Laboring with love, gratitude

By Becky Spell Vann - Contributing columnist

Are you hesitantly or happily watching the long, hot days of summertime coming to a close? Have you embraced lengthy days enjoying more time for labor or for leisure? As we welcome a new season with daylight decreasing, footballs flying, leaves falling, and lots of holidays happening, will your love for labor or for leisure increase? Do you love or loathe the work you do? Are you in a season of your life when doing a good day’s work would be a gift you would love to open and enjoy? Do you embrace your life’s calling (work) with a grateful or grumbling attitude?

These questions prompt each of us to ponder how laboring or not laboring (because of choice, health issues, or other situations) has impacted our lives and the lives of our loved ones. With Labor Day right around the corner, this story stirs within a country girl’s heart whose parents taught – by example – that working hard, watching out for rainy days, and weaving in time for leisure were wise, wonderful ways to live by. Mother’s rules included rising early and getting your work done before playing. Daddy modeled working hard while taking ‘time outs’ for neighborly chats or a game of checkers in the country store where our family lovingly bonded and hard work daily brewed. In retrospect, mother was more Martha minded while daddy was a Mary; yet, they worked together teaching their four children the lasting effects of loving hard work and looking forward to leisure…when work is done!

With every rising and setting sun, I thank God for another day to enjoy working hard like Martha caring for God’s children and giving help and hope to people….and embracing ‘my favorite things’ – quiet time in my prayer room or deck as a new day begins, singing songs and sharing stories of Jesus and His love, time with my family, talking, reading, writing, working in my yards, walking on the beach, and just sitting still and knowing that God is God: good, great, and going to take care of me as He does the birds singing in the trees and dragonflies darting around me wherever I go. I also thank my parents for tenderly loving and caring for me, teaching me to work first and play later, and training me up in the way I should go! My love and respect for my Father and family have given me roots to stand strong even when I have felt alone and wings to fly and enjoy the good life God has given knowing I am never alone! These things have made a difference in my life!

What rules, values, and expectations instilled in childhood concerning ‘faith, family, labor, and leisure’ have made a difference in your life? What are you portraying to the people placed in your life that will grow them up to love the Lord, loved ones, life’s work, leisure, and gifts of the Spirit?

While anticipating Labor Day, let us take time to ponder: are we hesitantly or happily living life to the fullest and making a difference in the world we love to call home? May hearts be stirred to embrace life with a deeper conviction and enjoyment knowing that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens and can rise up with wings like eagles when we wait with expectancy while trusting and obeying.

Contemplate your ways of worship, praise, work, play, and living here while preparing for your tomorrows there… heaven or hell?

While preparing for Labor Day — a national holiday away from work to enjoy doing our favorite things — embrace quotes from precious people who have powerfully impacted lives and made a difference in our world.

Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity’!

‘The fruit derived from labor is the sweetest of pleasures’ comes from the heart of Luc De Clapiers.

Joseph Joubert shared, “Genius begins great works. Labor alone finishes them.’

‘I learned the value of hard work by working hard’ Margaret Mead.

Stephen King said, “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration. The rest of us just get up and go to work.’

The following are among my favorites:

Maya Angelou, ‘Nothing will work unless you do’!

‘Find something you love to do, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life’ Harvey Mackay.

‘Dare to be honest and fear no labor’ Robert Burns.

Mother Teresa, ‘the miracle is not that we do this work, but that we are happy to do it!’

Colossians 3:23, ‘Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.’

May God bless us everyone to enjoy doing the work He has called us to do with happy hearts and heartily enjoy every day peacefully, joyfully, and lovingly ‘whatever our circumstances’ until He calls us Home…and then we will reap rewards for eternity in a place He has prepared for us! I can hardly wait for a new day here and eternity in heaven…what about you? Make choices to enjoy life here while being prepared for His return or the end of your days on earth…in the twinkling of an eye!

By Becky Spell Vann

Contributing columnist

Becky Spell Vann is the owner/operator of Tim’s Gift Love Ministry.

Becky Spell Vann is the owner/operator of Tim’s Gift Love Ministry.