Women and Work

The relationship I have had with work over the past 6 years has been tumultuous. I have gone through various phases.   In fact, I am on my 5th job since May of 2006. Wow. 

This video actually had me thinking about my career and life goals as a Christian woman. As a woman with really high career goals and aspirations combined with a strong drive for leadership, it was really awesome and comforting to hear.  I am confident that we don’t have to put ourselves in the either/or box. We can put ourselves in the box that God has created which most of the time can’t be defined by societal structure or church culture structure. To God be the praise for the freedom and creativity He has given us as women.

http://player.vimeo.com/video/67170805

In light of this video and my remarks above, I can happily say that I have found a career! I work for a global organization that is just enough ministry and just enough business to appease my Tourette/Bipolar-like personality as it relates to career choices.  I can see I am part of something bigger than myself- something kingdom focused.  It is also a place that I can envision growing in my career. It doesn’t scare me to push to the next phase; to ask for the next position. It is also a place that I have seen my strengths flourish. There is  so much space for creativity, organization, and taking risks. It has opened my eyes to so many other career and education options as well.  It is just, well, “right.”

Having walked into this sweet spot in my career I sometimes face the tension of what it means to be built for leadership, strategy, and operations while being a woman. Specifically a woman of Christian doctrine and faith.  I know what God has stirred in me and the direction He is sending me but many, if not most, of the women around me walk a different path than what I sense God creating for my personal path. I don’t judge these women. I actually really love being a part of their lives.  Their life path has just been a little different from mine. I often long for women to come into my life that are career focused. That thrive in a board room. Women that speak their mind directly and are changing their world one meeting at a time.  I will also  say,  I am the farthest thing from a feminist, so I don’t think that “woman power” is invigorating. What I do find freeing is getting to walk out my days as a woman in a role that allows for my strengths to be cultivated. For my passions and dreams to be reality right before my eyes.  In various seasons this has meant different things for me. I assume the future season changes will also mean different things for me.

 In my early 20’s, as I was forming my identity, femininity, doctrine and such.  I was also unhappy in my career choices.  I would escape to the idea that the woman’s place is in the home. I would ask myself, “Why should I develop a career when all I will end up doing one day is staying at home with my family.”  This thought came from desires I have and had. It also came from culture around me. Often times I felt a lack of confidence in what I was saying.  I knew there was something much more stirring beyond what I could see. Much of the past six years I spent dreaming of how to get out of work. I also spent time  focusing on “what could be” with work or my personal life. It was often too easy for me to think the only place of success for me would be inside the walls of a house with 2.5 (or 10) kids, a husband, a blog, an etsy shop and a really clean/organized house with new and innovative meals on the table every night.

While that hasn’t been my reality, I often wonder why I even ran in that direction. Would I really- will I really thrive in that role? How can I still practice leadership, strategy, mastering operations and work flow within the walls of my home?

Will I enjoy being a wife, a mom? Yes. Do I want that? I do.  Will I blog, have an etsy shop and cook blow your mind meals? Nope:) Do all of these things sound suffocating to me in the midst of a thriving career centered season? YES!

What I will do is love and respect my husband like nobody’s business and if I have children train and disciple them as the bible calls me to. My hope and prayer (and maybe a little of an unrealistic dream) is to find that balance.  To live in the fullness of today, to prepare faithfully for the future and to trust that whatever season God places me in, He will allow for me to be cultivated and flourish in those things that I love and crave!  I hope I still have time and energy for things outside of the home when I am married. Maybe God will call me to sacrifice things like kids in order to be more intricately involved in social issues. Maybe He will call me to train little kids to be world changers with all the options in the world. MAYBE He will let me do both.

All that to say, as a woman I hope you are looking at how God has made you.  The Bible speaks beautifully about the freedom found in walking out in those strengths. It looks different for everyone and it takes a strong community (friends, husband, family) to come to that realization with you.

How are you built? How do you long to see your femininity displayed? Is it cooking? Is it on Wall Street? Is it teaching? Whatever it is, do it with vigor and joy for the glory of God!

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