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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Victorian Values and the conundrum of work......

A while back ago, I had the amazing experience of studying British Literature in Great Britain.

It was truly, truly wonderful. Everything over there was so vastly different. I met some incredible people from all over the world. One day maybe I will share some of my experiences in England. One thing that I remember from my studies there, relates to the Victorian era.

Women of the Victorian era often were characterized by "self-denial." I remember years ago, thinking what a strange and unusual concept. Self Denial? How ridiculous. How absurd.

I appreciate how far women have advanced in the world since then. At least in terms of equal rights. However, I realize that, as a Christian, self-denial is truly part of the core of Christianity.

To me self-denial means realising that the world doesn't revolve around me. Don't get me wrong , I still struggle with some things. But I am learning that sacrifice and self-denial are at the root of Christianity. But there is such a fulfillment and beauty in learning to put others first.

Recently, I wanted a scooter. I wanted to ride into the summer breeze, hippie hair flapping in the wind. We got a bonus at work. Instead, I decided to use half of my work bonus for the sole purpose of planting seeds of love and kindness. Self Denial. But I don't really feel like I have been denied anything. I feel completely at peace. Completely satisfied. I will get my scooter when God is ready for me to have it. Right now, I have been called to serve. To give. To help in any way that I can.

Last night, when I got off of work, I was depressed. I had worked another long 12 hour day. I went to the grocery store after work. I walked down the frozen food aisle, and I saw a one of those frozen kids meals. When I was on a pregnancy leave, I was off of work for an entire year. I would venture to the grocery store on a regular basis with my oldest son, Cade.

Cade would faithfully lead me to the frozen food section and unfailingly, with puppy dog eyes, ask me for some variation of a frozen kids meal. The fish one. The one with the nuggets.

last night, I was so very sad because. since I returned to work I realize that I have missed out on and am missing out on a significant part of my children's life.

Cade and I do things on my days off, but it seems like that routine of us holding hands in the grocery store...strolling down the aisles and landing in the frozen section has all but disappeared.

I was so sad.

I am very grateful for my job. I worked so hard to get it. I went to school for years to finally land a job that supports me and my family. But what am I supporting? I work work work, it seems.

Society is set up so that we have to work work work. It seems like we work to support a family of ghosts. I don't get to see and spend time with my kids nearly as much as I would like.

Sometimes, I admire mothers that get to stay at home with their children. I look at them and sometimes I wish I had that luxury. I like the money that I make, but I realize that money isn't everything. As it stands, most of the money I make is going towards student loans. Ugh :(

No man has ever supported me financially. What little I have, I have worked for.

Ironically, Jesus has asked me to give up what little I have. Because He showed me that things are irrelevant. He showed me that He would take care of me. I'm going to write a separate post about that. It's quite miraculous, actually. How distinct His voice is at times.

But I know that we can't just up and quit our jobs.

Last night I began to wonder about the Amish. Is their life beautiful in it's simplicity? I don't think I would rush out to join an Amish Community...unless maybe they had a starbucks..haha

but I can see a lot of truth in the way they live. They share so much of what they have. The mothers get to spend actual time with their children, raising them in ways of goodness and rightness. They live away from the noise of society. Wouldn't it be good for us to get away from all the "noise" sometimes? To realize the things that matter?

I think it would.

Today my mom posted a very interesting video on her facebook page. It was a clip from none other than Conan O' Brian. A guest was on there talking about how everything unique about our era, modern technology, is very amazing, but ....subsequently, no one is happy. We complain. We sit in airplanes miles above the ground..a modern technological miracle, and yet complain about the flight. We complain when our cell phones don't get signal. Things arent' fast enough for our fast paced lives.

We have, to a large extent, become a society of self indulgent people. wanting. wanting. Never seemingly satisfied. Getting, yet still, wanting more. Gimme. Gimme. Gimme.

I read a story to my baby once, The Bearenstien Bears get the Gimmes.

As a nation, we have the gimmes.

We work to get more "stuff." We max out credit cards and buy things we can't afford. Then a large part of people decide that they don't want to pay back what they owe. Why?

But it's sad how many corporations are so greedy! How they take advantage of others weakness. How they strive to get rich off of the working man and woman.

Are we that important?

If I could build houses, I would build houses for other people. In turn, they would give me food. Or make me clothes. I would build my own house. If people actually loved one another, we would work together, kinda like the Amish in a way, to make each others lives better. Instead, we think about ourselves so much. We have forgotten that Victorian concept of self-denial.

Imagine if you could use your talent for God? Wouldn't your life be so much more fulfilling? To know that you are living your destiny. Living for others, but more importantly living for your Creator....My talent is singing and writing. I can write songs that, I think, are quite good.

I've begun working with various musicians because I want to give my talent back to God.

Some day, maybe in a year or in 6 months, I'm praying that I will have a completed cd. My cd will be given to those who can't afford it. Donations will be accepted from those who can.

Half of all donations will go towards helping others. Providing Bibles to new moms. Baby booties. helping people that need help. That's what we are called to do. To help. To give. To love.

The other half will go to my family. Bills, etc, etc...

I guess the purpose of this post is simply to get people to question what is important to them. Is there something that can be changed in your life to fulfill the destiny that God has called you to? Do you feel the need to work work work incessantly? To get things that aren't really important at all? I guess we all work to pay the bills. But seek God and ask Him to lead you to where you need to be. I am. I hope I find that place soon. I know that I will.

Great things come through sacrifice. Great changes can be made when people learn to work together, realising the things that are important.

I pray that one day I can be self sufficent. Using my talent for God. Making a living from my talent. Knowing that God will take care of me and my children. My family. I believe God blesses those that give back to Him. That is my prayer. That is my hope. To live the way that life was intended to be lived. Not missing out on the life of my family. Not missing out thier laughter. Thier tears. The important things in thier life. Don't get me wrong, I like some "me" time...but even more so, I miss my kids :( I love them so much. I crave my days off. They are what is important. God, first. My children, second. Others, third. My self, last.

At least that is the way it should be.

I know so many people that have families and all they do is work. They work overtime. Overtime. Overtime. I know the intention is good. They work to have things for thier families. To keep up a standard of life. But do we sacrifice that standard by working all the time?

But I know a Man, who can change even the most dire circumstances. Who can give hope where none seems available. Who can transform lives and situations. So I wait. I trust. Everything will turn around in it's time. Timing is Everything.

In the meantime, I do. I plant seeds of love and trust that He will water them.

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