Saturday, October 15, 2011

In-Between Work and Play

Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work - this is a gift of God.  He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.  Ecclesiastes 5:19-20

I have noticed through the gift of parenting four very different/very same children these past 21 years that a common misconception we battle in our home is the bad word work.  Or should I call it the word of punishment ~ work.  I admit this has been a source of mystery and frustration for me and my husband.  For me, because working order out of chaos is my security blanket.  I've grown so accustomed to the comfort work brings that I often see chaos before I see the beauty that walked it through the door.  For example, the hard swept and vacuumed three levels of floors and stairwells that bear the tracks of wild, wooded rompings ~ leaves, pine needles, and dirt that tell the story of brothers who've had adventures and have come home to let a mamma peer into the story for a moment.  For my husband, the man who read Animal Farm and has been the Horse ever since, simply, that work is what defines your character ~ how you serve best ~ how you love most.  Work is the relationship he had with his father, how he learned to be a carpenter, mechanic, manager, plumber, fire-builder, LEADER ~ to his family, his peers, his friends.  Hmm, work is such a good word to us.

I get caught in the in-between with these kids.  I don't know how much my husband and I played in childhood.  I don't know how much we've forgotten about play.  And my kids know how to play.   From Big sister to Baby brother, 11 spanned years melded together into one story, and all of them running ~ leaping ~ sword-fighting ~ laughing their way through it together.

  Rare is the sibling fight in this home.  (Okay, so not as rare between Ben and Sam as any other sibling combination, but still rare.)  I love that my kids know how to play together. 
Maybe the answer is living in the in-between ... us learning as a family that to work is to create, and to create requires the joy of play, and that those who are truly alive receive the gift of God ~ "to accept his lot and be happy in his work."
 This I will let God continue to reveal to me in my daily struggles to die to
~dissatisfaction in the here and now
~impatience with knowing this season is one of waiting 
~ingratitude for the provisions He has made in this season
~being distracted by someone else's "more" and losing sight of how happy I am in this work

Teresa of Avila said, "Remember that you have only one soul; that you have only one death to die; that you have only one life, which is short and has to be lived by you alone; and that there is only one glory, which is eternal.  If you do this, there will be many things about which you care nothing."

Have the best time today, living in the in-between, Favored One.  For we are confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.  Philippians 1:8 

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