Category Archives: Work Projects

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).

John’s House Remodel Continues

Y’all! We’re down to twenty-something days until the wedding! The flooring will go in today and tomorrow, and wow, it’s great to see John’s house taking shape.

In early October, John called for a sheet-rocking party, and the guys made time in their schedules to help. I love how my brothers include their children when possible in a project.

Since the sheet-rocking, there was a lot of work done on the walls with painting (you saw some of that in the random life posts recently) and now they’ve tiled the kitchen and dining floor.

Love,
Sarah

Drew was very pleased to be over with all the big guys.

Night help

I love this. Tina enjoyed time with her daddy, and as a bonus, she ran errands with Grandpa and Grandma and got a candy cane. 🙂

Unloading cabinets!

Making sure the marks on the wall are correct for the cabinet line.

“In the Lord put I my trust…”
Psalm 11:1

John’s House Remodeling || Demolition

John’s house has taken an exciting turn. The entire place didn’t need to be gutted, but the dining room had a vaulted ceiling, so John decided to go ahead and tear out both the kitchen and dining room. We did this mid-September.

Demolition in progress!

The day we did this work was really hot.

Love this action shot!

John decided to put two windows in his dining room to open it up and allow more light. The breeze felt really nice.  🙂 

My sisters are AMAZING workers. I love them so much!

John rented a dumpster, and wow, it got filled, cabinets, bushes, you name it.

Y’all. FOUR MORE DAYS until the book announcement (Tuesday at 10AM!). I’m extremely excited to share with you!

Love,
Sarah

“And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among
you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem
them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace
among yourselves.”
(1 Thessalonians 5:12-13)

A Maxwell Guy Work Party

A week ago Thursday, the guys had a sheetrock party in Joseph’s basement. Here’s how it went: (a) Joseph invited his brothers and Dad; (b) they accepted his invitation; (c) they showed up at varying intervals based on their work commitments on the specified evening; (d) the work commenced; (e) fellowship ensued; (f) pizza arrived; (g) and the job was finished.

Over the past seven years, the guys have done a lot of sheet-rocking between our house, Joseph’s, and Nathan’s. Many hands make the project go quickly! I stopped in for pictures and enjoyed seeing them all working together. I’m amazed at the guys’ perseverance as they hit hard issues, step back, re-evaluate, and keep going.

I hope this is a little encouragement for you to tackle a work project with your family. Happy February 1st!

Love,
Sarah

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The little girls stopped in with Melanie, and they enjoyed some Oreos and the opportunity to write on the sheetrock.
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“And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own
business, and to work with your own hands,
as we commanded you.”
1 Thessalonians 4:11