Our little seeds that sprouted just a few weeks have been transformed into our first full-fledged garden! Now my youngest daughter and our whole family are parents to lots of plants. Every morning my kids go outside to see what changes have happened since the day before. At lunch, they go out to see changes since morning and in the evening they go again. I never thought my kids would be so fascinated in watching a garden grow. After all, my mom has had 2 small raised gardens for years that they’ve helped with. But, this one is all theirs! They are so excited when they go outside a see a plant that’s popped through the dirt that wasn’t there in the morning. Or how much they grow in a day! They are like proud parents!
This year God has been speaking to me about simplifying my life. I thought I had done that before when I had stopped do this or that. I left teaching children’s church to concentrate on my dance team at church and the other ministries we were involved in. Wasn’t that enough? I guess not.
This past summer, as I’ve written before, began with my reading the Charlotte Mason Companion and some of Charlotte Mason’s writings. It spoke to my very soul and became a Bible study for me. I found myself looking up verses about family and spending time in prayer over what I had read. I even journaled, which for me is a hard thing. I realized God was speaking to me about making our family’s life simpler. Which meant my life need to be simpler and more focused. I needed to make sure that I had the right priorities and they were in line.
With every year, my children get busier. Our whole family gets busier. My kids play homeschool sports, some rec. league sports, and participate in various ministries of our church and we’re active in our homeschool group. We’re just like a lot of homeschool families we know.
But, I’ve noticed something about myself this year and it has been overwhelming at times. God has been trying to slow me down. I didn’t realize a lot of my stress and overwhelmed was coming from my own church. I love my church and everyone there, so don’t misunderstand. But at times this year, I’ve felt our priorities were out of whack.
Over the past couple of years, there have been more requirements put on us as leaders to attend more things, participate in more things (everything that was planned by our church). Now that doesn’t sound bad until you add up all of the things we do at our church, including our kids, and the outreaches, and the meetings, and so forth. I was facing burnout! Then when one more ministry requirement came, I said “Enough!” This event would have pulled all of my kids and myself in several different directions. It took me a month to realize that I was even stressed out about the idea of doing it. I love the ministry idea they had, I just decided that I couldn’t take on one more thing. I had already planned my summer! We were going to finish school, grow our garden and go to my friends to watch and play with her new baby chickens.
How many “one more things” do we take on for the sake of ministry? I quickly remembered that my first and most important ministry was to my family and I’ve only got one shot at it. If I blow it, there isn’t a second chance. There will always be another chance to participate in ministry, but not at raising my family.
Ever since making the decision, the world has been lifted off my shoulders. I feel so good about not doing this particular event. I never thought that God would tell not to do an outreach. But in order to do outreach, we have to do an in-reach.
So, now I’m back to my wonderful, God-laid summer plans. Sowing seeds (vegetables, flowers, and spiritual) and watching them grow to full-grown plants. Can you imagine the harvest of living a little simpler? Talk about heritage plants!