On Monday our kids had the day off school so their teachers could work on report cards. Normally I would fill a free day with play dates or something fun but the church where they've been attending mid-week youth group (Northside Community Church) had a much better idea. The youth director organized a work day and invited all the kids in 1st through 5th grade that attend youth group to give up their day off to serve the Lord by doing service projects like yard work around the church property.
Our kids were hesitant to commit and kept getting hung up on the fact that it was four hours of work. "How can we work for FOUR hours? That's a LOOOONNNNGGGG time Mom!" We agreed. I've never been able to get the kids to work for four consecutive hours doing yard work, but I know they are completely capable, so we vetoed them and said "Yes" to the work day for them.
The night before the work day we read Colossians 3:17, "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." We reminded the kids that since they have chose to be followers of Jesus, that their attitudes and efforts in every endeavor are reflections of the God they are serving. When they work hard it brings Jesus honor and gives God praise.
They were somewhat underwhelmed by my pep talk and when I dropped them off at 10:00 a.m. the following morning, they were quasi-excited and a little apprehensive. The doughnuts and hot chocolate in the lobby quickly numbed the pain of working for hours and I could see them perking up before I left the parking lot. When I picked them up at 2:00 p.m., they were beaming and so overly-excited that I had to implement a "tell one thing you liked about today and then it's someone else's turn" system because they were all yelling over each other! The youth director had nothing but praise for how hard they worked, how diligent they were, and how much fun they had in the process. According to Grant's calculations, the work crew raked and bagged up 750 pounds of leaves. Way to go Grant, Katie, Alli, and all the other kids who gave up their vacation day to learn the value of working hard. I am one proud Mama!