Labor Day | JOY for Today

Today we honor you and all the work you do! To celebrate, take time to rest and unwind - intentionally. Anything that reminds you of your work, put it to the side. You deserve a real day off!

A mountain rises behind a lake with cloudy blue skies. Text overlay reads: "'And also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.' Ecclesiastes 3:13; Labor Day; September's First Monday"

Labor Day Topics:

Did You Know:

  1. The first Labor Day was likely a protest against unsafe working conditions? Over 20,000 New York City industry workers took to the streets on September 5, 1882, to express their concern over long workdays (12 hours) and unhealthy environments. At the end of their march, they joined their families to enjoy the day by picnicking and setting off fireworks. (Today)
  2. Its founder is either McGuire or Maguire? But neither one has the first name Jerry. Both Peter J. McGuire and Matthew Maguire are credited with officially starting Labor Day in the United States.  (U.S. Department of Labor)
  3. Oregon started observing Labor Day seven years before the rest of the United States? Before President Grover Cleveland named it a federal holiday, states began adopting it one by one with Oregon taking the lead in 1887. (U.S. Department of Labor)
  4. Labor Day is observed on Monday to ensure workers get a three-day weekend? The first Labor Day was on a Tuesday, but the states moved it to Mondays. The Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968 ensures federal workers will continue to enjoy these three-day holiday weekends. (Today and GovTrack)
  5. Labor Day marks the unofficial end of hot dog eating season? Hot dog consumption skyrockets between Memorial Day and Labor Day. During this period, Americans consume seven billion hot dogs. (Constitution Center)

We'd Love to Know:

Which fact most interests you?

Wolfe Stew Connects

How do you feel about work? Is it something you dread doing or is it a source of JOY? 

We were made to work. In the very beginning of the Bible, even before the fall, Adam was tasked with cultivating and defending the garden (Genesis 2:15). There is beauty in work; it gives us purpose. Work is a gift from God.

If we changed our mindset about our work, perhaps taking it on would be easier. I find that repeating these scripture-based phrases help me persist (somewhat) more JOYfully in my labor:
  1. This is how I care for my flock. (Acts 20:28)
  2. Because God provides for me, I can pour into others. (Psalm 23:1)
  3. I will do my best because I am able, and it pleases God. (Colossians 3:23)
  4. God sees what I am doing, even if no one else does, and there will be return for my faithful efforts. (Proverbs 14:23)
When I stare at that mountain of unfolded laundry, I remind myself I was chosen to care for this flock. There is love shown in doing this chore.

When I wake up exhausted from a night of fitful slumber, I remember that God is my shepherd and I lack nothing. He will give me what it takes to make it through this day. I can tap into His energy to care for my flock.

When I clean the kitchen after everyone has retreated to their evening activities and I long to join them, I hold back and go slow, reminding myself that I am fortunate to be able to do the dishes, wipe the counters, clean the floor, pack the lunches, and prepare the coffee. God is pleased when I use this ability well.

When I write to an unknown audience unsure if the time invested is worth the dividend, I remind myself that God meets me here. He grows me through my work and there is always a return for hard labor.

Might these phrases help motivate you to work too?

While work is purposeful, a gift, and meant to be enjoyed, know you need to take time to rest, too. Brant Hansen offers this perspective on rest that I find intriguing: 
Taking time to rest reminds us we are more than what we do. 
So, when you work, work hard and work well, but always remember you need rest, too. Take time to enjoy the fruit of your labor. Take time to rest.

In a culture that ties our productivity, job title, and salary figure to our identity, it can be hard to allow yourself rest. God asks us to (Exodus 20:8-11), set the model for it (Genesis 2:2-3), and longs to be our rest (Exodus 33:14). Might you try submitting to His will by resting in Him?

Resisting the devil through submission to God is our GROWTH focus next week. We'll be responding to a passage on submission in James and contemplating why submission to God makes the devil want to run. If you'd like to join us in training with short, but impactful, Bible-based daily exercises, we'd love for you to join us. Let's show in our choices that we believe God knows what's best for us, Warrior!

We'd Love to Know:

What comes easier to you: work or rest?

Bible Verses and Quotes 

Bible Verses

  • "Then the Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and guard it." Genesis 2:15 GNT
  • "In hard work there is always something gained, but idle talk leads only to poverty." Proverbs 14:23 GW
  • "Whatever you do, do it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not people." Colossians 3:23 GNT
  • "This should be your ambition: to live a quiet life, minding your own business and doing your own work, just as we told you before." I Thessalonians 4:11 TLB
  • "And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God." Ecclesiastes 3:13 KJV


  • "The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." - Walt Disney
  • "Be like a duck, paddling and working very hard inside the water, but what everyone sees is a smiling and calm face." Manoj Arora 
  • "Every job from the heart is, ultimately, of equal value. The nurse injects the syringe; the writer slides the pen; the farmer plows the dirt; the comedian draws the laughter. Monetary income is the perfect deceiver of a man's true worth." Criss Jami
  • "Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later." - Og Mandino
  • "I believe in stopping work and eating lunch." - L 'Wren Scott

We'd Love to Know:

Which verse or quote helps you keep a positive mindset regarding work?

Activity Suggestions

Take a day to rest from your labor. With your learner, seize the opportunity to explore career fields or prompt them to take on another chore.

Our Nephew's Suggestion:

Don't do anything. Just sit around.

If that's restful for you - do it! If not, spend the day participating in activities that bring you rest. 

Our Suggestions:

Explore career fields with your learners.

Start a chore chart (to begin the next day). Head over to The Spruce Crafts where they suggest chore charts and ideas by age range

Ask and Answer, "Would You Rather...?", Questions about Labor Day. This work-in-progress PowerPoint contains three "Would You Rather...?" questions per slide. Eventually it will include slides for each day of September, October, and November. I will continue updating it on OneDrive as I work toward completing it.

We'd Love to Know:

How you plan to observe Labor Day this year. 

We’re excited to share one more day with you and wish you JOY for Today and HOPE for Tomorrow. Come back next week for...Patriot Day!

Fighting the Good Fight with You,

Red stew bowl with steam rising from top. Wolfe Stew crawled on front.

Find even more JOY for Today in our monthly calendars, holiday, and seasonal posts.


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