Wednesday, March 16, 2011

On gardening and mothering ...

For a long time, I've wanted to watch Return of the Daughters. And, I finally did last week - while I would not say that I agree with everything shown in it and will admit that I personally feel it varies daughter by daughter if this would work - I really enjoyed it.

Anyway, regardless of anything I thought - it did get me to doing some thinking of my own. Would my daughters ever even consider something like staying at home in their single years? Would that be best for them?

Next thoughts - regardless of all that - do they think that it is wonderful to be at home? Do they think I love it that I am home with them? What does my attitude say to them about that? When they ask if they can help in the kitchen and I get easily frustrated - are they sensing that I love being at home?

I'm going to be very honest and share part of an e-mail I wrote to a friend from church whom I am privileged to seek for godly counsel:

"I was recently thinking about training the girls to love being at home and being homemakers. And, my next thought was that I don't know that they will think it is a joy because they don't see joy in the way I act. I do love being at home - and I do have joy in being a homemaker. However, I often find myself getting short with them or coming across frazzled or frustrated. Yes, there is plenty to get frustrated about - but how do I communicate a joy for being at home in spite of all the frustrations? The constant needs/demands and very minimal down time really do take a toll on me and I know that - but how do I overcome that? How do I go from someone who thrives on being alone, quiet, reflective and still thrive in the noisy, chaotic life He has given me?"

I appreciated her response which reminded me to be in His Word, prayer, relying on the Holy Spirit and some practical suggestions as well. Then, I was out planting green beans and sunflowers in the garden and was drawn to keep looking in the area at all the green that is popping up everywhere.

I first stopped to admire all the beautiful green on the hydrangeas - growth.

Then, I saw that the blueberry plants are about to bloom - the hope of fruit.

And, this day - those things were an encouragement to me as well as a visual lesson of myself and my children. We are still in process. Still growing. These children are like little seeds, little seedlings that I must tend and care for so that they will someday produce fruit consistently.

Gardening is a lesson in patience and God beautifully reminded me today that mothering is too.


LynnMarie said...

I LOVE when the garden shows us a lesson on god's love. We are not done yet. I use to sing a song to the kids when they were little. One of the verses goes "He not done working on me." Remind yourself that you are still growing, still learning. He's not done with you yet.

asnipofgoodness said...

Beautiful pictures Monica, and beautiful words as well. I have no doubt your girls see your love of home, and your joy at being there, how could they not? I love that you are always seeking the Lord, and that you strive always to be a better mother, and wife, and child of the most high, but don't let Satan rob you with his lies, beware.

Tasha said...

Beautiful post Monica! Ahhh gardening is music to my hears and usually when I can hear God more than any other time. I guess because I am out in nature and seeing his beauty right there in front of me.
You have me really thinking this morning about my boys and what they see in at home.
Thanks for sharing. Have a great day!

Sandra said...

Ah, what an important point! I, too, wouldn't trade anything for being at home, but I don't know if my children (all boys) see that. I suspect what they may see is the frazzled-ness, the busy-ness (on top, DH & I run a business from our home, and I'm point on that when he's at his other job). Add in homeschooling, and it's easy to reach a point of sustained nerve-wrack. Your post is MY reminder today to intentionally enjoy all I have.

Chrissy said...


Let me encourage you this morning. Life with littles is a challenge, yes it is! Many was the day I would despair that the seeds I was sowing would ever take root! But take heart, dear one. He has a plan for you and for your children...He gave them to you because you are the Mother they need.

As my children are a bit older now, it does my heart good to see what I have sown. When my girls make a wise decision not to be "of the world" or when I see them selflessly do something for someone else...they aren't perfect, certainly, nor am I, but seeing the results of the many many hours I spent training them and praying for them is wonderful. Keep doing what you're doing...your eyes are on Him and that's what matters most.

*carrie* said...

Thanks for sharing, Monica. I could have written a very similar e-mail. Would you mind forwarding me even a revised version of your friend's reply?

Love you!

Bevy @ Treasured Up and Pondered said...

Thank you for this "intense" reminder. I say intense because it is something I really need to think about, in the first place. (one) and secondly just to dwell on it more then I have. It's like I know I want to be the example and tempature of the home... but in living that out - I forget and I fail.

You've definitly produced food for thought - for me this morning. ;)

Mom said...

Dear Monica,

I am not familiar with this DVD that you mention and don't know what it's message is. However, what I do know is that when you were a little girl growing up in our home, I know for sure that I was often impatient, frustrated, and less than joyful -- and yet, look how you and Carrie turned out! Both of you have such a love for God, for your home and family, for homekeeping, and for sharing God's love with your family and others. Be encouraged, sweet daughter -- the tending that you are doing in the "garden" of your family will bring a harvest someday! Love you lots, Mom

~katie~ said...

I can identify with the concerns you shared in your email, Monica. Thanks for sharing your heart and the encouraging truth you discovered while gardening. I, too, have been struck lately by thinking....what will my children remember from this young time in their lives?

I love the analogy with the plants. I'm so thankful we have a God who will walk us through motherhood every step of the way for His glory and the good of those we are responsible for. This all makes me think of John 15 ~ especially the first 5 verses. So thankful that Christ produces this fruit in me...I know, without Him, I am very very fruitless to Him or others!! =)

Debbie said...

My daughters are 21, 15, AND 13. The choice for me to stay home is one that my husband and I made when my 24 year old was born. I did work part time for the first couple of years but when we moved away from my mother in law we put the kabosh on that. Our kids need their mothers. Full time if at all possible. We are flesh and our children witness that often. But when we love them more than anyone but their Heavenly Father can, they know it. My girls may get exasperated with me now and then, as I do them. But we are quick to ask forgiveness and quickly loving and laughing. They are my darlings and they never doubt it. Hillary, my 21 year old, was married in July 2010. She lived at home until she joined her husband. She worked for the Boys and Girls clubs of Central Oregon where she is sorely missed. She told me of a conversation she had just the other day with some young moms who were surprised by her choice. She told them she always looked forward to being a wife and mother. It was her great example. She is my dear friend and her husband's dear wife. That's what I call a paycheck.

Debra said...

I love this post-gardening is a lesson in patience for sure.

If you worked outside the home you would also have times when you were frazzeled and frustrated but it wouldn't mean you didn't like your job. I think our kids can tell we like what we do even when we have 'those days'. There is so much love in everything we do for them. Even when it's a rough day. I really think they know that.

Janel said...

Although I don't comment much, I've read your blog for years. You're a sweet spirit who desires and seeks God's best for your family. That alone will get you where God needs you to be, when he needs you there. Even if it isn't on your timetable. : )

I battled the same type of thing when my 4 children were all under 10. While you're growing them, don't forget that God is growing you as well. The "growing you" part is easy to forget in the midst of Littles.

Now that my oldest is 16 and my youngest is almost 8, life looks infinitely different from when my oldest was 8. Perspective (and experience and a longer walk with God) changes everything.

While it is a good thing to diligently work on personal character, and we should everyday, I've found that apologizing for (current) short comings and bad days, reminding yourself you grow each day and a healthy dose of grace go a long way. It cultivates children who realize that they aren't expected to be perfect.

Things will look a lot different in 10 years. : )

Jennifer said...

I grew up in a home of 4 girls, so that question was always on the mind of my parents. What to do when we finished homeschooling??? We watched the same dvd, listened to cds and tapes, received advice about what to do from different families...I stayed home for 4 years and loved every bit of it, then I ended up attending college for 1 semester...but the Lord brought me home! Praise the Lord! (Not that I hated college...but I knew the Lord was shutting the door there) I started helping in our church again, playing the piano, doing secretarial work for my father, helping my mother and grandmother, and at the end of 2009, the Lord sent me my husband! We courted for about a year and were married in 2010! I am now a keeper at home, expecting our first little one...I wouldn't want to be anything different thanks to my mother's influence! She didn't always have her good days :), but you always knew that being at home and taking care of her girls is where she wanted to be!
You just keep on keeping on!! Thanks for letting me ramble! I've enjoyed visiting your blog!

Melissa said...

Prune, prune, prune!!! Ouch, ouch, ouch!!! It hurts both ways, doesn't it?

Mrs M said...

Loved this post. I felt just the same when I watched Return of the Daughters - and it's also encouraged me to make our home a place my children love to be. Was reading Gal 6:9 this morning - a good reminder to 'keep on keeping on'. Bless you and your encouraging words. :)