Good Monday morning, readers. Last week’s winner of Vol. one is Sally Shupe. Thanks to everyone who posted comments.
Today we welcome author Cheri Swalwell back to Home Thoughts. Cheri wrote two superb books of devotions. Last week I featured volume one for wives and this week volume two is aimed at helping mothers. A 40 day Habit Between Friends–Because They Need You is a plan to enjoy your kids more, while helping them grow into people you want them to be. Here is taste of what’s inside: Day 22 ~ Apple Trees and Children “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:6-7
This spring, my husband and I were taking a walk around our property and looking at our apple trees. This is the first year we’ve seen blossoms on them, and I can’t wait to taste the fruit of his labor. We bought them approximately five years ago, and since then, my husband has been nurturing, feeding, protecting, and lovingly taking care of them in order to produce some great tasting apples. Feeding our family healthy food is important to us, and how better than to grow it ourselves, knowing exactly what was put into it in order to reap the results?
That got me thinking about how similar children are to apple trees. It took my husband five years of hard work before he started to see any fruits for his labor (literally and figuratively speaking). And, isn’t that how it is with children? When they are first born, they are helpless, completely dependent on their parents for food, shelter, protection, love, and security. They are weak, needing to grow bigger and stronger in order to be able to survive in the world on their own. And we as parents lovingly take on the challenge to provide for all of our children’s needs, without asking anything in return, knowing one day they’ll fulfill their purpose in life in part because of our hard work and dedication to helping them develop the traits necessary for a successful life.
Now, once the fruit starts developing on the trees, my husband can’t stop working. He has to continue to prune, water, feed, and protect the trees until they reach full maturity, and that’s going to take many more years. The same with our children. Even though they start to produce fruit and productivity in their lives at a young age (seen through kind words, responsibility of completing chores, and compassion toward others), they still have a lot of growing to do before they’re fully mature, ready to handle life as an adult. More sacrifice, hard work, love, and protection will be needed by us before our children are ready to step out in the world on their own, but again, we do this willingly, knowing the reward that’s ahead if done right.
So, today, I just want to encourage all us parents. When our children are little, we’re in the season of hard work. We have sleepless nights, demands on our time and energy, and lots of hands-on instruction. However, if we continue to provide the structure, boundaries, protection, and love required, there will come a day when we can sit back to enjoy the fruits of our labor. Just like my husband is looking forward to years from now when he can go and just pick an apple off the tree without having to nurture it as a seedling anymore, we’ll also hopefully reap the benefits of our hard work through a friendship with our kids and maybe eventually grandchildren. Until then, let’s all encourage each other together through the sleepless nights (both in the infant and teenager stages), puberty, endless homework, and high grocery bills. While we’re at it, let’s take the time to enjoy these stages since they’re fleeting and will disappear long before any of us want them too.
Cheri Swalwell is a wife, mother, and avid reader, but first and foremost she is a Christ follower. She has a degree in Psychology and has been blessed to be a guest on a variety of blogs including Christiandevotions.us, Circle of Friends, and crosswalk.com/family. She is a regular contributor to book fun magazine. She loves to hear from readers on: Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/cheri-Swalwell Email: clSwalwell99@gmail.com or Website: www.cheriswalwell.com (Has link to my blog) Twitter: Cheri Swalwell
Purchase Link: (paperback) http://www.amazon.com/Habit-Between-Friends-Because-They/dp/1481209000/ ref=&tag=cheswaficfrot-20* for easy ordering.
Please leave a comment for Cheri here after this blog posting for a chance to win: A 40-day Habit Between Friends–Because They Need You. Winner will be announced next Monday. Open to US and Canada residents.
Have a great week readers. If anyone will be near Wooster, Ohio this Saturday 3-23 I will be speaking at the Wooster Library on W. Liberty St. at 1:00. Would love to meet with some readers face to face.