What Are You Laboring Over?

Jen’s Gem: Don’t let the good keep you from the great.

Yesterday I spent a fair amount of time cleaning my condo. This activity has dropped lower and lower on my list of priorities as of late, especially during the summer – my favorite season. Determined to spruce things up, I went about scrubbing, vacuuming and cleaning out closets and cabinets.

Sadly, I lost steam about two-thirds of the way through and my dining room and kitchen were left as orphans in this process. The dining room is a quick fix, but the kitchen is another story. Since I don’t want my entire holiday weekend to be riddled with work, this may wait for another day…or not. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about time as of late. It’s passing more quickly each day. Monday’s transform into Friday’s in minutes. Years are like months. Chasing time in the hopes of trying to slow it down only results in frustration and overwhelm. 

  • What am I doing with the nanoseconds of my day?
  • How am I adding value to other people’s lives? Or mine for that matter?
  • What difference am I making in the world?

I’m an uber busy gal. Between my paid work, volunteerism and Elevate the Day ministry, my days are full. Throw in the oversight of two adult children, bills, and “life stuff,” and it’s no wonder I’m scratching my head right now trying to figure out how nearly two days of a three-day weekend are almost over.


Stop the world. I want to get off!

Does this thought ever cross your mind? In these hyperactive times with newsfeeds blowing up every five minutes, do you ever just want to hit the pause button so you can catch your breath?

I was recently gifted some monies so that I could do just that. Catch my breath. I used these much-appreciated funds for a massage and facial. In a couple of weeks, I will head to Newport for a mini-retreat for myself. I’m looking forward to this more than I can say and I pray that I will be able to detach from my hectic life and enjoy some much-needed (really, really much-needed) time off.


“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NKJV)

I have to wonder if my Mom, who raised six children, ever wanted to stop the world and get off. To this day, I don’t know how she did it – keeping tabs on all of us, cooking a homemade meal every night, cleaning an entire house. It boggles my mind. As a stay-at-home mom, her days were clearly filled from the moment she woke until she laid her head down at night.

Of course, there were no distractions in her day such as social media or 24/7 news. A handful of TV channels was all that was available. And, at midnight, the screen went blank. Static filled the airwaves as if to tell us all – go to bed! Ahh, the good ol’ days!

My Mom’s been gone thirteen years. Tomorrow would’ve been her 96th birthday. Funny that it should land on Labor Day – a day set aside for rest for the weary workers of our nation. For her, it was a day for family. With ease and grace, she whipped up a Labor Day barbecue that would be the envy of any Iron Chef. My memories of these celebrations are etched deeply in my mind.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10 NKJV)

You see, my mother knew what her priorities were. Family. Children. She was laser-focused on her role as mother and wife. If she had a dream to be something else, I didn’t know about it. With her looks, she should’ve been on the cover of a fashion magazine. Instead, she ensured that her children were well-cared for. She didn’t let the good in life overtake the great.

Many of us, myself included, get distracted by the good things instead of focusing on the great things we should be doing.

Are we working our fingers to the bone on the thing that’s not the best for us?
Are we frittering away our time on unnecessary tasks that steal our joy and peace?

These are questions, among others, that I’ll be asking myself as I sit on the beach. Perhaps I’ll get an answer. Perhaps I won’t. Perhaps what I’m laboring on right now is the great thing and all I really need to do is take a moment to catch my breath and rest.

I pray God’s rich blessings on you this Labor Day weekend. I pray you will take some time to restore your souls. Steal a few moments away to thank God for all He’s done for you. Find joy in whatever you’re laboring over and if your to-do list is only filled with good things instead of great things, let them go.


“A man’s gift makes room for him, And brings him before great men.” (Proverbs 18:16)


You were created for greatness. Don’t let the good keep you from the great.

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Jennifer Covello, Copyright 2020