Nothing Wasted

Nothing Wasted

This academic year, we are starting a new curriculum called ‘Layers of Learning.’


I have tried a few different home-schooling strategies, but so far, none have been quite the right fit:  at least, not in the long term.


The most challenging thing, at the moment, is trying to meet the differing needs of our five children, whose ages range from 3 to10.


‘Layers of Learning’ looks like it could tick all the right boxes for our particular needs. I’m (cautiously) hopeful!


But what about the years invested in other curriculums and approaches, which we haven’t ultimately pursued. Were they wasted?


And what if this curriculum doesn’t work out as well as I’m hoping? Will this also be a waste of time and effort?


Have you ever been plagued by worries like these?


Lately, I’ve been really encouraged thinking about how Jesus aims to save and redeem the lost (Luke 19:10) Not just lost souls and broken relationships, but also lost time.


Whoever we are, and however we’ve spent our time in the past, the Lord Jesus can take us, just as we are, and make something beautiful out of us.


Nothing is wasted in Jesus’ hands. Not even the fragments of our lives that seem to be useless (John 6:12).


Think about the story of Joseph, in Genesis 39-41.


Joseph was sold into slavery, by his brothers, at the age of about 17. He was then thrown in prison, after being falsely accused by his master’s wife. At the age of 30, 13 years later, he finally gained his freedom, and, in an unexpected twist, was made Prime Minister of Egypt.


However, those difficult 13 years were not wasted. During them he learnt important skills. As a slave, he was put in charge of Potiphar’s entire household, and all that he owned (Genesis 39:5).  When imprisoned, he was put in charge of all the prisoners, and everything done in the prison (Genesis 39:22).


During those 13 years, Joseph learnt the skills he needed to lead Egypt successfully.


If God can take years of slavery and false imprisonment, and bring something good from it, what can he do with your years? He can easily take my years of fumbling through curriculums, and make sure my children learn the skills they need to fulfil their ultimate calling.


‘And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.’

Romans 8:28




This summer the children took part in a holiday club at our church.


Each week they were sent home with a memory verse to learn and a challenge to complete.


One week their memory verse was:


‘The son of man came to seek and to save the lost’ Luke 19:10.


The challenge was to make something out of material that would otherwise be thrown away.


These are two of the crafts that my children made from old bottles we redeemed from the plastic recycling bag!



  1. Trim a plastic milk bottle around the end of the handle. Cut out 4 semi circles, one out the front and back and one on each side, to shape legs.
  2. Use the off cuts to make ears. Carefully fold a tab on the flat end of the semi-circle.
  3. Cut a slit in each side of the bottle. Slide the ears into the slits and tape them in place.
  4. Using PVA glue and newspaper, cover the elephant.
  5. Add googly eyes.
  6. (Optional) Make a family of elephants using different bottle sizes.



  1. Using a water bottle remove the lid and flatten the lower half of the bottle.
  2. Cut a triangle shape out of the bottom of the bottle to make it look like a fish tail.
  3. Cut out a triangle from the top and bottom of the fish to shape the body and tail.
  4. Tape together the end of the tail to hold it together and cover any sharp edges
  5. Using PVA glue, decorate with squares of tissue paper and googly eyes.


If children can make such lovely things from rubbish, how much more can God make beautiful things from our lives?!


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