The Job I Fell in Love with this Year

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Yesterday was my volunteer day. That’s the one day per week where I basically go into work like most American adults. Ha! I put on my grown-up clothes–things like trousers instead of yoga pants–and I work for someone besides my family. I mean, I’m a mom, so of course I do work everyday, but on volunteer day I do a different kind of work.

I love it. I re-shelf books at the boys’ school library, and I help Mrs. Dubose with her current project. And once all that is done, I do my favorite part of all. I catalog, label, dot, stamp, and tape new books to go on our library shelves, all while being available to check out books for kids.

These are a few of my favorites for early readers, all on a 1st grade reading level.

This is the best job I’ve had in ages, and I do it all for free. Volunteering or trying out different jobs has been the only way for me to figure out what I enjoy doing and what I don’t.

Don’t wait around for someone to ask you to do a volunteer job. Figure out what you’d like to try and go ask to do that thing.

Otherwise, I’ve always found that if you don’t busy yourself with what you enjoy doing, other people will find work that you may NOT enjoy doing for you to do!

That’s happened to me a few times too. Nursery duty, anyone?? Aughhhhh!!! Every time I’ve ever been given church nursery duty, I lived in dread that week of Sunday because I didn’t want to do it. We all do a better job and help more people when we do what we’re good at, not what we just couldn’t say no to.

You may think it’s ironic that I love working in the library since I wrote this post: How We Got Banned From the Library, but my inability to return things I borrow on time actually doesn’t at all affect how much I love books and cataloging new ones and bringing order to shelves ransacked by tiny hands. How I love it!

I wish I could love restoring order to my house as much as I love tidying up the library. What is that? Why is it that it’s more fun to do things away from home? I got nothing. I can’t explain that phenomenon.

Job I fell in Love with this year

My VBS class made this this summer, and that’s when I realized I could totally be okay with teaching Sunday school. This was fun too! The older I get the more things I find that I enjoy.

So you know what I fell in love with this year? The library. Again. It’s a love I’ve had since childhood, though it worked so much better when I had my ever-responsible mother to make me return the books on time.

This time I’m loving being on the other side of the desk. I even have my own account at the school library now. You know why? You’ll laugh–I hope. See, I checked out a book on Caleb’s account, without his knowledge, and then I lost that book. I know. I still can’t find it!!

Well, my boys, believe it or not, never lose books and rarely acquire fines, so when Caleb went to check out a book and discovered that he couldn’t because he had a way overdue book, he was pretty upset with me…..So Mrs. Dubose did us a solid, and switched that book to my account.

Working in the library has also helped me find more ideas of good books to share with my boys.

That was a month ago. I still can’t find that book. It won’t be the first time I’ve bought a book that I’ve lost. Life will go on. The library is still a great privilege. It’s still saving us money to check out most of our books rather than buying most of our books.

Remember when I was a young adult, and I tried job after job, and felt like such a flake because I couldn’t find one that fit? Well, I’m 36 now, and I’m happy to report that I’ve found several.

Mom. Blogger. Writer. Librarian. Sunday School teacher.

I officially love all of these jobs. How blessed am I!? Sometimes you just have to give things time and trial and error, right?

How about you? Have you ever found your passion through volunteering? What jobs do you love?

 

 

Funny Fridays: Taking 6 Kids to an Art Museum & Other Stories

At the Smithsonian National Museum of Art

When we went to D.C. this summer, I insisted we go and visit my favorite painting in the world, which happens to be at the National Gallery of Art on the National Mall. While we were there, we perused the collections, along with our friend Amy and her children.

I thought the day was going amazingly well. We took 6 kids through a museum where you are supposed to be quiet, and I felt like we did a heroic job. The kids even sat on these nice sofas they had in many of the galleries.

After about an hour, Alan whispered emphatically, with the big eyes,  “Are you ready to go now? Please.”

“Sure…. C’mon kids, let’s go.”

Once outside, Alan looked like he’d just escaped prison.

Alan had a much different experience in the Smithsonian than I had.

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When Your Oxen (I Mean Kids) Are Messing Up Your House

My coffee table is covered in children’s books, a box of Legos, my Bibles, a box of crayons, a sippy cup, and ALL the little Lego men that I swept out from under the couch this morning.

There’s also a few preschool crafts and the remote control to the t.v.

Then there’s the center piece, all buried in there. It’s supposed to be an ornate pedestal bowl of THREE ornamental balls, but of course someone broke one…..when they were using it as a bowling ball, I believe.

Most of my house is as cluttered as that little table. I won’t even bother lying and saying it’s just because we’ve been busy lately.

Busy lately? Ha! It’s been pretty high tempo since about 2011.

We, like most American parents, live a little overwhelmed, stressed, sleepy, tired, and yes, we’re busy lately.

I rushed home from volunteering in the library this morning (BEST job ever– I love it so much I have trouble making myself leave it). As soon as I pulled in the driveway, the LOWE’s people were here with our new dryer.

Only I was being thrifty and purchased a dented dryer, so I have to send it right back because the drum is rubbing the dent in the side, making quite a loud racket. Problem not solved…

I unloaded the dishes and made myself lunch, but I needed some words of comfort.

Words of encouragement go a great distance when life is an uphill climb.

Kindness I read from a blogger a few years ago came back to me as I sat in my favorite chair, staring at that cluttered up coffee table.

She’s a mom of five boys, but she doesn’t blog anymore. Still what she said is with me though, and her words were so wise…

4Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, But much revenue comes by the strength of the ox.     

 Proverbs 14:4

Julie (the blogger) said that this verse reminded her of her life. Her house is full of oxen, and so her stable is never clean, but look at all the glorious benefits of having a house full of children, 5 boys in her case.

Yes, people without……oxen……have tidier spaces. People with more OCD may also be better at it.

People with the tidy mangers even occasionally say hurtful things to us.

In the past four years, several folks have (surely unintentionally) hurt my feelings about my house. They didn’t get it.

 

 

Normal, right? No, it gets worse than this. I do have enough pride to not show you those pictures

 

But what is that to us?

Our life is richer thanks to these oxen. There’s not a parent worth having who would not agree that their children are their greatest blessing.

Sometimes I’m actually embarrassed to tell people about all my children because it feels like bragging, which we try not to do!! This glorious blessing is not something any of us take lightly.

Empty stalls are for retirement. No thanks. I’d rather have my coffee table full of toys and my arms full of hugs. An empty nest will be something to embrace later, and I’m sure by then I will be ready for it.

 

For today, It’s better to have…..

coloring books in my dining room than empty place settings

Clean school shirts to fold on my couch than tidy rooms with no inhabitants

Video games in front of the t.v. than knick-knacks collecting dust

baseball hats on my hall tree than empty hooks serving no purpose

dried toothpaste in the boys’ sink than a guest bathroom that’s rarely used.

 

We can only clean so many areas at once, ya know? You do your best.

These little souls, made in the image of God, are put in our care for a season. It is our most precious duty. There is none like it, the charge to guard and bring up your children, both flesh and blood and adopted.

Your house is the stable, and your kids are the oxen.

And yes, it’s a messy job, but what a privilege!! What a privilege to have a house cluttered with preschool art and marked with chubby handprints. Be still my heart.

Eventually we will all be older and in a newer, cleaner phase of life. We will think we are still so busy because it will be hard to remember all this that we are doing now.

Maybe we’ll even shout to the neighbor kids to keep off the grass. Oh, I hope that’s never me.

But for today, the manger is full, and from the strength of the oxen comes the abundance of the harvest, and I am thankful. I hope you are too.

 

 

 

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