Sunday, September 24, 2006

Happy Autumn - time to enjoy!


Happy Autumn! At long last, autumn has arrived, the leaves are beginning to change, and we have already made a trip to the apple orchard. The cider is sweet and the apples are perfect, and our hearts help get our minds ready for a new season. Teaching, learning and investigating receives more of our attention, along with the need to split and stack firewood and get ready for cooler weather.


We have many traditions that have developed over the years for the season changes, and a toasty morning fire after the weather turns cool is a fun one. We also collect gourds and pumpkins and squash that are the end-of-season garden picks for Dad to make a fall collage down the driveway to greet our guests. This is a big tradition in our area of the country. People work on some amazing autumn lawn displays from their produce, mixing in chrysanthemums and other autumn treasures. It is fun to cruise the country roads to see the creations.


I am home now for the season - hurray! It was wonderful to meet many of you around the country, and thanks for your encouragement and for allowing me to share a few of the lessons that I've learned along the way. While speaking recently at a conference, I shared that we need to remember that we are not raising "4th graders" or "8th graders" or 10th graders" - we are raising children. We need to help them discover and develop their unique gifts and talents, and their developmental timetable can be very different from those that we read about in child development books. After all, who do you know that has "normal" children or "normal" days? ;-)


Many of the parents in the audience came up to me later and thanked me for pointing this out to them - that we are not producing robots or identical widgets in an assembly line. We are here to protect, nurture, teach and assist them into whatever God has in mind for them. Our children have all developed very interesting and very unique interests and talents - all in areas that I knew nothing about! However, that did not slow us down from helping them investigate and learn about these distinct gifts. You can do it, too.


Blessings to you and yours,
Amanda B.

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