Christian Homeschool Resources & Homeschooling Advice

A Work In Progress

  • Terri Camp Home school author and mother
  • 2003 17 Feb
A Work In Progress

Have you ever looked up a word in the dictionary, then gasped?  I did that when I looked up the word "diligent" in the Webster's 1828 dictionary.  This is what it had to say: DILIGENT, a. [L.]
1. Steady in application to business; constant in effort or exertion to accomplish what is undertaken; assiduous; attentive; industrious; not idle or negligent; applied to persons.
Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings. Proverbs 22.
2. Steadily applied; prosecuted with care and constant effort; careful; assiduous; as, make diligent search.
The judges shall make diligent inquisition. Judges 19.

Perhaps when some of you read that, you too gasped.  Now I don't normally chose the character traits I am to work on based upon a simple dictionary definition, but I knew when I read this, that I was far from diligent.  In fact, there are times when I review my day and feel that indeed I was a sloth. Now, this is of course illness aside, as I believe that illness should be treated with much rest. I also do not count Sundays, as I believe God set this day apart for us to rest. 

However, I have often chosen Mondays also as my day of rest.  I may even go further and choose a part of Tuesday.  Then of course, Wednesday falls in the middle of the week, and should be a lighter day, as it seems to be helping me get through the week.  Thursday is usually the day that I do actually get much needed work done. Then we all know that Friday is the end of the week, and is to be treated as a lighter day. Of course Saturday is more a day of fun, than of work.

Considering the above, I will now admit I am though, not quite that extreme, perpetually lazy.  I can hear the cries from many of you now. You are playing my list of things that I do over in your head, author, speaker, radio show host, home educating mother, wife, and homemaker. How on earth could I possibly count myself among those who have joined the ranks of the perpetually lazy?

What I've realized is that perhaps being lazy isn't quite the right word, but lack of diligence might be correct in describing my lack of great character. You see, I have great intentions!  However, those great intentions rarely produce the good fruit I am seeking in my life.

Let me bare my soul for a moment here.  My children have all created a Bible Notebook.  That took one day to create.  Now this is where I begin showing my lack of diligence.  I rarely remind them to grab them on the way out the door to church.  When I look at them I am sadly reminded of my own lack of diligence.  I am great at starting wonderful projects, and bad at finishing them completely.

Six months after painting my daughter's bedroom, which I did on a lark because I didn't want to work on another project, like preparing dinner, I discovered beneath her bed the pan and all the sponges and brushes I used on the room.  The completed project held less enjoyment for me, because of the shadow of laziness that seems to loom after me.

Even when I am writing a book, I am often chased by my own laziness.  I will choose to chat rather than write when the children go to bed. 

My own lack of diligence has followed me into every arena of my life, from my housekeeping abilities to my inability to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and even into my own relationship with the Lord.  "If I were only diligent, I would be able to have a daily quiet time with the Lord." I would lament to no one in particular.  "If I could just get my act together, then perhaps I could lose those twenty pounds I gained back after being diligent for a short time."

Just now Steve came home from work to find the living room in quite disarray after I cleaned it today.  The couch is flipped over, the cushions are lying in tent fashion since Bryan thought he should put the available cushions to good use, and I haven't managed to finish vacuuming after getting rid of all the garbage, cuisinaire rods, pencils, and various toys that found their way beneath the couch.


In addition to devoting herself to her husband and the eight children she home schools, Terri also enjoys writing and speaking to offer encouragement to women in an effervescent, humorous way. Visit her Web site at or e-mail her at