Sep 13, 2012

Family Matters

During the workweek, my husband fills his travel mug and thermos with coffee, climbs into his Honda, and cranks up K-LOVE for a 50-minute commute from the suburbs to the city center, where he works at a health insurance company. From the confines of his cubicle, he facilitates meetings, carries out organizational changes, researches data, and creates presentations. He asks God to lead him in his actions—especially interactions with others. Settling into his swivel chair and firing up his laptop, he hopes to remain humble and encouraging as he launches the day.

But the high calling of his daily work doesn’t end when he packs up his mug and thermos to head home. He leaves that corporate setting for a different kind of work, just as important: that of homeowner and community soccer coach, neighbor and friend, husband and father. In these roles, too, he prays that God will help him with actions and interactions. On the soccer field, he leads drills for young boys to develop ball-handling skills. In the neighborhood, he helps our friend transport a rented garden tiller. At home, he cleans the gutters, repairs his daughter’s laptop, and holds hands with his wife when we go for a walk.

No one gives him a paycheck for any of that work, but it matters, too.

Variety of Work

At The High Calling, we recognize and respect the variety of work in this world, as people go about their tasks in many different settings: from cubicles and kitchens to boardrooms and bistros. Sometimes work takes a person behind a jewelry counter, up on a roof, into a nursing home, or out to the fields. We want to talk about the joys and challenges of whatever God gives you to do.

We hope the stories we publish will generate healthy, vibrant, stimulating conversations that encourage people like my husband, you, me, the handyman, the mother, the farmer, the accountant—all of us—to consider the high calling of our daily work.

Intersections of Work and Family

For the Family channel on Wednesdays, we want to explore intersections of work and family from several angles, including the work of serving and relating to our spouses, kids, and extended family—even our families of origin. We want to tell these stories and discuss them with you, learning from one another and celebrating God’s work through it all.

As we consider these myriad relationships and their connection to work, we’ve loosely categorized Family posts into two categories: work and family, and the work of family. Allow me to illustrate:

A story about the quiet support of a spouse as her husband puts in long hours during a work crisis? Or a post in which a woman contrasts her father’s work ethic on the assembly line with her attitude toward her own repetitive tasks? Those pieces explore work and family.

Giving thanks that a marriage survived and deepened through dark days, or struggling with the demands of a mother-in-law diagnosed with mental illness? Those are about the work of family.

A reflective piece about two sisters finally connecting through their shared experience as working women? Some stories, like that one, explore both the work of family as well as work and family.

What about someone thrust unexpectedly into the role of caregiver, serving a family member after surgery? Work of family. How about the story about a project manager stuck in a meeting with his boss longer than expected, cutting it close to make it to his daughter's first-ever band concert—something he sincerely wanted to attend? Work and family.

Both of those things happened in my family, by the way. I’m happy to report that the family member who had surgery is now on the mend, so I no longer have to change wound dressings or deliver meals on a tray. And the project manager stuck in that meeting? That was my husband. He arrived at the concert just as the last song started up.

Roles and Relationships Matter

Our work extends far beyond responsibilities tied to a paycheck; at The High Calling, we honor all of your work, whether you’re paid for it or not. We believe that every one of your roles and relationships in life—all of your work—matters to God.

It all matters to us, too. Let’s keep the conversation going.

Image by Kimberly Jones. Used with permission. Sourced via Flickr. Post by Family Content Editor Ann Kroeker, author of Not So Fast: Slow-Down Solutions for Frenzied Families.

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