Happy Labor Day! by Julie Arnold

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

Warm up the grills, peeps. Labor Day is on its way. Summer’s last hurrah takes the form of barbeques, swimming pools, sticky popsicle fingers and back-to-school shopping. You’ve read your fun beach books, warm breeze in your hair, lounging in your Adirondack chair (or at least, you dreamed about it.) 

But before we turn our focus to apple-picking, pumpkins, and football, let’s pause to reflect on this all-important day of CELEBRATING WORK. 


Okay, so drudgery isn’t something we normally celebrate. Clock in, clock out. Vacuum the floor. Pack the lunches. It’s not quite your lounge chair on the beach. But there’s beauty in work. Pride. A sense of accomplishment when that rough rock comes out of the tumbler polished and sparkly. When we reach the end of a rocky road, glance over our shoulder and think, “This experience has made me stronger.”

I’ve thought of some examples in my own life.  One that comes to mind is student jobs. Oh, I’ve cashiered across grocery chains, sold my heart out in clothing stores, and filled orders in restaurants. From age sixteen to twenty-four, I did my fair share of grunt work earning entry-level wages. Was it fun? No. Did I celebrate every moment? Double no. But one very important life lesson emerged from those experiences: I never want to have to do that again. Which meant, I worked hard in high school and college, determined to earn a degree that would assure I would never have to return to customer service. Some people are great in that field. They rock the register and charm the tables for huge tips. Just not me. And struggling through it gave me huge motivation to reach for something more.

Another example is raising kids. Parents out there, you know what I’m talking about. Non-parents, you were on the other end of the equation and know what I’m talking about, too. Parenting is: Really. Hard. Work. The ultimate labor of love. My kids are cute and precious and the apple of my eye, but I would be lying if I said there weren’t those moments. You know, those moments when you want to rip your hair out and run screaming down the street. There’s the diapers and late-night feedings. The toddler years when you need to have your eyes on them every waking second to avoid loss or injury. The pre-school years when they learn the great art of negotiation (“If you give me what I want, I will be a perfect angel. If not, well, brace yourself.”) The school years dominated by crazy schedules, Saturday-morning sporting events, play dates, and intricate art projects inspired by Pinterest (grade-school teachers out there, you know who you are.) I’m still in the thick of this stage, and let me tell you…I love it. It’s such a crazy amount of work, but it’s also the most rewarding work on Earth. Sure, without kids I would be sipping wine on my white, leather couch, planning with my husband our next trip to Europe, spending evenings at elegant restaurants…wait, what was my point…? Oh yeah, raising kids is the best work imaginable. Even the not-so-fun stuff (ahem, mountains of laundry) is part of showing the love. The labor of love.

So on this Labor Day, I’m planning to reflect on all the work life has given me. And how God is working in my life. He’s blessed me with a life’s work, and that’s worth celebrating.

About the Author: Julie Arnold is a Christian Romantic Suspense author of four books, including Garden of Nymphs, Hiatus, and Gold in the Dust. She lives with her husband and three children in Sylvania, Ohio, though her imagination often takes her to faraway, fictional worlds. The setting for Nothing Ventured was inspired by time spent during her childhood at her grandparents’ home in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. 

When Maizey Faye’s fiancé dumps her, leaving her with nothing but a lonely little tree farm in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, she sees it as the fresh start she so desperately needs. So what if she knows next to nothing about tree farming. It can’t be that hard, right? Wrong! She’s in over her head, and if she doesn’t figure it out soon, she’ll lose everything. 

Maizey never imagined her salvation would come in the form of her handsome business rival, Jax Lawson. She’s not sure if she can trust him, or if he’s just another traitorous man to add to her growing list. But when she starts receiving mysterious messages and dangerous threats, she has no choice but to accept Jax’s help. With her life on the line, she’ll learn real soon whether Jax is sincere about his affections or if it’s all been a lie to get his hands on her farm.

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