Monday 5 September 2016

What’s for the best? Only God knows the answer…

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Colossians 3:23 (NLT)

September – the kids go back to school and routine is resumed but this year it’s a time of change, I can feel it. Not for the whole family, I’m not foreseeing any big moves or shifts in our lives but just time for me to find a way to make the most of my skills. We’ve been in East Sussex for just over three years now and whilst I’m very settled here and quite content to stay for as long as the Lord calls us I’m also yearning for something else, to use my talents more fully, for some fulfilment. To work for God.

 I’m continuing my voluntary work with the Hastings food bank as I enjoy that and I know it makes a difference to many lives but to be honest I’d stop if I felt there was a more permanent job I should be doing. I’m also starting a new voluntary role with the education charity TLG (transforming lives for good) followand that means I’ll give an hour a week for the next academic year to a little boy to ensure he feels nurtured and cared for at school. This is a definite, so I won’t be changing that as you can’t make a commitment to a vulnerable child and then back out,

 For the last few years I’ve been volunteering in the Welcome Team and managing the Facebook page of the Christian Conference centre, where I live. It has been an absolute privilege to serve alongside the committed team at Ashburnham Place and I’ve enjoyed every moment of it but there doesn’t appear to be any kind of paid or ongoing role for me there and I need to find an ongoing role. My heart is yearning for stability, challenge and the satisfaction of a full day’s work. I’ll still give time to Ash (as I fondly call it) and I can’t help but to be part of the community loving and nurturing all our young volunteers that come to live with us for 3-12 months but I won’t be such a regular sight in the office.

 One thing I know for sure is that I don’t want to go back to full-time permanent work outside of the home. My kids all tell me they adore me being home (even if some of their reasoning is a bit skewed – who would do the cleaning if you weren’t here Mum?) and I like the freedom to be able to pick them up, take them to the lake swimming or help with their homework but I’m definitely open to a part-time job. One that will allow me to be around most of the time.

 I’m considering temp work, or something like admin or reception is a local business. Without sounding boastful I have so many organisational skills I could offer to a small business. I don’t need a fancy title, or tons of money. I just want to help, enjoy my work and know that I am making a difference. It’s not easy to find the right role though as many a mother wants work a few days a week around school hours.

 I’ve seen a couple of jobs that are home-based and I could easily do them and enjoy them but then I wonder do I really want to work 15 hours a week for £150 when I could do one or two sponsored blog posts in a few hours and earn the same? But truthfully I’m not even sure why I’m worrying about the money as that is just a nice sideline of working. One that could perhaps pay for the abroad holiday next year that we now all desire, having been to Spain this year.

 Would working in my own home give me that same sense of achievement and connection that I feel when I work outside of the home? I’m really not sure it would. I like the interaction of having people around me and bouncing ideas off them. There have been too many times when the Internet has felt like a very lonely place and it is full of comparison and you have to be pretty self-confident to be able to ride out the storm sometimes.

 So when the kids go back to school on Wednesday I’m going to take a few hours in the prayer centre to pray and seek the Lord to see what He wants for me. I am after all, just a servant but please God I pray, show me the way. Help me to see what steps I should be taking this year. Where do you want me to serve?

 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

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