Thursday, February 2, 2012

Revenue of Joy

Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, But much revenue comes by the strength of the ox.
Proverbs 14:4

Tomorrow our kids are participating in a small homeschool science fair. We are preparing four science fair projects, and keeping up with our core school subjects. I am committed to letting my kids make their own display boards for the science fair. Our boards aren't flashy, just card board boxes. Our boards aren't technically amazing. Nor are they works of art. I don't expect to impress anybody, but my kids will have created it by themselves. 

Well, almost by themselves. The kindergartner doesn't write by himself. The third grader needed guidance knowing which topics about comets she should include, and help with the experiment. The sixth grader hemmed and hawed, after an hour of looking at ideas online and days of contemplation; I finally chose a topic for him. But my ninth grader only needed to hear me say, "I think that's a great idea."

Tuesday we had a great day of school. One of those days when everybody was busy. Everybody was working hard. Everybody had a good attitude. There was math on the table. Science papers scattered over every flat surface. Tiny bits of cut paper all over the floor. Books on the couch, and the coffee table and the rug. Half empty hot cocoa cups, abandoned hours ago. I had loads of clean laundry waiting to be folded and dishes stacked beside the sink. It was a great day.

When Bryan came home for dinner I was extolling our day. We got so much done on our science fair projects, we might actually be ready. And the house looked like it: utter chaos. There was a mammoth effort just to clear the table to eat dinner.

Wednesday morning I picked up the placemats, crusty with day old spilled milk. Coffee in hand, breakfast dishes cleared, we began family Bible time and read Proverbs 14. By that time I was ready for a clean manger, a clean house. Instead of perfection and beauty, I had received a revenue. "Too bad kids don't bring in real money," I joked with my family. Sam says, "It's a revenue of joy." So it is! A revenue of joy. I might rephrase the Proverb, Where no little ones are the house is clean, but a revenue of joy comes from children.

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