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Quotes to Ponder
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Restoring the Joy of Work

Things had really slipped around here. We had gotten out of our chore routine and had stopped working on the needed home repairs and my decluttering project. It seemed easy to blame it on illnesses, out-of-town guests, traveling, and the busyness of life. These type of things do have a way of getting us out of our routine and tiring us out. No wonder we all had felt like taking a break.

We've been reading Louisa May Alcott's Little Women and I was reminded of the chapter called "Experiments" when the four sisters decide to not work at all. Meg about summed up our "experiment" ...

"I shall lie abed late, and do nothing," replied Meg, from the depths of the rocking-chair. "I've been routed up early all winter, and had to spend my days working for other people; so now I'm going to rest and revel to my heart's content."

By the end of the chapter, Marmee shares her words of wisdom ...

"I wanted you to see how the comfort of all depends on each doing her share faithfully. ... Don't you feel that it is pleasanter to help one another, to have daily duties which make leisure sweet when it comes, and to bear and forbear, that home may be comfortable and lovely to us all?"

"We do, mother, we do!" cried the girls.

"Then let me advise you to take up your little burdens again; for though they seem heavy sometimes, they are good for us, and lighten as we learn to carry them."

It was obvious to me that beyond re-establishing our routine, we had to work on our hearts. Our hearts had to be into our work. I got out Elisabeth Elliot's Discipline: The Glad Surrender which contains a chapter titled, "The Discipline of Work". She writes ...

Work is a blessing. [YES! A BLESSING!] God has so arranged the world that work is necessary, and He gives us hands and strength to do it. The enjoyment of leisure would be nothing if we had only leisure. It is the joy of work well done that enables us to enjoy rest, just as it is the experiences of hunger and thirst that make food and drink such pleasures.

Well, we had a good start to the week. I didn't hear one grumble or whine! While cleaning the family room we put on praise music and sang & danced as we picked up, dusted, vacuumed, wiped down, and straightened up. That is sure a step in the right direction! Thank You, Lord!

And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it. - Psalms 90:17

Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king's words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work. - Nehemiah 2:18

December 1, 1998
1998 by Kathy Ridpath
Please ask for permission to reprint this article, ridpath@chfweb.com. Thank you!


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Little Women/Little Men/Jo's Boys (Boxed Set)
by Louisa May Alcott
Truly a classic set of books. This boxed set is published by the original publisher and is unabridged and unrevised. You can find used copies of Little Women, too; just make sure you get an unabridged version. -- Kathy Ridpath
Paperback Boxed Set: *Order Now!*

Discipline : The Glad Surrender
by Elisabeth Elliot
I love all of Elisabeth Elliot's books, but this has to be one of my very favorites. Included are chapters on the discipline of the body, mind, place, time, possessions, work, feelings. Elisabeth Elliot says if we're always frantic and frustrated, harried and harassed, and "hassled,", it's a sign that we're running on our own schedule, not God's. Jesus said *His* burden is light, and it's only when we carry additional burdens that He never meant us to carry that weigh us down. A book to be read, digested, then read again and shared with others! --Tamara Eaton
Paperback: *Order Now!*


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"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
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Isaiah 54:13

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