The Best Thing

We were out running errands this last Thursday, when my husband decided to stop by an RV dealership just to look and see what they had since we saw we were ahead of schedule.  He’s had this hint of a dream of owning an RV for a few years now, it started with the desire to be able to travel in retirement, and then grew to the dream of using it for vacations with our children camping around the country.  It is cute, and even though I really disliked the thought of RVs in general, I adore how he is so drawn to them.

We were met by a salesman who wanted to know how to help us, and were up front in saying that we weren’t ready to buy anytime soon, but just wanted to look at the prices and see what they had to get some research on what it’d be like to own an RV.  The salesman didn’t mind taking us around and even offered us the entire property to explore on our own.  As the time went on, him showing us RVs and asking us questions about our life, he started talking about his own family and offering some great advice.

He had married young, and was still a very handsome man, he had 6 children with one wife, and was honest with us in saying that he loved seeing how we acted with each other, and hearing what we were doing and planning to do with our “beautiful” family.  It was such a sweet encouragement.  He talked with me about the importance of staying home with my children while they are so young, how 4 out of his 6 children had that privilege with his wife and as a result, excelled in school and even in college – finishing in just 3 years with their degrees.  His last two children didn’t have that opportunity, as his wife had already started her career, and as a result, were in daycare from a young age and struggled the entire time with their schooling, including college.  All of kids though, were now adults and doing excellent in their own paths in life.  He showed us a picture of his family – it was so sweet, and his wife looked so impossibly beautiful that I actually thought she was his daughter!  Meeting him, hearing him talk about his family, feeling the reassurance of our own paths in life, was a blessing to me personally.

One thing that stuck with me when talking to him while expressing how much I loved being able to be home with my babies, was him agreeing and saying that having a family, enjoying your family and actually getting to be with your kids, was just “the best thing in life.”

The Best Thing.

And it really is.  There are so many times when I can’t believe how blessed we are to have each other, to have our boys, and the excitement I feel for the future paired with the pleasure I feel in just enjoying the mundane moments together.  He encouraged me about feeling so behind on my career, how it was on the back burner.  I was not a woman who didn’t know what to do with my life.  I had a profession in mind when I was only 9 years old, I loved school and especially college.  I was ambitious… I had motivation… I knew what I wanted and was going after it at lightning speed!  😀

I received my Bachelor’s of Science in Biology, and graduated with honors mostly because genuinely enjoyed the difficult classes.  I devoured my education, and loved every last bit of it.  I had the taste of utilizing my degree by working in research and still miss it, miss learning new things everyday, and miss the excitement of scientific discovery.  The salesman reminded me that I was still so young, and that his own wife had waited until mid to late-30’s to even start her career in nursing, and still climbed her track steadily until she became a very prestigious nurse.  It was so interesting to hear him talk about how her particular type of nursing was her vocation, her calling (and very necessary one, giving chemotherapy to child cancer patients).  But he also insisted that raising their children, creating a beautiful family, was also an incredible part of her success.

It was The Best Thing.  Not her amazing job, not how she’s using her talents now, not how she’s able to help children who are dying… but how she raised her children.

Her family, her ensuring that her children grew up to become good, healthy, well-adjusted people, kids who excelled in school, who knew what they wanted in life, was “the best thing.”

Him having a family, enjoying his family while they were growing up in his household, seeing them turn into adults, was the best thing.

*

I know with our toxic environment that is aggressively hostile to the family, especially the traditional, Christian family, it’s hard to feel any encouragement that what we are doing is making any difference.

But if you are out there, trying to do the right thing for your family, if you’re a wife who is working because the income is needed right now, or a stay-at-home-mom who is lovingly teaching her children and faithfully home-schooling them so sacrificially, I just want to encourage you.  I’m thinking of you tonight.

If you’re a husband who’s keeping it together, making the best of your life, and honoring your commitment to your children, I want to encourage you.

It really is the best thing.

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The Lazy Caterpillow – How To Spot a Bad Worker

ugly caterpillarI was reading a story book to my son last night for bedtime, and it happened to be a book we’d never read before (thank you, library)… it was based on Proverbs 13:4

 

Slackers crave but have their fill of nothing,

but the hardworking desire and are completely satisfied.

 

The story was about 2 caterpillows (yes… cater-pillow), one that worked and finished his cocoon on time, and the other who didn’t like to work, and never finishes his cocoon.

The Lazy Caterpillow took too many long breaks, slept when he wanted to, skipped days of work, and seemed to do everything but get to the task at hand.

When he finally sees the success and payoff of the Hard-Working Caterpillow, he is shocked, then indignant!  He hates that the Hard-Working Caterpillow became a butterfly.  He declares it isn’t fair… that he’s been robbed…and tries to blame the Successful Butterfly for his laziness.

The Lazy Caterpillow then sits on a rock and (instead of working) continues to complain about his situation, and make a multitude of excuses as to why he’s not a Successful Butterfly.

I love children’s books, I love teaching my son these important biblical lessons.  There are a lot of Lazy Caterpillows out there, and yet there are also a lot of Hard-Working Caterpillows that develop into Successful Butterflies.  The moral of the story is profound.

I’ve honestly seen many Lazy Workers, and they can really drain a program or company.

How to Spot a Bad Worker:

  • They have an attitude that suggests they hate their work – or they come out and say that they hate their work
  • They take too many breaks playing on Facebook at work, sitting in their office getting nothing productive done, spending time talking to other employees for hours instead of working on projects or filing papers
  • They take advantage of company policy.  At my last workplace our team had unofficial Compensation Time that we would use.  There was an employee who was taking classes and so would leave around lunch or just after to get to class.  Eventually they stopped coming back to work altogether, and ended up working 4 to 5 hour days on their days they had class, and never coming in on weekends or in the evenings to ever make up the time lost to the company.
  • They place blame on everything and everyone but themselves… they never take responsibility for things that go wrong or responsibilities they didn’t complete.  When I started my last job, I was given multiple notebooks of records that needed to be kept for our research studies, the person who had had this responsibility before me had never completed questions and reviews of what needed to be done to make the records up to date.
  • When they do see someone successful, they are very bitter, resentful, and think the person doesn’t deserve what they are getting

How to Spot a Good Worker:

  • They have a positive attitude about their job and work, they are grateful for their responsibilities and take great pride in getting their activities done well and on time.  It’s rare to hear a Good Worker complain.
  • They don’t take many breaks – the breaks they do take are kept reasonably short so that they can return to whatever they’re working on.  If they have no particular project, a Good Worker busies themselves with getting the mundane tasks of filing records, or even starting a new project ahead of time.
  • The understand when they make mistakes, and readily admit to them.  They see any bad decisions in retrospect and think about how they would’ve handled that situation differently.  This is big for me, I can look back at a certain situation, and see where I would’ve done things differently.  A Good Worker does this all throughout their career though, constantly evaluating paths they’ve taken and mistakes they might’ve made.
  • Good Workers abide by company policy… always!  They don’t try to take advantage of the company, but actually look for ways to benefit it in the long-run.  They aren’t afraid to push their team forward and create better ways to communicate and operate so that their team can be more productive.
  • Good Workers aren’t afraid to call foul when they see it.  Although it might not always end well for the employee who confronts their boss on their not fulfilling their responsibility to clients or sponsors, it always pays off in the long-run to hold to one’s integrity.  Good Workers have integrity.