I see what she does and I love her work, I love her drive, I love her goal accomplishing. I love it all.
She lives life well. Like it’s her job. I lived life…like it was an accomplishment to just make it to bedtime.
I lacked accountability. And a boss. I missed being told what to do.
I remember hating being told what to do when I was a teenager but having a job was a necessity. Working was expected before kids, and being told what to do came with the territory.
It was all about the money. That and keeping up with my friends.
When I was 20 years old, I had no idea that I should be grateful for the accountability of a job. Thankful for a reason to get myself up in the morning.
If I hadn’t been employed, I know I would have lazed my days away. I would not have been motivated to do anything with my life. I would not have found the joy of conversation and relationship. The joy of what it means to be human. To connect with a stranger.
Of course there were days when I dreaded my shift. I was wrecked by the anxiety of being out in society. I wanted to hide from the responsibility of my life.
But because I found the strength to conquer the nagging nerves I was rewarded first by the money in my pocket come payday – but more than that I grew in maturity in small increments.
In 2007, my reason to get up in the morning changed: I had a bright little baby girl whose sweet cries would call me to action. I had a new job. The primary reason to do this new work had no monetary reward, but she needed me and that was motivation enough.
But slowly the nerves and anxiety crept back into my soul, and I wasn’t as motivated to live my life to the full.
I lack accountability at home.
The temptation to hide from responsibility was strong, and I could spend hours in a day fogged by the deception that I wasn’t worth anything. Failures, family pain, and sleepless nights fueled this fog, and I was slipping farther from the mature, responsible person I wanted to be. I began to avoid more and more responsibility.
Motherhood was harder and more demanding than I could have imagined.
My new identity revealed flaws in my character that I didn’t want to admit were true. I had an insatiable desire to hide from myself and from reality.
The slippery slope of irresponsibility had brought me down lower than I wanted to go. A place where my whole goal was to have it easy. Effortless.
But an effortless life is #1 not possible and #2 boring and #3 not rewarding.
No responsibility = no rewards.
In 2008, I was challenged to spend consistent time with the Lord everyday. At the time I was pregnant with our second child.
It was not easy, it was work, and it did not have immediate results. But for the first time since having a job outside the home, I was accountable to something. I was committed to nurturing this one purposeful responsibility.
I owned it.
There wasn’t a support group, or a time clock to tell me what to do next. Just the Word of God and His Spirit.
Slowly over the next 6 years, the Lord has added more tasks to my agenda growing my responsibility in small increments.
And now I’m not afraid to get up in the morning. I refuse the temptation to hide when fear and failure breathe heavy on my neck.
I cling to the reality that when I know responsibility then I know rewards. I can see not only by looking back, but by setting my mind to look forward that my efforts, my discipline, and my work bring me closer to the goals that I have set for myself.
The more rewards I enjoy the more fully alive I become. And I believe this is how it’s meant to be for all of us.
So for today and for this week, I am setting my mind on the work in front of me.