Work With All Your Heart // Colossians 3:23

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,” Colossians 3:23

Okay friends. Candidly, when I first read this verse, I had some trouble with the idea of “working with all your heart.” I mean, isn’t it called work for a reason? By day, I am a special needs and at-risk Pre-K teacher so more often than not, I am somewhere on the corner of overloaded and totally burnt out. Even so, I often stop to ponder what it would actually look like if I really embodied the words in this verse in real life. 
I always feel a twinge of guilt when I speak these words to people but even though I am a teacher, this is not a field that I see myself being in long-term. I suppose the guilt comes from falling into the common side effect of teaching in North Carolina. Our state has a hard time finding new teachers, much less keeping them around, but I’m not going to get into all of that here. I just always feel like I have to quickly follow this admission with some sort of explanation or defense. The truth of the matter is that people change. I have a passion for young children; that much has not changed. But the capacity in which I feel I am going to be used to help children, has. 
When I lost my grandmother and aunt less than 48 hours apart this past September, it changed all of us in my family. Grief and loss can make you begin to reevaluate everything that you believe and know to be true. For me, losing these two important women made me really consider what is important in life in terms of my work. There are countless people out there that stay in careers that make them miserable and unfulfilled simply for the higher paychecks or a particular “perk of the job”. I don’t want to dread going into work each day, but I also don’t want to pursue something just for a particular “perk” or “benefit” and not have my whole heart be in it. 

For much of 2015, I was enrolled in an online master’s degree program and taking courses toward a graduate degree in Mass Communications with a specialization in Social Media. Having been a blogger for over five years, it’s definitely a field that interests me but somewhere along the way something that started as a passion began to fizzle into just that, an interest. As I said above, grief can change your outlook on many things and for me, this career path was one of them. I just truly could not see myself being fulfilled if I continued down that path. 
One of the things that we see over and over in the Bible is Jesus caring for the least and the lost. The more that I pondered those words, the more I began to realize that I was doing that already in my work with special needs and at-risk children. As I began to pray into the decision to withdraw from graduate school and look ahead to what might be on the horizon after teaching, I felt that I was being led to look back at a career path that I had not considered since college. My bachelor’s degree is in Child Development Birth-Kindergarten and we heard often about the various careers that we could pursue with our degree. The main one, of course, was teaching, but the other was Child Life. Certified Child Life Specialists provide emotional support for children and families in the hospital through therapeutic play (more details about Child Life can be found in this awesome video). I had found myself visiting hospitals over the past two years on a couple different occasions and each time, I would have the random thought of oh yeah, I could work in a hospital if I ever wanted a change.

Well, like I said above, when I began to pray into what would be next for me, Child Life came back to mind…and stayed there. I began to look into the process for getting certified and discovered that I already had many of the coursework requirements taken care, thanks to my undergraduate courses.

When I think about this Colossians verse and working as though I am working for the Lord, the image that comes to mind is me doing something that would be pleasing to God and doing it with all of my heart and soul. As much as I love my students and try I as I might, my whole heart is just not in teaching, at least long term. But with this verse as a reminder, I am able to power through the days and be reminded that every thing we do, even work, should be for glorifying God and his truth.

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