It is time to continue with our series of â€œFruitful Seasonâ€ blog posts. As many of you know this summer Steve wrote a menâ€™s book, Redeeming the Time, and Sarah completed another book in the Moody Family series, Summer Days with the Moodys. Therefore I spent my summer working with Steve as he developed his outline and helping with editing on both book projects.
As summer was approaching, we asked Mary, age 12 at the time, if she was willing and thought she was able to take over my daily household tasks so that my time was available for book work. She happily agreed. For the summer, since she didnâ€™t have school work to do, Mary did my morning and weekly chores, oversaw the laundry, kept up the grocery list, and did what I normally do with meals.
Recently Mary (13), Anna (17), and I were working on a new chore plan. Through the years, the children each had from fifteen to thirty minutes of weekly chores that they did on Fridays, our light school day, while I usually spent at least three hours doing my weekly chores. When we were building the house, converting the bus, and since our return from our trip, the boys have been released from their weekly chores. Their time is being utilized in jobs for which the girls are not well suited, and the girls have taken over their weekly household chores.
When the girls were discussing reassigning the chores, Anna said, â€œI would like to just have a general list that we would all work from until the jobs are completed.â€ The past couple of weeks when I have come home from my morning walk with Steve on Friday, Anna has been doing the vacuuming, which is my chore, and the damp mopping. Mary has been doing my main floor dusting. I asked them what was left for me to do, and they said my bathroom and then I should rest my back.
These are the fruitful years, but I remember the weary years. They were the years when the children could do little productive work themselves, but they required much maintenance and made significant messes. I remember the years, and often discouragement associated with it, of teaching them to do chores, checking the chores, calling them back to redo a poor job, and giving consequences when needed. I wanted them to be independent, diligent, and responsible from the first time I taught them a chore and gave it to them to do.
There were times I wanted to give up trying and to stop putting forth effort in the area of chores and personal responsibility â€“ times I didnâ€™t think they would ever be responsible or helpful unless it was required of them and I was overseeing them. But I never felt the Lord allowing me that option, and I had a husband who was always encouraging me to stay the course while he was working with the children toward the goal. If you want to know what we learned along the way that has to do with chores, you might be interested in Managers of Their Chores.
Now my girls can run the household. They choose to do work that I consider my responsibility in order to help me, ease my physical load, and free up my time for other activities. These are the fruitful years. â€œFor, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one anotherâ€ (Galatians 5:13).
Trusting in Jesus,