Waste Nothing

Waste Nothing

God can bring about good, from even the worst situations.

In the last blog, I looked at Joseph. Joseph was forced into slavery, unjustly imprisoned, and still God used those 13, seemingly wasted years, to bring about good. Through them, Joseph learnt skills that helped him to lead Egypt through a national famine, saving thousands of lives.

But does that mean it doesn’t matter what we do? Can we deliberately waste our time and resources, and not worry about the consequences? After all, God can bring about good from anything, right?

God *will* work all things together for good. But he also wants us to partner with him in not being wasteful, and in making the best use of our time and resources.

After Jesus made enough food to feed five thousand men (and all the women and children present too), he asked his disciples to collect up the leftovers, so that nothing would be wasted. (John 6:12)

Jesus could create abundant bread and fish, but it did not mean he was happy to leave the leftovers to go to waste. And he wanted his disciples to learn not to waste as well.

In a similar way, Jesus does not want us to be wasteful with what he has provided to us – our time and resources.

As a slave and prisoner, Joseph did not mope around and refuse to do his best, because of his mistreatment. (Given the circumstances – forced into slavery and false imprisonment – I think most of us would have forgiven him if he had.)

Instead, he made the best use of his time. He worked hard and was granted success, even in those strange circumstances. Because of his willingness to pull up his sleeves, and get on with the work set before him, God was able to multiply his efforts, blessing Joseph, the people, and the places in which he worked.

It may not be easy to relate to the extreme circumstances Joseph found himself in. However, at some point, we all have to do work that we don’t really want to do. And what will our attitude be, when we find ourselves in that situation?

Whatever work God has placed before us (teaching children, office work, cleaning, etc), if we work hard – as though working for God himself – God can use our efforts to bless us, and those around us.

Regardless of whether you have been mistreated or disappointed by life’s circumstances… However big or small, pointless or rewarding your work might seem… Keep doing your best… and you will know God’s blessing.

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time.” (Ephesians 5:15-16)

 

Hidden Schoolwork

You’ve heard of hiding veggies in children’s meals. How about hiding lessons in children’s holidays? I’m guessing I’m not the only parent who has attempted it! Or maybe I am…

The first week of September, we were on holiday, near the Jurassic coast, in Devon.

I was itching to get back to schoolwork after the long summer break. But I also wanted us all to have an enjoyable and restful holiday.

In an attempt to make the best use of our time, and not waste a great learning opportunity, I prepared some ‘fun’ activities, related to fossils and rocks, that we could take with us.

I hunted out resources online and came across this fantastic, free, treasure trove, full of activities and ideas.

https://pstt.org.uk/resources/curriculum-materials/big-jurassic-classroom

I chose a handful of the activities I thought would be easy enough to take on holiday, laminating a few of them to make them last longer.

The activities complimented our fossil hunting walks, along the beaches at Lyme Regis and Charmouth. We collected lots of rock specimens, which we took home to experiment on, with water, vinegar, and metal skewers!

I printed some colouring sheets from here:

https://www.fossils-facts-and-finds.com/coloring_pages.html

And an activity booklet with wordsearches and dot-to-dots:

https://www.bedfordshiregeologygroup.org.uk/education.html

I also printed these ‘How a Fossil is Formed’ ammonite zig-zag books, from twinkl, for the children to make.

https://www.twinkl.co.uk/resource/how-a-fossil-is-formed-zigzag-book-t-sc-2550370

We took some fossil and rock books away with us as well.

When we got home, I discovered I was able to get this book, about Mary Anning, on Kindle, for free, through our Prime subscription:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mary-Anning-Little-People-DREAMS/dp/0711255512/

I put it up on our TV screen with a HDMI cable, and we read through it together. It was particularly good, because we had just been to Charmouth beach and museum, where there is a large model of the Ichthyosaurus that Mary Anning found.

Finally, I treated our children to this lovely puzzle from Little Crafters:

https://www.littlecraftersboxes.co.uk/blank-1/mary-anning-puzzle

My children weren’t entirely fooled by my attempts to sneak schoolwork in, but they did get stuck in with the activities anyway, especially when we were confined to our lodge because of the heavy rain!

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