I am moving slowly on this cold and rainy Monday morning.
The day ahead is full of a list of exciting tasks like laundry and cleaning out all of the 2018 receipts and pulling our tax information.
I can’t wait to get started.
You all may or may not know but my Journey Onward story includes a ton of part time jobs.
I have basically held two real jobs where you clock in forty hours a week and get paid vacation and such.
The first was an assistant manager in a clothing store for the six months between my graduation from college and Russ’ graduation followed by our wedding a few weeks later.
The second lasted from about a year after our wedding until I looked into the eyes of our first born child and hung up any hopes of ever earning a retirement package and paid vacation.
After that I have squeezed in a hefty number of part time jobs in between raising our kids and doing laundry.
We joke about it, but I know my life has been made rich by the experiences I have gained working in a variety of settings.
Last summer I tried a new adventure with the help and support of my husband and my “bosses” who are also such dear friends.
I got all the paperwork completed to buy wholesale and entered into a little entrepreneur adventure of purchasing clothing and accessories and then selling on consignment in the cutest little store where I happen to be a clerk a couple of days a week.
It has been kind of a long time dream revisited from my youth when I thought being a buyer for a department store would be the most fun job in the world.
Paid to shop?
Please and thank you.
Yesterday my shop mentor and boss Kim and I went to the quarterly market. She brings her years of retail experience and her own artistic sense and helps me with the decisions.
And all of that is to share with you something I am learning in my new job that I can apply to life in general.
While some people avoid shopping, I have always found it to be the one thing that I never mind doing.
Whether it is groceries, clothing, household items…necessities for us or therapy for me…gifts for others…online…in store…the local Casey’s…I love it…and I don’t even have to buy anything…I just like looking.
So walking into an entire floor of a building that takes up most of a city block and is stocked with one booth after another of merchandise is like a blast for me.
But as I am enjoying and appreciating the wide variety of styles available (and yes…rolling my eyes and laughing at others…) I have to keep focusing on one thing.
I am not shopping for myself and I am not there to figure out what would do well in other stores.
I am there to think about who shops in the store where I work and how to meet her needs and preferences.
I am contributing to an atmosphere and mission established by the owners of the store in which our daily goal is to provide a unique and pleasant shopping experience for all who enter the door. (I am borrowing that line from my dear friend who owns this lovely little place where I am blessed to work)
And what does that have to do with the rest of my life?
As a follower of Christ I no longer live for myself.
I live with a mindset set on the way He would do things and what He is interested in.
I choose to struggle, in a good way, to bring my attention back from self; and also from viewing what others are doing. I force myself to regain focus on His mission throughout the day.
I don’t always succeed, but when I don’t … I fall back on grace.
The same grace that saved me also keeps me.
As we near the end of the first month of 2019, it’s a good time to check in and evaluate what habits are in place for keeping centered on Him.
There are so many distractions – both for ourselves and as we get involved in other relationships – and we can forget to maintain our one on one relationship with the One who gave His life for us.
So I ask you today just as I stop and ask myself….
Who are you focused on serving?
To intentionally live focused on Jesus Christ and His teachings is to live counter-culture.
It is not easy.
Let’s help each other along and encourage one another to hold fast and stay focused.