Friday with Freda ~ Finding Inspiration in Hard Work

Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity…Proverbs 21:5a

“You work your head off.”

This is a true Fredaism. She said this to me earlier this week as she watched me one early morning multi-task. Within 15 minutes I had checked e-mail, swept the kitchen floor, picked up the living room and took a pre-work phone call, all before 7 AM. This is just how I am wired.

It inspires me that she thinks I’m a hard worker. Even though some days I know I’m a total slacker compared to what she and her generation accomplished.

Usually Freda’s “You work your head off” is followed one of these:

“You work too hard Julie Lynn.” or…

You will run yourself into the ground if you aren’t careful and take care of yourself.” or…

“You never stop do you Little Missy?” (yes she still calls me this)

And sometimes, I get my favorite:

“I am proud of you for the hard worker you have become, and how you and Jeff have taught those kids of yours to be hard workers too.”

This from a woman who cleaned rich folks’ homes for a living, walked to and from work everyday, and came home to do the same thing again for her own family. Her whole life.

She lived through The Great Depression as a child, and when she became a young woman she went to work when her husband went off to war. She made her own clothes, she grew her own food, and held down the home front during World War II. As time marched on, sadly, she became a young widow. That sadness was replaced with joy when she eventually became a grandmother. She still continued well into her late 70s to work all day and then came home to help take care for her own grandchildren. She often tells me she had to quit working way too early, but her eyes were getting bad, and that made her finally stop.

Said “Little Missy” yours truly became one of the products of her work ethic. I watched her as a kid, and noticed that she was never idle. She LOVED to work. It was a treat for me as a little girl to go to work with her before I started school some days. I enjoyed going with her to clean those beautiful big houses and watch her take are of their gardens. Even when she would slow down long enough to catch her soap operas sometimes mid-afternoon, she would still be doing something. She does the same thing today when she makes me bring her the clothes to fold during Days of Our Lives.

This week while I am finding inspiration everywhere, I am reminded from Freda’s presence in my house of the inspiration and example she is not only now to me, but to my children. I know I have turned out to be a hard worker because of her. And being around her everyday makes me a better person.

Who is a special person in your life who inspires you?













  1. What a woman Freda is! Please give her a hug for me…tell her my heart loves her, even though I’ve never met her ♥

    In my life, my mama is probably my most prominent inspiration….even more so as the years go on. She has endured the death of her husband and her only son, has been left twice by a cheating second husband; and still, her only quest in life is to honor her Lord and love those God puts in her life. May God make me into His own image….and more like my mama!

    • I will Jodi- I am blessed to have her in my life at this stage. How awesome about your own mom desire to Serve the Lord. She is blessed to have you as a daughter.

  2. So much of what you wrote reminds me of the grandmother who lived with us when I was growing up. These women never had to “go exercise” because their whole life was exercise! Great reminder, Julie.

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