Four words that can cause feelings of elation and trepidation all at once. At least that’s how I feel. Add into the mix summer work along with “can I have, can I go…” and you have a right recipe for being stressed out.

I don’t normally work over the summer but it does leave things financially tight. This year I really prayed that I would get a wee job for 2/3 weeks that would keep me going, pay a few bills and be able to say yes to some of those “can I” questions.

Well, that’s just what happened. In a strange and unexpected way, I ended up getting work for three weeks. Yay!! All seemed straight forward and perfect right down to the amount of hours per week.

So began the task of trying to find child minders without being out much money. Sounds simple enough doesn’t it, eh no! I really don’t have many people that live nearby that can help out so it was a bit of a juggling match. I was however thankful for the work in the first place, because I did pray for that, right?

I have 2 grown up kids and 2 age 11 and
8 but as any parent knows it’s like trying to organise a small army when you need to leave the house. Even if it’s only you leaving the house you still need to leave everything in order and specific instructions (maybe that’s only for boys, even if the older one is in charge he still needs said above list- I have ALL boys – including the dog).

It’s not at all easy when you are trying to juggle work, family, home and many other components in your life and often you get left on the back burner (reminds me of when my hubby makes tea, it boils in the pot for an hour). As mums, it’s easy to be consumed with all you have to accomplish and you forget about the simple things in life – joy, contentment, peace.

Anyhow, so I began my summer job, the one I prayed for, and within a short space of time I realised this was not going to be as easy as I anticipated. I had myself convinced it would be simple as I had prayed, God answered, it didn’t seem difficult, but yikes was it a challenge. My summer job was as a cleaner in a school and the first day I came home and had to take painkillers as my body hurt in so many places. I never knew this job could be so difficult and physically demanding.

I lay under tables scraping off dried up chewing gum while vowing my boys will never consume chewing gum EVER! As I write this it hasn’t even been one week of work yet and I am shattered. When I come in my youngest wants to paint or do something fun and I respond like I’ve just ran a marathon. My own house still needs cleaned (pray for me) and normal duties still go on.

Isn’t it funny how God can use answered prayer to challenge us. During this week it felt like God was stripping things right back to the basics in me and starting afresh. For me, this is a tough process and requires patience, endurance and motivation. All of which I seriously lack in hence why God is still providing opportunities for me to work on it. I am a ‘sweep it under the carpet’ type of person and during the past week working that has all been shaken up in me as I’ve had to ask myself some hard hitting questions and face reality in a lot of ways. Maybe you are feeling a bit overwhelmed or an answer to prayer is not quite what you thought it might be.

I’d like to say I can give you a definitive answer on how to walk through that but I’m still working on it myself. I am learning however, that no matter how far we run from issues in our lives eventually we have to dig deep and sort it out. It’s like all those bits of chewing gum, just because no one can see it under the table it’s still there and in the end, like me you will be lying on your back with a scrapper taking it off bit by bit (I have the photo to prove this). The good thing is God reveals issues in our lives so that we can deal with it. God wants us to live our best lives and often we sabotage our own way forward by refusing to deal with things that hold us back. It’s like one of those bungie rope things that you are attached to and have to run and place an object as far as you can before you are catapulted back, in life you will get so far but the same problems will keep pulling you back unless you cut the cords. So, currently I’m sitting here assessing if I can complete another two weeks of this work and even if I physically can’t I know I have learnt some hard but valuable lessons about myself through answered prayer.