The exciting day I started kindergarten with my daughter, I had no idea that just weeks later, home school would convert into sheer torture. I’ll never forget her bright cheery face as we opened those spanking new workbooks. I had an eager student hankering to catch up with her older brother.
Soon after, problems cropped up.
When I held up a phonics chart, Camilla couldn’t figure out if the letters “MA” said “am or “ma.” I’d remind her of the differences between “b” and “d,” only to see her make the same mistakes the following day. Camilla got frustrated easily, so I slowed down to half a lesson a day.
For two years, I’d listen to her struggle to sound out words day after day. I wanted to scream, “RED! It says ‘red.’ Just read it!” I tried my best to be patient, but I wondered:
“Is my work making any difference?”
We stay at home moms ask ourselves that question often. We wash clothes, only to find the laundry basket overflowing the next day. We go grocery shopping, only to find the fridge empty three days later. We try every idea in the book to potty train our toddler, but he pees on the floor again.
Paul must have read my mind when he penned these words:
Maybe you’ve wondered the same thing: “Does what I’m doing matter?”
Let’s look at 3 lessons we can learn from 1 Corinthians 15:58.
When you want to head for the hills, hang in there instead. Cook one more meal. Make one more carpool run. Hold on to patience and correct your child one more time when he smart mouths you. When you want to give up, hold tighter to the Word of God and let nothing move you.
Give yourself fully.
As a mother, often I do my work half-heartedly. I tutor a child or take him to buy shoes, but I wish I were doing something else. That’s why Paul’s word, “Give yourself fully to the work of the Lord,” challenges me. I want to be present to my family and remember that ultimately I’m serving God as I serve them.
Remember Your Work is Not in Vain.
As you cook and clean, you’re creating a life-giving environment for your family. As you train and love on your children, you’re planting seeds for their future. You may have to wait to see the fruit, but in due season, you will. God’s Word says, “Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Gal. 6:9)
Even though I wondered if I’d ever be able to teach my daughter to read, 10 years later God has allowed me to see the fruit of my labor. Camilla is an articulate, enthusiastic girl with a creative bent. This month my dyslexic daughter is pounding out 1,250 words a day for a novel she’s writing.
So when you wonder if your work matters, don’t give up! Stand firm and keep your eyes on Jesus. He’ll give you the strength you need to hang in there and the faith you need to believe that one day you’ll reap a harvest of blessing.
Now it’s your turn: What helps you hang in there on the hard days?
photo credit: Kim MyoungSung, Creative Commons