In the current issue (March/April, '09) of Homeschooling Today, Shonda Parker wrote an excellent article titled, "The Appointed Time", drawing a wonderful parallel between seasons of a mother's life and the yearly seasons. If you can get your hands on a copy, or read it on line, it is a worthy read. Just a few points that especially encouraged me and hit home...
* "During the spring of childhood, we must work the ground and plant the seeds, watching for those first tender green shoots bursting forth with promise."
* "In the garden, we find that plants thrive in environments of consistent care of watering, feeding, and weeding; so our children need consistency of care in nurturing, teaching and guarding.
A day does not pass when we do not have work to do, repeating the same work day after day. This season can be particularly tiring and a time for growth in patience for us. We cannot yet see the full reward of our daily work. Take encouragement from each blessing that comes from your daily faithfulness when you see the tilled ground begin to part, the tiny plant begin to rise up, the unfurling of the sprout, the tender shoot, the first putting on of leaves, and the upward thrust toward maturity."
* "Though spring seems busy, early summer intensifies as our seedlings grow tall and strong, preparing to flower. Under such rapid growth, our children need intensive training to yield a mature plant capable of producing good fruit. Spring years, focused on training and instruction, turn to summer years of granting increasing freedom to our children as we watch them grow, while we continue to instruct and intensively train on the right path."
* "There are various methods of training a plant for maturity and abundant fruit production. We do not need to worry over someone else’s method; we simply need to remain faithful in our own, as we daily seek to glorify God with our child-rearing."
Good stuff, huh? I'm so thankful that I get to be in the midst of a couple of different seasons at the same time. A little spring here, the beginnings of summer there. God is so good to use it all not only to grow up these seedlings He's blessed us with, but to grow me up, too!!! Praise be to the Master Gardener:)