Like most people, I will usually create some intentions or a list of things I want to invest in for the year ahead. You can read some of those intentions for 2019 that I shared back in January.
So far I have failed at starting a date night on Friday nights with my husband and doing something fun with Phoebe each week – although surely having coffee and sushi could be counted as doing something fun? In my mind, I had visions of visiting museums and doing art classes. Thankfully we’re only in February, so I’ve got a whole year to do those wish list experiences.
The things I have done are booked another overseas holiday for our family and I’ve consistently read my bible each day. And this has led me to weighing up the purpose of everything I do. My scripture reading has certainly stopped me to think about why I do what I do and to evaluate my heart intentions. Pretty deep, I know.
Sometimes the purpose is simply for pleasure and fun, for other things it’s to earn money to pay the bills, for others I’ve had to weigh in on whether it’s added unnecessary pressure, with burdens I was never meant to carry.
A month ago, I had this heavy feeling I wasn’t doing enough with my life. It was this sense of feeling sad I wasn’t where I wanted to be, and a fear of possibly never making it to where I should be, wherever be was at the time of my thinking. I entertained the thought that I was a bit of a waste of talent. I should be out plumbing bathrooms instead of writing about them. And so I felt low and was a little apprehensive about writing, thinking that maybe others would think this of me as well.
Negative comments on a blog I wrote for someone else played on my mind and I considered, maybe I shouldn’t be writing anymore.
At the time of all this negativity in my head, I had to get my nails done. I prayed in the car with no timeline in mind, ‘God, please reaffirm that where I am at the moment, is part of your will. These feelings I’m feeling are confusing me and I need clarification on whether they are from you or whether they are simple doubts that are stopping me.’
I sat in my pedicure chair and scrolled my phone (as you do) and a gentleman came to sit in the chair next to me. He was a refrigeration technician/mechanic (can’t remember exactly his job title but worked at installing and maintaining commercial fridges). The owner of the nail salon I go to used to do the same sort of work and they knew each other from previous working circles.
The owner introduced me as a plumber and the gentleman thought he was joking. I assured him he wasn’t and he said, ‘but you’re too pretty to be a plumber’. I could see his genuine surprise and didn’t berate him for is comment. Instead, we got talking about trades and work and the frustrations of the trade industry.
For him, he didn’t love his job, but he was good at it, it’s what he knew and he was too old to change career for the money he was earning in his trade.
He is not the first, nor will he be the last man who has uttered these words to me before.
I got to share why I changed my work life and what I do now. The process of talking about my history, my convictions and reflecting on the real issues of the trade industry, reminded me why I was where I was. The doubt and burden I had been carrying before I walked into that nail salon, disappeared instantaneously.
I was meant to get my pedicure that morning. That gentleman (who may read this blog because I did tell him to google The Plumbette) gave me the clarity I needed to weigh in on my feelings and see that the decisions I had made in the past were the right ones for me and my family. Nothing was wasted as it could be drawn on presently and in the future.
Weighing up the purpose of everything I do has little to do with success, however I don’t remind myself of this often enough.
I use numbers to calculate my effectiveness for success. I think we all do. How many likes? How many followers? How many sales? How many new business calls? How much profit? How much this, that and the other. And when numbers don’t measure up to what we think they should be (or sometimes need them to be), doubt comes in like a flood.
Success is not performance based with God. It is obedience based. And the numbers are up to him to multiply, not for us to focus on.
For me, weighing up the purpose of everything I do comes down to being a good steward with the talents I have and that’s through enjoying them and using them for good.
Anything that derails me or causes me to doubt needs to be ‘less of’ in my life.
This verse is a good one from The Message and I’ve reflected on it often since sharing it on Instagram. It certainly puts the focus on what we have been given individually and how we all have a responsibility to develop the work we’ve been given. It’s not our job to compare.
There will always be a feeling of wanting to be better at what we do and developing skills and making goals to climb new mountains. But when doubt creeps in and we look sideways to the mountains others have conquered, we can’t let that stop us in our tracks.
Not sure if this post will help you and whether you have experienced the same thoughts and doubts as me? Maybe you have a strategy to share that has helped you when you’ve had doubts?
I skipped church this morning to write this post because I’ve been working a lot of night shifts this week and will be working most of this weekend. Sometimes a day of rest taken literally is what the body and soul need.