Hard Work

snapshot #1  Arctic air blasted through the doorway causing shivers and wails of protest.  His frame filling the opening, he stood, clothes soaked with sweat.  Despite his cold, tired limbs and sore muscles, he smiled a big, genuine, satisfied smile.

snapshot #2 Never uttering a complaint, they obeyed each instruction given.  Intensity and urgency hung in the air.  Shoveling sand into plastic bags, hauling the 50 pound barriers to their temporary home, carrying furniture and boxes up the stairs, and playing with children, they worked cheerfully.  Tired, wet from sweat and the light falling drizzle, we drove the sixty miles home in alternating silence and poignant conversation.  I have to marry a man who can get his hands dirty declared my oldest daughter in a moment of self-revelation.

snapshot #3  Talking and laughing they trimmed and rolled and brushed the caramel hue onto my walls.  They didn’t have to help.  They didn’t have to give up their evening to climb on ladders and get dirty to paint my dining room walls.  But these women, they’re not afraid of hard work.

snapshot #4  Rarely entering the game until the last lingering seconds of the final quarter, today coach called him off the bench in the second quarter.  He beamed from ear to ear; he played the entire eight minutes and sat down at the end sweaty and smiling.  After the game I asked about the change in rotation.  With swelling pride he told me how the coach approached him before the game and explained that he was rewarding him for his hard work in practice and using him as an example for the other players.

Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all. ~Sam Ewing
Today, I’m thankful for the gift of hard work and the individuals who aren’t afraid of it.
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