I let go today.
It’s a good thing! I needed to trust my boys and see what they could do! I needed to, but always before I had assumed only I was careful enough, so I took on tasks that required precision, and did it all myself, while they looked on, wishing they could help.
But, a little voice (you know the One) whispered that I would run myself ragged trying to do it alone, between school subjects. Many hands make light work!
It took me time, but I did listen. Here’s what we’re up to!
Our Sabbath School chose a noble project this year of trying to raise enough money to rescue a girl from trafficking in India. We were told this would cost somewhere between $1,500 and $2,000! We have 12 kids. How could we accomplish this great task? Of course we began to brainstorm about a project.
Among the ideas, one that somehow popped into my brain was the idea to print and sell the prayer cards that I had just made for myself, after listening to a neat talk on 3ABN. Here’s the talk. I had no idea if anyone would want them, but since I was excited about my own cards, I thought that maybe someone else would like them too!
After contacting the speaker and getting permission to print and sell her cards for our mission project, we kind of waited to see if anyone would want them. Well, we didn’t wait too long before we received a couple of requests. Then a couple more. When one lady ordered seven sets, though, and then several more requests came in, we knew we had more than something we could squeeze in the cracks of time between math and science. We suddenly had our own little ministry!
It’s funny, because from time to time, I have wished for something that we could do together, but could never really think of anything concrete. Now we can all be a part of the team; indeed, we all need to do our part, to make the thing work! Before we really knew what happened, we had requests for 20 sets of cards, plus what we needed to make for the Juniors to show people. So, 20 sets times 100 cards equals 2,000 cards, and that’s just the orders so far! It gets a little overwhelming thinking about that!
After thinking about it some, I realized that this would be a very good learning experience. We made a little assembly process, and each boy had a part to learn. At the beginning of the chain, my 11-year-old helped feed the colored paper into the printer to print the sheets out. Before long he was printing front and back sheets independently, and he loved his role! We had to choose 10 different colors of paper for the 10 different topics, which was easy enough; then a lady wanted pastels. We decided we would offer two options —brights or pastels — and soon noticed that the demand was about equal for both kinds.
Next came the laminating process, which my 14-year-old oversaw. He kept the sheets running through as fast as he could, which wasn’t exactly quick, just because our little laminator is rather pokey. Once laminated, the sheets had to be cut! My 12-year-old took this job over from me. This was a difficult thing for me to hand over, but he soon proved that he was competent and careful. Once the sets were bundled up into groups, my 11-year-old and 14-yr-old took turns punching holes, and then we put them onto rings.
This whole process sounds like it happens quickly, but, for us anyway, it takes quite a bit of time! Even with us working diligently, the enormity of the task just required a heavy time commitment.
But, I have learned a few things along the way, which is the whole point of our little business endeavor. One thing is that many hands on the job is a good thing. It was not difficult to interest my boys in the work, because it was hands-on, and they were an integral part of it! Contrast this with regular school work. The usefulness of the task just made it more agreeable. We still have to do school work, but the skills just in this project are very important. Categorizing, printing, planning and coordinating colors, precision in several areas, and staying on task were some that I noticed. In fact, staying on task with this was the biggest surprise to me, because I have a certain young’un who really has a hard time with focusing. I looked on amazed as he turned out to be the most focused of all, and didn’t want to quit!
Just to be more “schoolish,” I assigned the boys to write up a paper describing the whole process of the card-printing job. Again, I looked on in surprise when the boys cranked out decently detailed papers on the subject, when just last week and the week before and so on, their writing assignments practically had to be dragged out of them! It’s another testimony to relate-able and practical. It’s much easier to write about something you are interested in and know something about, as opposed to the last paper we tried to write!
So, long story coming to an end, I found that, once again, if we have something interesting and that allows our boys to “do something,” we just learn so much better! Frankly, I wonder if the boys even knew they were learning anything. But, if they are going to run their own businesses some day, or function at a job under someone else, learning skills like this will be a real benefit to them. The fact that through our work we are tangibly making strides to rescue a child from trafficking makes it all the more practical and important!
If we can do a little home ministry/business, so can you!
As an update: this project got rolling, and before long, the kids REALLY HAD raised enough money to rescue a child from trafficking! Now, 3 months later, they are well on their way to a second rescue! What a victory for persevering!