Work, Home or Coffee Shop: What Matters Most


I’m sitting in Starbucks praying no one orders a smoothie in the next four minutes. The blender may ruin the quiet. Not thats it’s quiet in here-there’s plenty of hustle and bustle. I mean quiet as in no little people needing me.

Getting to this point was a feat. I got all the boys up and out early. They dressed themselves in interesting color combinations (notice I did not say we were up looking good). I packed a diaper bag full of necessary stuff. I dropped off the two older boys at daycare and returned their sleep mats to the appropriate cubbies. The baby fussed most of the way to Starbucks, so I decided to take care of him before getting out of the van. We finally got fed, burped and changed and went inside for a water and chocolate bar (because I deserve something yummy at this point).

After 16 minutes of rocking and holding a pacifier in place, here I sit.

Was it worth all the trouble you ask? Yes! Momma needed to get out of the house. At least I’m enjoying new scenery and new people—adult people.

Walmart is known for its people, but I believe that Starbucks is just as interesting. I love eavesdropping on job interviews and college kid study sessions. Then there are church people—I always see at least one Bible when I’m here. I’ve heard numerous business calls—they usually include some degree of drama. There is normally a group of moms in their yoga pants who are trying to ignore the kids at the next table. There are people like me pretending to be doing something important behind their computer screens.

And then there’s the guy beside me. I’m not making this up. He has a mess of curly burnt orange hair, a scraggly fu manchu extending two inches past his chin, and a shirt that says “Bacon Cures”. To top it off he keeps picking his nose. He is in a category all by himself.

I love people watching. Everyone is on some kind of mission. Most seem to be serving an important purpose. It’s tempting for some of us (who are spending our time trying to prevent a baby from crying) to feel less significant, like our duties aren’t as impactful as someone else’s. Some feel less important because we’re wearing flip flops instead of heels.

This is my third maternity leave, and during each one I have considered my roles. I wrestle with feelings of doubt, guilt, and confusion. I wonder if I should return to work. Maybe I should quit my job and devote time to family and volunteer work. Maybe I will seek out a different career path that would make a greater difference in the world. Perhaps I will convince my husband to sell everything and become missionaries (kidding honey–not unless God really calls us to that).

I fear making a decision that would lead me away from God’s purpose for my life. Yet I hear the still small voice telling me that my significance doesn’t lie in a profession or a place. If I return to my current job, I can share the love of Christ there as much as I could in a different job or location. If I choose to stay home full time, I will pour my love into my babies, but they can also learn love and faith from their Mimi who keeps them when I work.

Is there a best choice? Maybe. Probably. Will I choose it? I hope so.

God is not going to let His plans fail because of my choices; His plan will prevail regardless.

Whichever path I choose, what matters is what I believe, how I act and what I say.

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

Ephesians 6:7 says “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people” NIV

Loving God and serving Him by loving His people and sharing the gospel is His ultimate purpose for my life. He can use me in any setting if I have a willing heart.

May I not be tempted to think I should dress a certain way or fit in with a certain group. May my eyes stay focused on the One who created me, who wants to use me to make a difference wherever I am.

I let out a sigh of relief as I focus on these truths. As I take one more look around the coffee shop, I appreciate the variety. I thank God that He made each of us different, and that He can use us wherever we are.

Finally, I thank Him for the sweet blessing who is sleeping beside me, reminding me that “mom” is one of the best roles I could ever have.

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