When I was eight years old I learned how to wash clothes. The most memorable part was hanging them outside to dry on the clothes line. They always smelled so fresh and clean when they were dry. It’s still one of my favorite smells.
Being short for my age it was a difficult to reach the clothes line. I would jump up to grab it and then hold on to the line with one hand while using my free hand to take hold of the wet clothes to hang up. Mom didn’t like this way of doing it, she’d yell, “Don’t pull on the clothes line, you’ll break it and then we won’t have one.”
I came up with a solution, I used a second clothes basket flipped over so the solid bottom was my step stool. This allowed me to be tall enough to reach the line. Yet, I still hung on to the clothes line when reaching down to get the wet clothes. Hopefully mom wasn’t watching! With one hand holding tight to the line and the other with wet clothes I’d reach for the clothes pin and fasten it the best I could. It was quite the process and it kept me busy for some time.
Teaching children how to work at a young age gives them responsibility and keeps them busy. As they grow and receive more challenging jobs it continues to shape them into a well-rounded, responsible adolescence. With the goal of shaping them into productive, independent adults in society.
When I grew up there was never a time for idleness. My parents instilled in our family that all of us needed to work hard and pitch in to help. A strong work ethic was impressed upon me and my siblings. No room for laziness. If you work hard, you can play hard.
The trait of working hard is deeply embedded in me. It can become negative at times, placing work above all else. This is leaning towards the tendency of workaholic. To keep things balanced and not too lopsided I’ve created three types of project lists. These help me organize my time.
- Big Projects – massive work load taking more than a few days and/or additional people. Example – stain deck, paint house
- Weekly Projects – able to accomplish within the week. Example – mow lawn, work on quilt
- Daily Projects – complete within one day. Example – clean house, buy groceries, run errands
As it says in 2 Thessalonians 3:10 NIV…. we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” This message was spoken by Paul about him and his companions in Thessalonica. They did not want to be a burden to any believer of the time. They worked hard, buying what they needed so they were independent and not a heavy laden to anyone.
I believe a goal in life needs to be one of carrying our own weight and not taking handouts. Pitching in when work is offered and teaching our children to be responsible. This is so I can end my days knowing I worked hard when I needed to and played just as hard.