It’s New Year’s Eve. I’ve been back in my hometown since the 26th for a much-awaited week-long vacation. It has been a flurry of activities since we arrived — a cousin’s wedding, a get-together with friends, a visit to the market for some dried fish — all these on top of caring for a very excitable 3-year old. But there were also quiet moments, especially when the little girl was fast asleep or when she’s busy playing (thank God, she knows how to play on her own now). I had hoped that the down times would be opportunities for me to catch up on my blogging but most of the time I was only too happy to lie in bed and do nothing. Opening up the laptop and churning out words seemed a lot of work and work is something I want to do away with, at least for the duration of my vacation.
Ironic for me to think of doing away with work when my word for the year is work. Haha. But I have learned so much.
Indeed, learning from the ant for the entire year as I rediscovered and intentionally pursued the word work has been meaningful and productive. I never thought that choosing work as my word for the year would make me busy.
It was hard work to pursue work.
Here are three lessons I learned this year:
- Work is a blessing. How many times have I been tempted (and gave in) to complain about the demands of my job? But I am also reminded that having work is a blessing, an opportunity to earn for the needs of the family. There was a particular moment this year when I seriously contemplated the career path I wanted to pursue and I was reminded that I should value more the criticisms of the people who love me. There would be people who would not agree with my job choices but I have learned not be affected by what other people say about me as long as I have the affirmation of the people who matter to me.
- Working is a form of worship. Be it a job that earns money or house work, working is a form of worship. I have already learned this basic truth since I started joining training camps organized by a Christian org. The campers were required to do chores like dish washing, doing the laundry, cleaning the halls and sleeping area, as well as the toilets, and as we do all these, we were always reminded that we honor God when we cheerfully do housework. Of course, I could not help but grumble each time household chores pile up on top of the demands of motherhood and my day job and I can only cringe in guilt as I remember the many times I have sinned because of my complaining. It is only because of God’s mercy that I am sustained day by day.
- Relationships take work in order to work. Ah, but I have taken a hard beating as this realization dawned on me. This year saw me working hard on mending friendships I had a hand in breaking because of the stress brought about by the national elections (what Filipino could not relate with this?). I have learned hard lessons in humility and forgiveness as I reached out a hand of peace to people who mattered to me. This year, I have also endeavored to make my marriage even more meaningful and God-honoring by working on becoming a better wife to Gian. I am still a work in progress as the Lord continues to work in my heart but I am glad that I have learned to work on my relationships so that I can also honor God through my dealings with others.
There have been several things I planned to do when the year started that I have not gotten around to doing (some I haven’t even started) but I have learned to accept that I can only do so much. Last year was about prioritizing and I worked on these priorities this year. It was hard work, indeed, to keep my focus and to work on the things that I really should be working. It was always tempting to be complacent and just laze around but having my word for the year was a great reminder.
As I end this year, my heart is full. 2016 may not have been perfect but it was rewarding. What I am glad about is that every ending means another beginning. Thank you, Jesus, for teaching me the value of work.