How to find meaningful work

I come from a long line of hard-working women — seamstresses, cashiers, nurses, and accountants. The women in my family get things done. And as a girl I dreamed of being a zookeeper, dolphin trainer, writer, or teacher. Yet as a young woman I started to believe this lie that the best Christian women either stay at home with their kids, or have a meaningful job in ministry or missions. Why do we try to limit God to these boxes?

Friend, you are more than a stay-at-home mom or a working mom. You are more than a blogger, more than a teacher, more than a doctor. You are a woman created in God’s image, His artistry, His delight. You are so many things, but in order to be any of those things well, you need to be His first.

I despaired for years that I couldn’t be the mom I wanted to be, because I worked. And I worked myself ragged at home trying to do all of the things I thought a stay-at-home mom would do. I cloth diapered, made baby food, and cooked homemade meals, to attempt to make up for what I thought I was lacking. My husband was so patient with me, never piling on expectations, but supporting what I wanted to do.

On the outside, it looked like I had it all together. But I was so weary. Motherhood didn’t seem to be as fulfilling as I had hoped and I worried I was doing everything wrong.

After the birth of our second baby boy, as I dealt with chronic sinus infections, anxiety, depression, and mothering two little boys — finally, I was at the end of myself and desperate for God. And He showed me that I needed to stop striving and know Him. He showed me that He loves me for who He made me to be, not for what I think I need to be. He wants to give me freedom, joy, and overflowing love to share with my family. He wants to provide for my needs and be honored in my work.

Oh, friend, our work and our mothering isn’t ours. All of it is from Him and to Him — carefully planned, lovingly crafted, woven together for our good and His glory. More than almost anything, He cares about our hearts, about drawing us into His goodness and grace. And sometimes that means life goes differently than we would have planned.

I longed for years to have a more “meaningful” job, or to have the means to stay at home with our boys. But God had better plans. He provided everything we needed, extending my temporary positions at just the right times to cover my maternity leaves. He gave me a flexible job that allows me to work four days a week. He gave me new tasks to use skills I didn’t even know I had. He gave me time to de-stress, time to read and write on my breaks. He gave me time with other adults, time to talk with moms who understood.

All work that is done well and for His glory is meaningful. Your writing, hair cutting, teaching, coding, cleaning — it’s meaningful in a million ways. It’s pushing back chaos, bringing clarity, sharing truth, revealing beauty. Whether you are at work or at home, your work and your heart matter to God.

Comments

  1. I love this!! I can completely identify with running ragged and trying to keep up with all the things I think I would do if I was a stay-at-home mom. It’s exhausting and an unattainable reality because that is not what I am. However, this is God’s plan for me and He knows exactly what I need. The truth is, what I need is to stop worrying so much about the laundry and state of my home and start worrying about leaning into Him to prioritize my time and have peace with what I do have time for. Easier said than done but I sure appreciate this wonderfully worded reminder!

  2. Amanda and Lisa says:

    It is easier said than done for sure, but you’re right, it’s the most important thing. So glad we’re in this together :-)

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