My Favourite Poem about Motherhood

This poem blessed and encouraged me many a time when my children were small; I couldn’t read the whole thing through without shedding a tear. Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Sheaves                                                          author unknown

Some say that my life is so narrow,  

Environed by four square walls;   

And ever across my threshold      

The shadow of duty falls.       

My eyes wander oft to the hilltops,        

But my heart ever stoops down   

With passion and love for my babies                         

Who, helpless, cling to my gown.

In the light of each new day dawning,  

I see an evangelical stand;     

And to fields that are ripe for the harvest,   

I am lured by a beckoning hand.      

But I have a small part with the reapers,                

Small place in the soul-stirring strife;  

I must care for the babes at my fireside                      

And teach them the lessons of life.

I must answer their eager questions,                         

From childhood to early youth;                                          

I must lead them in paths of wisdom                           

And guide them in ways of truth;                                      

I must nourish their souls and their bodies                 

With untiring, watchful care,                                       

Take thought for “the loaves and the fishes,”             

And the garments which they must wear.

But at night when the lessons are ended                      

And the last little prayer is said,                               

When the questions are asked and answered               

And I’ve cuddled each sleepy head;                           

When the nameless unrest has vanished                    

That has troubled my heart through the day                    

I will kneel in the midst of my children                      

And humbly and thankfully pray:

“Dear Lord, when I come with the reapers                     

To Thee at the set of the sun;                                     

When the sheaves of the harvest are garnered,                    

And life and its duties are done,                                         

I will lay at Thy feet these, my children—                     

To my heart and my garments they cling;             

Though I might not go forth with the reapers,                                                       

These—these are the sheaves that I bring.”

Why I have a Piggy in my Bathroom

What are some great, inexpensive, convenient, simple items that make your life easier?

Here are 3 of mine; not in any particular order or preference or convenience.

1. A piggy bank in our upstairs bathroom. In any random place in our home–on the floor, under couch cushions–I find coins. They go into the piggy bank. Easy cleanup, no fuss about whose quarter it really was (unless of course we know for sure it belonged to said person.)

2. A “return-it bag” on a hook in the front door closet. When I’m finished with something I borrowed, or someone forgot an item at our house, it goes into the return-it bag. The item is less likely to get lost and more likely to be returned sooner than later.

3. Notebooks. I have many notebooks and journals going at the same time, each with specific purposes, which I pile in stacks at my current work station. Daily to-do’s, writing projects, health journal, homeschool journal, etc. I buy lots at back to school sales or find them at yard sales sometimes…and put them to good use!


The Colour of Missions Part 6

We stopped in a village for lunch. We sat on the notorious narrow, backless benches in a brick house eating rice and beans and drinking chai. Jake smiled and made friendly faces at the children who peeked into the window. Not used to seeing mzungus, they scattered in all directions.

Then we visited some friends of Trudy’s from the Masai tribe–a nomadic, cattle herding people. We sat under a shade tree in their yard, visiting with two wives. Trudy introduced us, they asked questions, and she translated. It felt like we were visiting with two Old Colony Mennonite ladies in Mexico.

“Who is older, Andrew or Megan?”

“Do Baba and Mama Andrew have more children in their homeland?”

“Megan wants to stay here with us when Baba and Mama Andrew go back to Canada, doesn’t she?”

They invited us into their house and served us beef and ugali, but they stayed outside while we ate.

When the children came home from school, we were once again sitting under the shade tree. They greeted us and then changed out of their school uniforms. I was delighted to discover that one of the little girls was named Tina.

Tina and Tina!
The wives and some of the children walked back with us a ways toward the guta. I held Tina’s hand.

Around the next bend in the path past a huge tree we saw a rainbow! Droplets of water in the air breaking white sunlight into the seven colours of the spectrum, each connected to each other.

When Jesus the Light of the World shines upon the connection of the missionary and his or her church, it will illuminate support and encouragement and colour. 

Let us ask God to show us how we can better connect with our missionaries, so that the good gift of the gospel can be shared effectively. 

That evening we all gathered at the mission house. We sang songs, we prayed, we blessed. And we washed the missionaries’ feet.

The next day we headed back to Mbeya, experiencing it all in reverse: the guta ride to the bus stop, the bumpy bus ride to Mlowo, switching buses, the crowded bus ride to Mbeya.

On Thursday the group went to Ngozi Crater Lake. I stayed back with Sheryl and these two sweethearts.

Afterward Trudy took us shopping at market.

Friday we flew home.

Finally, finally on Saturday afternoon we hugged these three. Oh, the rainbow of connection that shone then!

That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. John 17:21