Child training · Work

Creating a Healthy Work Ethic in Children

Cleaning

I love to clean!  I mean it.  To see windows shine, carpets fluff under the vacuum’s bristles, bathroom sinks and tubs sparkle after some elbow grease is so rewarding!

I had the blessing this week of going to do some Spring cleaning for my parents.  It’s not that their house was a mess – it wasn’t.  I laughingly told them that as I was cleaning and came across a rare dust bunny, I rejoiced!  They were few!  When my dad retired, he wanted my mom to retire, too, so he took over most of the household chores!  He does a fantastic job keeping everything super clean – even as an 85 year-old heart patient!

My sister and I just came to give the whole house a deeper cleaning, doing the things my dad shouldn’t do anymore.  For instance, I got up on the kitchen counters and dusted the baskets above the cabinets. But while I was standing up on my perch, I looked down to see my dad standing below me.  He asked, “Can I do anything to help?”  He was a blessing as he rinsed off some of the silk greenery I handed him, wiped down some cups and saucers on display and things along the backsplash.

Then I turned and saw him with coming in from the garage with a vacuum and a long hose in his hands.  He showed me his technique for cleaning out the air vents in the ceiling.  We did manage to keep him from doing that job, but it wasn’t easy!  It’s not that he didn’t think we could do it, it’s just that he has an incredible work ethic.  He can’t stand to be sitting while others are working.  That same blood flows through my veins.  Why?  Because I am his daughter.  He taught me.  He taught my sisters.

Work and work hard.

Give it your best.

Don’t just do a job lazily – do it well.

Don’t stop until you’re done.

There are lots of people who love to watch work, but hate to engage in it.  But you know what?  Work was created by God before sin entered the world.  It’s not a punishment; it is a gift.

To have things that need to be cleaned – a house, a car, a bedroom, dishes, toys – is a blessing.

To have the energy and strength to clean is a gift from God.

As moms, it is our responsibility to teach our children to have a healthy work ethic.  Why?

  • It honors God – Whether therefore ye eat or drink or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.  I Cor. 10:31
  • It also will serve them well as they seek employment.
  • You’re preparing them to leave home.
  • It is a blessing.

 

How do we teach a strong work ethic?

  1. Give your children age-appropriate chores to do. Google it – you’ll find lists for even pre-schoolers.  
  2. Don’t do for your child what they can do for themselves.  
  3. Reward a job well done. Rewards for hard work can create a desire to finish a task.  God rewards us – why should we think rewards are evil?  Sticker charts, allowance, or a family activity can help a child’s incentive in a task to be done.
  4. Model a good work ethic before your children.  If you bemoan having to wash the dishes or do laundry, they’re going to pick up on your attitude. Why do I love to clean?  I learned it from my parents!
  5. Work together as a family on some projects.  Make it a fun family time.  Cleaning up the yard this spring, straightening up the garage or basement, picking up trash around the yard can be done together and found that many hands make light work!
  6. Inspect what you expect.  Many times my parents would check my work as a child and require me to go back and redo it until it was done to their specification.

As a parent you might even reap what you sow…your adult children may come home to spring clean for you!!  That wouldn’t be so bad, would it?!

Who taught you to work hard?

denise a

 

Proverbs · Work

Who Wants To Work?!

Work…it is often called a “four-letter word.”  We run from it and avoid it, yet God has much to say in the Book of Proverbs about being a hard worker.  He uses a tiny insect to teach us how to be industrious.

Here’s today’s video lesson in Proverbs, Consider the Ant, found in chapter 6.

 

What tasks are most difficult for you to tackle?
What spiritual work will you attempt today?

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Responding to trials · womanhood · Work

Dealing With the Mundane Or Critical Times With Purpose

What mundane things does this day find you doing?  Going to work?  Washing dishes?  Caring for a baby or toddler?  Cleaning up a mess?  Perhaps yesterday was the very same and tomorrow will follow suit.  As you trod through your days, what guides your steps?  What makes you do the next thing and the next?

There are also those days when the situations makes your heart race and your steps quicken.  We gasp at the thought of those days that are marked by trial and difficulty.  How will you respond?  What will keep you from coming apart?

Proverbs 4:11-12 gives good encouragement about how we can do more than just survive both kinds of days.  Watch the video below to hear the wisdom we get from God’s Word.

Where does today find you – walking the monotonous, plodding steps? Or are you running in a trial?  I pray you now have the wisdom to know how to make the most of each kind of day so that you know what to do next and how to keep from stumbling.

God has a purpose for today.  Make it count for His glory.

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Family life · home · refreshment at home · Winter · Work

Making Leisure Days Productive & Restful

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Tennessee finally got a snow day!  I’ve been waiting for this since Christmas time!  In honor of all restful Snow Days, I’m going to wait to post a video today, but will get one out next week.

Let’s just do a fun post today about ways to make leisure days restful, but still productive. We all know how to rest, but how can we take a rare day at home both productive and restful? Is it possible?  Yes!  Here are a few ideas:

Let’s start with what we need to get rid of in order to rest:

  • Television
  • Facebook
  • Computer “stuff”
  • Texting

Let’s lift our face out of a screen and up around us at the people and place where we are!

Leisure activities:

  • Pick up a magazine and get inspiration for decorating your home.
  • Go through cookbooks and mark new recipes you want to try.
  • Read through an old journal and be blessed at the memories you recorded.
  • Read a book – one you’ve started and not finished or one you’ve wanted to get into.
  • Take a nap – Of course!

Things to do with others:

  • Play board games
  • Read aloud
  • Go outside
    • On snowy days – walk in the snow, build a snowman, shovel someone else’s sidewalk.
    • On warmer days, clean up the yard.  Take a walk.  Sit on the porch swing or rocking chairs.  Read out there!
  • Bake together

Around the House:

  • Work on a project you’ve neglected – hemming jeans, sewing buttons on, crafts like stamping, calligraphy or memory books.
  • Rearrange the furniture – a favorite of mine!!
  • Redo the decor on a mantle or bookshelf.
  • Straighten out drawers.
  • Oraganize something that is messy – a closet, a pile on the counter or floor.
  • Freshen up the kitchen by decluttering the countertops.

Don’t let snow days or leisure days be wasted by just hanging on the couch all day.  A little rest is good, but leisure days can be productive rest!

Have you had snow this week?  What fun things did you do while you were home?

Happy snow days to you, my friends!

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children · Christian Life · Family life · refreshment at home · Women's roles · Work

My Most Embarrassing Moment and a Lesson About Priorities

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Have you ever been asked about your most embarrassing moment?  Mine is ingrained in my mind like a freeze-framed DVD on the computer screen.  It happened like this –

Our four year-old daughter, Whitney, was attending pre-school at the Christian school in our area.  Ministry was busy and finances were tough.  Then out of the clear blue I got a phone call from the principal where our daughter was attending pre-school.  It seems they were in dire need of a second grade school teacher because the current teacher had quit.  He asked if I would pray about teaching the class for the year.  The whole year?  How could I swing that with all my other responsibilities as a wife, mom and pastor’s wife?   As my husband and I talked and prayed about it, we felt that perhaps this was the Lord providing for our needs.

As we prayed, I also consulted with my parents for their advice.  I clearly remember having a phone conversation with my dad where he discouraged me from taking the position because of the age of my little girl and her needs.  She would be home in the afternoon when I would still be at school.  I regretted later not heeding his warning!  But we reasoned that she would have time with her daddy while I was gone.  We failed to consider the many ministry responsibilities that would call for his time.

So, yes, I took the teaching job.  From the very first afternoon when I saw my husband pull out of the school parking lot with our daughter in tow, I regretted signing my name on the dotted line of that teaching contract!  But now it was too late.  We got into a routine – Whitney rode to school with me in the morning where she went to pre-school and I headed to the second grade classroom.  Her daddy picked her up at noon when her class was finished and they would visit church members together in the afternoon or she would play while he studied.  Some days, due to the need to visit the hospital or attend a funeral, she would spend the afternoon with a friend and fellow-pastor’s wife.  When I would hear that they had made cookies, played house or beauty shop, it would tear my heart in two!

Along with school, of course, were my ministry responsibilities.  I tried to keep up with activities and the people of our congregation.  One evening, desiring to show my concern, I approached a woman whose mother had been very ill.

“Mae, how is your mother doing?” I asked.  Her expression turned to disbelief, and she said in a somber tone, “Denise, my mother died two weeks ago.”

At that moment I wished could die!  How embarrassing!  I apologized for my blunder and somehow found my way to my seat where my face slowly returned to its natural color.

That’s what happened as a result of having too many plates spinning in the air and trying to keep them all going.  Now one had crashed to the floor – and in church of all places – the place where I should have been demonstrating care and concern!  I realized at that moment that I was doing too much, and that I wasn’t giving ample time or attention to the things that were most important.

Though that year was difficult, I learned the greatest lesson from that experience.   I learned what my priorities were, and working outside my home while I had children to raise was not one of them!   Hence, that was my first and last job, not because I was too lazy to work; I had just learned the hard way that the best (and most fulfilling) job for me was raising my girls and being a help-meet to my husband.  Nothing else in the world really mattered.  There were still times when I’ve felt I was spinning plates, but I had learned through my embarrassing moment not to allow those plates to be the ones that were closest to my heart.

How do you balance all the busy things going on in your world?  Is there something you feel the Lord would have you to give up?