I attended an Eagle Scout Court of Honor for the first time tonight. It was held to award two young men in our neighborhood their Eagle Scout medals. As part of the ceremony, slideshow presentations were shown of each of the two young men--photos from their early Boy Scout days, shots of camping & fishing activities, group shots of mud-covered boys that extracted much laughter from the audience. A lot of the pictures had their fathers, mothers and boy scout leaders hanging out in the background. Those slideshows chronicled years upon years of intensive "behind-the-scenes" efforts on behalf of the adults that encouraged these two young men to keep pushing forward toward the goal of earning their Eagle Scout award.
As I sat watching those photgraphic montages, I was filled with an excitement over the idea that, someday in the future, I could be sitting in a Church gymnasium watching slideshows of my own children learning archery and making goofy faces while decked out in full Scout regalia.
But not without a lot of work.
It is so easy to allow myself to become overwhelmed at the colossal amount of work that stands before me as I work with Michael to raise up our children to become responsible adults with integrity. However, all around us we see successful families that have made it work; parents who have sacrificed and worked their butts off in order to help their children succeed, and there are moments where I get to see all that hard work paying off. And I'm reminded that most of life is hard work--lots of hard work just about all the time. But then there are moments when that work is rewarded, either in awards or the excitement of a finished project or with a serene contentment when you look around and see all the good that has come through your efforts. I'm very thankful that I was allowed to witness a big "pay-off moment" in the lives of two of my friends and their sons tonight. It's nice to see examples of hard work paying off for good.
Oh, there is much work to do in the future that lies before me! But I look forward to it because it is the work that my heart craves: the development of my children, marriage and home. There are school projects, Girl & Boy Scout badges, family vacations (I've yet to go on a vacation and thought it required less work than just staying home!), home improvement endeavors, the day-to-day busyness of keeping our home clean and having enough food to eat...and sometimes these things can seem like a burden or like too much is being asked of me as a mother and woman, but I know that if I just stick with it that it will pay off richly. (And I believe that the amount of cheerfulness I can infuse into my work is directly correlated to how much satisfaction I will receive from the end product.)
We are so blessed to live in such a day and age where so many of our day-to-day tasks are practically automated so we have more time to spend with our families. However, I still look forward to teaching my children how to work, and how to take pride in a job well done. There is so much satisfaction in clean and honest living and I am deeply thankful to be afforded the opportunity to live this kind of life. My husband is such an inspiration to me as he heads out the door each weekday (and many a weekend) morning to earn bread for his wife and children by the sweat of his brow. He arrives home in the evening cheerful and eager to discuss the children's days over dinner...even if everything has completely blown up in his face at work all day long. He has shown me that the circumstances of the day do not have to dictate my mood. (And someday I'm going to get really good at being cheerful despite everything falling apart around me!)
I'm looking forward to these years of work ahead of me. There is just so much in store for our family and I am so thankful that I get to be the mother of these amazing little souls that I've been entrusted with to nurture into adulthood. I hope that they will someday look back on the years spent in our home with fondness and gratitude. I hope to have a beautiful relationship with each of my children; the kind that can only come from being intensely involved in their lives and caring about what they think and feel over wanting them to simply hear and obey my voice above all else. It's going to be a lot of work, but it's a beautiful assignment that I look forward to cheerfully completing to the best of my ability each day.
The assignment of Family Life is a sacred and lovely thing.