Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Becoming Industrious

working energetically and devotedly; hard-working; diligent: an industrious person.
Obsolete. skillful.

Oh, how my admiration for the industrious has grown since becoming a mother. What I wouldn't give for this trait to come to me more naturally. It really is a virtue, isn't it? And something that takes so much practice.

I remember the first time I cut up a whole chicken into pieces (my favorite part is using kitchen shears to cut out the backbone). It was something that saved money, that was practical, and that I had never dreamed of doing myself. A bit gross, but truly rewarding. Ben always beams with pride whenever he comes into the kitchen and I am cutting up a chicken, that alone being incentive to do it as much as possible. :-)

Industriousness is rewarding, but you sort of have to be intentional about learning how to become industrious-- a story from a mother, an anecdote from a book. It's really not something that our society teaches very well. Did you know you can melt down the little nubs of soap that are too little to use and use them as spot-cleaner on really dirty laundry? I had no idea, until I watched some of these videos of Mrs. Meyers, the lady behind the cleaning supplies. Or that you should always save the picked over bones of a chicken in order to make chicken broth? Add some veggies, cook it for an hour, and then freeze the stock in ice cube trays. Each one is a quarter cup.

I love the sayings of the desert fathers. They are so thoughtful, and at times, very entertaining. Talk about an industrious bunch.
Take this one: "There was in the Cells an old man called Apollo. If someone came to find him about doing a piece of work, he would set out joyfully, saying, 'I am going to work with Christ today, for the salvation of my soul, for that is the reward he gives.' " What a lovely thought, to think that our day-to day work, cleaning stains, cooking meals, tending to gardens, can bring such lofty spiritual rewards. That in becoming industrious, we are working with Christ towards our salvation. It certainly makes me want to do each task with a little more intentionality, a little more energy, a little more devotion.

What are some examples of industriousness in your own life? Who do you look to as a model of industriousness?

This blog a part of Steady Mom's 30-minute blog challenge.


Anna said...

I agree! I find industriousness to be a very admirable quality.

Vicki said...

I connect with industrious. But I worry about whether or not I'm truly productive.
I will hold the quote for a very long time. I truly wish to breathe this in, to be working with Christ.

heidi @ wonder woman wannabe said...

I agree, being industrious is rewarding! For some reason I find myself postponing doing a task/chore for one reason or other, but when I finally just DO it, I feel SO invigorated - now just to capture that feeling to keep me motivated!! :)

Adele said...

Vicki, I know what you mean: it defeats the purpose to be busy just for the sake of it. I should say that industriousness is something that does not come naturally to me at all... I am quite slack and tend towards being too laid back. So for others, being more relaxed might be a greater virtue to strive towards.

Margo said...

I love being industrious! It's partly from my Mennonite, Swiss-German background. Sometimes I love it too much. . .to the neglect of the people in my life, I'm ashamed to say. But it's so easy to SEE the results of being industrious, as opposed to the more subtle work of relationships. Thanks for a good, thought-provoking post.

Lauren said...

I feel like your post and questions are the start of a faith-sharing group- hehe! It also reminded me of the Shakers, whose motto was something like "Hands to Work, Hearts to God." They definitely saw work and industriousness as forms of worship. Sometimes I'm industrious (get into cleaning spells, etc.), but often I procrastinate instead of leaping into industriousness for things like reading articles for work- I'd much rather just read your blog! O=)