Friday, June 27, 2008

Family Garden

For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13

For three years, I made an attempt to plant a garden. I stress the word "attempt" because I haven't been very successful at it. I have a good friend who makes it look very natural and easy so I thought I should be able to do it also. After all, I homeschool so I should at least have a garden as a science project for my kids. What a project it turned out to be. The first year we planted corn, beans, okra, cantaloupe, & maybe a few others. Out of that planting we got a few beans and lots of okra. The corn suffered an untimely death by the hands of my son who mistook them for weeds. Everything else was eaten by the grasshoppers. The next two years we tried to plant a little more, but again we failed. Our “project” was quickly becoming, “How fast can mom kill our garden this year”. I would look out at my garden from my kitchen and wonder, "Why won't this garden do what I want it to. I plant the seeds, I hoe the weeds, I water, I do everything I know to do but still it is a flop.”

Have you ever looked at your children like this? You do everything you think that you know to do & they just won’t do what you think they should do. I love my kids and I love spending time with them, but some days....I tell them over and over and over and it seems as if they will never obey. I’ve even had days when I look at a particular child and wonder if God really meant for me to raise this child or was he supposed to go to another family that would better know what to do with him. But since God makes no mistakes then I know I am supposed to be this child’s mother. He can be my greatest struggle and my greatest joy all in the same day. The Lord is so good to remind me that if I will seek him and follow him then he will take care of the rest. If I will just love and nurture the seeds that he has given me they will bloom into beautiful plants. His timing is perfect and so is his will and plan for us. We live in a very hurried society today, we have a really hard time waiting on anything especially God, yet we still say, “God knows best." We take our requests to Him but if he doesn't answer or change that child in our timing we get anxious.

Our garden (family) will prosper when we call on Him. We will bear much fruit through Him when we seek Him with all our heart. This is one of the reasons that we are still homeschooling. Understanding that it isn’t always about academics, we want all the time and opportunities possible to love and nurture our children in the ways of the Lord. I also don’t want to miss out on seeing any new sprouts of faith or miss recognizing any weeds of sin. When it is about academics I still have to depend on the Lord for guidance. At times I wonder if one child will ever learn to read with out struggling or if another will ever remember her multiplication tables. How long can a child stay in one chapter of his math book? I think we are about to set a new record. Seeds of doubt begin to wash over me again and I begin to wonder if I am doing anything right. Are these kids really learning anything?

Then you will call upon me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” Jeremiah 29:13

He even cares about how long a child can stay in the same chapter of his math book and he knows why he is still there and what he needs to get out of it. Part of my role as his mother is seeking the Lord even when it comes to math. That is part of tending the garden.

I do not plant gardens anymore, it's not my thing. But the spiritual garden that the Lord is planting in my home is sprouting. We still have weeds to pull, but by His grace I know it will be a bumper crop one of these days.

1 comment:

Judy said...

Absolutely BEAUTIFUL!
Thank you for this post!
Judy Dudich from THL (also mom of ten!)