Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Because The World Needs Comfort and Joy

Through a strange set of circumstances, I found myself working at a retail store during the holiday season.

It started with a bible study, where Beth Moore chided me (we're BFFs, Beth and I) that I needed to get out into the world and make an impact and stop hiding in my holy huddle of like-minded churchy people.

And then there was a sermon (see? churchy people!) reminding me of "the quiet dignity of doing my vocation", and to be faithful to use my talents for God's glory.

I could hear God's gentle whisper to get out and minister to His people.

But how? And where? And when?

The present seemed as good a time as any. And seeing as I was in the earliest stages of the holiday season, I thought that retail might be a place to start. Which is completely crazy, when you consider that my husband already works in retail. Would I be adding to the chaos of our holiday season?

I quickly found a job working in women's boutique clothing. And just as quickly (day one!), I realized that it was not where God wanted me to be. I needed to reach a broader spectrum of people. Men, women, young, old.

And just as quickly, I found a new job with a major retailer who's goal is to get people enjoying the spiritual experience of the outdoors.

And thus I began this new mission and ministry.

Wait. What? Ministry? How can retail be ministry? Ministry is serving on some charitable committee or heading up some class. And mission? Mission is going to an impoverished country to feed orphans. Right? Mission and ministry is big and important. 

Well, that's the funny thing about mission and ministry. When God is your employer, the whole world becomes the mission field.

Through small acts of love, I serve each work day. I serve my coworkers when I am cheerful and helpful. I serve my boss when I work joyfully. And I serve the world that comes through those doors each day. I serve the man looking for easy cotton sweaters for his wife with early onset Alzheimer's.  I serve the harried mom looking for a hat that her fussy boy will actually want to wear. I serve the worried daughter looking for teeny tiny pants to fit her ninety-five year old mother who seems to be wasting away. 

It is simple, really. I show up for work and I serve. I serve with comfort and joy.

It isn't glamorous, and it isn't earth shattering. But being a servant never is.

It also changed my heart about blogging. I want to be a real barrista, serving you, the reader.

Today, I am offering up a warm mug of comfort and joy.

{Today's Brew: Heartfelt Holiday and Merry and Bright stamp sets (wplus9), inks and card stock (Papertrey Ink), washi tape (Target), tag die, silver twine (SU)}

Thanks for stopping by the cafe today!


  1. Retail work is hard, but especially hard during the holidays when long hours take time away from the things we want to do during the Christmas season. I worked at Kaufmann's when it still was in a standalone store in Monroeville. Loved the discount, but hated working nearly round the clock during the holidays.

    I'm glad you found a place where you bring others a friendly face and helpfulness!

    1. Pittsburgh folks have so many fond memories of Kaufmann's. Sad story about the shooting at the store in Monroeville this weekend. :( Breaks my heart.

  2. The shooting and the big brawl in December really tell me that it isn't the same mall it was back in the day. Now when I visit, I tend to go to Westmoreland Mall most often. My mom now lives about equal distance between the two malls.