Steven Curtis Chapman has a song called 'Do Everything' which I fell in love with the very first time I heard it. When I was working, I really struggled because I kinda sorta really hated my job. Well, I didn't mind the actual part when I worked with the kids--kids are alright. But there were some other issues made me flat our miserable. The song was encouraging to me in those days because it helped me keep my perspective. I was working for God's glory, not just for a paycheck. Oddly enough for as much as I liked the song, I didn't know what it was called until just a couple days ago. I was listening to some of his albums on Spotify and noticed the title for the first time. 'Do Everything.'
It stuck out to me because I just read in a book that one of the leading Women's Rights activists of the 1800s had a motto which was 'Do Everything'. This was a liberating idea for 19th century women. That they could do more, be more, have more. For these women it was about better education, social reform, the right to vote, equal pay/respect in the workforce, and protecting the sanctity of the home. This is how they dreamed a of a better life.
But I feel that 'Do Everything' is no longer full of glittering possibilities. Instead, it feels more like a prison sentence. It's not about the betterment of lives but the idea of having it at all, doing it all. Whatever this illusive 'it' is. Our 19th century foremothers wanted the right to choose what their lives could be. Ironically, I think we somehow missed the mark and ended up in the same boat. So many women I know don't feel as though they have choices to do this or that, but instead the choice is to deciding when to do this and that. And we're buckling under the pressure of having to do it all. Our schedules are loaded with things to do and places to be. We're supposed to be organic, from scratch, DIY women who also work full-time and still look beautiful for our husbands. 'Do Everything' is no longer about liberating women, but exhausting them!
So how do we simplify? Do we simply hang up our business suits and go back to the kitchen? No. And I'm a stay at home mom, so I sorta feel like I'm betraying my own kind with that answer. I don't think the answer is to put every woman back in her home and make her stay there. For some of us, that's the answer. It was for me. For right now in this season of my life, God wants me to be a homemaker and that's what will bring him glory. He calls me to serve him at home and in the church, and as long as I'm faithful to do that, then I'm doing everything I'm supposed to be doing. That's my 'Do Everything'.
Which is what brings me back to Steven Curtis Chapman. The man has a knack for putting some pretty strong Biblical wake-up calls to some catchy melodies. It just sticks with you. And his song says that we should 'Do Everything' for God's glory, big or small, glamorous or simple. Our purpose is to do the work God has designed us to do. For example, God knew before Solomon was even conceived that he would be the one to build the temple in Jerusalem. So God equipped Solomon to do the work so that he would be glorified. David encouraged Solomon in this task by telling him:
Then David continued, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the Lord is finished correctly.--1 Chronicles 28:19-21.
God will help us succeed at the work he has asked us to do. If we're crumbling under the workload, it's because we've piled on more than what he ever designed us to do. So the answer to the 'Do Everything' dilemma is to do the work God has set out for you to do. And then as you 'Do Everything' you're called to do, do it for the glory of God. You don't have to 'Do Everything' to do everything for God's glory!
You're picking up toys on the living room floor
For the 15th time today
Matching up socks
Sweeping up lost cheerios that got away
You put a baby on your hip
Color on your lips and head out the door.
While I may not know you,
I bet I know you wonder sometimes,
Does it matter at all?
well let me remind you, it all matters just as long...
As you do everything you do
To the glory of the One who made you,
Cause he made you,
Every little thing that you do
To bring a smile to His face
Tell the story of grace
With every move that you make
And every little thing you do