I have fond memories kindergarten and elementary school. I can remember the largeness of the gym/lunchroom to my six-year-old mind. I can remember the rug my grandmother had purchased for me to lay on during rest time. I can still remember the smell of the milk cartons for afternoon snack. And, I most definitely remember those colorful large clothes pins that denoted the special jobs for the week and most importantly, the line leader. I did so much enjoy kindergarten.
So, why is that now on the other end, sending my little 5 year-old off to kindergarten seems so sad to me. Sad, isn’t exactly the right word. It’s more, bitter-sweet. It’s very exciting to watch her grow and learn new things. It’s fun to see her achieve new accomplishments. But, there’s a sadness to it to. I’m saddened that I know my days with her being my baby are limited. I know her days and life will slowly become a bit more complicated. Maybe not this year, but slowly those little moments of snuggling and cuddling will disappear. It won’t happen overnight, but the start of school is certainly the beginning.
Dear Miss Adams, please remember I’ve left in your procession my darling daughter, my world. Remember to be kind, to listen, and treat her with respect. Be firm when it’s needed but quick to give hugs and high-fives. Know that I will do my best to prepare her everyday for learning. Remember to communicate often with me and well before any little concerns become a problem. You’ve been left with a huge responsibility, please don’t take it lightly.
She gets out early today so I’ll pick her up and we’ll go to Starbucks and have a snack. She’ll tell me about her wonderful day and all the friends she’s made. I’ll feel relieved knowing her day went well. She will once again remind me how much more I worry than she and how resilient she is.
This has been a topic in our house over the last few weeks. I’ve been thinking a lot about blessings from God, what they mean. It seems, in general, Christians have gotten a bit confused about what constitutes a blessing. Are they the little things in life? Are my children and loving husband my blessings? After all, I’m a good Christian woman. I work hard to teach my children about God’s grace. I pray daily. So shouldn’t I be blessed? Don’t I deserve to have blessings?
Well, I do feel very lucky to have God in my life. He has provided for me a loving family and has loaned me two fantastic children to help guide to him. My husband and I have jobs and we have a house. I see His Glory daily. But, am I blessed? Absolutely. I am saved. God gave his only son for me, for my salvation. He has said that I am so important he knows all the hairs on my head. He’s given me many gifts. All those things listed above are his gifts to me.
So, if those are gifts, what are my blessings? Using Mathew 5:4-12 as my guide, I’ve thought and re-thought about this. Blessings are not quite the same as his gifts. Blessings are not what the world would think as blessings. They are not financial security or a job promotion. They are not gliding through life without any pain or sorrow. This scripture defines blessings:
Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the earth. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be consoled. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who endure persecution for the sake of justice, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they have slandered you, and persecuted you, and spoken all kinds of evil against you, falsely, for my sake: be glad and exult, for your reward in heaven is plentiful.
Blessing according to scripture are ways God brings us closer to him. They are hardships. They are lessons we’re taught. They’re life experiences which leave us vulnerable and encourages a stronger relationship with God. These little life struggles are gifts from God. Unfortunately, they are also often overlooked by the recipients. We forget to thank God for these blessings.
True blessings in my life:
1) My challenging childhood and relationship with my father and siblings
2) My son and his health issues
3) My ability to be an advocate for my mother and all the stress that involves
My gifts from God (in no particular order and not all-inclusive):
1) My wonderful children and caring husband
2) My essential needs are met
3) Both my husband and I have maintained jobs despite a less than optimal job market
4) My wonderfully supportive extended family
5) My salvation
I am forever thankful for the gifts he provides me. He helps ensure my needs are met. He provides with me wisdom and guides my day. I will be forever grateful to him. I will not expect anything more than my salvation. I am unworthy but he continues to bless me and provide me with gifts.
What blessings have you been provided? What gifts?
This gardening experience has been so much fun. The kids have really enjoyed it. My son every morning and evening goes out to check the progress of our labors. He excitedly exclaims “there’s one!” as he finds the growing cucumbers. My husband checks things over and was the first one to notice the little ones growing on the vine.
Not everything has gone well with our little experimental garden. Here’s a few things that could use some improvement:
1) No herbs grew. Not. One. That was a huge disappointment. I love, love, love cooking with fresh herbs and couldn’t wait to cook with ones I’d grown. It can’t get any fresher than grabbing it out of your very own garden! But, that hasn’t worked out for us.
2) Our volunteer plant. Now, it was great to have a volunteer zucchini plant from our compost pile. Downfall however it not only grew right over our onions but also got the grubs. Yeah, not fun. So, not only did several onions die/not grow but so did the volunteer plant.
3) Organic Seeds were a bust. The first time I went shopping for seeds I was with my sister-in-law. She’d favored organic seed and I didn’t have a preference. So, I purchased organic. I went back several weeks later and purchased a few more seeds. Luckily I did otherwise we’d have nothing in our garden. Yup, the organic seeds never grew.
There are a lot of amazing things going on with our garden. Here’s a few of those.
1) Cucumbers galore! Oh boy did our cucumbers take off! My husband is very much looking forward to some home-made pickles and I’m excited to try out canning this year!
2) Just enough tomatoes. We have 4 tomato plants right now. Two are quite small and are on the verge of the cucumber hostage situation become a complete take-over. The largest plant has a couple of green tomatoes on it. I’m certain the second to largest will have some soon with the smaller plants following shortly after.
3) Watering is relaxing. I love watering the garden in the evenings. The sun is going down and I’m out there alone. The neighbors all retreated into their homes. It’s just me and my little garden.
4) Family enjoyment. As I mentioned above, my kids love the garden. In fact last week when we picked our first few cucumbers, my son was a bit overzealous and picked one early. They squeal with delight as they look for more veggies on the vine. That enjoyment is priceless.
5) Educational opportunities. Growing the garden has helped with educational opportunities. Not only do we talk about the fun of growing our own food but the importance of doing it. We have the chance to add a little science to our life by discussing why worms are important to gardens.
We’ve learned a lot this year so far with our garden. So much it would be hard to narrow it down and make a list. However, the top two things at this moment that I’ve learned is this: 1) it’s not nearly as difficult as I once thought 2) Joy of a garden outweighs any heartache (or body ache).
How’s your gardening going? What challenges have you faced? What benefits have you received? I would love to hear from you!
This entry was linked-up at Graced Simplicity.