear and to do according to the calling of God. May the Lord bless you and yours. Your words are an encouragement to me and to our oldest daughter, who is now raising and training up two little boys!
Laura, I often wonder what that will feel like. I love what you wrote here. Thank you so much for your encouragement!
If success in this life is measured by how we have positively affected others, you’ve done it lovely lady.
Robert, when I do write a book, you’re getting one of the very first copies. 🙂
You ARE writing a book, subject by subject, day by day.
May the Lord continue to give you strength and creativity.