Mother worked at a restaurant during the days of my childhood. It was hard work and long hours.
Leaving, at six o’clock in the morning and coming home after dark The small amount of time we did spend together, was usually while she was trying to get her daily jobs finished around the house.
Mother would assign certain days, for big jobs; Monday was wash day. Tuesdays she ironed, and so on.
Many times money was so tight. We were just thankful we had the milk and produce, the farm provided, .to put on the table.
While money was lacking, and work was hard, mother never neglected to show her love for us.
The smallest reward would appear to be, to us exquisite
. One of these great rewards was, one half stick of gum.
At the beginning of each week, mother would buy one pack of gum. It was opened and each piece was torn in half. She would then put the pieces in a sugar bowl, in the china cabinet for safekeeping.
If my sister and I had completed our assigned chores, when she returned home at the end of each day, we were allowed to take one of those pieces from the china cabinet.
That small reward was reassured us that mother cared.
Then there was the time that our elderly Grandma moved in with us.
As hard as it may be to vision, we did not have an indoor bathroom.
The famous chamber pot, was the substitute and it became my job to carry Grandmas chamber pot outside each morning.
Aha! the reward was well worth it. Every month when grandma received her “pension check” she would give me one shinny new silver dollar.
The definition for reward became very clear; you receive a reward for the work you complete.
The greatest reward granted, was from mother.
One Saturday, when I was about ten, I had this great idea.
Enjoying stories about fairy’s, I decided while mother was at work, to totally clean the house.
Then when she came home, I would tell her, “ a good fairy came and waved her magic wand,
“ Poof her house was clean.”
Never, had I worked so hard. There was dusting, sweeping, mopping, things to put away,
but just as mother drove into the yard, my last task was completed.
Her first reaction was speechless tears. It too over whelmed me to see her crying.
Quickly I responded, “Mother did you know that a good fairy came today?”
. She said smiling through her tears, “Really! So that is who cleaned my home so perfectly?”
The reward she gave me, is the rest of the story.
She hugged me so tight and said, ”If you see her, will you tell her what a blessing she was to me.”
Many times thereafter, I cleaned house, knowing it would make my mothers life a little easier.
She would simply give me a hug and say; “I see the good fairy has been here again today.”
Little did she know what a huge reward she was giving me.
The good fairy secret became something special, only she and I shared.
Many times after that, she found life little lighter because I had helped her carry the load. Tasks do become so much easier, when two work together, but the reward was great. Seeing mothers face light up as I returned her love.
It taught me to do things for others, just because you love them, not for monetary rewards.
It also taught me, true reward is in the giving, not in getting.
When serving the Lord, mother’s lesson on rewards still ring true.
The greatest reward our heavenly father will give us, when our tasks on earth are done, will be when he says, “Well done, my faithful servant”.