The theme for MOPS this year is Decide to Rise and includes the principle “Do your work”. But what does that even mean? As a fellow mum, I know the work is a never-ending cycle! The constant answering of questions, household cleaning, cooking, feeding, creating routines, stimulating minds, spending quality time, shopping, clothes… gah!
In the online dictionary, the word ‘work’ is defined as; “An activity involving mental or physical effort. Done in order to achieve a purpose or result.” -notice it doesn’t say ‘exhausting, boring or unachievable’.
Why do we need to do our work? Studies have shown that giving back to the community makes you feel less stressed, more positive and happier. In other words; we live a longer and healthier life!
Something I consider work could actually be someone else’s idea of fun; crazy right? Conversely, I have strengths I love using that don’t feel like work, and others think I’m insane!
Use your strengths
Each year, my husband and I run a large family camp in the Flinders Ranges at a bush campsite. My husband sends out invites, sets the date and works out finances. He pools camping resources and does all the paperwork. Whilst I work out the menu, shopping list, prep and cook the meals on camp stoves.
This is an extra special time of year for our family. We love serving others and allowing them a weekend away without the added stress of planning and cooking. I especially love doing it because I am using skills I have trained for but put to the side while focusing on raising our children. Our children also look forward to this camp each year and love helping us get ready. It is a blessing to all of us.
As humans, we haven’t been designed to work separately; we work best in a community. Doing our “work” and using our strengths and gifts helps our community thrive, encourages others and fuels us to keep going.
What can you do?
Think about your strengths. What can you give back to your people?
You may be the listening ear someone needs, or maybe you’re great at giving good advice. Maybe you can provide encouragement at the right time, a meal for the struggling or a cup of tea in the time of need. You could be using your strengths to help in the greater community by being a parent helper in your child’s school, volunteering at your local op shop or babysitting somebody else’s children.
Do what you love, find your people and work less.
Whatever your gift is, however large or small, you are a valuable and much-needed member of your village.