A Reminder.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Joe recently won an award at his company's national meeting. He wasn't expecting it at all, and several hundred people from across the nation heard his name called. He won an award for being the best at his job out of all of the people who do the same job he does in different parts of the country. Needless to say, Bert and I are very proud of him. He works really hard, and I am so glad that he was recognized for what he does. (The only way I found out about this is Joe texted me from the meeting and said, "I have something funny to tell you later." Then he called that night and said, "Do you want to hear something funny?" and told me he won an award. I was like, "How is this funny?!" Knowing Joe was going to tell absolutely no one else about this, I took the liberty of texting his parents and my parents because I thought they should know too!)

This made me think about the last time I was recognized at my job or for anything, really. Not that I have ever been some grand achiever, but I've won a couple of awards in my lifetime, for which I am proud and that meant a great deal to me for various reasons.

The more I kept thinking about it though, the more I realized, it's been a while. And I thought about people I know who have been recognized for things over the past couple of years: friends with job promotions, friends who are well known in the Huntington community for sitting on various boards and being involved in so many organizations. People whose names seem to be known by everyone, everywhere they go. And, because I am human, I began to get a little jealous. In the past year and a half, I have gone from being known in the community to being no one. No one knows me here in this giant metro area we now live in. (Except the children's librarians at our local library.) I have gone from being lifted up at my job by encouragement from my principal, colleagues, parents, and students to hearing nothing about my job performance ever. I stay at home with Bert all day and take care of him, try and help him develop correctly, read to him, play with him. I take care of our housework, errands, and bills. It's probably the hardest work I've ever done in many ways, but no one is handing out awards for that kind of stuff.* I know how selfish, self-centered, and whiny this all sounds, and I appreciate the compassion you show in reading my honest feelings without judgment.

However, in the midst of all of this, I was reminded of something that shifted my perspective back to where it should be. And that is

God will see.

I have written about this before, but I wrote about it before I moved, stopped teaching, and became a full-time mom. This sentence means a lot more to me now that I read it in the context of being home all day, caring for a child.

I don't mean to complain, just to share: there are days when Bert is fussy and there's dog hair everywhere and the hill of laundry has become a mountain and bills are due soon that I just want to collapse in frustration. It is at times like these that I pray for the courage and wisdom to whisper to myself, "God will see." Truly, I will spend day in and day out here alone with Bert, who can't sit up or talk, for an undetermined amount of time doing so many little things all day long that only I know about. But that's not completely true, is it? Because Someone else sees too. When I think of this, I get tears in my eyes because those three little words are powerful enough to shift my perspective and change my heart.

If I had to guess, I'd say there are a lot of people out there who work so hard at so many things day in and day out and rarely (if ever) hear any recognition or congratulations or appreciation. Man, it's hard, isn't it? But to my friends who work outside the home: God sees when you refill the pot of coffee in your office kitchen. God sees when you offer to help a coworker with a task. God sees when you pick up the paper towels that someone else threw on the floor of the office bathroom. God sees when a boss, customer, or colleague is rude or hurtful to you and you respond in kindness anyway. He sees. And to my stay at home parent friends: God sees when you lovingly change your baby's diaper even though you just changed it less than 10 minutes ago. God sees when you spend all day wiping spit off your baby's mouth and chin. God sees when you read your child book after book even though you're starving and haven't gone to the bathroom in hours. He sees.

Keeping this in mind won't make every day perfect, but what I pray it will do for all of us is to help lighten our load a little bit and help keep us humble as we all do the work we're called to do.

*I just want to be clear that Joe is vocally appreciative, daily, of what I do for our family. This in no way relates to him or his words and actions. 

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