More Stuff I Learned From Dinah ~ Being a Student of Husbands & Sons and Getting Out of the Way

I grew up in a household where the mother was in charge. Generations of gritty, strong women pepper the history of my family tree.  My mom wasn’t the type of girl to rely on a man to take care of her. She took care of herself, and was appalled by women that did not. I suppose it was the time she spent learning early on that she was the only person who would not disappoint her, desert her, or break her heart. She was an on again, off again single mother…but even when she was married, she was in charge. She was a tiny, beautiful, 100 pound spitfire of determination, grit, and class. Even when she wore her denim bib overalls and flannel shirt covered in glue to the factory job where she made paint rollers, she had class and the kind of beauty that draws admiration. My first memory of wondering if I would be like her someday is when I was about 7 and she was maybe 25. We were swinging on the swings, and I stretched my legs as far as I could, trying to match her pace. Her thin legs were tan and smooth, and stretched gracefully out further than my little legs. I remember thinking that she was grown up and I wanted to be like her someday. Twenty-five…that seemed to be the perfect age. That was the age of grown up. And my mother was awesome. (More thoughts on that in a later, yet-to-be-written post!)

My own initiation into adulthood brought me to a one bedroom apartment, married to an eighteen year old senior in high school, and the mother of a little boy. I didn’t feel grown up or graceful, like my mother on the swing. In fact, I felt anxiety-ridden and unsure. I was never gritty, and my tendency toward softness, girliness, and the fact that I could never hide my tears when anything grazed the surface of my heart always bewildered my mother. The only real toughness I displayed growing up was the fact that I would kill a spider without blinking to protect my baby brother. I would probably do almost anything to protect my baby brother.

It occurs to me that I’m telling a prologue. Dinah would be so annoyed if she were here. This post really isn’t about my mother. Although, I think a little background helps sometimes. Hence the prologue. Oh great…now I’m explaining the prologue!

Dinah came into my life, early on, when I didn’t have a clue how to be a wife and mother to little boys. I was instantly and instinctively a mom, but the wife thing…and the understanding of the male gender thing…notsomuch. I wanted to be in charge, in control. I wanted to resort to what I knew of watching a wife and mother. You can only really count on yourself. (Men leave, men disappoint.) When Timothy was a baby, our roles seemed pretty natural…what with all the nurturing, nursing, and caregiving a mother is naturally created to do. But, as our oldest boy grew older, it was evident that I must decrease and it was time for the learning-to-be-a-man business that only a strong male role model, like say a father, can teach. I didn’t know how to begin to get out of the way.

It made Dinah, a strong woman in her own right, crazy to watch me stumble along, oblivious to the ways of a man. She would say that I didn’t like men…that I learned that from my mother. I’m not sure if she was right about that. I have always adored and admired men…but maybe I haven’t always respected them. She would ask me how I could know so little about men when I had all those brothers. How could that be?! I’m pretty sure she thought I was a fool. And, I was…at first. But, I learned to become a good student of God’s Word, a student who listened to the wise women of the church, and most of all a student of my husband and son. Dinah taught me about learning to understand my husband, use less words, and get out of the way. But, it was has proven to be a lifelong lesson.

It has been an ongoing battle for me to get out of the way. I would think my husband should parent this way, or it would be better if he had a heart to heart with our boys in the way I thought he should, using lots of words and feelings. I didn’t understand his strong, quiet ways. I wasn’t sure how a dad should fit into a family. I read scripture to our boys, fretted over them, and prayed and guarded them like a fiend. Sometimes to the point where they didn’t hear my words.

Dinah taught me that the goal of parenting a son was to give him a vision of being a man who would protect and provide for his family. A strong man of character and integrity, a godly, courageous man. It takes some grit to survive this world. For some silly reason, I thought it was up to me to give them that vision and grit. Girly, clueless me.

I spent years trying to get out of the way, trying to peel my grip off our oldest son, even as we buried three babies, and my instinct was to hold on tighter to the one that remained…the one that first made me a mother. Even though I’ve learned to let go in many ways, I find, I’m still learning…still holding on some.

Tim took them hunting…with guns and fishing…with hooks. I remember my anxiety and Dinah talking me through it, sternly. Tim and Timothy would sit in the woods for hours, barely speaking a word, in the cold, in the freezing rain and snow… waiting for the elusive deer. Hours of waiting…days…weeks. Then my tender-hearted boy shot his gun and killed a deer, providing meat for our family. I didn’t understand the point of it then. It didn’t seem like they were building anything substantial just sitting there. I would have thought you were crazy if you suggested that they were building a relationship of respect for one another and God’s creation. They were building character, patience, perseverance, courage, integrity, endurance, and the ultimate feeling of providing for a family. No…I had no idea that’s what was going on.

Yesterday, our 10-year-old, James went hunting for the first time and shot his first deer. I noticed the twinkle in his eye when he described his father’s Tiger Woods style fist pump when he shot the deer. A satisfied fist pump from dad is worth more than all the gold in the world. I get that, now. Before he left, I prayed through my what-ifs, and thought about Dinah telling me to be a student of  my husband and sons. I have been a student of them. And, I’ve learned to appreciate their ways, once unnoticed by my foolish eyes, even if it is still hard for this mama-heart to watch her boy walk out into the harsh world with a gun slung on his back. Like Mary, I put those thoughts away to ponder them in my heart…pat my boy on the back on the way out the door, saying simply “You can do it.” And, when he returns from the man-world I don’t understand, a bloodied deer proudly in tow, I will welcome him with pride. These days, I’ll even help them process the meat!

You see, all these years, while I struggled to figure out how to train these boys to be men, in the recesses of my mind still thinking it was up to me, my husband was quietly leading by example. And, his life has spoken louder than any of my striving. It seems that the quiet way Tim chose to do the hard things, to work hard to support our family, to have integrity and courage. The quiet way he taught them through experience and example to protect and provide…without many words at all…has inspired them more than any idea I’ve tried to plant in their hearts. You see, a man with strength and goodness in his heart can inspire a boy to want to do the hard things himself…to overcome the obstacles…to fight the good fight. Just the act of Tim sitting in church on Sunday morning and folding his hands in prayer and the act of getting up everyday to do a back-breaking job without a word of complaint, rushing to the baseball game in boots still covered in mud and concrete… speaks volumes to them about what a man does…what a man looks like. A son will strive to earn the respect of a father who may not even be the greatest example….but a son with a great father, the kind that lives a good, quiet life and honors the Lord…working hard for his family. Well, there is no limit to what is inspired in the heart of a son with a father like that.

Mothers have an important role in the lives of their sons, don’t get me wrong. They need our love and nurturing as keepers of the home. They need us to be their haven from the harsh world, a cheerleader that always believes in them, and a listening ear when they have a hankering every few months or so to share what’s on their minds. Even, every once in awhile, a gentle voice of wisdom (with very few, non-preachy words, of course.) And, most of all a prayer warrior…standing in the gap for them while they go out and fight the good fight. But, I am still in awe of the beauty of the way a dad can inspire a son to be a man, simply by living. Sometimes our part is to pray, and get out of the way.

Micah 6:8
He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?

 

Things Dinah said…

Dinah was a character. One of a kind. Well, I have no doubt she still is…just heaven-style, now. But, if you were listening, she was full of wisdom. This morning I awoke with her words on my mind. Here are some of my favorite Dinah-isms. I may come back and add to the list later as I remember. I have a whole-lifetime of her words in my heart.

On marriage and keeping a home…

“You’re giving that man way too many words. He cannot handle every thought in your mind and every feeling you have. Without a word…He is won without a word. How do you not know that after growing up with all those brothers?”

Incidentally…she also said the above phrase about my boys…whenever I gave them too many directions or over explained…=) She would say, “You know he heard about three words of what you just said, don’t you?”

“Your home should be a haven to all who enter.”

“Let the kids play, but start getting things in order an hour before your husband comes home: have the house picked up, children clean and presentable, supper cooked and comb your hair, put on some lipstick,  and wear something pretty before that man comes home. He should come home to order and peace.”

“My mother took a nap everyday. I think that’s a good idea.”

“If it blesses your husband when you make him breakfast before work, then get up and make him breakfast.”

“The way you present yourselves and your family is a reflection of whether or not you honor your husband.”

“Never get too tired, angry, hungry, or lonely.”

“Make sure those boys know how to conduct themselves in any situation. You never know when you might have to eat dinner with the president.”

“Make sure those boys know how to treat a lady with respect and use their manners.”

“Make sure those boys know the Word. Better to pay them to learn scripture than to do their chores or get good grades. Sometimes good godly fear and reverence are necessary for a boy to know. They need to respect the things of God. Respect is the language young men speak.Then, they can learn about grace.”

“Baseball games and golf matches are not an excuse not to feed your family something healthy.”

She loved James Dobson’s philosophy about helping our kids find their niche: “You have to find some area of life..some skill or ability or activity for your children to experience success…keep looking until you find whatever it is.”

In regards to children with stubborn wills: “You always need to have more time than they do.” (That’s fine…I’ll wait it out…I’ve got time.) And also…”If you do find yourself in a battle of wills with your child…you must win.” Hence the waiting it out. Better, of course to avoid the battle of wills whenever possible. =)

On the way we present ourselves to others…

She hated it when people spoke with too much slang or “dumbed down” their speech. She would say it’s important to have a good “command of the English language”.

She was appalled by “poor-talking”….focusing on what we don’t have….acting like one is just so poor when they have plenty. She would say…”My Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills…it is disrespectful to act like He hasn’t provided plenty.”

On my family…

“Tim is such a good dad because he has horse sense.”

She always loved to say at various times when she was super proud of my kids or Tim, or anyone else, really. “He is just a rock star…really he’s a rock star.” She is one of the only people other than my mom and mother-in-law that I have felt like I could really brag about my kids when I was proud of them, and she would care just as much and feel just as proud. She claimed us as her own, and rightly so.

For her final resting place, she said she wanted to be “where Kelly’s babies are”. And, so that’s where she will be.

On God’s ways being higher than ours…

“He is who He is and He does what He does.”

One of my favorites when I was giving her too many of my words…(Ya’ll know I like words!)

“Are you almost done giving me the prologue? I haven’t got all day…can you just get to the point?” I do love a good prologue.  Everything has a story. =)

On God’s ways regarding grief and healing…

(The words below are taken from the Dreams of You Memory Book, Copyright 2004-2011 Sufficient Grace Ministries, Kelly Gerken. They were born like so many things in a woman’s life from a conversation Dinah and I shared about grief and God’s ways as He heals our hearts. I’ve shared them here before, but they seem fitting to share again here. Oh, I just remembered another phrase she always said when something wasn’t right….”This just ain’t fittin’!” She wouldn’t say that about this.)

My friend Dinah gives a great analogy of how God mysteriously works. She likens it to the changing of the seasons. In the autumn the leaves change colors. Often though it is so gradual, so subtle that we don’t realize it fully until one day the tress are orange, yellow, red and brown instead of green. In the same way as winter approached, the leaves fall from the tress. One day, we notice that the leaves are gone. We know they must have been falling for some time, but it was so subtle and gradual that we hardly noticed, until, one day when they were all gone and the land was stark and bare. When spring comes, everything brings forth new life. What once was dead is alive again. And one day it happens. You wake up and the leaves have returned once more – green and shiny and new. You can’t point to a time when they began to bloom, exactly. You may have seen a bud or two. But it seems that it is sudden. In reality it was happening all the time, subtle, gradual, unseen, changing and restoring life. That is the best illustration I have heard of the way the Holy Spirit works in us to heal and restore. How subtly God works in us to change us until one day what once was, is no more. One day , we are no longer struggling. We have overcome what once held us captive, be it bitterness, pain, grief, or sin. God had been healing us all along, working while we struggled. He will take the tatters ashes of the broken hearts and made them into something beautiful … God will use every tear, every moment of brokenness to make beauty from ashes to heal our pain and restore our joy.


Chapter 7: Lies Women Believe About Children

Each Monday, we are covering a chapter from Nancy Leigh DeMoss’s book, Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free. I’m going to be honest with you. I struggled with some of the thoughts in this chapter about our children. While everything Nancy said is true, I feel I need to place a guard up against reading a different meaning into some of what was shared in this chapter.

I believe that everything we do needs to be bathed in grace. Perhaps it’s because I’m such a mess and I know my desperate need. Perhaps it’s because I have battled the deception of performance so much in my own life…feeling defined by my failures, measured by my limitations, locked in the bondage of all the ways I fall short instead of freed by the gift grace being offered by our Savior.

The biggest lie I struggle with as a mother is the one that says we are 100 percent responsible for the behavior of our children. Whenever I focus on my performance as a parent, I am at my worst. That thinking results in feelings of hopeless defeat. My eyes are not even focused on what’s best for my kids, but on the picture we are presenting to others. When that happens, nothing good comes from it. I fail…they rebel. So, I try to purpose in my heart to stay away from that line of thinking…to resist focusing on my performance or theirs at all costs.

I have learned the gift of grace-based parenting over the years. Teenagers are good teachers of the concept. I find myself rebelling against my own hypocrisy and legalism, seeing the reflection in their eyes. While I don’t always practice grace as I should, it is a freeing gift each time I do.

Another thing that being a mom for seventeen years has taught me is that most battles are best fought on my knees in prayer. God does not give us a spirit of fear. He longs for us to pour out all of our anxious thoughts and concerns at His waiting feet. He is able when I fall short. He can protect my son when he drives away in the car. He can give wisdom for the weighty matters of life. He can soften a hardened heart, shape a rebellious spirit, comfort an anxious mind, heal a wheezing cough. He can go where I cannot. He can see the motives of their hearts. He alone. And, He hears every prayer this mama-heart sets before His throne on behalf of the children that He has good plans for…the children that He loves even more dearly and perfectly than this mother.

That is the hope we rest in. Please don’t read this chapter and allow fear to enter your heart. Fear about your children’s salvation. Fear about the harmful influences of the world. Fear about your own performance. We are covered in grace…every step of the way.
——————

Lie 27. It’s up to us to determine the size of our family.

Truth: God is the Creator and Giver of life. (Genesis 1)

I will not place judgment on those who seek the Lord’s guidance in planning their families. Over the years, I have wondered about some of my own choices in that area. But, I believe it is between the Lord and each married couple to determine what is best for their family. We have five children, and in the having of our children, there was much difficulty. Three of them are in heaven and my body has forever been changed. I’m not talking about stretch marks…I mean internally. Pregnancy has proven to be quite toxic to me.We would have loved more children and sometimes I wonder about our decision to not have anymore. God knows our hearts and I trust His grace is poured over us, even in this. There is a way of thinking in today’s society that almost lends to the idea that children are an inconvenience. It is born of selfishness. I believe Nancy’s thoughts are to combat the way of thinking that having children should be based on the selfish idea of convenience. My dear bloggy friend, Mary, shares some excellent thoughts on this idea on her blog.

Lie 28. Children need to get exposed to the “real world” so that they can learn to function in it.

Truth: Our goal is not for our children to fit into the world, but to be used by God to change it. Children need to be protected from worldly influences until they are spiritually mature enough to withstand them. (Romans 12:2, Psalm 101)

This is the lie that I have heard over and over again in opposition to our choices as Christian parents to shield our children from worldly influences…from family and friends alike over the years. There is a definite deception among some who think that children should be freely exposed to everything. They need to be sheltered. Nancy talks about exposing a plant to the harsh conditions of winter. We wouldn’t do that…knowing that the plant cannot withstand such harsh conditions for it would surely wither and die. The same is true for our kids. They need to be protected from some things. We need to guard what their young minds are exposed to through the media and other forums. One of my favorite verses for my kids when asked why they can’t watch something or listen to that music says we should be “wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil” (Romans 16:19) It’s true for them and it’s true for me. We must guard what our eyes see and what enters our minds.

That being said, I do think that we should not live in fear of worldly influences, either…knowing that we cannot live in a total protective bubble. There will be worldly ideas that weasel their way into our lives and the lives of our children. We do need to use those times as teachable moments…and we need to pray that our children will be equipped to resist those influences. They need to learn to choose light when darkness and light lies before them…in time as they grow. They are stronger when they’ve been given a solid foundation.

Lie 29. All children will go through a rebellious stage.

Truth: Expecting our children to rebel makes it more likely that they will do so.

I believe this to be true, but I also believe that scripture shows we all have rebellion in our hearts. We all sin. We all fall short. From time to time, my kids have displayed defiance. And, I have offered discipline when needed. And, grace when needed. While we shouldn’t expect rebellion from our kids, and we can maintain a loving relationship through their teenage years, we should not feel completely responsible or defeated should we be met with some rebellion from our kids. After all, God was the perfect parent and His children rebelled against Him. It is part of our nature…not that we shouldn’t strive against it, nor should we expect it…but we should not feel defeated when we see rebellion rear it’s head.

I believe I covered the last two lies (number 30 regarding our children’s salvation and number 31 regarding our performance as parents) at the beginning of this post. We should not live in fear of whether or not our children will come to know Christ. Instead, we should teach them the Word, live as godly examples, show love, and pray, pray, pray! Let God do the rest!

I would love to hear your thoughts on the lies and truth about mothering.

Praying for each of us as we navigate our way through this study…

Doing Our Best with the Shot We’re Given and Other Musings from the Wee Hours of the Morning

I stood at the counter in the dentist’s office this week, attempting to schedule our next appointment. I was thinking out loud about the best time for our oldest son, Timothy, to go for his check-up in August, since he would be back in the thick of golf season by then. I fumbled for a moment and stopped.

The receptionist said, “I know…isn’t it a pain to schedule around all these things our kids are involved in?”

I replied, “It isn’t that…it’s just. This is the last time I will be scheduling a dentist appointment around his golf season. He will be a senior by then…and this will be his last golf season.”

I won’t lie. I did get a little teary in the middle of the checkout line at the dentist’s office. And, the moms who have walked through this season of parenting nodded with understanding and a knowing compassion in their eyes. They get it. They know what it’s like to walk around forever with your heart outside of your body…to pour your heart and soul into the loving and training of this person…to learn to love what they love and spend endless hours watching them do what they love, encouraging them to blossom into the person they were created to be….nurturing their gifts…praying endless prayers for them…listening to their dreams…dreaming your own dreams for their lives…and learning to let go of some of those dreams, trading them for new dreams.

Everyone says it goes by in a blink…to cherish the time and soak in every moment. Everyone says it because it is true. When our babies are tiny and filling our arms, we find it hard to believe that there will ever come a day when they will not need us. They spend their formative years under our wings, being shaped and molded, loved and protected. But, it is a fleeting season. And, the seasons that come next can be a surprise. At least they were for me. I wasn’t prepared for all the letting go and trusting God that goes on in the parenting of a child.

I was talking to a friend recently about some things her child is struggling with. And, in recent years, I have reflected on this concept with my own children and the children I work with in elementary school.  She mentioned the idea that he is “broken”. That is a hard one for us, isn’t it? As mothers, we don’t ever want something to be broken in our children. We don’t want them to struggle, or suffer, or face obstacles to overcome. Life is hard enough.

But, as we talked, and as I’ve been reflecting in the wee hours of another day that is beginning at around 2:30am….the truth is…

We’re all broken.

Everyone is broken in some way. We all face obstacles, struggle with weaknesses, have little quirks. I recently had a conversation with one of the students in our classroom making the comment, “That’s not fair” about something with which he was disgruntled. I told him gently and lovingly that in my house, my children were not allowed to say that phrase. “We are all different in our own way. All of us are living our own lives.We are all created unique in our own way, with different abilities and needs, strengths and weaknesses. Life isn’t about fair. We do the best we can with what we are given, and do not worry about what someone else is given.” (Don’t get me wrong. I am compassionate with my kids that life sometimes is a bummer and hard things happen. I just don’t want them wallowing in whether or not something is fair…or spending time comparing their own lot in life with someone else. It is a fruitless endeavor.)

My son loves to golf, and he’s pretty good at it. He often says that the best place to be mentally on the golf course is not hoping or expecting to hit the perfect shot every time. It’s being able to do the best with the shot you’re given. Instead of throwing in the towel when you get a bad lie or things don’t go your way, or a shot veers off to the left or right, you ask yourself, “O.K., what’s the best I can do right now….with this shot…from right where I am.” You cannot dwell on the regret that the previous shot didn’t work out…and you can’t try and make up for it by overcompensating on your next shot. You can only play this shot…the one you are given right now.

In life, we can only do the best with what we are given. Dwelling on the “what-ifs” and “if onlys” does nothing to change our circumstances. And, neither does worrying about the future. What we have learned in our own lives about being broken, is that there is beauty in the brokenness. Some of the most precious gifts of this life come from the broken places. It’s easier sometimes, to apply those lessons to ourselves, but not so easy when it comes to our children. We don’t want them to have any broken places. But, without some of the brokenness in this life, we would miss some of the most precious beauty.

There are many prayers I’ve prayed for my children, but there are a few things that stand out as I look into this new season of parenting, feeling all reflective and sentimental. Of course, I pray for them to be godly young men, compassionate and soft hearted as well as strong and sure, and that they would marry godly women. I pray that they will use their gifts and abilities to serve the Lord. But, these three stand out.

Number One….I pray that my boys would love Jesus…that they would know Him intimately as their Savior and Lord. That they would live their lives for Him.

Number Two…I pray that they would honor God with their lives and that they would honor their family, as well.

Number three…I pray that they would be confident in the person each was created to be…comfortable in their own skin…unwavering in their convictions.

We can’t make things perfect for our kids. We can’t protect them from every injustice and ensure that their lives flow smoothly, free from any obstacles. In fact, quite the opposite. We must prepare our children for the bumps they will inevitably face along their journey through life in this imperfect and quite broken world. We must help them build a sure foundation that will not crumble when the storms of life come rushing in.

And, one more thing that seems important to mention in the wee hours of this morning, after wrestling with my own concerns for my children and my own imperfections as their mother, once more laying it all at the feet of Jesus: Know that you are covered in grace. I’m so grateful that, in the darkness of night, when all my failures seem so glaringly evident, I can simply pray that God would cover my family with His grace. That He would cover the areas where I have fallen short, the things I’ve neglected, the opportunities I missed, times when I was less than I could have been, or didn’t know the best way to do it. He’s big enough to cover it all…and more than able.

Plus…He’s faithful…even when I’m not.

Planting Seeds…

This year, we planted a garden for the first time. Tim painstakingly prepared every detail. He tilled the soil, working the ground in preparation for each tiny plant and for every seed. He built a fence around the garden to keep the pesky rabbits from causing certain destruction. We dug our hands in the dirt and planted each one tenderly into the waiting soil, praying that the plants would bear fruit (or vegetable, if you will).

Then, we waited. At first, much to my chagrin, only the brussel sprouts seemed to flourish. I was concerned about the tomato plants, whose growth seemed stunted as they remained unchanged day after day. The zucchini wilted, and seemed lost forever. Tim added Miracle Grow to his daily regimen of weeding and tending to his precious plants, and life was soon restored as they grew inch by inch.

I’ve been thinking about the planting process in relationship to training our children. We plant seeds of truth into their hearts. Bible verses, teachable moments, time spent speaking of the Lord when we sit down, when we rise up, in the morning, in the evening.

Deuteronomy 11:18-20 (New International Version)
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates…

We spend the time preparing the soil of their hearts to receive each seed of truth. Tilling and toiling in prayer. We ask for grace to cover the moments when we fall short, when we miss a teachable moment, or lack wisdom, or fail to set the right example. We ask that even those moments would be used for good…somehow worked into the soil to nourish their souls. We pray that the seeds would take root, that they would grow and flourish, like a tree planted by the water…that would not bend and break when the winds of life blow and the storms threaten.

He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. ~ Psalm 1:3

Sometimes, during the growth process, we look at our children and they seem like the zucchini…or maybe the tomatoes. We wonder if they are growing at all. Do the seeds we have planted matter? Is there any hope? Any sign of life? Growing isn’t always pretty. Weeds threaten to choke the life out of the tender plants. Sometimes they seem not to grow at all, or grow in strange directions. Pruning, weeding, nurturing, watering, wondering about the end result.

And then, a glimpse of life, a reminder of hope. A compliment from the teacher about your child’s manners. A heartfelt gesture of kindness or encouragement. An unprompted act of selflessness or gratefulness. A Father’s Day or Mother’s Day card that says all the words you’re longing to hear. A choice for good when two choices were presented.

We can’t always see the growth. We aren’t always sure which seeds we plant will bear fruit. But, still, we plant…trusting that God will give the increase…in His perfect time. It is a true walk of faith, the planting of seeds, the nurturing, the watering, the trusting that they will grow. But, it is worth every moment, and every glimpse of hope along the way.

If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done. God’s ways are as mysterious as the pathway of the wind, and as the manner in which the human spirit is infused into the little body of a baby while it is yet in its mother’s womb. Keep on sowing your seed, for you never know which will grow – perhaps it all will. ~ Ecclesiastes 11:4-6 TLB

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