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“It’s My Job, and I Like It Fine…”

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By Marianne Miles

Do you remember this song from Sesame Street? I suppose it was a career awareness attempt; however, when I was a mom of young children, I was struck by the satisfaction expressed in this chorus line about a job, “I like it fine.” A simple acceptance of place? The singer goes on to state emphatically, “No one has a better job than mine” inferring total completeness in the task at hand.

As a full-time mom, I often folded laundry and watched Sesame Street, singing along with this chorus. I assured myself that I was, in deed, immensely satisfied with my job. This felt true; however, sometimes I wondered if I was completely honest. Or misled? Could I be more use to my family if I continued to work outside the home and paid someone else to watch the kids—and fold the laundry?

When my oldest was two, I had quit a job that pointed toward executive leadership in a large corporation. What if I were there now, in management? I thought. I glanced at my special needs son as he watched Count Dracula counting bats flying around his head. “One! One circling bat! Ya-ha-ha!” the count laughed maliciously.

Jon took his finger out of his mouth long enough to mimicked, “Ya-ha-ha!”

What was I doing here? My mind grasped for meaning. If I was working, I could take Jon to a specialist. I could hire a tutor for him… I looked down at my worn jeans, T-shirt and bare feet. The contrast suddenly seemed ludicrous to the heels and suit put behind me. What happened to me? Did I make the wrong choice?

That was then—twenty-five years ago. Today I rose from bed, an hour later than planned. No problem. The kids are grown and gone. When someone asks, I say my job is “freelance writing”, that I work my own schedule. So, I now fix myself some coffee and toast and take my “freelance writing” bones to my winged back chair for a morning devotional.

There, I read Ephesians 2:10, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” And I think of you—the readers of the Miles to Go column who are moms of special needs children. I pray for you. Then, I let my mind drift back to days when I struggled, often feeling so alone, and wondering what the best thing was for my son.

You might hope this next paragraph would outline the “best thing” for you to do; quit your job and stay home, move to a town with more extensive public support, or return to school to work as a special needs instructor. However, if I’ve learned one thing from twenty-eight years of being a special needs mom, I learned there are few set rules for everyone and universal paradigms are few. There is no crystal ball.

The good news is, when you place your trust in Jesus Christ, a predetermined plan begins to unfold. Consider this: before time began, God wrote out a job description and embossed your name across the top. In fact, the previous scripture suggests you were designed to accomplish specific plans. These plans are completed to benefit his people and bless you. The phrase is “you were created…for good works…” The tasks were not created for you. Stunning, isn’t it?

I believe there are specific tasks that lay ahead of each of you for which God has given you talents, meaning you were born with the physical capacity, IQ, emotional makeup and personality needed to complete your duties. He also is developing skills in you, through experiences and trials, successes and failures, in order for you to perform such tasks. Each of these jobs before you—no matter how small or seemly insignificant—is of eternal value.

Would you please return with me to my modest little living room, twenty-five years ago as I fold my laundry while watching Sesame Street with my kids?

Jon throws his head back in glee as he laughs at Cookie Monster annihilating a plate of sweets. His pink cheeks round under his glistening eyes and his white pearly teeth glint as he crows at the joke. He’s so beautiful. His joy, such an innocent delight. The weight of his special care pushes heavily again but this time I ask myself, what does God want me do?

A mentor once told me that when you ask about God’s will, the answer is often more obvious than our desire to be obedient to the call. In other words, a woman may ask, what is God’s will for me, forgetting that she is married. She can know God wants her to love her husband and be a good helpmate—not that this is her whole role in life, but it is an obvious first consideration.

So, I saw the morning sun shining in streaks on Jon’s hair and thanked God that I can know his upbringing was one of the main tasks of my life. I didn’t return to work outside the home—not until the children were all but grown. For about eighteen years I completed many good works in being a wife, mother, friend, neighbor, daughter, church member and so on. Works, for which God created me.

I’m not telling you that you are outside of God’s will if you work outside the home before your children are grown. (My spirit does groan for many of you who have expressed regret that this is not possible for you.) Only God knows the plans He has for you and you must find them for yourself. I am just assuring you that He does have work for you to do—works of eternal consequences.

As an aside, I did end up working as an executive for about five years—wearing the suits and heels, but then God called me back to things that are more important. I’m smiling as I write that last line as very few people in this world would value the small tasks I have completed. However, I can honestly say “It’s my job, and I like it fine…”

Until next month, I am praying for you and the good works you do.

©2009 Marianne Miles. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

*Copyrighted back columns are available for reading in archives of Comfort Cafe. Contact Marianne for reprint availability.

Bio:
Marianne Miles is a free lance writer intent on bringing comfort to mom’s of special needs kids. As she and her husband raised their children, including a son with special needs, Marianne developed a passion to support hurting mothers. Her message revolves around the love and provision of God, even in times of trial. Marianne has worked as a volunteer in the public schools, home school mom, and a teacher in a private school. She writes on the subjects of family and education in the form of devotionals, magazine articles, and poetry. Marianne welcomes reader’s comments and publisher’s questions at Marianne_Miles@yahoo.com.