Our four-year-old grandson does his part to herd the cattle down the road by waving his cap in order to encourage them along. His dad takes a bit more active approach as he runs along behind the critters!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Counting My Blessings

Writing this blog has been good therapy during a difficult season of my life. It has allowed me to record my blessings by focusing on what is beautiful and praiseworthy.  I wonder, though, how edifying a blog such as this one is for others to read? Might it seem like one long "I've got it so great" Christmas letter?

My life looks idyllic to those who are in the work force, prisoners of schedules imposed upon them by others. During my 25 years of working outside the home I remember very well how I felt about the sound of the alarm clock when it went off at 5:30 each morning. (Alas and alack, I still wake up at 5:30 a.m., but rarely to an alarm now, PTL!)

I did not leave my job voluntarily, exactly.  I could have stayed on, but budget cuts and changing educational mandates did away with Reading Recovery in our little school.  I had established the Reading Recovery program in our district, which required a boatload of work and a huge time commitment. It was also a heart commitment; I was passionate about teaching children to read. More than that, I felt anointed to save children from the tragedy of being non-readers.  I headed this program for eleven years.

I stayed for one year after the Reading Recovery program was banished from our school.  I had been so highly specialized for so long that the powers that be did not quite know what to do with me.  I was bypassed for committee appointments that would have kept me on the front lines of knowledge and given me the skill set that would have allowed me to be of value in implementing the new initiatives that came to us from our State Department of Education. I felt unwanted and obsolete.

The rest of the story is that I also felt the Lord leading me right out the door. My mom has Alzheimer's, and lives with us. My husband is getting older and runs our farming operation pretty much by himself.   My daughter and son-in-law live near us and will make us grandparents for the second time this summer. There was definitely a full life waiting for me outside the doors of the school that had been my second home for so many years; but I grieved, oh how I grieved to leave teaching behind, years before I'd planned to do so.

As happens for so many of us, I'd suffered grief upon grief.  Just regular life happenings, but I found myself not coping well.

And so the Lord in His wisdom has led me to this quiet oasis of time that I pray--I PRAY--I am using well.  It has been a healing time.  And, because my assignment from the Lord for this time has been to write a book, there has been much silence.  The rhythm of my days for these months has been to spend mornings on the farm, and afternoons writing. It has been a blessed and productive time, different from anything I have experienced before.  It has been a time of honesty before the Lord.  With my days no longer filled with busy-ness, I've had to own up to the grief and fear I'd been able to keep buried when there were constant demands on my time. I thank the Lord for this time.

God's creation is healing because it reflects His nature.  I took a walk at about 9:30 yesterday morning and found the air scented with a fragrance so sweet that it defies description; I wish I could bottle it and offer it up with the photo below.  We had rain a few days ago, so there was a cleanliness along with a green scent of tiny leaves unfurling and blossoms of some sort...almost like the scent of lilacs.  The light was beautiful, not adequately displayed in these phone photos; and I stood on the bridge from which the top photo was taken and watched the progress of a carp feeding in the stream below. 

God is so good. I praise Him for this healing time back on the farm.

This was taken a few nights ago at sunset on a walk around the lake south of our house. 


  1. Linda, Hoping that you will enter some of your pictures in the photo contest for the Lebo July 4th. They're soooo good! --Mary Barker Davies

  2. Ah, if only I'd taken them with a real camera and not my little 3.25 megapixel phone camera. Rats! But...I think some of them are higher resolution. Will check it out. Thank you Mary.