Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Blessings of Old Fashioned Work ~ Part One


"I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease,
but the doctrine of the strenuous life."
~Theodore Roosevelt

Will you hear a quote like this from modern day man? The feeling one gets from today's society is that work is to be scorned. It is something we should try to avoid. We are taught instead to embrace a lifestyle of as much play as possible.


"Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth."
~ Ephesians 4:28

The Bible teaches a completely different doctrine. It teaches that man was meant to work till the sweat of his brow. It teaches that we are not to eat the bread of idleness. And most importantly, it teaches that when we do work, we should do it as unto the Lord.


"For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat."
~ 2 Thessalonians 3:10

Our family has found it important to teach the doctrine of a work-filled life. After all, the life of a Christian is one where we are to pick up a cross. That is anything but easy. 


When we embrace our work for the day, know that it is expected of us, we won't be disappointed or disillusioned by our lot in life. The key is to realize the blessings it brings. And there is blessings!

“Earning happiness means doing good and working, not speculating and being lazy. Laziness may look inviting, but only work gives you true satisfaction.”


There is great accomplishment in the completion of a task. To see a stack of firewood which you prepared for the winter brings a definite delight. It may not be a promised vacation but it is a promised warmth that brings you joy. A cultivated garden brings satisfaction that a purchase from the produce department will never give. A freshly mowed lawn rewards you with a beautiful view from your kitchen window. When one looks at work from this point of view, it is 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.” 
~ Elisabeth Elliot, Discipline: The Glad Surrender


Work may look different in each of our households. Some live in the city, some on ranches and farms, but there is always a task that needs doing wherever you reside. Perhaps your season is one with small children. That is truly a job worth investing in! You are training future workers of God. For others, it may be a skirt that needs mending (instead of purchasing new), sometimes it is produce that needs preserving, other times it is to clean and organize that house of ours until it sparkles and shines. But in all of these moments, it is a blessing to be industrious, a blessing to do "old fashioned work" because "in all labour there is profit" (Proverbs 14:23a). Let's embrace our work ladies!

“No man needs sympathy because he has to work, because he has a burden to carry. Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” 
Theodore Roosevelt



Note: When this author is speaking of work, she is not suggesting the "workaholic" person who has a cell phone attached to their ear and an electronic device glued to their eyes. She is speaking of old fashioned labor. The kind that makes one move or sweat, the kind it takes to raise a family.

{See part one part twopart threepart four and part five of this series.}

This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The ScoopTitus 2sdaysTitus 2 TuesdaysRoses of InspirationTuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays, Wildcrafting WednesdayCoffee and ConversationSo Much at HomeHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeHearts for Home ThursdaysHome Acre HopGrowing in Grace ThursdaysFrom the Farm Blog HopFarmgirl FridayFront Porch Friday Blog HopAwesome Life Friday Link UpSimply Natural Saturdays and Clever Chicks Blog Hop. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these.

63 comments:

  1. JES,

    I love this article. We own a septic business and to find someone who will do physical labor and do it well is like finding a needle in a haystack. Men don't want to work and neither do to many homemakers....

    Blessings,
    Amy jo

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    1. A good worker is indeed hard to find these days. My poor hubby ends up doing it all to avoid headaches... Thanks for sharing Amy Jo :)

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    2. Oh I agree about the lazy, good-for-nothing "homemakers" who refuse to lift a finger to clean or grocery shop or anything. A good homemaker is worth her weight in gold for her economy and efficiency and effort. An indolent woman parked in a recliner expecting to be served is a household liability, NOT an asset!

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  2. Dear JES, this was such a beautifully written post and so very true... There is great reward in hard work... :). Thank you for sharing and have a lovely day! Love, Kelly-Anne. P.S. The paintings in this post are just gorgeous -- the third from the top is my favourite:).

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    1. I love the clothing in the paintings too... So practical and rugged but very feminine :) The third from the top is a favorite of mine as well!

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  3. I love this. Just Monday, I was on my hands and knees in my garden weeding. I love to weed and talk to Jesus. Anyway, I was thinking about that too. "do this as if I'm doing it unto the Lord."

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    1. That's the spirit! Thanks for taking the time to share :)

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  4. It's true, there is great satisfaction in working, and it feels so good when it's all done. I love the clothes all the women are wearing in the paintings, too. My favorite is the third one also - love the peasant style...I must be a peasant, lol. O.O I just finished a new skirt this week, but I may have to start another as that blouse and striped skirt are callin' me. Thank you for sharing this post. Have a great week!

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    1. Wouldn't that striped skirt look good with a durable fabric and perfect for outdoor work?! I may just have to whip something up too!

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  5. Thank you for this post! I have been having motivation problems this week. I really needed a good kick!

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  6. I couldn't agree more. I feel as such about youth sports: okay to spend energy in a game with nothing accomplished but haul firewood or help in the hay fields & child labor laws come into effect??? I do enjoy good ol' fashioned work and sleep so well when I do. Oh yes, and busy does not = work.
    What an exceptional post.

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  7. Replies
    1. Hi Carolien, nice to hear from you! Hope all is going well! :)

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  8. Excellent post!! I could not agree more.

    -Sarah

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    1. Nice hearing from you Sarah, thank you!

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  9. I enjoy your blog. I have always been an industrious person. Now in my sixties, my husband and I both have health problems and it is hard to do required work around our home and yard. We have no children and little money to pay for help. Churches do not give practical help in our area. Younger people are too busy having fun to help older ones. Any suggestions?

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    1. Hi there! I see you are in a pickle... How about contacting a local boy-scout club that may be looking for a place to learn some skills (such as working at your place) or a church youth group that is looking to bless others? Perhaps there are some neighborhood children? I know I would have jumped at the opportunity to be of service to someone for a few extra dollars when I was younger... There has to be some young blood out there hoping to bless someone! Perhaps someone else has a suggestion?

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    2. I just really like your reply...JES
      all great suggestions!

      Where are you from Anonymous? If you don't mind me asking...

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    3. We live in northwest PA, south of Erie.

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  10. very nice post!
    We try to make sure our girls have grown up with work ethic.
    Easy when you live on a farm, but possible anywhere.

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    1. Good work ethic... what a wonderful tool you have given your daughters! And you are right, lots of opportunities on the farm but there are still chores that need to be done in the city such as lawns mowed, yard work, garden help, small pet care, car care, etc... Thanks for sharing Sandra :)

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  11. It's strange how our culture is at one of two extremes. Either avoiding and disdaining work or the over-working work-a-holic you mentioned at the end.
    I love to work, to work hard with my hands. The challenge is that I don't balance that well enough with rest and taking care of myself. I work myself so hard physically that I've come to the point of incapacitating myself and making myself unable to even do lighter tasks for my family.
    Any advice for people like me? Neither under-work or over-work gives God glory.

    Looking forward to the next installment!
    Thanks for posting.

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    1. Very true Christina! We need to be prudent with our health too and realize that there is always tomorrow... When we wipe ourselves out one day, we can become worthless for our family the next day! That is not blessing anyone. How about:

      http://strangersandpilgrimsonearth.blogspot.com/2012/05/accomplishments-for-day-or-list.html

      http://strangersandpilgrimsonearth.blogspot.com/2013/08/enjoy-good-homemaker-day-inn.html

      Thanks for sharing here today!

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  12. Thank you so much for your encouraging words! Work also prevents boredom and helps us live out our purpose.

    I followed the link-up from So Much at Home.

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    1. Hi Elizabeth, thanks for stopping by! Great point you mentioned and will be sharing that on Part 3 :)

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  13. Oops! I almost missed your link-up! We just returned from northern IN. Our daughter performed in the MasterWorks Festival singing Beethoven's 9th Symphony, and the words were sung in German. We all enjoyed it so much! Miss you, JES :)

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    1. I wish I could have heard her! Did you record it? Thanks for taking the time to visit amidst the busy-bee schedule :)

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  14. I am so glad I found your blog :)
    This was a fitting post for me today, we in Australia are just coming out of a small school break and it is cold! I was thinking of looking up some verses to inspire us to get back into our studies and this is perfect.
    I also like the quotes, my boys always step up when they hear quotes from real men.

    Blessings.

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    1. Teddy Roosevelt is full of man to man wisdom, I hope it inspires your gang! Thanks for sharing Michelle!

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  15. Hello Jes, I think the way I feel tonight I can say that I have worked all day long... It does feel good but I can say it is what our Lord has required of us! But I can see that as we age we do slow down a bit.
    I think that is why the Amish had such a great idea to help take care of there parents, but the parents still did as much as they could to help and keep the household going. I love it when I can can or bake with a few others. And with all our land I have to have a riding lawn mower and it is down and now we need to push mow and believe me it is labor :o)
    Loved all the photos! This is such a good post. thank you!!
    Hugs, Roxy

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    1. Hi Roxy, I always like the fact that the Amish take care of their elderly too. I hope to do that one day for ours. As far as the push mower goes, that is WORK! We have a very large lawn that I do with the push mower, it takes me 3 hours... Lets just say that the feeling of accomplishment is certainly there when I am done :)

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  16. As a daughter of a farmer, I grew up watching my father work hard. Even now at 81 he is hard working . However we do encourage him to sit down during the day and rest as he isn't as young as he once was - but he struggles with that as he is so use to working hard. Dad taught us all the importances of work and I have passed that onto my sons and I am so proud to watch my two sons work hard every day. Sadly I think many young people haven't been taught this and I hate to think of what they will be like in the workplace and looking after their homes.

    Blessings

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    1. Very true! And these are future "providers"... That is something we now stress in our family. Find a God-fearing AND hard working man because they just don't make em like they used to... Truth be told, we just don't raise em like we used to.

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  17. One of our character traits we wanted to see in the men our daughters married was that they enjoyed working hard. I have a friend whose father was lazy. When he got saved he asked God to take that away. He died before our friendship but she said he was the hardest worker she knew. ~Pamela

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    1. What a beautiful story, thank you for sharing it!

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  18. Replies
    1. Good, I needed a bit of a boost too! :)

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  19. This was so uplifting to me. Our family works hard and there isn't often much left over to invest in playtime or vacation to exciting places. Sometimes I tend to feel sorry for my family, but they aren't complaining and seem to enjoy themselves after a hard days work. Thanks for the good reminder that we are created to work hard with our own hands.
    Shirley in Virginia

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    1. We are very much a homebound family ourselves. I don't think we suffer though... After a day of stacking firewood for example, we sit around the patio drinking hot coffee and chocolate and the faces I see around me are content and satisfied in the simple things. It sounds like it is the same for you :)

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  20. How timely for me to read! Laziness has been a long-time struggle for me, and I just completed a Bible study series on my blog (ourlittlebrickhome.wordpress.com) that ends in some practical suggestions for combating laziness. I love the quote from Elisabeth Elliot - what an amazing woman of God!

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    1. Thanks for sharing, I will have to make a visit over! :)

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  21. From the words to the images, I *love* this post. We are farmers, and fortunately we homeschool and we don't have television...because if my children got a whiff of how other people live, they might feel a little denied. We don't deny them, though, we have given them the gift of a good work ethic - and a love for working with our hands as God has willed. Great post!

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    1. Thank you Farm School Marm for sharing. We share the exact situation and sentiments :)

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  22. What a beautiful blog! Love your pictures!

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    1. Thank you! Please come and visit us again :)

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  23. I totally agree! The one thing that my parents taught me when I was a kid that has helped me the most in life (other than about Jesus) was how to work. We lived on a vegetable farm and I had to plant seeds, weed the garden, shell the beans, etc etc forever it seemed like. But now that I'm an adult, I don't shy away from hard work and the Lord has blessed me because of it. So grateful for that background in getting my hands dirty. :) (Even though I didn't like it a bit back then, LOL!)

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    1. Thanks for sharing! I like what you said about what knowledge has helped you most in life too! :)

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  24. What a beautiful blog the pictures are gorgeous! I found yours through Libby's at a noble calling and fell in love with it, you share such wonderful inspiring homemaking articles and lovely yummy recipes, you truly capture the whole concept of motherhood in every aspect I wish to be someday ... it is truly inspiring. Hope you are having beautiful day.

    Blessings,

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    1. I am glad this has encouraged you! Thank you for taking the time to bless with your kind comment! :)

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  25. My sweet friend, the images and words make for a wonderful and encouraging post! I found this post to be very uplifting...just what I needed at the moment :)

    Thank you, dear JES, for sharing with Roses of Inspiration. Have a lovely day! Hugs!

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  26. Such a wonderful post. You always have the most amazing pictures which draw you into your writings. Love how you do that.

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  27. Who are the artists… some are public domain I'm sure, but wished that you noted them. Love your site!

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    1. Glad you like them. They are all in the public domain and I have tried to include names at the bottom when I remember. I believe a few are Daniel Ridgeway Knight (one of my favorites) and I think the laundry line one may be Camille Pissarro. Thank you for visiting! :)

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  28. Absolutely loving your site! I cannot wait to look around some more!
    Blessings!

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    1. Thank you Amanda for taking the time to encourage! I am glad to "meet" you! :)

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  29. I have always taken great pride in home-keeping and mothering. Unfortunately though I lived in a place that did not value those efforts because I was not making any money. Now that I am retired and homesteading Our Small House Homestead I feel that my "work" is keeping our homestead up, growing our organic food, taking care of our animals and my husband. This is rewarding work that I am proud of. It is just sad and unfortunate that our culture does not value the word of our hand and our hearts. Donna at the Small House Homestead.

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    1. Hi Donna, glad you are enjoying your rewarding work! Though the world does not see our efforts, the Almighty does and that is what matters most! Don't you think? :) Have a lovely week!

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  30. Wonderful article! Thanks for sharing this!

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  31. Beautiful my dear. January always finds me wanting to rework my house in so many ways. I've still got some Christmas decor out, but I don't mind. The twelve days of Christmas end January 6th. I'm working at it bit by bit.


    Please drop by and say hello!
    ஐღLauraღஐ
    Harvest Lane Cottage
    ...doing what I can with what I've got where I am
    on a short shoestring budget!
    ~~~~~

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