Before I had children I worked in an office. Well, I had lots of little jobs before I had kids, but the one I had just before I had my first son was in an office. It was a clear-cut job: I got up early in the morning, showered, dressed, rushed out the door and fought with the 8:00 traffic to get to my desk by 8:00, or hopefully a few minutes before. I had an inbox and various files; I had computer documents to fill in and phone calls to make. I faxed some things and mailed others. I took a one-hour lunch break and at 5:00 I cleaned up my desk and went home.
Then I had kids. I stopped working outside the home and each day was more full of joy than it ever had been at the office, but it was also a jumbled, confusing, non-structured pile of days. I figured I'd approach life like I had when I worked and just make sure I was ready for each day bright and early. Any mother knows that isn't as simple as it sounds.
Four kids, a home business, homeschooling and internet access have really complicated matters. I'm doing good to be dressed and ready for the day at any point during my day. If I'm ready first thing it's a huge accomplishment. If my home is clean and dinner cooked, I've really mastered the day. If it's a mess and we eat take-out - well, at least we've eaten something and have clothes to wear. And speaking of, let's not even get into the laundry situation.
What's my point here? We moms are all in this together. We all struggle to get it all done and frankly, I don't know a single one who does. It's a busy time of life and perfection isn't a realistic goal.
However. Did you know that my name means "industrious"? It does. I've always felt completely unworthy of having that meaning attached to my name. I'm so not industrious. I have always had problems with time management. In fact, I remember having two books when I was a little girl about time and money management. They absolutely intrigued me. Making schedules and budgets - ooooh, so fun! Doing them though? Not so much.
Which brings me to the point. I think. I am reading through Genesis right now and boy did I see some things in a fresh light! Let's go to Genesis 2 and look at a few verses that you've read a bunch of times. We're in a place where we're learning about creation.
5 and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground
WOAH, NELLIE! I am seeing two things here. First, the systems of earth weren't ready to support plant life yet, and second, there wasn't anyone to work it. How many of God's blessings am I missing out on in my life because I'm not ready and I'm not willing to work? A major theme at my Grandma's funeral on Monday was her hospitality. My Grandma was just amazing at it. Every one of us grandkids has such good memories of being in her home - our friends were just as welcome as we were, and they opened their lovely home to us hundreds of times over the years. Being hospitable is a big goal of mine, but am I doing my part? My home isn't ready. I always have to do substantial cleaning before we have a party. Maybe if I'd work the way God has called me to, His gifts could play out in a bigger way in my life (and thus create a ministry that I am currently unable to carry out!).
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
Ok, we skipped a few verses so maybe we're thinking that this is after they ate the apple and got in trouble and now they have to work. Mmm, no. Because after they got busted, they had to leave the Garden of Eden. Here's the thing: they were put in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. It was their purpose in life! When it really boils down, isn't that my purpose too? To take care of my husband, my children, my home, the people God places in my life? Right now, my work isn't in an office, but that doesn't mean that I shouldn't be taking it seriously. How effective a mother am I if I'm still in pajamas at noon? Should a friend call at 10 and ask if we'd like to go to the park, the answer is no because I'm not ready.
Let's go back a little bit, to 2:3b
he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
My husband works hard all day, and then he comes home and works hard. He does not eat the bread of idleness. At night though, when the work is done and it's time to relax, he relaxes hard. He sits quietly and watches a movie or talks with me and then he crawls into bed and falls asleep in less than a minute. He does not, like me, need to lie in bed reading until he cannot read any more. He isn't anxious or jittery, he's tired. He's genuinely tired from working hard all day long. I think that these two thoughts are very closely related. If I spend my day working hard, two things happen: I complete my tasks, which relieves anxiety, and I'm physically weary. Working hard + tasks completed = real rest.