Who Gets Your “Best?”

Who Gets Your BEST? // jessconnell.com

We have a favorite family recipe called “Dutch Puff.”

The kids love the way it rises up, especially along the corners, and as it comes out of the oven, they jockey for who will get which portion. Judging by their reactions, there are definitely winners and losers when it comes to who gets which pieces of Dutch Puff. Whoever gets the first serving bites into it, grinning wildly, convinced they got the tallest, most perfectly honey brown, best piece.

As women, I think we each have a “first serving” to offer. And I believe it matters greatly WHO gets it.

Every now and then you’ll hear a woman fess up that “you can’t have it all, all at once.”

Even then, though, they’ll often try to explain it away because of “cultural” expectations, or “short maternity leave” policies.

Very rarely will they say: “You can’t have it all all at once. Period. You can’t. Someone is going to get your best.”

And, what’s more:

  1. your employer wants that to be THEM. They want to get your best. They want you when you are mentally at your freshest, when you are (schedule-wise) at your most flexible, when you are (emotionally) invested in them and deeply committed to their success. They want your willingness to sacrifice for them.
  2. your family NEEDS it to be THEM. They need to get your best. They need you when you are mentally at your freshest, when you are (schedule-wise) at your most flexible, when you are (emotionally) invested in them and deeply committed to their success. They need your willingness to sacrifice for them.

4-up on 1-26-16 at 1.41 PM

Very rarely will anyone fess up and tell a young lady the whole story:

  • the entire society around you is pulling for you to choose #1.
  • you have most likely been molded, your whole life, to find identity in work (“What are you going to BE when you grow up, little girl?” — note: implying career, never talking about relationships, and never emphasizing character)
  • you have inbuilt purposes in you that will, at some point, BURST for you to give them a voice through your biology and belly and breasts (just as apple trees, even if someone annually comes along and clips off all the tiny fruits, keeps bursting forth with blossoms in hopes of producing the fruit it was made to bear)
  • it is nearly universal that societal credibility and respect comes from career/advancements/money, not relationships, and
  • it is nearly universal that the regrets people speak of on their death bed center on relationships, not career/advancements/money.

So, back to the original question, then– who is getting your “best?”

Who is getting your “best?”

  • an employer?
  • your children?
  • a multi-level-marketing company?
  • your husband?
  • a ministry/service opportunity?
  • your house/stuff?
  • the internet/Facebook/social media?
  • something else?

Who/what gets your freshest thinking apple to their/its problems? To whom/what are you devoted? Who receives your most heartfelt smiles, your excitement, and your most focused attention?

With Dutch Puff, only one kid can get the first serving. Yes, there’s “more to go around,” but nearly everyone who looks at the Dutch Puff agrees there is one best slice.

With life, it’s not such a small matter. Are you giving your slices with wide open eyes, aware of how few pieces of you there are to go around? 

Who is getting YOUR best slice?

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Jess Connell

Jesus-follower, Happy wife, Mom of 8 neat people. Former world-traveler, now settled in Washington. Host of Mom On Purpose podcast (momonpurpose.com). I write and wrangle kids.

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6 Responses

  1. Diana says:

    This was awesome. I especially loved this:

    “you have inbuilt purposes in you that will, at some point, BURST for you to give them a voice through your biology and belly and breasts (just as apple trees, even if someone annually comes along and clips off all the tiny fruits, keeps bursting forth with blossoms in hopes of producing the fruit it was made to bear)”

    Beautifully put.

  2. MG says:

    Let’s discuss the part not often discussed, isn’t one reason many women work and put their kids in daycare that they’re afraid their spouse will leave them and they won’t be able to provide? This question hits stay at home moms even harder because we lose more if that happens. I think we all need to be sensitive to this because it’s very real and relationships seem to be getting less and less stable each decade.

    • Jess Connell says:

      I’ve not heard that as a reason that Christian women give for working. Perhaps it is a reason. I’ve not heard it given.

      • MG says:

        Oh yeah I guess it makes sense that Christian women are better able to trust God to provide so maybe it’s not as big of an issue. I guess I was thinking more about the messages of society. Seems like nowadays women feel like they have to work for one reason or another, often fear, instead of the supposed “liberation” of feminism. I get this fear sometimes even though I have faith in God and faith in my marriage, and I’m committed to being a stay at home mom.

  3. Natalie says:

    What a thought provoking challenging question!! I will ponder it over the next few days.
    I am glad that I listened to the Lord, my husband and my instincts to quit the multi level marketing business that I was pursuing. It just didn’t line up with my values and demanded so much of my time. I feel like everyone that means anything to me, got shafted that year.

    • Jennifer Collins says:

      Natalie, I’m with you about the multi level marketing business! I’m 51 years old, have five [homeschooled/or adult] children and I’ve done three of MLMs. The products are always really good and I *want* them for my family and me, so it starts out with good motivation. The promise of “time freedom” is alluring. Ha! In order to “make it” or even make *any* money, it has to occupy your thoughts continuously. It’s almost better to work a part time job and then when you’re home, your family gets YOU.

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