With hopeful hearts and dirty hands, we dig--full of expectations of the harvest coming in a few months.
It's an exciting time--the start. We have all the expectations but none of the worries--no storms have yet come, no weeds to pull up, just a field full of possibilities.
In the field this month, we're just getting started. But in our home, we planted long ago.
Day by day, we're watering, nurturing, and caring for other seeds. Seeds of kindness, of courage, of self-control, of love of learning, and a hundred other possibilities.
Motherhood doesn't just plant seeds in the children, oh no. It roots new growth in us too-- patience, perseverance, unconditional love, peace, and a host of others.
But not all the seeds are growing yet. Maybe some never will.
Our kids will have issues and we will have issues, and our goal is not to eliminate them all. Our goal is to be faithful, this day, in our fields.
We can't control all the storms of life that will come, the plots we've been given, or whether or not a cloud of grasshoppers will destroy our hard work (reading a lot of Little House around here at the moment).
But we can plant, water, provide light. We can pull up weeds when we see them, making our home the strongest atmosphere we can provide.
And we can hope, instead of worry, about the crops on the way.
In the garden outside my window, the lettuces have already begun to sprout. They're weak and puny, but they are there. But there's no sign of anything else yet.
It's the same in our homes. Maybe some of the seeds we've planted will not grow in these little hearts. Maybe they will have to replant for themselves when they choose it and when they're ready.
You can't pull life out of a seed. There's no need to. The life is already within it.
The results are not always in our hands. But our responses are.
Let's devote ourselves to the little things today and let God do the rest. And let's keep anticipating the beautiful, strong harvest that we'll lay eyes on in a decade or so.
"To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
When I say "just" a mother, I don't mean to negate the value of one. The work of mamas is soul-inspired, soul-giving work--requiring the deepest we have to offer and taking up the best who we are.
And therein, lies the problem.
It's far too easy to blur the lines between who these little people are and who we think we are. When we do so, we negate all the other roles we're called to play:
* child of God
* wife of one
As Mother's Day approaches, the whole country pauses to praise the value of mothers. This is well and good, yet our value and identity must not come from this passing-away role alone. Otherwise who will we be in a couple of decades when these littles are grown and gone?
I recently read about the mother of St. Augustine, a godly woman who raised and loved her son faithfully. Yet for years he rebeled and lived a disgraceful life. Looking through the results-focused lens of our culture, all the effort she had invested should have been judged a failure, until years later when he became a founding member of the Church.
You see, if we entangle the core of who we are with the behavior of our children, there will always be some way we're failing. By this definition any issue, any challenge that arises would negate the value of our work and therefore, our very identity.
But it doesn't. Because God has only called us to be faithful to this season in our lives, and to hand the results over to Him.
You are a mother, yes. A beautiful one at that.
But you are so much more, too. An individual valued just for who you are. Don't forget it.
"God has not called us to be successful. He has called us to be faithful." ~ Mother Teresa
Boys' serious pose with Lego Mark Twain at his house in Hartford, CT Mark Twain's writing desk (in the corner with the green lamp) and billiards room
Steady Mom is always in the back of my mind, like an old friend you don't see often but carry on mental conversations with during the business of your day. Somehow, though, the words just won't come. Or when they do there's not the time (or desire/energy) to make them an official post.
But sometimes pictures say more than words, and that's what feels right during this new unfolding season. Because even without the words, we're here--living in this glorious imperfection of passing hours: beauty, joy, mistakes, tears, laughter, laundry, chores, books, learning, family.
These are the days of our lives.
“O, with what freshness, what solemnity and beauty, is each new day born; as if to say to insensate man, "Behold! thou hast one more chance!" ~ Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin