Michelle Duggar on Celebrating Kids' Small, Daily Wins

8.24.12

Josiah and Jinger Duggar help get food prepped at the Friendly Chapel Fish Fry. Photo credit DCL

All of my kids have so many strengths and gifts that we encourage them to share with others. Some of them have become First Responders and at any moment they can be called to a car accident, and many times these are heart-wrenching scenes and we pray afterword because the children need to release all of the emotions they just walked through.

But some of the kids help out in ways that aren't as noticeable but are just as impactful. My son Josiah is high-school aged and taking online college courses. So his schedule is pretty full plus he does a lot of the yard work. He's a middle child, and the middle kids are in the middle of it all!

And yet day in and day out Josiah has purpose to be diligent in his work. So when everybody else has free time you see Josiah sitting there in the living room with his ear phones on working on his school work and his college work and his computer work. He'll take a break to do his music practice, and he's learning cello which is a new instrument for him. And then he gets up early in the morning and he starts again. 

Right now his chore is cleaning the bathrooms. Our whole family has said when Josiah cleans the bathrooms he doesn't just clean them, he takes the whole thing apart and puts it back together. He literally takes the seat off of the toilet and scrubs around the little screws that latch the thing on and then he puts the seat back. He's not really a perfectionist but he really is just doing a thorough job and being diligent.

Many times I'll look over and see him in the middle of the day helping a younger sibling with his or school work, tutoring side-by-side because he's still working on the computer. And it's a sacrifice working with little ones who are so easily distracted. It takes a lot of patience, and I said to him, "I remember when you were that age. And I'd try to get you to focus on your spelling words and you'd be standing upside down on your head." 

As a mom I look at what he's doing and I see that that is profound, just as profound as the kids who are First Responders and have gone out and reached into the lives of people they don't even know to rescue and to help and to sustain their lives. 

I see Josiah, who is diligently day in and day out doing these tasks that are mundane, but he still is doing them and purposing to do them with a good attitude serving those and working hard himself in those hours of the day when you just feel like, "Man, why do I have to do all this? I really don't feel like doing this."

I think so often we look for these big, exciting things in life -- we want this great mystery; we want this great fill-in-the-blank here. But really it's the daily things; the things that we do every day that we should desire the fruit from. 

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