January 1, 2011

Measurable progress...

As I’ve mentioned, my husband Joe is building an airplane in our garage.  These building kits come with directions and detailed plans, and Joe has systematically been making his way through them since he began a couple weeks ago.  As you can see, he gets help from some trusty assistants too.  The progress is measurable and satisfying to behold.  He is his own taskmaster, and checks items off the list as he completes them to his satisfaction.
Joe’s day job is the same way, as is most work outside the home that one is paid for.  There are projects, plans, work to do that gets done, and measurable results.  Even his performance as an employee is measurable, with year-end reviews, raises, promotions, career goals, and so on.
Not so in my world.  My “job” is unpaid, the achievement in it difficult to measure, and the requirements and expectations of it hard to define.  Keeping a house clean is cyclical and never really finished.  Homeschooling the kids through high school is a long-term project and dependent upon their efforts and abilities, so it’s difficult to quantify my contribution to their learning and achievement.  Being a mother and wife are both long-term, too, and aren’t done alone.  Because they are relationships and not jobs, we don’t sit down as a family for a year-end review of how I’m doing in those roles.
I have no airplane or any other tangible product to show for my labor; no promotion, no title, and no salary reflective of my value, or anything of the kind.  It won’t be until the end of my life, if ever, that I’ll be able to look back and truly see how things turned out: to measure the impact and results of my work.  Self-evaluation is required in what I do day-to-day, but it’s nearly impossible to do accurately.
All I can do for now is look toward the only standard that matters, God’s Word, learn what the Lord expects of me as one He has saved and made His child, and apply that to the nitty-gritty of my daily life.  I believe He wants me to be at home doing all of those things in my job description, and though it’s hard to measure how I’m doing at it, I know this:  when He gives you something to do, He helps you to do it, day-by-day.  He corrects, strengthens, encourages, and leads me.  And in the end, it’s only His evaluation that really matters.

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