A friend asked me recently what I would be doing with my kids if they were little during this time of self-quarantine. Here are some of my thoughts. I would be going on beach walks, looking for birds, shells, and rocks while noticing the clouds and sunshine. I would be planting seeds and weeding. This is the best time to weed before the roots get too deep and the thorns get too long. I would plan an annual trip to the feed store to purchase hand size appropriate gloves and rubber boots as well as replenishing or replacing the child-size tools needed for the job.
The garden is a great place to talk about the story of Creation. Where did weeds come from? Weeds, pain, suffering, and death came from when Adam and Eve decided to believe Satan’s lie and they choose to rebel against God. (Genesis 3). It has always amazed me that they had just one law to obey and they were not able to do it. It amazes me how many rules we have to try and keep track of today and we can’t do it either unless we have the love of God living there.
I keep them busy learning about how to prepare our garden space. What to add so the soil will grow best. What seeds shall we order? Do we start them in pots or do we plant directly into the ground? What about companion planting? How will we water our garden? How do we tend our worm bin with food scraps or our compost pile?
Spring reminds me of God’s love for me, my family and everyone. He renews the seasons despite the things going on around us. I know for many, many people, this season of earthquakes, tornados, a very scary virus that seems to stalk its victims without rhyme or reason, governors deciding we need to only go out for essential things and only essential people are allowed to work unless they can work from home, schools closed indefinitely, fears about the effects of 5G towers and electromagnetic fields and how they affect health, “provaxers” arguing with “antivaxers”, while fear is almost more pandemic than the virus.
I remind us that God is still Sovereign. His Word, the Bible is still true and God always keeps His promises. He is the Supreme Ruler of the Universe from the largest star or planet to the smallest thing that we may not have discovered yet. He is the Creator of all even though the created are not always willing to acknowledge that fact. He loved us so much that He created us with free will. We might have several conversations about “Why can’t God make the bad people pay for their sins and not threat the good people so poorly?” The answer I gave is “because God also gave the bad people free will too. Their actions and choices will one day be judged just like our actions and choices will be. The truth is that we all sin and fall short of the glory of God. No one is good enough nor can they do enough good things to be right with God. All sin is ugly and leads to death in one way or another. But the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 3:23. Each person has to make the choice to accept God’s gift through Jesus Christ and follow Him or go their own way. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever will believe in Him, will not perish but have everlasting life.” I am focusing on hope with my family.
We learn and practice cooking, baking, cheese making other food preparation skills because that is how we will eat each day. It is a part of life that goes on regardless of the choices being made around us by others. Ultimately, we may need to bake some cookies and have a cup of tea together while we color, or paint, or read a story by someone who already made it through some challenging time like “The Long Winter” by Laura Ingalls Wilder. As I hear of snow in Montana, I can imagine the long winter. I lead my children in prayer for our leaders while I listen to resources from news media that are more balanced with a prayer for wisdom and discernment about what we need to do to respond. I call this “homeschooling in action”. This approach worked well for me often removing a lot of the arguing about doing “school” because if people want to eat today, we need to read the recipe and follow the directions and do the math so we have enough servings for everyone with some leftover to share. I rarely told my kids we were doing “school”. The more I could include them in real life skill set development, the less of a hassle it was to get them doing school.
I would be teaching by example how to eat as we do our best to fuel our bodies with foods that heal while drinking plenty of water, tea or low sugar juices to boost our immunity.
I love to sing songs with and for children that teach us eternal truths that apply to our lives. When I remind others, I remind myself thus comforting my heart too. This one is by Franny Crosby published in 1880.
How are you focusing on Hope?