When my husband and I moved from Virginia to Maryland two years ago I left behind a part-time job at a newspaper. Even though I only worked 30-35 hours a week, and a significant chunk of that time was spent answering phones and editing obituaries, I was happy. I felt fulfilled. I was finally using my journalism degree, a year and a half after graduation. Between graduation and receiving the newspaper job, I had nannied, worked for a wedding photographer and edited a video series for a friend of the family. I enjoyed each of those jobs, but they were all temporary. I didn’t feel very grown-up working those jobs.
After we moved, I searched and searched for a journalism job near our new home. Incredible-sounding positions would pop up, but they were all full-time and over an hour away. I was torn. I wanted my first priority to be taking care of my home and my husband. I knew that I would likely feel overwhelmed and exhausted if I took any of those jobs. We don’t rely on my income to pay our bills, so I have the luxury of being able to be picky. Still, I felt conflicted for not applying for jobs that I knew I’d love just because they required long hours and a long commute. I felt like I was moving backwards when instead of finding a “mature” desk job, I became a nanny for two families. I felt like my work was insignificant. I felt like a loser every time I uttered the words, “I’m a nanny.”
I’m learning to not place so much importance on how I feel about my work.
I’m learning to see my work through God’s eyes, instead of the world’s eyes.
It hasn’t been easy.
In the fall of 2012 I began substitute teaching and writing for iBelieve, and I continue to work both jobs today. Even though I love the challenges and rewards that come with both positions, I still struggle with being satisfied. I still battle with insecure feelings. I am often tempted to compare myself to my friends—many of whom have received higher education or have taken high-paying jobs in fast-paced cities.
I’m choosing to not open that door to discontentment. Instead, I will cling to what I know to be true: God is more concerned with our obedience than our career choice. God cares about our decision to either praise Him for our circumstances or bitterly wish for more money and recognition. He desires us to use whatever job we have—parent, janitor, CEO, etc.—and work for His glory.
Can I brag on my jobs a little bit? I am so blessed to be a substitute teacher and freelance writer. When I was younger my two dream jobs were teacher and writer. Why should I get hung up on what other people think? God is allowing me to work my dream jobs! I control when I work and how often I work, which has been a major blessing in the past year as I have needed time to grieve and heal after losing a baby last summer.
The hard truth is that regardless of how content I am, the world around me (the extremely work-oriented people of the greater Washington D.C. area) isn’t going to find much value in either of my jobs. I have to be okay with that, and to not place my worth on what other people think.
“For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.” 1 John 2:16-17 (NLT)
Do you need to re-adjust your attitude towards your work situation? Is it time you stopped complaining or comparing? God is ready and waiting to hear from you.
Laura Rennie lives in Maryland with her hilarious husband and constantly shedding dog. She loves reading, writing and playing word games. Her greatest desire is to share Jesus through her words and actions as she learns how to be a better wife, daughter, sister and friend.