I recently had a FB friend say "It's always work, work, work at your house, take the day off." as a comment to something that I posted. That has gotten me thinking about what work is and whether I really do work.
I have to admit, on paper a lot of things seem to get done around here. On any given day several loads of laundry get washed, dried, and folded (I like my laundry room empty at the end of the day). Then there is the cooking. Meals do get prepared and served along with the commensurate dish washing and cleaning up that goes along with any meal preparation. (In this house that is often a mountain of dishes since there are special diets and no prepared foods.) Everything is made from scratch. Then there is the whole farm thing going on. There are always animals to tend, pens to clean, machinery to maintain, and other sundry things that I am not going to list but they are always waiting for attention.
Now it's really starting to sound like "work, work, work!" But I keep thinking about it and still I don't feel like there is a lot of work going on around here. Then I got to thinking about one very important ingredient that may be missing from other places that is here in abundance; joy. We all like what we do and we love each other. As I have reminded all my kids at one time or another: "Remember why you are doing this and for whom you do it. If it isn't done for love, don't bother."
That's the key! Now, don't get me wrong there aren't a bunch of lovey, huggey, saints running around this place. We all have our moments both of joy and of dissent. But by and large what goes on around here is for the good of all, the service of others and it is done with a joyful attitude. Sure, there are jobs that we all dislike doing. I for one despise making beds! I used to work as the bath aide at a local nursing home. When you have to make 15-20 beds in a shift (without fitted sheets) you don't learn to love it. But you do learn to find a reason to do it, fast, well, and with a good attitude. No one makes a bed faster or better than I do. Nor do I like ironing but I do that too. I love freshly ironed linens on the table and I love how my family looks in the clothing that I have prepared for them to wear to church. They are the reason to do it and do it well.
I guess the point that I am trying to make is that work is only that if you make it so. I like the fact that Ian cranks the tunes in the shop when he is working on a tractor and it isn't going his way. It isn't to drown out the bad language but to help the time pass. I love how Matthew sings at the top of his lungs while he is hoeing the potatoes. It is certainly not because hoeing is just a joyful job but because he is a joyful person. I love MK playing music while she shovels out the pig pen and chats with her animals while she does it. She certainly isn't enjoying the smell of the manure, she's enjoying the fact that the job will be done and the animals will be healthy as a result.