Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Strange jobs and eclectic resumes...

are part of my background. For years this bothered me because I had long ago determined, roughly around the age of 8 1/2 that I was going to be a lawyer and Supreme Court justice, so I planned accordingly for the summer jobs I would hold in the interim years.

For example, one summer I worked at an insurance agency because everyone knows insurance issues are a hotbed for the tort system. I amounted to nothing more than a glorified filer and typist of letters, but hey, I knew how to dress up a resume. For example, filing became "managed inter-office organizational systems." Typing became "produced and published key communication critical to agency efficiency."

Then there was the job I held at a bridal and prom dress shop because tapping into the legal issues surrounding dyed shoes and steamed dresses are critical. Not so much. However, there was certainly a multitude of opportunities to practice and refine case presentation before a jury because what prospective bride doesn't bring with her a veritable entourage of onlookers to give her an opinion or twenty. And when you are working on commission, you learn how to present a case, I mean, dress.

The long and short though is that I didn't become a lawyer, I became a wife and mom. To wit, I have wondered if those long acquired skills towards one end were indeed wasted. I was radically put into my place some years ago by a young lady, not yet a mom but who had always aspired to being a mom, when she challenged my woe begon-ing attitudes about the mundanacity (new word) of the mom job I was doing.

She convictingly asked me, "Have you ever considered that what you learned in all those other jobs was actually part of God preparing you for exactly what you're doing right now as a mom?"

Wow! I was truly humbled by her perspective because I realized that the daily diapering, burping, cleaning, wiping, and managing of this little person that I was feeling put upon by was indeed her ideal job. From that point of being put into place, I began to reconsider how God had indeed been directly preparing me for what I was doing. And as children were added to our family, the truth of this providence became more evident.

For example, when I worked in the bait and tackle shop handling crickets, worms, and minnows, He was building in me a tolerance for slimy things. I'm the mom of three sons. Enough said.

When I was the musical director for a children's theatre group, He was teaching me how to gain everyone's attention and use music (even drama) to keep it. All three of my sons, but two especially are great lovers of music and therefore constantly singing.

When I worked as a church financial secretary, He was preparing me for the attention to detail that is necessary when helping with a Lego creation.

God didn't waste an iota of what He allowed in my life. In fact, the whole time that I was convinced that my choices were all mine for my benefit for my plans, God was preparing me for His purposes. To some that believe in the absolutivity (I like creating new words) of a free will, this idea of God's fingerprints all over a life is somewhat offensive. At one point, it was so to me.

Instead though, it is exactly the renewed understanding that God providentially and wisely directs my paths that gives security and assurance in the difficult days. When I wonder why in the world has He allowed this "whatever" to occur, I remember His promise of using every event for my good and His glory. It is He that has gone before and has established before the foundations of the world. If it were all up to me...~shudder~ Instead, let me take the path of rejoicing in His thoughts and ways.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:8-11


  1. Great post, Elle.

    I'm a fairly new reader, but I had to chime in here, since I've seen the truth of this in my life as well.

    The older I get, the more I see how God has intricately written the backstory of my days to equip me for things I didn't even know were coming. I liken it to living in a grand adventure movie. "So what will I do with this tool? Interesting. Best store it in the bag with the others and see what's around the bend."

  2. "It will not return to me empty" Isn't that so coolieseemo (wanted to join in and make up a new word, too) Blesssings and thanks for sharing this truth...

  3. This is a wonderful way to look at life. Nothing is wasted.

  4. "God didn't waste an iota of what He allowed in my life. In fact, the whole time that I was convinced that my choices were all mine for my benefit for my plans, God was preparing me for His purposes."

    This is so inspiring to me, Elle! Thanks for writing this.

  5. Excellent Post!

    "but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."

    Love that part of the verse. It reminds me that it isn't about me and God is control!

  6. Your words echo my journey as well, although I never worked bait and tackle nor wedding gowns. How grateful I am to a God who worketh all things well, for His purpose and His glory...