I am thankful for this broken sledgehammer. Yes, I’m thankful for this broken sledgehammer.
Thankful for a Sledgehammer? The Daily Doable – S1:E10

Welcome to the lightly edited transcript of the video. You’ll find a link to the video below.

Hi, this is Tim Maudlin. I would like to welcome you to another episode of the Daily Doable. Today I would like to talk to you about gratitude and this broken sledgehammer.

I am thankful for this broken sledgehammer because it means I’m cutting firewood. That means I’m getting good exercise and it also means I’m going to have wood to burn in my fireplace when it gets colder. I don’t know about you, but I love the smell of wood burning in a fireplace.

There’s a quote from Henry Ford, at least it’s attributed to him. He said, “chop your own wood, and it will warm you twice.” You know, it’s going to warm me when I’m chopping it or cutting it, but it also warms me when I’m burning it.

Well, I want to talk to you about some other reasons I’m grateful for this broken sledgehammer. The first one is it means that I was cutting firewood with my son Andrew. And I’m grateful for that because that means we were spending time together.

A friend of mine told me once about this notion of “quality time” and he said really quality time should be anytime that you can spend time with your children. It shouldn’t be that one special time you just set aside. And I agree with him. Those little things that you can do such as cutting firewood. To me, that’s quality time.

Let me explain why.

Andrew and I were cutting firewood one day. Actually the wood had been cut and we were splitting it. Some of the sections in the tree were so large we couldn’t even roll them to the splitter. I have a hydraulic splitter that makes the job so much easier.

But when you get one of those situations where the trunk is too large, it’s time to go “old school.” That means you take wedges and a sledge and you split those pieces in two. That’s what Andrew was doing. I was splitting the smaller stuff over at the splitter and he was dividing up or splitting the larger pieces for me.

Well, out of the corner of my eye, I saw him throw the sledgehammer down and I knew what had happened. I waited a few minutes and then walked over to him and he said, “I just broke the sledgehammer.“ And I reached out my hand I said, “give me your hand,” and he looked at me kind of weird and he said, “okay.” I said, “give me your hand.” I shook his hand. I said, “you know what this means don’t you?” He said, “no.” I said, “this means you’re a Maudlin because I’ve broken my share of handles when I was your age. That means you’re just like me.”

The other thing I told him, “I know you didn’t mean to do this and I’m not going to yell at you. You know why?” “Well, that was an accident.” “Yeah, it was an accident.” “You didn’t mean to do this, but when I was your age and I broke my share of handles, you know how Grandpa reacted to me?” And he said, “no.” I said, “he didn’t yell at me either. In fact, when I made some mistakes like this and I asked Grandpa, I said, why aren’t you getting mad at me?” He said, “well, you didn’t mean to do this.” I said, “no, I didn’t.” He said, “well, I know it was an accident and those things happen.

But remember, when you have kids someday and they make mistakes, and they will, remember how I treated you.

So I told Andrew, “I said, Grandpa didn’t get mad at me and I’m not going to get mad at you. It was an accident. But you know that pocket knife you’re so proud of?” He said, “yes.” I said, “well, here’s what I had to do when I broke my handles. We’re going to go to the hardware store and we’re going to get a new handle and you’re going to shape the edge of that handle to fit into the head of the sledgehammer.” And then I showed him the top. I said, “you see this wedge at the top” and he said, “yes.” I said, “you’re going to shape the handle to fit in the head and then we’re going to tap that wedge in to secure it in place.” He said, “okay.”

Upon further reflection though, as I think back to what happened with Andrew and that brought me back to my childhood. I’m not sure we’re going to replace this handle. We might, but right now I’m not really worried about it because I was able to share a story with Andrew that made, to me, our time even more valuable. I shared a story about his Grandpa and shared a story about grace.

I’m going to close today by taking a little issue with Henry Ford’s quote, because I believe firewood warms you more than twice. This story showed me how it could warm my heart, as I was thinking back to my Dad, Andrew’s Grandpa.

So, as I conclude, your Daily Doable is to think about things you’re grateful for. And then think about ways you could show grace to others, think about the story of a broken sledgehammer.

I want to thank you for joining me.

This is Tim encouraging you to do what you can. I’ll talk to you soon. Bye

Here’s the LINK to the video.

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