Category Archives: Work Projects

Family Project Time

Families are where it all starts, and that foundation will shape a child’s future.

It’s such a delight to see my brothers embracing the vision of doing projects together with their families.

Nathan likes to tackle making homemade applesauce with his crew every autumn. As he told me, the first years, the kids were too young to help that much, but they would be around and doing what they could. Fast forward to 2019, and they are now a dynamic team. The two oldest girls are a powerhouse and were so excited to help. They even got up early on a Saturday morning anxious to start.

Nathan set up the garage to be able to process everything, and Melanie cooked the applesauce in the kitchen.

What could you do as a family that would include your kids?

Love,
Sarah

In just two hours, Nathan and his kids picked 9 bushels.
Tina giving Drew’s scooter a bike wash while the apple process went on.
Abby enjoying a break and knitting. She’s become a proficient maker of hats and booties.

“For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands:
happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.”
Psalm 128:2

The New Old

Saturdays are the best times for family work projects. After Dad tore down Gigi’s porch (see this post), the next weekend, he rented a dumpster, and we filled it.

“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men,
be strong. Let all your things be done with charity.”
1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Out with the Old

GiGi’s porch has been falling apart over the past few years, and after some consideration, she decided to have it taken down.

Dad tackled the project one weekend by himself (the others were out of town). I love to watch Dad’s engineer mind work. He thinks through the ramifications and goes from there. The porch was attached to the house which made it more complicated. Everything came down safely. Joshua helped Dad a little in the beginning process. I enjoyed seeing Grandpa / Grandson working together. Sure, it would have been easier for Dad without Joshua, but Dad sees the value of working with boys and giving them purpose. My brothers are great examples of that. Dad involved in them in work projects when they were little, and now as adults, they tackle all kinds of home improvements projects. Because they know it’s possible!

It’s amazing how open GiGi’s back porch now feels. I’ll do a separate post on the dumpster process and the final “product.”

This is how it looked before demolition.
Joshua wanted to help, so he assisted with carrying some light items from the porch to a storage area.
Ellie came over with me and spotted Nathan and Melanie’s cats, perched on the neighbor’s fence.
Joshua pulled out screens.
GiGi enjoyed watching and talking with Dad.
It’s down!

“Seest thou a man diligent in his business?
he shall stand before kings;
he shall not stand before mean
men.”
Proverbs 22:29

More on Shared Secret: Answering a Comment

Recently, the blog post Shared Secret, generated interest and more questions. Here’s a question we thought would make a great topic for a new post. Following it is my answer.

I concur with the idea that entertainment detracts from more useful application of one’s energy, especially since time can so easily slip away when you’re distracted. My question for you is whether there comes a point in time when one is too focused on serious pursuits, i.e. being a “work-a-holic”? How do you balance focused learning or on-task time with relaxing fellowship time? Erica

Hi Erica,

First, I’m not sure it follows that the opposite of loving entertainment is being a work-a-holic. It seems like there might be a subtle inference of that in your question. That aside, maybe there are some who become too focused on serious pursuits. However, our personal experience and observations of others is that the natural pull/tendency is toward wasting time, particularly through various forms of entertainment, versus too many serious pursuits.

For believers, Scripture sets an example of working six days and resting one. Thankfully, most don’t have to work six days to live, but Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 10:23 is important: “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.” Given available time, how can it be used to edify (build up) ourselves or others?

To spend time beneficially has become a guiding principle for our family. Serving, loving, and learning are foundational verbs in making time edifying. The following verse keeps everything in balance because it is easy for something to get out-of-balance, whether it be learning, resting, and even working. “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17).

That verse means that our time is to be completely surrendered to our Lord Jesus. He may for a season shift time so that it is heavy in one area, maybe serving, or another time in loving someone in need. But if our time is under His direction, then we can have confidence the result will be good. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

In Christ,
Steve

I’m so glad to have kids who are hard workers and jump right into a project.

“Walk in wisdom toward them that are
without, redeeming the time.”
Colossians 4:5

Shared Secret

Many ask how I taught my children to do so many things. Preparing Sons to Provide for a Single-Income Family is the long version of this.

Teach your children that they can do all things through Christ which strengthens us (Phil. 4:13). If God calls us to do something, He will enable us. If we don’t know how to do it, we have to first learn how (the easy part), and then we do it. Parents set the example by being sponges to learn (and enjoy work).

Learn:

  • of the Lord Jesus, first and foremost
  • technical/vocational skills (make your time worth something)
  • relationship skills
  • communication skills, one-on-one and speaking to groups.

(Side note: if you aren’t a self learner, learning will cost you.)

Now comes both bad news and inversely the key. The enemy of learning is entertainment. If you and/or your children love entertainment, sorry. Ignore all of the above. Your children might as well be wearing a 100-pound backpack through life. Few want to learn and work when they can play.

“No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier” (2 Timothy 2:4).

This is what I shared with my weekly Seriously Dads e-mail list. I encourage any Christian guy reading this to sign up if you haven’t. You can sign up through the button at the top of the sidebar or at this link.

Steve

Pouring concrete together for our house
Oh, the bus days. John learned so much about fixing things through research and trial and error.
Laying a beautiful wood floor at Joseph’s house. Joseph had never laid a floor like this before, yet he jumped in and learned.
Jesse also jumped into his house remodel! It was really awesome to see him figure things out as he went.
Nathan working with his girls at Jesse’s house.
My girls are amazing learners too.
Anna and Mary jumped right into demolition at John’s house.
Christopher loves working with Joshua, and this summer, they did lawn projects.

Two Girls and a Project

Sink drains get clogged with hair, especially if one has long hair. My sisters love projects, and they asked Dad if they could please learn how to fix our drain. So, last Saturday, with some guidance, both girls tackled the project. They will tackle about anything.

Love,
Sarah

“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to
the Lord, and not unto men” (Colossians 3:23).