Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wednesday's Words: Sarah Mackenzie

I finally got my hands on Teaching from Rest by Sarah Mackenzie and started it this week. I am trying to go slowly, maybe one little section a day, and am enjoying it so far. I've heard so many great things about this book, so I'm looking forward to reading it. This is some of what I read last night:
"We are doing the small, difficult tasks day by day, one stone at a time. The cathedral builders toiled for years of their lives without knowing whether they would see the finished cathedral - the holy place to which they had given their lives. A homeschooling mother acts on similar faith - adding one small brick at a time - wondering if it makes a difference, if anyone will ever notice, if those small quotidian tasks will ever add up in a meaningful way."
I thought she described motherhood perfectly there and particularly love the metaphor that home education (all parts of mothering and raising children, I think)  is building a cathedral, "the holy place to which they had given their lives."
 "Rest looks like stewardship. Consider a garden - a raised bed right outside your kitchen window perhaps. The Master Gardener has charged you to plant it with seeds, to cultivate the soil, to tend to the plants and help them to flourish. He did not throw some seeds at you and tell you that you were responsible for the miracle of turning them to ripe, plump vegetables. He place the seeds into your palm, patted your fist lovingly, and asked you to tend them well. To steward them. To help them grow.
Remember your place, then. You cannot make the plants grow or bear fruit. You can only plant the seeds. You can water them, and steward them. You can cultivate the soil (education is an atmosphere!), thin them (a discipline!), and water them (a life!). It is only by our cooperation with the grace of God and the laws of nature that the seed becomes a plant and bears fruit. We don't need to have anxiety about when the plant will grow, about how quickly it will come to fruition - our part is to steward it and do what we can to make sure it has the ability to grow rightly." 
I have always felt that I was called to this job of Mother. I would not necessarily have chosen it for myself had I known what motherhood truly entailed, but instead I was called. I knew when I first held Riley, I was made for this.

But being a mother has changed me. It has been harder than I could ever have imagined. I have cried, and agonized, and pored over parenting books. I have been terrified and anxiety ridden that I would mess this up, that I would damage my kids, that I would do it all wrong.

I have been reminded, though, that I am not in control. My job is to guide them, to teach them, most importantly to love them, to do what I can to make sure my little seedlings "have the ability to grow rightly."

Relinquishing control is a hard thing.

"Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls."
Matthew 11:28, 29


  1. This post almost brings me to tears. This is how I feel about everything. And I felt the Holy Spirit tell me the other day that my family was like a garden. He pointed me to the Word and to search water and gardens. I've come to the conclusion that my little family is parched because I haven't showered them with enough praise. All I see is what needs to change. It has been a time of daily repentance and correction for sure. Sometimes it's hard to lighten up. Stewardship is a great way to help me get over myself. They were God's before they were mine,

    1. It's good to recognize changes we need to make, but don't forget to give yourself some grace, too! ❤