This weekend, as well as giving thanks for sonface, involved the genius of heading to London for Anna and Sarah Day. These days are the best kind of day, a day of peace, of sitting on sofas with big mugs of tea, cake in hand, pouring out lives to each other. A day of the giving of the gift of listening and participating in each others life and story. A day full of the kind of relief you only get when you are with people who have known you for 14 years and been through every joy and sorrow together. I left sonface in the very capable hands of husbandface (so capable that sonface really didn’t care when I got back home) practically danced to the station and wrote lots on the train. Here’s one of those meandering thoughts:
It’s September again and, as already noted, that provides a nice place for new starts. Husbandface has returned to work and last week preached an awesome sermon about the importance of work. We pondered together beforehand what work really is. We came out of our discussions very sure of the notion that work isn’t just about paid employment. It’s a whole lot more than just that. My friend John describes work as something done for other people which is an awesome place to start a discussion on what work is from.
Work seems to encompass a whole load of different aspects of our lives, right from the very beginning of our existence. God created us, saw we were very good and we were then sent off to the garden to work in it. Creating was the work God rested from on the 7th day. Work, I think therefore, is diverse and looks different for different people at different times. I have friends who have virtually no paid employment but who volunteer in a wide capacity of roles throughout our city, they are working.
It’s hard to maintain this wide picture of work in a world which places so much value on our paid work/job status. I’m so frustrated at the moment that our government can’t see this or express value in a life that doesn’t involve paid employment. I’m not returning to ‘work’ after my year of maternity ‘leave’ this autumn. We have made the choice that I’m going to stay at home with the boy. There are a whole load of reasons for that, reasons that I won’t bore you with here. I’m tired though of getting the feeling that the government would rather I worked, that I’m now classed as ‘economically inactive’.
The reality is that I do work, I’ve been working for the last 10 months. I have a full time, appallingly paid job, a job I love and wouldn’t change (well maybe a day or two a week of doing something different would be nice). My job title is mum. The job description is nicely varied and the hours are interesting to say the least. I work.
I’m learning to embrace that notion, that this life does involve hard work and that is a good thing. Although work is frustrating and painful this side of the fall, God still made it. It’s part of being human. A glorious part. Work is good. It just doesn’t have to look like paid employment.
I want to revel in that, to rejoice in work, to ask my maker for help as he works alongside me, to find ways to sabbath in this full time crazy work juggernaut of being a mum. I want to rejoice in the diversity of work and see the wonder of the maker as we join him in creating order from chaos in this world.
Today I’m having my first full day off in 10 months. I’ve left the sonface and husbandface to enjoy each others company and will have a day in the excellent company of my friends Anna and Sarah. The best kind of day. In other circumstances what we do together would be work but today those things will be glorious sabbath. Eating good food, having deep chats and remembering we belong to God together. And that demonstrates what I love about work in this world, it’s diverse, is work sometimes and rest at other times. God is so brilliantly inventive to have made it so.
What do you reckon work is?