Tired of Cleaning?

Tired of Cleaning?

“Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox” (Proverbs 14:4).

Once fully trained, a well looked after ox may serve a farmer for 8-10 years, puling heavy loads for up to 5 hours a day. They can significantly increase the amount of crops a farmer is able to produce (compared with if he was just working with his own hands).

But oxen need time to eat and digest the large quantities of food that are required to keep up their strength. Lots of food equals lots of manure, which equals lots of stinky shovelling for the farmer. 

Of course, if there were no ox, there would be nothing to shovel. But there would also be significantly less yield at harvest time.

When we invest in people things get messy. Cooking produces dirty pans. Eating produces dirty dishes. And with 4 children under the age of six, it produces messy floors, tables, hands, faces and clothes too! (Not to mention nappies and potties!)

That’s a lot of repetitive cleaning when you’re eating 3 meals a day, plus snacks. It can be easy to get discouraged by it. But how much more potential does a person have than an ox?

Over the course of a lifetime, the average person spends in excess of 90,000 hours “working”. In that time they could train and put to work many oxen!

The average man in the UK earns £1.1 million throughout their working life. And this is just taking a very superficial look at fruitfulness. The work a person does can have far greater value than simply the money they are paid for it. Think of the impact teachers, doctors, refuse collectors and engineers all have on our life, to name but a few.

Additionally, as our children grow, they will form relationships with a huge range of people that we never could on our own. If we raise them well, our children will be a source of encouragement and help to those people.  They will be salt and light in the world.  Perhaps even a source of life, if they have their own children, or become witnesses for the new life in Christ. 

We can avoid hospitality, and avoid having children. We can keep our relationships at arm’s length, while trying to keep our homes immaculate. Or we can invest in people and watch our yields multiply. 


I love to cook a chilli. It is full of veg, beans and flavour, but mostly I love to cook it because of the great yield it produces. 

We usually get at least 3 meals from it, and it is so versatile. 

If your family is small simply halve the quantities or make it all and freeze it in portion sizes, if you have enough room in your freezer!

Chilli Con Carne


  • 3 medium onions roughly chopped
  • 4 carrots cut into chunks
  • 2 large sticks celery finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp ground corriander
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground chilli
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 4 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 kg minced beef
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar or red wine
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 400 g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin of water
  • 1 400 g tin red kidney beans
  • 1 400 g tin pinto beans
  • 1 400 g tin chick peas
  • 3 large red/yellow bell peppers cut into chunks
  • Salt and pepper to taste.


  1. Fry onions, carrots and celery for 5 minutes.
  2. Add herbs, spices and garlic and cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Tip in mince and cook till browned.
  4. Pour in vinegar and tomato puree and simmer for 1 minute
  5. Add chopped tomatoes and water and simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. Pour in beans and simmer for a further 20 minutes.
  7. Add peppers and simmer for 10 more minutes

Recipe Notes

Serve with rice grated cheese and yogurt / in a jacket potato / or even put it in wraps, place in a casserole dish with some more sauce and cheese on top and bake for a simple take on enchiladas.

Tip for kids who don't like beans: 2/4 of our kids don't like beans. For them I mash up their portion with a fork and it all goes down a treat!

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