The Importance of Being Earnest

Yes. I love the play, but this is the importance of being Earnest, not Ernest.

When it comes to almost anything I have finally begun to develop the value in the character trait.

As a child, I would now, describe myself as having been an earnest individual. I worked hard at the things I worked at. I completed things. I learned new things. Challenges didn’t scare me. But then, somewhere in my mid late teens, I stopped being earnest, in nearly everything.

I didn’t start down some wayward course of alcohol or drugs, I just stopped caring. I think I began to realize, no one else cared if I finished what I started, so I could blow stuff off, and really, no one noticed. It just didn’t matter anymore. No one showed up for awards ceremonies; art shows; plays; band or choir performances; talks; assembly parts. Suddenly, I was left, holding the bag of my own self worth, and I’d always had a healthy amount of it, but now, why bother. All my endeavours took time, effort, and I was tired of impressing no one but myself.

I’d barely begun life and I was already struggling for a reason to bother putting so much work into it.

My teens faded quickly into my early twenties and before I knew it I was having children and mediocre at running a house in a life I never planned for. I had no time to make an earnest effort at anything, let alone building a work ethic. I was exhausted. Every moment of every day.

Five children later it’s come back. My earnest work ethic. Thankfully. I feel the value of Accomplishment. I think I always knew its value, but motherhood left me thin. But in recent years I’ve taken on even cooking, with a renewed sense of pride. It’s not my natural ability, but I want to be better. So I try.

Baking, well baking was a childhood forté, so it’s returned with vigor. I’m good at it, headed towards great. Few people bake true homemade. They buy boxes, so cakes, cookies, muffins—they’re all dreadful. Even waffles and pancakes—patoey! Who calls this food even, let alone the heart rendered beauty that is, Baking. To me, baking is the poetry of the home makers life work. It is as rough or as delicate as the creator decides on a certain day. Somedays are old recipes from grandma’s cookbook, steeped in nostalgia & tradition, rustic, simple. Other days are new endeavours, tailored to you audience, daring & adventurous. Details are sometimes added, sometimes not bothered with.

Always, there is love where there is baking. That is not always true of cooking when you have a large family. Cooking, is like the necessity of cleaning. It’s a constant job that is never done. So in my world, baking is the hearth of my home; it requires the earnestness of my heart & I give it that.

I have learned, mistakes are the balance upon which earnest effort is weighed.

How many mistakes does it take, and how many times will you persevere beyond your inability to become able?

Spirituality; knitting; guitar; painting; writing; relationships; baking; all come to a point of deep value only after earnest effort.

I’ve grown to love the challenge. To keep pushing.

This past week, I knit a baby blanket, and practiced guitar until my fingers numbed and blistered. I cleaned. I cooked. I did laundry. I took my kids swimming. I taught people from the Bible about the true God. I gave. I gave from the depths of who I am. I baked for grieving. My husband and I supplied lunch for seventeen people and drove it two hours down to them along with three of our children. We had family over to our home. We prepared parts and comments for the meetings. My youngest daughter had her first part on the Christian Life portion of the mid week meeting. We took our children to the beach and played hard and real with them. We gave kids rides to friends and work…

We live a super busy life. It requires earnestly endeavouring to be good at what we do and enjoy it.

I do not have “more time” than another. To think this would be ridiculous. I’ve made sacrifice upon sacrifice to build my life this way. I’ve relied heavily upon the wisdom God provides. I’m not a flashy woman. I’m simple. I don’t spend lavishly. This allows me to be here for my family.

I’m so proud of my husband. He works hard and also sacrifices much, especially time with us, to make sure we are cared for financially. In repayment for his sacrifice, I never ask him to not pursue what inspires him, what makes all his sacrifices worth it. I am happy for him when he can extend work travel to go adventuring and exploring. Even tho I can’t go very often.

Everyone makes their choices. I’ve learned, thankfully, to add earnestness to my arsenal of life skills.

As I grow and accomplish, even just little things in my little life, I have the satisfaction of continuing to become who I am. I am a mother. I am a wife. But I am an artist in varying and satisfying ways too. But only because I recognized the importance of being earnest.


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