I have grown up knowing what hard work is. While I hated working on the farm when I was younger; I learned the reward of working hard. The pride that comes from seeing a job completed. The sweat that comes from working on hot summer days. The feeling of accomplishment seeing something evolve from nothing.
My children were able to experience this same reward over a weekend of adding onto our tiny lake house. We had outgrown our small lake house years ago. When we built the lake house over 10 years ago, our intention was to add on while the children were still small. That never happened. Life seemed to get in the way and finances didn’t seem to allow that luxury. So we continued to cram into the small 750 square foot house. It didn’t seem so hard when the children were small, but with preteen/teenage kids and 2 dogs, and often guests, it seemed more challenging over the years.
It was exciting to see the involvement of my children in the building phase. They were able to learn new skills, to use new tools, to work hard and sweat on a hot summer day. They were able to take instruction and help build things with their own hands. To take piles of lumber and watch it being transformed into a building.
I loved watching my father-in-law teach my daughter how to measure the correct spacing for the studs to go into the walls. It was neat to see my sons use the nail gun and feel the power it brings.
I enjoyed watching our family work together to accomplish our goal. And most importantly, I loved watching the ownership they have of the new space. They helped make it and it has become more important to them because they were a part of it.
They were able to experience the splinters, the sweat rolling down their faces and the sawdust sticking to their arms. The unity that they experienced working with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins on a shared project. They knew what it felt like at the end of the day to be tired and exhausted but also to look out and see the building take shape. To feel the pride that comes with working hard.
The thing that most importantly stands out to me is that when you work together, you are building more than just the project that you are working on; You are building character, strength and integrity along with it. The building is just a representation of those character strengths that are being formed during the process. And that,my friend, is all in a days work.