Looking for an energetic activities coordinator. Job includes long shifts, early am and late pm work with occasional midnight calls for emergencies. Must be a home cook chef in knowledge of food allergies and strict medical diets. Must be able to negotiate challenging arguments, bouts of frustration, and know how to redirect with ninja persuasion. Must have skills in psychology. Must have masters or doctoral level skills in early childhood education, elementary education, and special education. Must be an excellent and safe driver. Must be well versed in swimming, soccer, physical therapy, speech therapy, yard work, cycling, and boxing, basically anything a person would want to do for recreational sport. Must be able to read and answer questions seamlessly without losing their place. Must have at least three years of seminary experience and be able to make children’s lesson plans with biblical relevance. Must teach morals, basic life skills, and biblical concepts. Must maintain friendships without personal contact. Must be knowledgeable in all crafting and engineering categories. Must have education in insurance negotiations. Hiring ASAP.
This employer hired me on the spot despite declining their offer multiple times. I’m now a small cruise ship activities coordinator without pay, time off, or overtime compensation. I’ve been holding down this position for the last several months with no end in site.
Mothering in today’s world looks very different than what I had planned. I planned to have kids, put them in school, work during the day, take them to sports, enjoy church and Sunday school, and go for family outings on the weekend. My sense of normal didn’t just change with our current pandemic. No my sense of normal changed with my third child. I mourned my reality. My doctoral degree I worked so hard to obtain in an accelerated program was now put on the back-burner. It was, and still is a slow burn.
Mourning your current reality is normal. It’s healthy to acknowledge what you had planned or thought would happen is not the way your world turned out to be. It’s not so healthy to stay there.
In March my family was on a 14 day quarantine. It became clear to me this was going to be a long road. We were going to make some changes for everyone. I mourned. What I thought would be a year of public school, sports, connecting with a new church, therapy services, and my own personal work finally making progress has turned around 180 degrees. I found myself feeling like I had to do everything and be everything for my family. I was overwhelmed.
After a few days, and loads of prayer, my attitude changed. I began to see this time as a blessing and a rich opportunity to be a family without distractions. Don’t get me wrong, my feelings of frustration still come to the surface. I’m learning to let those feelings happen and then wipe by eyes of tears and keep going.
So during this time I’ve seen true character emerge from my family. Not only from my family but our country. A lack of patience, waiting, and contentment rise to the surface. Our idols become apparent. God tells us true character comes through hard and often uncomfortable times. We see this right now.
I’ve struggled with the feeling of not being seen or acknowledged for all the work this cruise ship coordinator position demands. I know the Lord sees my every move. I know the Gospel response but let’s be honest, my emotions don’t match what my mind knows. I’ve found myself looking hard into my Bible for comfort. I’m finding many had to wait for God’s timing. Many passages speak to contentment, perseverance, character, and living in what God has planned for us, not necessarily what we have planned for our lives.
- Sarah and Abraham patiently waiting for a son. Sarah taking the matter into her own hands and then dealing with the fallout. (Genesis 11-21)
- Learning to wait on the Lord. Teaching patience and building trust.
- Hannah as she waited for her son and displayed her emotions openly then wiping her face and continuing to faithfully trust the Lord’s timing. (1 Samuel 1-2)
- Paul in prison multiple times. He had confidence of God’s plan and waited. He even wrote books of the Bible in his waiting. (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon.)
So, I decided to follow what I felt God was telling me to do. Surrender my plans. Surrender my idols of a job, a way of life I thought looked good to others. And instead, take up his plan of building our family unit, focusing on simple character attributes, and streamlining our activities.
We are still a work in progress. We still need faithful dedication to the Word to guide us. We still need to acknowledge our feelings, pray and confess them, and then choose to go God’s way. Let’s choose to make this time worth while, dedicating it to improving our character and increasing our knowledge of our God.
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:5-8)
*Thanks Jen for your support as a fellow cruise ship activities coordinator*