Some women face a struggle to quit their full-time job when God calls your heart home. I know I did.
Before I gave my four-week notice at work, I struggled with the should-I or shouldn’t I battle. I knew God had been calling my heart home for awhile. But, I had the struggle to head to that calling. But, it wasn’t because I was completely rebellious to obey my heavenly Father. I had a hard time changing. After our son left for college, my work became my reason for living. And, it paid the college bills. I was in a comfort zone, even though the zone wasn’t comfortable. But, I was still resistant to change.
So, God is the loving parent and decided to work on me in a different way. He used an article in a magazine or book, I don’t remember now what it was. But it had an impact on me. The article was about your work environment. The author suggested that your work environment should be work-like. He (or she) further suggested that a person should only have six personal items in their workspace. Whether it be a small desk, a cubicle, or a corner office limit your personal collection to only six things.
In contrast, mine was homelike. I had personal furniture in my comfy office, with pictures and decorations. My calming water-fountain graced my desk. Next, I had personal pictures of the family. I also had my prized coffee-cup collection. Then there was a couple of antique pictures. Over on the wall was a German antique bookcase with several personal knick-knacks. Then I had a corner with several plants. I also had some mood lighting for when the flourescent lights were too bright. I also had clothes like extra sweaters and a heavy jacket. I had a coffee pot, my personal little tea-pot, and several personal books. Oh, and then there was a blanket. Hey, don’t judge me here. <Smile> My office faced North, with a glass wall. During winters, even with a space-heater, the temp in the office struggled to reach 60! Did I say my office was home-like?
Anyway, the article stated you shouldn’t have your office or work environment too homey. That type of environment leads to problems, which I won’t detail here.
I decided it was time to clean. I cleansed and purged ‘stuff’ over a three month period through the Fall. Eventually, before the end of the year, I had downsized to 6 personal items in my office. It was quite a contrast, and of course, people asked me what was going on. I flippantly answered them “it’s time for a change.” That was a couple of months before I gave notice. Amazing how clearing my office of the ‘stuff’ made the final decision so much easier. Now quitting wasn’t like a divorce that would separate me from ‘home.’ It was quitting work, which is exactly what He was nudging me to do.
Before I wrap up, let me give you another example of ‘too much’ and see if you can relate.
I traveled to Boise, Idaho and I realized that I had once again fallen into a repeated bad habit. I had packed too many clothes. I knew when I zipped up the piece that I wouldn’t wear half of what I packed (and I didn’t). To make matters worse, I later discovered the carry-on piece didn’t make the cut with airlines. I had to check my baggage. I had two problems:
Too many clothes and baggage that was too large.
Mind you, the clothes weren’t really the problem, except it personally bothered me that I had overpacked. But, the luggage issue. That one irked me. It was one of those instances where I claimed “But, I’ve used this piece many times before with X. But, there is no reasoning with a gate agent.
They have power!
I couldn’t chop off the luggage to make it fit so I had to just bear the burden and expense of a last minute baggage check. Yet, it fueled a desire within to get it right the next time.
The multi-hour flight I had plenty of time to think. I thought about the season of cleansing before my cubicle nation escape. And of course the recent baggage problem. My mind drifted in thought to emotional baggage.
My emotional baggage had been and still was in overload. We had experienced a family crisis a month my trip. Our son had tried to take his life. So, of course, my heart and mind had been continually on him. In the past I’ve been prone to carry–too much and/or the wrong size emotional baggage.
I’ll be the first to admit to myself that I’m not perfect. I try not to portray myself in person or in the blogosphere as being perfect either. It’s why I probably share too much information sometimes.
Here are my notes from that flight:
“Too Much Baggage.”
No one lives free from all problems, pain, hurdles, or issues. No, not one. But, my precious Lord is ready to not only keep me from lasting harm but he wants to do the same for you. he can use those unsettled times to equip and strengthen us. Through experience we’ll be ready for the next curve or bend in life’s road What about the baggage of worry? Do you wonder if you are prone to worry too much? Usually, we know if we are a worrier. But, read through this little list and see if you can answer yes to any of these symptoms of excessive worry:
Symptoms of excessive worry
Tired and tight muscles
Problems sleeping soundly
Shortness of breath
Stress and tension
Jumpy and easily startled
Is the list overwhelming? The first time I read through that list about four years ago, I was having all of them multiple days in a row. Did I mention I was a wreck a few years ago? But, I did find solutions and help. My first help came from the Lord.
I had to draw nearer and closer to him. I did not handle stress well, and it was wearing on me. I was stressed out, wiped out, give out and bottom line – an out and out mess. I had my brave face on in public and at church. Few people truly knew how I really was except for my husband and a couple of others.
I found help in praying and asking Jesus to relieve my burdens and hand them over to Him. I know, it’s easier said than done. I have a tendency to give it Him, and then turn around and take it right back from him. Do you do that, too?
My favorite and most used Bible scripture was (and still is) Philippians 4:6-7
“Be careful for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
I learned to apply my Duck Theology. Just like how water rolls off of a duck’s back, I began rolling burdens to Christ. It was almost comical how quickly anything that started to ‘burden’ my mind I reached to Christ to help me. From clothing decisions to huge work decisions. I figured if He could help with the big things I was going to let him help with the small things as well so my mind could get some rest!
The next thing I did look at making sure I was carrying the “Right Size Baggage.”
Contrary to popular belief, baggage is not one size fits all like some pantyhose.
It’s an exercise I now use when I mentor other women about defining their purpose and passion. It involves clearly defining your life’s core values (what’s truly important to you). You define what and where you should be concentrating your attentions. You can read about it here: Mapping Your Way to New Purpose
The written list helped me to eliminate those things in my life which weren’t edifying to my spirit. You will have cares and concerns in life, so it’s best that it be those that work towards your good and your goals. Learning about this process of clearly defining my personal values started me down the correct path of reducing some worries and eliminating some stresses.
Is everything perfect now?
No more worries? Oh, my, no! I’m not dead yet and I know I won’t have a life free from all worries and cares until I cross to the other side of Jordan’s River! But, I have a much better understanding about my emotional baggage and know when to adjust the weight, make some changes or just let it go!
P.S. I have a new piece of approved and authorized carry-on luggage too!
Kim Steadman is a wife, mother and proud Meme. She retired from corporate life to bring her heart, mind, body and soul home and to start her creative writing journey. Her writing works include “The Creative Prayer Journal” and “The Diary of a Recycled Dog.” She loves to help other creatives nurture the connection between their faith & creativity.