Raise your hand if you’ve ever been frustrated? A tiny bit angry? A tad on the edge of blowing up? A hair away from a breakdown?
If you answered “yes”- then I’m right there with you. If you answered “no” – well, hats off to you! You must have the patience of a saint!
Labor Day can be, in theory, a day off from regular life. A holiday- from work and the demands of a stressful daily schedule. It’s on every calendar and commercial- it’s the real deal! However, I say “in theory” because in my home, this did not actually happen. I can proudly say that I’m 100% guilty of a completely unrealistic goal to have a stress-free day without the normal chaos of motherhood.
I had hoped for a blissful family day, one where there was helping with the dishes after breakfast, a picnic lunch in the backyard, followed by a final swim in the pool and a movie night!
I know, what on earth was I thinking? ( I do this a lot.)
While my expectations were obviously miles off, my husband’s were not. He had a day off from work and a to-do list to start tackling. That’s what he was excited about! Leaf blowing and a garage pick-up. And that makes perfect sense! When else was he going to do it?
But this is where the tension, frustration and slight anger on my part began…
Just because the post office doesn’t deliver mail, that hot dogs are BOGO, and that you can get couches and refrigerators for 75% off doesn’t guarantee a peaceful day in the home. It was quite the opposite! More people, more snack wrappers, more arguing over the TV remote, more “I thought YOU were watching June…” (I’ve seriously heard that 10 times this morning.) Eek.
Ladies- and gentleman…there IS no such day off for moms.
BUT- there also is no such things as a day off for Love.
And I’m just starting to realize they are intrinsically and eternally connected.
Labor- by definition-
- work hard; make great effort.”they labored from dawn to dusk” Similar:work (hard)toil, slave (away),grind, sweat, struggle Opposite: rest, relax, laze
- have difficulty in doing something despite working hard.
Ahhhh… “to make great effort”, “struggle”, “have difficulty despite working hard”. Wow. I believe that pretty much describes my general day.
When I decided to take a moment (and step outside because I was legitimately throwing a toddler fit that I was ” laboring” and doing dishes by myself and everyone was and “resting and relaxing“) I breathed in and out and wondered what God thought about this idea of work.
So I googled.
And this is a verse that came up.
Okaaaaay, so that was humbling.
God ALSO doesn’t ever take a break. Or get a day off… or relax and rest…when it comes to us and our salvation. He WORKS. ( present tense) Hard. Each and every day- pouring His love into us- even on the days when we don’t quite deserve it. ( ahhhhheemmmm.)
He has also given each of us gifts- unique abilities- that He knows will propel us into a life full of happiness, joy, and for His good. And a Holy Spirit to call on to give that extra boost of patience, kindness and fortitude. Our “labor” can, in fact, be a gift. To our families, to our friends and neighbors, to our Heavenly Father.
Then, for kicks and giggles, I looked up the verse that followed. I thought to myself- if that verse was spot on- I bet there’s some serious wisdom in the following verses.
So… I think what I’m hearing is that I should put on my big-girl pants and quit my crying.
My life, my children, my marriage, the dirty dishes…( It’s just coincidence that those two followed each other, BTW…) it can all be labored with love. It just takes a little less grumbling and a whole lot more Jesus.
I am off to open my heart, mind, and hands to the work of Him who loves me.
Now, if you’ll excuse me- I need to go find June.