Bethel has been struggling with work lately. Certainly some of it is her age (four) and some of it is her personality. Since she was a baby, she’s responded to difficult tasks with screams. Although she doesn’t scream as much when she is frustrated, she retains her intensity.
Now, more than simply complaining (although that’s there and we’ve been dealing with it), she is genuinely wondering why she should work when work seems so unpleasant to her.
I’ve been trying to do my part by not letting things get overwhelming, and that does seem to help. The routine is beneficial, and not having an hour of cleanup is another obvious benefit. I’ve been struggling a little with this, since I’d like to do school first thing in the morning, but that’s also the best time for chores.
One of the things I’ve noticed is that Bethel’s thoughts about work are entirely negative, and I know from personal experience that thinking negatively really does affect my attitude toward work. So we’ve been talking about the blessings of work. These are things true, pure, and lovely.
Here’s a typical conversation:
B: “I don’t like cleaning my room.”
(normally, I’d emphasize the need to work even when it’s not fun by saying ‘That’s okay. I don’t always like to work either, but we still need to do right even when it is not fun.” Since I want to emphasize her thought process, I’m taking a diferent approach.)
M: “Bethel, you’re thinking about how you don’t like to clean your room. Let’s think about what you do like. Do you like having a clean room? (yes) Do you like not stepping on toys? (yes) Do you like getting work done fast so you can play? (yes)”
Now I want to explain work from a biblical perspective. A good number of people think that work is a part of the curse, but God gave Adam his job before the curse. So we have been talking a lot about how God made us so that we are happy when we work hard, and unhappy when we don’t.
On the personal side, Bet’s comments on procrastination have been a blessing to me. I’ve been working on simply taking the first step, and I’ve found it true that the first step is sometimes the hardest. I also have been thinking again about Ecclesiastes 5:12: The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep. I want to go to sleep each night satisfied with the work accomplished for the day.
The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain. Proverbs 15:19
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. Philippians 4:
Has God’s Word been changing you this week?