Establishing the Work of My Hands….
A few years ago, while working on a film, I was in charge of their national radio promotions. It was a big movie that was releasing into theaters nationwide and I had 2500 radio station giveaways and interviews that I was managing. Every day I would make phone calls and talk to station directors from my home. Did I mention that I also had a toddler and an infant at home at the time? Now normally I would have rearranged my workday to make the phone calls during nap times only, but with that many radio stations and a hard deadline, there was no way that I could do that. I just tried to manage the chaos at home as best as I could.
Now let me sidetrack here for just a bit. Being the mom of an infant is really tough. Sleepless nights. Constant demand on your time, affection, and energy. Throw in a two-year-old and you’re deep in the trenches of parenting. There can be a strong sense of isolation if you’re not connected to a family, church, or neighborhood. At this time, I was also a military spouse who had just moved to a new location. I knew no one. We had not yet established ourselves at a church and even the military community was still new to me. My husband was working 20-hour days for weeks on end at this new job and I was pretty much alone all the time. I don’t think I even realized at the time how isolated I really was. I was too much in the thick of things to understand it. It was all I could do to just keep everything afloat.
(Random sidebar here: Have you guys EVER looked up parenting, motherhood, moms or mom on free image sites? I mean I don’t know about you, but none of these match what my parenting of babies/toddlers was like!They are definitely missing spit stains, laundry and painful-to-step-on-toys!)
Anyway, back to the topic at hand….
Being somewhat buried in ‘life’, I honestly had no intention of looking for a job or trying to create one. Another thing to add to my world? No way! But then that door just opened. And in the oddest way possible too. One day I was just a fan of a movie that was having a chat online and the next day I was on the phone with the producers of that same film. Talk about a God thing!
I felt a recharge immediately. As a parent, I found myself often just muddling through and learning from my mistakes, but publicity and marketing? This, I knew. I had the experience. I could do the job they were asking of me. So I did. And I did it well. I ended up outperforming the PR firm they’d hired for the job and they brought me on board to work until the film released. A regular paycheck? A job delivered straight to my house? In the middle of the diapers and feedings and potty training…I was working on a MOVIE? This was definitely a God thing.
As I called people on the phone and got to talk to folks from every walk of life, I was energized. At the time I had no idea, but I’m an extrovert. I love talking to people and building a connection. Helping people. That’s where I thrive. I slid into this job just like Cinderella’s foot into her glass slipper. It was a perfect fit.
That doesn’t mean it was all unicorns and rainbows. Juggling the work was not easy. And I did not get a lot of support from the people who were in my life at the time. I often tell people that motherhood is the only thing you’re always doing wrong. From the second you discover you’re pregnant there is something ‘else’ you should be doing that will ruin your child’s life. Everything you eat, drink, move, and choose from that moment on will either positively or adversely affect your child’s life. Working as a mom is one of those things. You’re pretty much damned if you do and damned if you don’t. There’s always a subset looking down at you and judging you for whichever choice it is that you’ve made.
Having people that I loved and respected telling me that I was wrong to even consider working when my babies were home made the entire situation a tug of war for my heart. There was a lot of guilt heaped upon me for not giving full attention to the kids and not being actually ‘present’ for them even though I was there. Many phone calls happened while snuggling babies, feeding them, changing diapers and sitting on the floor with building blocks. The kids were happy. I was happy But that feedback coming at me became a real struggle for me.
One afternoon, the chaos at my house was not well managed. While I was on the phone with the promotion director for a national radio station, there was a lot of unhappiness that erupted in the background. (Imagine weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth toddler style….) I immediately launched into apologies to the woman on the other end as I pictured this phone call crashing into a fiery ball of defeat and disgrace. But she just laughed and said that her house sounds the same more often than not. Then she graciously gave me the time to get everyone happy again and when I returned to the call, I am guessing she could probably hear the tears in my voice. She asked if she could pray for me and I felt that immediate peace that comes over you when you know you’re in divine appointment. She talked about establishing the work of our hands and it really touched me. After the prayer was over, I asked her about it and she pointed me to Psalm 90:16-17.
I had no idea at the time, but that simple ten-minute phone call with a woman whose name I don’t even remember changed everything for me. That passage resonated with me and for days afterward when the kids were crying or I was second guessing my thoughts to work from home, I would hear these verses in my head.
I began to pray that prayer nearly constantly.
God, let your incredible power be witnessed by my kids. Even at this young age, let them hear the stories of what you’re doing through this work. Let this work mean something bigger in your plan. Give me your peace. Establish everything I’m doing. God, let this be for you. Use it. Use me.
And then the stories started to trickle in. People were being saved at the movie theater. They were accepting Christ. One promotions director called me after the movie had opened and said, “One of our listeners won the free tickets you gave us and she called today. She’d taken her unsaved husband to the movie and he accepted Christ in the theater. She had been praying for him for years. He’d never go to church, but he went to a movie. Thank you for reaching out to us.”
Since then,I have prayed this over my business dealings regularly. It’s a constant refrain in my heart. Not every job is perfect, but I do feel peace about every job that can only come from Him.
If you’re struggling today with what you’re doing for work or even maybe in the trenches of life at home, let me encourage you. God has a plan FOR YOU. About you. He knows your needs because He gave them to you. He gave you the talents you have. He’s established your steps and He will establish the work of your hands. He gave you the work, the life and the opportunities in front of you. Give it all back to Him and not only will your work be blessed beyond measure, but you will too.