Monday, October 19, 2009


There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven...
Ecclesiastes 3:1

Autumn is undoubtedly my favorite season. The crisp cool breezes on sunny afternoons, the blazing radiance of maple and birch trees as their leaves explode into shades of red and yellow, the aromas of homemade pies wafting from the oven or cider donuts at the farm store, and the crunch of withered leaves beneath my feet all fill me with delight. Fall is also the time for our annual apple picking excursion (a.k.a. photo shoot). This year we actually went to one orchard with family and visited a different farm the day with friends from church. It was the perfect weekend to start our A-a-Apple homeschool unit, especially since we used our apples for baking and art projects. As always, we had fun picking the apples and eating them, too!

I am afraid it may be a short season this year; this weekend, in mid-October, we had snow! Thankfully none of it stuck to the ground, but we drove to church yesterday with giant, slushy flakes splashing against our windshield. Occasionally it will snow as early as Thanksgiving here in New England, but these flakes were quite out of place when the trees - and lawns - are still decked in colorful leaves.

My faithful readers have surely noticed that the birth of our third child has ushered a new season into my life, a season in which endless hours of composing blog posts are replaced with loads of pink laundry and snippets of comuter time during nursing sessions. I love my blog because besides providing a record of my thoughts and daily experiences, I see it as a ministry, with the purpose of encouraging other young wives, mothers, and homemakers. Of course, my primary ministry has been and will continue to be to care for my husband and children. I decided at the last minute to start kindergarten work with Donny this fall instead of waiting until next year, so besides regular chores and routines, we are now busily engaged in My Father's World kindergarten curriculum. Hayden joins us for most of the activities, and I am amazed at how much he comprehends even though he is not yet three years old!

This fall, the Lord has also given me some new ministry opportunities. Two mornings a week, our school lessons are also shared with another two year old and her baby sister. I am watching our friends' two girls while their mom works as a teacher, and the mornings of five-children-under-five are busy and demanding. This ministry has been more challenging than I anticipated since the baby, who is now eight months old, cries unless I hold her. I have been wearing her on my back in my Ergo baby carrier sometimes and hope that she will grow to like being at our home with the other children. In the meantime, prayers are welcome!

I have also joined my husband in ministering to the teens at our church. Don has always loved teenagers (and they adore him!), and thanks to some changes in church and work schedules, he had the privilege of becoming a youth leader at our church early this summer. In the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to join him for the youth ministry's small group discussions and service projects. While some of the so-called fun activities are not really "my thing" (I never like playing games, even when I was in youth group myself!), I love the opportunity to build relationships with the teens and encourage them in their spiritual walks. Much like having our own children, being a mentor or youth leader is a great responsibility that forces Don and I to deepen our own relationships with God. It is only through our own prayers, study of Scripture, and acts of worship to God that we can set a godly example and gain the wisdom we need to encourage our young friends.

Seasons are always changing. Given this weekend's strange weather, I have no doubt that these sunny autumn afternoons will soon give way to barren branches and cold wintry mornings. I am not sure how long this current season of my life will last, or where blogging will fit in among the other things on my plate. I do know that before I can sit down and compose lengthy blog posts, I must tend to the other responsibilities God has given me. In fact, a smiley, chubby-cheeked responsibility dressed in pink is waking up now and reminding me that God has truly blessed me with a beautiful season.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Oh Happy Tree

Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them.
Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy;
they will sing before the LORD, for he comes,
he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples in his truth.
Psalm 96:12,13