| from Stephen Baker |

I was working out in my shop trying to clean up and reorganize when I came across a piece that took me back a few years. When my oldest son’s firstborn son turned 2 years old I built him a toy work bench. It had a peg-board back with loops on which to hang plastic toy screwdrivers and hammers. It had a lower cabinet with plastic storage bins for plastic bolts and nuts. The bench was wood stained and had wooden rulers mounted to the sides as trim. He loved it for a few years but outgrew it as kids do. When my son moved, they needed me to store some things and the toy workbench returned to my shop.

Now the toy workbench is in disrepair and needs a lot of restoration. The trim rulers and the pegboard need to be replaced. The bench will have to be rebuilt. The whole thing will have to be repainted and all the toy tools will need to be repurchased. So the question arises – is it worth it?

My grandson is no longer interested in it. He loves to work with his hands and helps his dad with projects around the house. Of course, now he uses real tools. Maybe the old toy workbench sparked an early interest and education. Now, though, he is entering middle school with all the wonders and activities that come with that age level. The toy workbench is something he has outgrown. It has no value other than a ‘cool’ sentimental memory that my grandson and I share.

However, my youngest son has his firstborn little boy of 17 months. Nothing would thrill my heart more than rebuilding the little tool bench for my youngest grandson so he too learns the lessons of responsibility, creativity, and craftsmanship. Therein is the value of the little workbench. It serves as a means of building our relationship and it serves as a tool for teaching character lessons. Knowing my grandsons are growing into the young men God designed them to be, and that I can have a part in leading them toward godly manhood energizes me to restore the little workbench. That is what God has done for all of us in His work of restoration, and He declares that we are valuable. Thank God He restores and uses us.

Stephen Baker and his wife, Joyce have been two of Dr. Kathy’s thought-leaders for years. Now they’re both Celebrate Kids Associate Speakers and Writers. They work closely together. Steve has served in ministry for almost 40 years. With his heart for discipleship, he has worked as a senior pastor, associate pastor, teacher, coach, and hospice chaplain. Steve has a passion for families, mentoring believers, and discipling parents to walk in this world humbly and boldly as warriors sharing the powerful message of the gospel to all people.