Abundant Harvest

There is something very satisfying about harvesting your own food.

Especially when the harvest was years in the making.

Like these luscious peaches – which were just picked from our orchard.

peaches

I could almost weep at the abundance.

We’ve had several years of discouragement.

Rainy years.

Dry years.

Years full of blight.

Years of trusting that someday these trees would bear fruit.

And this year – they did – in abundance.

homegrown peaches

It was a harvest worth waiting for.

I see similarities to parenting.

You invest years in your children.

Planting seeds of character and righteousness.

Watering them with prayer.

Waiting for fruit.

There are years of drought when you feel that you are not heard.

There are  years that are flooded with discouragement.

Then – finally – you see fruit.

Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self-Control.

And you weep in the abundance knowing that your labor was not in vain in the Lord.

Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

 

Wandering Calves and Life Lessons

I happened to look out the window yesterday morning and saw Belle – the youngest of our calves  – walking across the yard.

It was a cold, drizzly and windy day. Not a good time for a little gal to be away from her mama.

The problem was – she was short enough to walk right under the electric fence. To her – that fence wasn’t a boundary – just a mere suggestion.

Maybe the grass did look greener on the other side.

Maybe she just wanted a little adventure.

Maybe she wasn’t paying attention.

But there she was on the wrong side of the fence walked away from the safety, protection, and life-giving nourishment of her mama.

I quickly found my shoes and went out to round her up.

But she didn’t want to be rounded up, and took off running in the other direction.

She was down the hill and almost to the ravine before she stopped for a breath. When she did, she realized she was lost.

She let a scared little bellow for her mama – but it was lost in the hollowing wind.

She had gone too far.

She was wet, cold, hungry and alone in a big scary world.
Baby Calf
I have to admit – it brought tears to my eyes.

I quietly walked behind her and got her turned around and running in the right direction.

It was several minutes – and a few false turns before she ran back under the electric fence – and several more before she found her mama.

The whole incident was eye-opening for me.

I saw her danger. I wanted to help. But I couldn’t make her go in the pen. I just kept pointing her in the right direction until she finally crossed the fence.

As a mother – I could see so many lessons in Belle’s little romp.

How can I make sure my kids see Biblical boundaries as safeguards and not suggestions?

How can I stay faithful in pointing them in the right direction, even when they don’t always want to listen?

How can I stress them to them the importance of staying near so they can hear their Master’s voice – no matter how loudly the world tries to drown it out?

This morning as I looked out the window, I witnessed a very different scene.

Little Belle was standing right next to her mama when the cows walked in for water. She nursed for a long time , doing little happy dances as she went from one side to the other.

Then, with a bulging tummy full of warm milk,  she jumped and twirled and kicked up her feet as she followed her mama all the way back to the pasture.

And I thought to myself, that’s what I want for my children.

Safety at the Savior’s side.

Joy and contentment in obedience.

It’s Habit Forming – Part 2

Messed Up Sheets You may remember the post I wrote a few weeks ago describing how I kidnapped my children’s clean clothes to teach them to put them away.

My good friend Kim read that post – and put it into practice. But I’m afraid it caused her son great discomfort.

He was so bummed about it – he sent me this email.

Uhhh…. thanks Mrs. Shervheim, now my mom has all my stuff and I’ll have to have a fortune or do a LOT of jobs to get it back.  But at least I learned my lesson.”

I replied, “That’s great B – just wait till I tell her how I got my kids to make their beds!”

His response was a simple, but emphatic, “NOOOOOOOOOO!!!”

So of course – I couldn’t resist!

Sorry B.  I can just hear your mom laughing right now. I bet you can too! 🙂

Now Mr. B – you may ask me  (like my children did) what’s the big deal about making your bed – after all – you’re just going to climb back into it in a few hours – right?!

To me – it’s all about personal responsibility. It’s a daily discipline.

If you use something  – put it away. If you mess something up – you fix it. If you make something dirty – you clean it.

So – if you slept in a bed, you make it up again.

I guess you could call it character building.

That’s why this momma made a new rule: all beds must be made before school every morning.

So of course my kids asked, “What will happen if it isn’t?”

I just smiled and said, “You’ll see!”

It took a couple of weeks for one of the kids to slip up – but I was ready. I stripped the entire bed – right down to removing the pillow case – and left the pile of bedding on a heap on the floor.

My kids learned quickly that it was a lot faster to pull the sheets up and straighten the blankets right away – then it was to remake the entire bed.

So there you have it Mr. B.

I feel like I should apologize in advance for any pain and discomfort I might be causing you – but I won’t. You’re a smart kid – if my kids can learn this one – I know you can.

It’ll be good for you.

After all – your mom and I both know that we aren’t raising children – we’re raising adults.

Now get in there quick and make your bed before your Momma sees it!

Someday you’ll thank me.  😉

I’ve linked this post up with Works for Me Wednesday at We Are That Family.

The Water Challenge

It’s already started – dry skin season.

Every year I have kids who really suffer during the cold months. Every year I tell them that they need to moisturize from the inside out – which means that they need to drink more water.

Every year my words fall on deaf ears.

Until this year. This year a miracle happened. One child listened.

She actually asked how much water she should drink. I told her 8 – 8 ounce glasses.

There was a pause while she did the math. “You mean I have to drink 64 ounces of water every day?”

Yep. (Extra points for doing the math correctly!)

I do it every day. It’s totally possible.

She pondered this for a day or two, then on Sunday she pulled out her water bottle, did some calculating and determined that if she drank 2 of those every day, she would reach her quota.

She then filled it and put it in the fridge so she was ready for the next day.

Monday was a success and the dry spots on her shoulders were gone.

By Tuesday her hands were starting to heal.

By Wednesday she noticed that she actually sweated when she worked out.

At the supper table, she shared her new found wisdom with her siblings – who listened better when it came from one of their own.

Then she issued a challenge – which of them would join her in drinking 64 ounces of water the next day?

After supper there was a flurry to find water bottles and get them filled.

Water

The kids decided that whoever didn’t drink their quota of H2O would be subject to PT (physical training) inflicted on them by those who did finish.

Thursday was a success (although a couple of kids chugged about a quart in the evening to finish up!)

Friday was also a success.

I’m not sure how much longer this can last – but as a Mom – I definitely feel vindicated.

Momma’s always right.

PS – How much water did you drink today?

Caution: Student Driver

800px-Centerline_Rumble_StripMy kids are learning to drive.

And I thought potty-training was hard! Ha!

Now they are careening down the highway in a moving vehicle with passengers.

The scary thing about teaching someone to drive is that to learn they have to actually <gulp> drive.

They can study the books, watch the videos and ask all they questions they want – but until they actually get behind the wheel and start the vehicle, they will never know how to drive.

A few weeks ago my husband let our oldest drive the entire family to my sisters house – 3 hours away – at night – on New Year’s Eve – in frigidly cold temperatures and snow – on the interstate – and through the city.

I sat in the back seat and prayed.

As I prayed, I heard my husband telling our son what route to take to get there, and I realized that although he had been there thousands of times before – my son had always gone as a passenger.

He had never been in the driver’s seat.

He had never paid attention to the route. He never needed too – Dad was driving.

But now he was behind the wheel. He was the one assessing the road conditions, watching the traffic, following the route and making the decisions.

Just like his life.

From birth, his dad and I have been instructing and training him. But now he’s moving to the driver’s seat.

It won’t be long until he’s out on his own – making his own decisions.

It will be our turn to take the back seat and watch him choose the route he takes.

But believe me – we’ll be praying!