Work is a good thing. My son did a hard job repotting a large plant for me today, and he came in happy that he had accomplished the job on his own. I pointed out that God made us to work, and to be happy when we are working hard. I need to remember this when I get behind on the dishes.
I’ve been attempting to be on top of getting work done before mealtime. Not only is eating a good motivator, but it is also a scriptural principle that we do not have the right to eat if we are unwilling to work. That’s been helpful at the work rebellion “I don’t like work! I don’t want to work! I hate making my bed!” These outbursts have been far fewer since I started pointing out that in our house, and in God’s word, people who refuse to work don’t eat.
But I have another problem, and I’m a little sheepish at my epiphany this week. I have one child in particular who can, in five minutes, pull out every toy she owns. It’s been a challenge since she became mobile, but since I’m rather ditzy and distracted, I’ve not done a good job helping her develop better habits. She knows she should put away a toy when she’s done, before pulling out something new. In the past (here’s the sheepish part), I’ve been reluctant to interrupt her when she’s playing beautifully with her siblings. That’s because I’m so happy to see the cooperation and good will that I hate to disrupt it
I decided that I wasn’t organized enough to keep track of the best time to pick up something left out. I decided to enforce action whenever I noticed it. I’m hoping I notice it sooner rather than later, although most of the time it’s impossible to catch her exactly when she puts something down. It dawned on me today that she might figure out that it’s easier to put something away than to get interrupted for it. In other words, stopping her play to have her put something away is a good thing.
Now you can snicker mercilessly at me. I’ll try not to mind.
I hadn’t thought of the “work before eat” principle from Scripture. I hope I remember. I can’t seem to focus much right now!
I went to a great workshop (at a teacher’s conference) last fall by Jim Bennet of Northland BBC (or whatever the new name is!) about how we were created to work. It encouraged me to change my perspective.
Maya, knowing that God made us to be happy when we work has helped me, too, and helped my children. David is figuring this out and verbally making the connection. My challenge with him is keeping his hands and mind busy. My daughters are still learning.