The Laborers Are Few

Image by condesign (2016) via Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain.

Image by condesign (2016) via Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain.

“The harvest is plentiful, but laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Mt 9:37-38)

Moms know: summer doesn’t always equal fun. With children home from school and either unoccupied or overscheduled, there’s a lot to do to keep the family going. Either you’re surrounded by teenage slugs and bored children or you’re running around carting offspring from camp to camp.

Let’s be honest; lots of the time, you feel like a maid and chauffeur more than a mom.

The only way for us moms to enjoy the summer fun is to beg the Lord of the harvest to send us some laborers. But wait! He already has!

It’s easy to forget that we’re surrounded by laborers that just need to be sent into the harvest. Friends and family are great laborers who need to be sent into the harvest more often to ease our burdens but… you actually have a host of laborers right under your roof that need to be put to work.

I’m talking about your children. Sure, the amount that they can help depends greatly on their age and development, but your children can actually be helpful to you. Really!

I have to admit, I’m one of the worst when it comes to asking for help but I AM getting better at it with time. There are two areas that have tripped me up in the past:

  1. Unhealthy thinking – I used to think that asking someone to help me was an inconvenience to them. The reality is most people are glad to have an opportunity to help. It’s actually a gift to others to include them in your life and to give them a chance to serve. It’s also a good way to practice humility.
  2. Inappropriate expectations – One thing that’s held me back in the past is knowing what were appropriate expectations for my children. I would either overestimate what they “should” be able to do or underestimate their abilities. The trick is knowing your child and accepting that the help they give you won’t be perfect. Here’s the thing though-as awesome as you are at housework, it’s never perfect. So, unless God has given you the supernatural gift of perfection in housekeeping, let your kids do some of it!

There are lots of websites that can give you lists of age-appropriate chores. Here are a few links to help you get some ideas:  

What are some ways that you utilize your laborers?

Copyright 2016 Laura B Nelson


About Author

Laura B. Nelson is a Catholic wife and mother of three children. She is also a Catholic blogger, author, speaker, teacher and life-long student of the Catholic faith. Laura likes to be busy but she most enjoys spending time with her husband and three children at their home in Grapevine, TX. Visit her blogs at Green for God and Suburban Sainthood.


  1. I so very needed to stumble on this post today. I have been struggling the last month encouraging my “laborers” despite mom being at work all day to support the family. I need to remember that imperfect is a step up from nothing. 🙂

  2. I’m so glad this post was well-timed for you! My mantra has been “Progress not perfection” for years. Some day maybe I won’t have to repeat it to myself over and over again!

  3. Great post, Laura! One of the best books I ever came across to help me asses the appropriateness of chores for my kids is 401 Ways to Get Your Kids to Work at Home. A helpful thing we’re doing this summer to alleviate boredom of teens/tweens is community volunteer work. My 14 year old is helping at the Y summer camps. Both sons are volunteering at the public library. My 12 year old is donating time to transcribe and decode historical documents for the Smithsonian. There are all sorts of marvelous ways kids to use their time to help their family and their community.

    • Laura Nelson on

      That’s amazing! How do you start transcribing documents for the Smithsonian? That seems really impressive and unconventional for a summer project. 🙂

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