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Demands, demands!


A couple of weeks ago while working in the café I found myself marvelling over how demanding the job of a waitress can be. As I considered this, I began to chuckle to myself– hadn’t I thought the very same thing about being a mum? I found myself reflecting on this issue in the following days and came to realize that not only do I have demands on me in my job and as a mum, but in every aspect of my life.

I write a blogspot for a quarterly Christian women’s magazine in the UK and two nights ago found me writing about the different things I’ve reflected on in the way of demands. It was rather ironic because that very day had felt so demanding– especially in the area of motherhood. I definitely had not been a very stellar example of patience. So as I wrote, I felt like I was reminding myself of certain truths and encouraging my spirit that there ARE ways to cope with the demands. 

Writing the article was also somewhat ironic because the very next day (yesterday) in the café, there was suddenly an influx of demanding customers. Yes, most days that I waitress bring a certain amount of impatient customers, but yesterday there seemed to be an wave of them. There are many different ways that they show their impatience: their facial expressions, glancing at their watches, occasionally swearing, walking out. Of course, this usually happens when the café is already buzzing and I am trying to keep my head on straight and serve people in the right order. But I have come to realize that everyone wants to be the one who is preferred. Okay, not everyone. There are those beautiful people who are kind and reflect an atmosphere of peace and patience. These ones, these shining ones, are a joy to serve and make the day so much brighter. But unfortunately, the world abounds with those who want to be first. And this is why all this reflecting got started in the first place.

The more I’ve thought about, the more I realize that almost every aspect of my life is interwoven with demands. Some of the demands I struggle with are real, some are imagined. But they are there and often I feel really burdened by them. I want some space, some beautiful ‘alone time’ to just be me. And yes, this is a healthy and necessary part of staying sane, but I realize that I can’t just rely on my ‘alone time’. For one, it happens so rarely and those times that I need it most are usually the times when it is least available. So, I thought, there has to be some other solution that can couple this. Knowing God, I figured the answer would end up involving Him more than it involved my own abilities to keep it all together.

I am reading a book by Madeleine L’Engle called ‘Circle of Peace’. The title of this book brings such a beautiful picture to mind. And it is not a circumstancial peace: it doesn’t mean that everything around me is all ‘la-tee-da’. This circle of peace is something more like a shield in the midst of battle– the battle of life. This peace is that which ‘transcends understanding’– the type that doesn’t make sense because of the chaos around me. So I am finding that I need to constantly choose to throw my inadequacies down and rely on God’s strength. That is when peace comes and I can learn to have joy in spite of the demands.

(On a related side note, I find that I can’t even get away from the demands while I’m sleeping! Last night I dreamed that I was working in the café and U2 came in and sat at a table in the kitchen (the kitchen??!), laughing and joking together. Bono wanted a double-shot latté and everytime I went to make it, another customer would be up in my face demanding to be served. It took me an hour to finally finish making Bono his latté! But, I must say, he was very nice and patient about it!)

2 Responses to “Demands, demands!”

  1. Jessica
    October 9th, 2008 05:21

    love the dream… how hilarious! but your piece is a timely reminder for myself, especially as i step into the realm of being a mother. thanks for sharing.

  2. Jayne
    November 6th, 2008 14:51

    I love to read your thoughts!

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