She wrapped her arms around my waist. Tears pooled in her eyes.
“Mommy, why do you work?”
This was not the first time she has asked me that question. Not the first time she clung to me as I headed out the door to my part-time job.
My summer schedule of mostly afternoon and evening hours has been hard for her. For the first time, she does not have school to distract her from the fact I am not home. She sees that I’m not there.
She FEELS my absence.
Summer isn’t supposed to be like this, in her mind. Summer is supposed to mean hours in the pool or on the couch with a hundred good books – and it means being home with Mommy.
She asked a valid question. One that required an answer to both her temporary emotion, and her eternal heart.
This is what I said:
I love you to the heavens and back. You are a blessing from God. I praise Him with all my heart, soul and mind.
Our God is a generous God. He gives us good and perfect gifts (James 1:17). Those gifts aren’t just things you hold.
Some gifts He tucks inside of us — special skills, talents and craftsmanship. He names each of us by name and gives us these gifts (Exodus 31:2-3).
He does not want us to keep our gifts hidden (Luke 19:11-26).
My gifts are unlike anyone else’s, and He has asked me to use them in a certain way because it brings Him honor (Romans 12:6).
My work is a big part of how I use my gifts. It is part of my service to God (Colossians 3:23-24).
Work looks different for every mommy and daddy. For me, this is what it looks like.
Although my work means I must leave you for a bit, it never means I love you any less. You are precious to me and a treasure to God.
I know it’s hard to say good-bye and wait for when we are together again. It’s so hard for me to leave seeing how it upsets you.
But I want you to remember this:
Right now, inside of you, mighty girl, is a talent only you have. As you grow, He will help you discover what that is. If you allow Him, He will guide you in learning the skills you will need to make it shine before all people for His glory (Matthew 5:16).
He made you perfectly, and perfectly suited to the work He has waiting for you.
Whatever your work looks like, I pray you pursue it and find the joy within it (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Because that’s how I feel when I do the work He allotted for me. I feel the joy of His smile.
Just as you feel the joy when we are home together.
I will see you soon.
Originally posted on my previous blog, Find the Lovely.