Showing posts from March, 2017


"While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, shall not cease." Genesis 8:22

I have seeds and gardens and flowers and herbs on my mind. 

This is the year I try to incorporate a cutting garden into the tiny backyard, an idea both Jacki and I are excited about. It will mean dragging out my trusty tiller and turning up the soil and grass to enlarge the space we now use for vegetables, herbs, and flowers. More of the lawn will have to give way to gardens.

It is rather messy to bring soil, seeds, and trowel into the kitchen, but that was what the cold weather of a month ago required of me. I found the trays, lids, and seeds at Berlin Seeds between Walnut Creek and Berlin. The zinnias and cosmos I found at Home Depot.

The beautiful evening sky from my foyer windows. This is my chosen location for the seed trays.

The front foyer may be a strange location for starting seeds indoors, but in this house that happens to be a largely unused sp…

8. Narrative of A Mother

Open Communication...

"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers." Ephesians 4:29
It is a cold, hard fact that I have made an incredible amount of mistakes with my children. Because of that, I find it remarkable to realize they do not seem bitter in the least. Why don't they hold grudges when I obviously mistreated them many times over? I shake my head in amazement.

Here is where I find communication and forgiveness to be of utmost importance. I have frequently had to apologize for my unkind attitudes and angry words. They have graciously handed out unconditional forgiveness. They have come to me with their I-am-sorry as well; in fact, a few minutes ago Julian came to apologize for a bad attitude. Earlier, I had asked him to do something simple but inconvenient and his response was less than agreeable. I believe it is crucial to good relationships to humble ourselves …

7. Narrative of A Mother

The Training Part...

"Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it." Proverbs 22:6 
Does that verse strike fear in your heart? Do you dismiss it as unimportant, maybe even impossible? It is obviously placing the responsibility for child-training squaring on the shoulders of the parents. Mother and father are instructed to set the course. Do I take the directive seriously or shrug it off, expecting someone else to fill the gaps left in my absence?
There is drudgery involved in this job of motherhood. It requires life-long commitment. Much as we'd like to throw our hands in the air when the going gets rough, we are not given the option to abandon our vocation. The realization that I have brought these children into the world and am charged with training them can feel like iron bars around my future or it can provide the motivation to faithfully perform my duty.
When I believe the Word of God and understand that I have no right t…

6. Narrative of A Mother

Household Manager...

"Therefore, I want younger women to marry, have children, manage their households, and give the adversary no  opportunity to accuse us." 1 Timothy 5:14
How can I adequately convey to you my absolute delight in this particular position that has been given to me? Guiding my household into the correct channel, creating an atmosphere of peace, love, and protection for my family, and providing for the well-being of those within my care, is a commission I hold dear. This is where I belong. I consider it a priceless gift.
Creativity? Goals? Dreams? Adventures? These are all centered around my home and my family. Within this framework of household manager I find the ideal outlet and the freedom required for growth and success. As a mother, I am content to spend my energy in nurturing all those who pertain to my world. Perhaps it is too small a realm of influence in the eyes of society. It may seem trite and old-fashioned. But for me, it is the God-ordained envir…

5. Narrative of A Mother

The Comparison Syndrome...

Whether this is common in motherhood or not, one serious malady I have suffered from is the Comparison Syndrome. Maybe I was more susceptible than the average mother, so I'll stick to my story instead of placing this condition over motherhood in general, but in all honesty, my struggle with comparing babies and mothers and milestones was real and painful. I tried to ignore it, wish it away, pray for grace and wisdom, but looking back from the vantage point of twenty years, it was a heartless giant lurking in the shadows.

Accusations of having life handed to me on a silver platter, that I didn't really know what hardship was, led to trying to prove my position as a legitimate mom who does not have a smooth and easy road. Pride is a terrible and complicated monster!

But I'm here to say there is freedom from the guilt and pressure. For me, it has been a process of time, many years and tests and lessons along the way. But my Father has faithfully led…

3. Narrative of A Mother

It's Not Working...

His toddler-sized screams echoed across the valley even as my hand flew to his mouth to shush the noisy protest. We had been invited to our friends' house for food and fellowship on a summer Sunday evening. They had set up a picnic out of doors and we were surrounded by lovely pastoral scenes on their small farm. Everyone was having a good time when, suddenly, we all burst out laughing. That burst was the cause of our son's cries. Fear? Distress? Anger? Why did he do this?

We had noticed it numerous times in the past few months - vehement screaming and crying when he heard sudden loud noises like laughing, congregational singing at church, power tools, etc...but thought little of it. New parents are highly aware of their children and the changes they bring, but most of our son's mannerisms were, to us, just another one of the usual childhood issues we needed to work through over the course of time. Training and teaching and disciplining were all par…

4. Narrative of A Mother

Our Daughter is Born...

I had a dream when I was pregnant with our first child. In it, I was having twins and we named them Julian and Jacquelyn. At that point we still had not decided on a name for our baby but it turns out that dream may as well have been prophetic! Not the twins part, of course, but we do have two children and those are their names.

About the time I discovered I was carrying our second child, a major upheaval occurred in my family. My parents accepted a call to move across the country so Dad could pastor a new church. My three younger sisters still lived at home and moved with them. It was not an easy time for me, and at one point, I even feared I might lose my baby. Thankfully, the danger signals passed and our longed-for baby girl arrived. She was sheer joy in the midst of a rather dark and shadowy era.

Before her birth, I had a pretty distinct portrait of my baby girl in which I pictured a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, happy and carefree toddler running alongside ou…

2. Narrative of A Mother

Our Son is Born...
"Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him." Psalm 127:3
As I mentioned in the previous chapter, I was rather impatient for this "gift" from the Lord. I am deeply grateful for a happy childhood, which certainly contributed to my own desire for children. We were far from perfect but home was a safe place with discipline, love, order, and peace. When it was my turn to be the wife and mother I had very few fears. It's astonishing, but it's true! I was a nineteen-year-old bride, carefree and trusting and excited about the future. Within a year of marriage I wanted a baby.
* * * * *
Several years later, when it was confirmed that I really was carrying our first baby, I got a little emotional. I kept a pregnancy journal and here is an excerpt...
I laughed, then cried, then laughed again. And I praised and thanked the Lord. The joy was almost more than I could hold... It was a long wait till Dale came home... we rejoiced toge…

1. Narrative of A Mother

"That the generation to come might know,
even the children yet to be born,
that they may arise and tell them to their children,
that they should put their confidence in God
and not forget the works of God,
but keep His commandments"
Psalm 78:6,7

This is the story of my life with our children. It is one mom's perspective on a responsibility that, once begun, does not end at any certain age. It is sometimes glorious and golden, sometimes tiring and tempestuous. I am privileged to be given this important work to do. In it I find fulfillment.
* * * * *
Many years ago, a young man met a young woman. After some months had passed, he asked her to be his wife. They were married and spent a few happy years together. Just the two of them. They talked of someday having children. The husband was cautious but the wife was impatient for the day when she could stay home and care for her very own babies. She did not particularly care to go to work day after day. Home and …