I’m not sure when I developed this mindset.
Maybe from almost the very beginning of me, because I can’t seem to remember any other way.
This drive to always save play for the other side of work has served me well through the years. Years of hours of flute practice, two measures at a time, the same five notes played with perfection five times in a row before lifting them off the page to mingle with the notes that came before. Work, work, work, and finally fingers have mastered mechanics and the heart is free to live the music out-loud. Playing on the other side of work.
This also explains why my kids don’t expect to eat anything before I have a clean kitchen to cook in. Left to myself I would never need to wait. But Lord, what I would have missed these last 23 years without crumbs, floor splotches, dirty dishes, or peanut butter smudges to put my hands to work with. In many ways this sums up a belief system that has not only sustained me but has suffused my life with joy.
Work is a gift.
For those unemployed, work is an opportunity.
For those you serve, work is a responsibility.
For those who’ve hired you or who want your job, work is a proving ground.
And when you dedicate your hands, heart, mind, and soul to what you do and end up with joy at the end of each day. Well, that is a miracle. Which is what my life as wife and mom have been.
The enemy of good isn’t always bad. Sometimes the enemy is a chronic TO DO list. Chronic because it never goes into remission.
Today I could have thrown a party because I accomplished every single one of my errands, with an extra two tacked on to my drive time and was home in two hours. And after carrying a cleaned and boxed wedding gown in, a few bags from Target, some cleaning supplies (heaven help me, it’s time for a bathroom deep cleaning), a large box of thank you cards, and two new cook books, I laid on the floor and multi-tasked a short rest period with paying attention to the dogs in the house.
Now if you’re wired like me you took note of the things I brought in. Those thank you notes I’ve had on my mind the two weeks I’ve been home from my daughter’s wedding. TO DO The cleaning supplies? There’s a benefit to having four bathrooms in this house. The guest bathroom always look great. TO DO The target bags have school supplies (plan the school year TO DO) The new cook books are for moving more towards vegetarian fare at home. TO DO
****forced restart so as to disconnect from the TO DO list****
Did you know I have so much to share with you about this season of life? There are so many joys to share, things to watch for in your own homes, places I wish I had taken the time to call out from because you would have heard me. You would have answered and maybe walked by my side when the TO DO list became so heavy that my heart forgot it could sing while I worked. Today as I sat at the table with various stacks to devote my afternoon to I remembered work is a gift. Gifts are special, to be savored, remembered, and enjoyed. And work is not the only doorway to walk through in order to play. And play is just remembering to enjoy life.
So here I am.
Of course its a season I’ve been in. Moving back from Germany, letting one child go off into the Air Force, sending his sister off into marriage states away. So today, I chose to let the other things wait, because I remembered they will still be stacked (neatly. It is me we’re talking about) on the table when I’m done fellowshipping with you.
I’m so glad I took time to play.
I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil – this is the gift of God. Ecc 3:12