5 Disciplines ~ Week 5 – The Discipline of Work

We are to the final week of the Discipline series and I want to encourage you.  If you’ve fallen off the bandwagon – don’t beat yourself up – just get back up and start again. Do not give up! And in case you are wondering…I fell off the bandwagon this week with my week 1 challenge – to lose 5 pounds in 5 weeks and I’m at 2 pounds in 4 weeks – so I really need to be disciplined this week.  I’m not giving up!

This weeks Discipline is Work.

Let’s begin with the origin of work.  You may remember in Genesis 3:19, that after Adam and Eve sinned, God banished them from the garden and he cursed the ground.  God said to Adam “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food” meaning – Adam was going to have to work hard and sweat to provide food for his family.


There was work before the fall.  Actually – Adam was working before Eve had even been created.  Look at Genesis 2:15:

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” 

Work was ordained by God in the perfect Garden of Eden.  Adam was not meant to be idle.  And we are not to be idle.

Work is not a curse.

Elizabeth Elliot writes:
“Work is a blessing.  God has so arranged the world that work is necessary and He gives us hands and strength to do it.  The enjoyment of leisure would be nothing if we had only leisure.  It is the joy of work well done that enables us to enjoy rest…I never appreciated the tremendous therapeutic value of work until I lost my first husband…my husband’s death made me unutterably grateful to God for plain, ordinary housework…I was barely able to get through the day but the work was there and by the grace of God I did it.”

Work is a blessing.  A Christian woman should be characterized as a woman who is willing to work hard.  Colossians 3;23 says “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” We are not working for money, status or men – we are working for the glory of God!

In Proverbs 31:13 the Proverbs 31 woman is described as having “eager hands“.  She does her work willingly and with a good attitude.

I could nickname my oldest sister, Kristen, as an “eager” beaver!  She is a fast moving, high energy, cooking, cleaning, multi-tasking machine!  When we moved into our new home 2 years ago, the entire extended family – children and all – arrived to help me clean and unpack.  She took charge from the moment she stepped into my house.  She rolled her sleeves up, put on her gloves and to work she went – periodically she took a break to inspect my work and my other sister’s cleaning.  Her response was “push harder – put some muscle into it!” So we sneaked away to an upstairs bathroom where we could work in a care-free environment and 30 minutes later she arrived – looked at our work and had more advice on how to clean more effectively and efficiently…I think it involved a Q-tip to clean in the cracks…lol!  And by the way – it was my house and I’m slightly less wired than she is (only slightly) so I really didn’t care about the cracks!  While we got a lot of laughs out of our different work ethics that day – after everyone left my husband commented on how amazingly hard and eager my sister Kristen works.  I WANT that!  I admire that in her!  She has a very blessed family!

Would those who live in your home describe you as a woman with “eager hands“?

That’s our challenge!

Week 5 Challenge:
Work with eager hands this week!  Pray and ask God to give you an eager attitude all day long.  Do your work as unto the Lord.  Remember the meaning behind your work in the home – all of it added up equals a well nurtured home and family.  Research and find inspiration in magazines or on-line.  Find a woman with eager hands and learn off of her.   If all day long you have been feeding and caring for babies, listening, comforting, training, teaching, cooking and cleaning – you will be tired.  REST – guilt-free!  God does not condemn rest – he condemns laziness (2 Thess. 3:10).

As we end this series on the topic of work – it flows perfectly into the next 14 week series that is about to begin next Monday here on the Proverbs 31 Woman.  The Proverbs 31 Woman is a diligent and disciplined woman – so we have many more weeks to grow and strengthen our discipline muscles!

Are you taking the challenge to work with eager hands this week?  Leave a comment letting me know your commitment and if you are a blogger, write about this challenge or the past 4 week’s challenges and link-up below!

Walk with the King,


  1. Wow…I remember reading the first post in this series when I was so gung-ho, and . . . yeah, I never got on the wagon *to* fall off! BUT I made great strides this weekend, so I’m just going from there.

    Thanks for all your encouragement, and God bless your endeavors!

  2. This past week wasn’t a good one for me either, so I am preparing to do better this week. I will do my best to also work with eager hands!

  3. Courtney,
    I just discovered your site. i am excited to start the Proverbs 31 study and would like to know if you have any suggestions for blog/bible study sites for my husband…?
    Thank you

  4. I have been loving the challenges each week. I can’t believe how much I have accomplished! Looking forward to this week. Thanks!!!

  5. Hi Courtney,
    This really is a challenge for me, but I am in! This week I will work with eager hands.
    I am one of those people who hides when the workload seems too big to tackle and this week is a week with a huge workload, so your challenge comes at a great moment. Thank you!

  6. Courtney,

    I plan to go back and re-take this 5 week challenge because I did not do so well, but I am glad I can do it over. I am looking forward to the Proverbs 31 series as well. I gave my children a week off homeschool for spring break over the week of Easter. One of my priorities was to get some sleep. I had years of extreme challenge and hardship and was not able to get adequate sleep for years. Well once I let myself sleep my body kept wanting more and more so I let myself have the rest. I am just now not needing the extra sleep. So now I will go through this challenge. I also wanted to tell you that your blog is an encouragement to me. First of all I grew up in a home where my mom did not submit to my dad and disrespected him at every turn and would tell us how much she hated him, but she stayed with him for the sake of her children. Then shortly after I got married my husband became disabled and his cognitive function deteriorated to the point where he could no longer live up to his roll in our marriage. The Lord healed him and he is now stepping into his role of leadership in our household. Your blog has been very encouraging as I am now learning to be a submissive wife. The serenity and goodness coming into our home now is amazing. Thanks for the encouragement.

  7. I’m so thankful for the 5 week challenge and I truly wish that the challenges did not stop.
    God has done a mighty work in my life over the past 4 weeks. I have lost 13 lbs., grown closer to God, and accomplished more projects in my home than I have ever done in this amount of time. Thank you Courtney for walking with the King and pointing us to Him. My heart if forever grateful!

  8. These challenges have been good! I have needed a push to finish loosing those extra pounds. I have lost 2.5 pounds so far! I also needed to clean out the garage and made head way with that too! Need to wait for the hubby’s help next weekend to finish. I am glad I stumbled on you blog it has been a good motivator! I have a question you talk today about rest guilt free but laziness God condemns. What is the difference? For example I stay at home cook clean take care of our 2 year old. At night after I put him to bed my husband and I sit on the couch and watch tv. Is that lazy or rest? The proverbs women says to work late into the night. I rise early but I’m done by 830. I guess it’s a fine line?

  9. Great post, Courtney! Inspiring way to kick off a new week!

    I fell off the wagon, too. After losing 2.5 pounds, I put one back on. Back to the drawing board with you!


  10. I have just found your blog, through something on pinterest, I think. But I was intrigued by the Proverbs ebook, and have just finished it. I am looking forward to reading more and applying these principles to my life. I hope you have more of these 5 week challenges in the future. I would love to go back and read about it now, but I have to be honest – I do not have the time to keep going forward with the current stuff you are writing as well as “catch up”. I will accept the work challenge, however. It is something we all struggle with!

  11. Last week I did “fall off the bandwagon” so to speak with my goals. I was not feeling well the first day or two of the week and just didn’t try. But I realized that that truly showed a lack of discipline in my life. I cannot just “try” when I feel good. Have to try all the time. Have to WORK at it. I was sort of dreading another week of challenge b/c I didn’t do so hot last week, but ha ha this fits in nicely with getting back on the bandwagon. Going to work on WORKING AT my other 4 goals more dilligently, although I already broke the spirit goal today. That was before I read the blog for today & determined to stick to it! Thanks for your encouragement!!

  12. Dear Courtney
    At the moment I’m at school, checking your blog on my iPhone. I’m definitely goong to weite a longer response as soon as I get home this evening, as typing on smartphones is just terrible. But I just have to tell you right now that these last five weeks changed my life and I’m still desperate to learn more. You’ve inspired me so much!

    1. I was typing for twenty minutes, trying to find the right words. I hit the wrong key, everything was gone. So my answer is going to be there tomorrow. I’m not lazy, I have to do other things and I just can’t afford to rewrite it…

  13. Thanks for these challenges while I started working out I’ve been listening/watching your you tube videos. These have made a huge difference in how I read your blog. Because now I hear your voice and I see your smiling face encouraging me instead of pictureing you as just another blogger who has it all together. I also LOVED your Vblog on thrift clothes shopping as a dedicated thrifter I was over joyed to see how cute you look and to know where you shop and how much you spent. Thank you you have been a blessing to me.

  14. This challenge has been amazing! I’ve grown so much through participating. I’m so excited about the Proverbs 31 study. I’m looking forward to learning more from God sending his word through you.

  15. This is a point in my life that I am really struggling! I work outside of my home and I really desire to be home with my 2 girls. My husband wants me to continue to work but has agreed for me to work part time (off on Fridays). I am so grateful for “my” Fridays with my girls! I really struggle with working hard at my job, I daydream about being home and I’m always trying to look for a way to make that work. I struggle with guilt of not being home, then the guilt of not working hard at my job (I can’t find the passion).

  16. I am an HR Director at a large company and deal with unbelievers (and sadly, believers) who do not work with excellence. It is a constant struggle of mine to encourage them and sometimes it ends in an unpleasant discipline session. Most often they will say “the company doesnt care about me, why should I work hard”. All that I can do is pray and set the standard of excellence for them to see.
    Thank you so much for your challenges, it keeps me going. I am praying for your ministry and that it will have a widespread effect on women.
    With Joy,

  17. I finished reading the Proverbs 31 Woman this week, and enjoyed it so much. It is always a challenge to me to read Pr 31, feeling like it it is a challenge I would never meet. That may be true, but reading the book made it seem like a goal that can be reached! I want to have my daughter read the book too. Thanks so much for sharing it with others.

  18. Dear Courtney,

    I wanted to take a moment to thank you for being such a beautiful spirit. I first discovered you by searching *eagerly* for Christian homeschooling videos on youtube. I was a lost spirit trying to find my way and wanted desperately to learn more about Christianity and how to apply it to daily life and raising two young children. Your ministry has shown me the way and has opened so many doors via all the bloggers in your circle. Thank you for encouraging women who are mothers, homeschoolers, wives, daughters and sharing cyberspace with so many and showing your grace by allowing us to have a voice too. Because of you, I know what it is to *walk with the King.* 🙂

  19. In an effort to build on each week, I haven’t prioritized blogging so I haven’t posted or linked to ya in a couple weeks. But I am working on time management and housework and eating healthy and working out and not getting angry and all that! I had to slow it all down! I love the concept of the challenge but 1 per week is hard to manage for this Momma!

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