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Prayers for the
Working Mom

by Sabrina O'Malone

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Exceptional Analogies :: The LumberJack Story

This is the story of a mother who needed to earn money to support her
family.  They needed it badly.  She looked around her community and examined the possibilities. She began to fill out applications everywhere. None of the jobs paid very well.except one.  There was a lumberyard in town, and the best job was the position of Lumberjack. 

No nights.
No weekends.
Winter's off.
No rainy days.
And three times the pay of any other job in town.  

Unfortunately for her, there had never been a female lumberjack.  As a matter of fact, lumberjacks weren't just ordinary "men" they were big, burly "Man's-Men". There seemed to be little hope of her ever getting this job.  She filled out an application anyway, and studied everything about being a lumberjack.  

Week after week, she followed up with a phone call or note.  She emailed copies of interesting news stories about the industry to the Human Resources Manager.  Time passed, and she began to be regarded as an inside joke at the lumberyard. They gave her the nickname "Lumber-Jill." It looked as if she would never be hired, after all, she wasn't even a big, strong woman, and she had no experience felling trees.


Eventually, the lumberyard landed an account which would require double their production.  They needed to increase production quickly. Managers were called from their desks into the woods, Retirees were called in, but still, they needed more trees.  

At a meeting someone finally suggested, "Why don't we call in "Lumber-Jill?" Everyone laughed out loud.  But desperate times call for desperate measures.  They eventually agreed to hire her on a "trial" basis for 2/3's the pay of a regular lumberjack.  They called her for an interview, and justified her reduced rate due to her lack of experience. She jumped at the opportunity.

Upon being hired, the HR manager sat her down, explained the job description and handed her the employee handbook with the 10 Rules of being a lumberjack.  She was expected to know these rules and abide by them at all times, he explained.  She agreed.


6:00 a.m. Monday morning, she was dressed and ready with ax in hand before the gates opened to the woodlands.  While the other lumberjacks took breaks, hung out at the water cooler and sharpened their axes, she worked.  She employed physics, made use of several different styles of axes to increase her production.

At the end of the month, results were tabulated to track production. "Lumber- Jill" had felled more trees than any other lumberjack! Everyone was speechless.  There was more than a little resentment towards her among the other lumberjacks.she was making them look bad.

The next month, her production was a little lower, but still among the top lumberjacks.  The following month she was in the middle of the pack.  She decided to request keys to the gates so she could start work earlier.  She even asked for permission to work on Saturdays to increase production. She went to the gym to build her upper body strength, took mega-vitamins, and did everything she could think of to produce more.  Despite all of her efforts, her production declined until she was not only the worst lumberjack, but the worst one in the company's history.  The HR manager called her into the office.

She burst into tears!  "I've never been late, goofed off or missed a day's work!  There's no one who works as hard as I do. Just a few months ago I was your top lumberjack!  Give me a chance to come out of this slump." She exclaimed with emotion and conviction.

There was a large book on the HR manager's desk.  He pointed to it.  
"Do you remember this book?"  He asked.  
"Well sure, it's the employee handbook for lumberjacks." She replied.
"Do you know the 10 rules of being a lumberjack?"
"Yes.and NONE of those rules even mentions production."
"What is rule number 4?"
She referred to the book and looked.she was astonished at what she saw.  


She realized in an instant that she was in such a hurry to "produce" that she had neglected to take the MANDATORY breaks and sharpen her ax. She had been working with a dull ax, and it's nearly impossible to cut down a tree with one.  In violating this command, the very production she was so eager to achieve suffered.  She also became a danger to herself and those around her.


Working Mom, understand this principle.  Even the Bible's 10 Commandments includes a day of rest every week!  During this rest, you can sharpen your thoughts, give your mind, body and spirit the chance to rejuvenate.  

Think of the Bible as the "employee handbook" for life.  
Consider The 10 commandments as the 10 rules to live by.  

The temptation to ignore the 4th commandment when you are already behind schedule is almost overwhelming.  But this is not a suggestion. It is, technically, a COMMANDMENT.  God himself designed you to operate at optimum efficiency when you take a day every week to rest and worship Him.  

Think of it this way.  If you went a day without sleep, you'd be tired, but most likely, you could function.  What about two days?  Three days?  We all know if we went three days without sleep we would certainly function at a reduced capacity. (If we could function at all) The human body simply is not designed to go 72 hours without rest.  

The designer of the human body, ( EVEN YOUR HUMAN BODY ) says you are not designed to go more than 7 days without rest from work.  As a working mom, you may have tried to convince yourself that catching up on laundry, cleaning, bill paying and shopping on your day of rest is not real work. But you are mistaken.  It may even be harder work than the job you do for pay.  You might even think that you "HAVE" to break this commandment.there simply isn't any other time available. But remember, God WILL make a way for this commandment to be kept.

How?  Start with prayer.  

I'm serious.

Ask God to help you and forgive you when you push too hard. Next, go to your children and ask them to forgive you for the times you have required them to do chores on what should have been a day of rest. Explain to them that from now on, the family will spend a day to PREPARE for a day of rest.  Then go to your mentors or prayer partners and seek their input on how to do this. 

My family uses Sunday as a day of rest and worship.  I can tell you
honestly, the kids will do their housework without grumbling before bedtime on Saturday when they know Sunday they won't be required to even fold a sock!  The Lord blesses us with supernatural energy and efficiency which when we are preparing for a day of rest.  It seems that 45 minutes of cleaning in preparation for rest accomplishes so much more than 45 minutes of cleaning dedicated to "catch-up."  This is just another one of those small miracles we can be thankful for.     

As summer approaches, the temptation to burn the candle at both ends will be tremendous, especially for moms who work both inside and outside the home.  Feel free to tell this story to anyone you think might benefit from the message.

-Sabrina O'Malone


*Clarification from our Working Dads:

We do not wish to give the impression that resting on the Sabbath can justify someone. The primary purpose of the Commandments are to act as a mirror--to show us that we need God's forgiveness and then send us to the Savior.

Speaking of the Fourth Commandment as a rule to live by may leave an unsaved person saying, "Yes, I've failed to take a Day to rest. I will do that from now on," and yet leaving out the Cross and the reality of Judgment Day will more than likely leave them in their sins, with the thought that they are now saved because they are taking one day in seven to rest and sharpen the axe.


Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort of the hit television series The Way of the Master have sharpened us at Working Mom™ tremendously. They've opened our eyes to the opportunity we have when we reach thousands of women who don't have a religious background every month. Workingmom.com has always helped the Working Mom save time, energy and money. It's the Lord we serve who saves the working mom herself! Kirk and Ray have freely given us content and advice with a masculine, paternal perspective. The response to their columns has been unprecedented. God has richly blessed us with these Working Dads from Livingwaters and the Way of the Master .

Sabrina O'Malone

" You use steel to sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17-The Message Bible



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