Full

     “But I have received everything in full and have an abundance ; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God.  And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.  Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” 
(Phil 4:18-20)


     Like Paul, I have everything I need, and more.  I have an abundance!  My life is full! 

    
     The gorgeous spring weather calls us outside to work and to play.  I looked for Will this morning, and when I couldn’t find him I knew he had been enticed by the gorgeous weather to spend some time in his fort.  Do you see that tiny little speck in the center of the picture?  It’s way out in the pasture where we run our sheep.  It’s quite a ways out, but still within shouting distance.

     “WILLLLLLLLL-YUMMMMMMMMMMM”







    




     Yep!  There he is!  I’ve not been out there for awhile, but apparently he has quite a little subterranean structure going on out there.







     As I gathered up laundry loads this morning, I grabbed the woven throws from all the couches and chairs around the house.  These have been used all winter to wrap around shoulders or to drape across legs, keeping each of us snuggled in and cozy.  The throws were washed and hung on the line to dry.  I hang them inside out to protect the colors from fading in the sun, and space them so that breeze can freshen them and keep them soft as they dry.  They feel and smell so fresh now!  I don’t store these away because we use them, now and then, on cool mornings or evenings throughout the spring and summer.  They are looking a bit worn in places, but they are still beautiful to me.  The wear shows only the pleasure we have had from them. 


     
    

     There is a delight to be found in the routine tasks of daily living.  Making the bed late in the morning, after throwing back the blankets and sheets and allowing the bed to air in the cool morning breeze wafting in through the open windows.  Hanging the wash on the line, load by load, and then folding things into baskets right in the yard to be brought in and put away.  Preparing and cooking the meals and washing up afterwards.  Taking a moment to freshen the water in the vase of lilies your sweet neighbor brought yesterday before polishing the faucet dry.  The homemaking tasks that bring order and beauty to our homes.  Do you delight in these, dear ones, or do you rush through each one, longing for it to be over? 







      There are days, of course, when necessity does require that we hurry through things to get them done, but that’s certainly not the case here on an every day basis.  Most days there is time to delight in the task at hand.  Taking a good look at the pictures of loved ones in the frames as they are moved to dust the table underneath, the glass in the frames wiped clean of prints, and then the pictures carefully arranged in their spots.  Admiring how the children have grown.  Remembering loved ones that await us in Glory.  Laughing over a family event from years past.  Yesterday, as I tended to the weekly tasks in my living room, I took a moment to look at each of the Mother’s Day cards that my family gave me.  I read each one and looked at the signatures, remembering the childish scrawls from years gone by.  I read the cards, giggled at the funny ones, and then folded them up and put them away with other keepsake treasures from my loved ones.   


     The mornings are cool, so the boys often seek some sunshine when it’s time for some quiet school reading.  We homeschool the whole year through, taking breaks for day trips or work days throughout the year, and taking a lengthy break in late December into early January.  It’s a good fit for us.  It does mean, though, that I need to be vigilant in staying a step ahead of my boys in having several weeks of homeschool work prepared for them in advance.  Most of  our homeschooling is done through the reading of living books, and just this week I realized that Aaron’s basket of school reading was almost empty.  Several weeks ago, I spent some time choosing what he would need to read next.  The books were pulled from my shelves then, or ordered from Amazon, and then carefully stacked on a special shelf in our homeschool room just for that purpose. 

     His basket now holds King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table , and William the Conqueror to supplement his history text.  I also gave him The Pilgrim’s Progress (for Christian Living) and The Amazing Adventures of Father Brown, by G. K. Chesterton for Literature.  Ah, the discussions we are already having comparing and contrasting the sleuthing skills of Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes to Father Brown’s!  Not a sit down and ask him questions sort of discussion.  Not a Charlotte Mason narration time.  Just listening to my son as he talks to me – as I hang clothes on the line, as I chop onions and peppers for dinner, even as I grab a quiet moment to read myself – just listening.  Guess what?  I do admit to catching myself being frustrated that he chooses that one brief interval in my day that I’ve found to sit down and read a few pages quietly; but I try, I do try, to let that frustration go, direct my full attention to him……..eyes and mind and HEART……and listen as he talks.  Your children at home are not an interruption to your day, they represent one of your highest callings!

    

     I know that you’ve heard a thousand times from we older gals to grasp these moments while you can because they’ll be grown and gone before you know it.  We don’t say it to you to annoy you or because it’s just something that we old gals say.  We say it, dear ones, because we KNOW it to be true!  Do you see this sweet young woman, the same age as many of you, and her sweet newborn girl?  This is my own first born child holding her fifth child.  In my mind’s eye and in my heart, I can tell you how vividly I recall holding Corin in just this very way.  Feeling the smoothness of her skin, the softness of her peach-fuzz covered head and smelling the wonderful smell that is a baby.  It was just yesterday!!  I promise, you will never look back and say you wish you’d dusted more, or that you’d had more time to read or pursue a hobby.  You will look back and treasure each and every moment and wish that you had taken the time for more of those moments. 
    





     
     I like to ask Aaron to help me do things outside.  I can do them by myself, of course, but this gives me a bit of time to spend one on one with my six foot tall fifteen year old.  Yesterday he helped me pot up some hanging begonia tubers and then hang the pots.  I was sure to mention how heavy the bag of potting soil is when he carried it over for me, and how he’d saved me extra trips by carrying two of the three pots into the back yard to be hung.  You know how your children are helping you, tell them!  Laugh when they accidentally-on purpose spray you just a wee bit with the hose that they are sprinkling the pots with, too.  Remind them, gently, that you are holding an expensive camera while they are doing it!  


      The begonia tubers are my one big splurge this year for beauty in the gardens.  All of our garden budget, and a good portion of our food budget, have gone toward expanding our food production.  This odd little triangle in the back yard has been an ongoing project for several years.  I’ve decided on a sort of whimsical, quirky look, which is good because it’s been quite quirky for years!  My old wheelbarrow full of Petunias have come up from the seeds of last year’s plants.  A few of the fibrous begonias planted under the tree have survived the dog’s using this as a footpath.  I really won’t have much money for plants and flowers this year, but what I do have will, primarily, be spent here. 






     With that in mind, I decided to hang my two newly potted hanging begonias, along with my one pot of existing begonias, from the branches of the Sycamore that shades that triangle.  The dappled morning light and afternoon shade should be just about perfect for the begonias.  They will be so pretty hanging down from below the leaves over the flower bed below, and will give some vertical interest to this crazy little area. 







     We continue to enjoy the early harvest from the work we did late last winter and early this spring.  The strawberries, though young and only starting to produce, are growing well.  Dani has been harvesting berries every other day, but I imagine we’ll have to start harvesting daily soon. 










     The plants are blooming well and have strawberries at all stages of growth.  They have also begun putting out runners, some of them prolifically, which is so encouraging.  We plan to keep this bed of strawberries going for several years by allowing the runners to root and produce and tilling under the mother plants.  We’re still reading and planning, but the Lord has certainly blessed our efforts in the strawberry patch so far.






       We have just a few potatoes that resulted from our seed potatoes.  You can see the potatoes hilled up in the background on the left side of the photo.  We will hill them one more time next week and then let them grow.  I do not lament  the bare ground in the foreground where we had hoped to have two full, long rows of potatoes.  I am thankful for those we do have, which is about 1/3 of what we hoped for.  Genesis tells us that we will toil for our food and that thorn and thistle (and in this case too much water) will make it difficult.  We chalk it up to a learning experience, shared with the kids by way of living example, and love that it helps us in keeping our hearts pointed toward Home. 



      Our days are very full, and we are blessed with work enough here to keep us busy.  God truly does supply all of our need…..not all of our want, but surely all of our need.  I can honestly say that I have received everything in full and have an abundance!

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your household!
Proverbs 31:27
 

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7 comments to Full

  • Your post shines with wisdom and contentment! Be blessed, even more so!

  • Hi Cheryl,

    I love homemaking too. I take my time and enjoy the moment. I get over whelmed if I rush. The Storybook Journal features a different Literature Book from the past. I really enjoy learning about new books.It also has homemaking and craft articles. It is all in full color.

    Blessings,

    Elizabeth

  • I wish I could hang out laundry!

  • Thank you for sharing with us the everyday blessings that life can bring. If I had to say one chore I wish was over quicker ironically is my favorite chore, laundry. I love the smells of the detergent and fabric softner, and the warmth of pulling them out of the dryer, and even the folding, and categorizing as I get them put away. But ever since we moved from Arizona to Oregon, now in Northern (and I mean  NORTHERN) Alaska, Kotzebue to be precise, I have had to spend as little as two hours just to dry 4 tshirts. It is times like this we are thankful there is only two of us. LOL. God Bless you as you go about your day.

    Carrie-Lee Hurzeler

  • It’s a blessed life, indeed!

  • Yes, flowers for the soul!  🙂

    I agree so much about how quickly they grow.  With C. being twelve years younger than Stephanie, I knew already that the years would fly by so I didn’t take life quite so fast the second time around.

  • I love reading about your daily goings-on in your family!  All your posts have the perfect balance between focusing on what is pure, lovely, admirable, etc., with a little honesty about the difficulties of caring for your family.  I laughed when I read about your son “narrating” or telling you about what he is currently reading.  My middle daughter would “narrarate” all day if anyone would listen!  I have to daily remind myself that I am here to serve my family, and sometimes that means listening when I don’t want to!  

    Have a blessed day! ♥ Tresa