thatmom

real encouragement for real homeschooling moms

organic family life ~ part one

flowers

One of the phrases that my nearly 87 year old mother often repeats, as old women are apt to do, is “Your father would have loved….fill in the blank.” Rhubarb pie, a new baby, a good dog story, a grandchild’s college graduation, you name it, we all know what Dad would have loved.

Well, one thing he would not have loved is the penchant I have for showering my flowers with Miracle Gro. He hated the stuff, along with anything else that could either synthetically entice geraniums to bloom profusely or bugs to die on the literal vine. My dad was an organic gardener, a compost zealot, a manure connoisseur.

I often think of my dad and his gardening philosophy when it comes to relationships both with God and with other people. Too often books and articles that define and describe “biblical” relationships within the home and the rest of the body of Christ are anything but natural or organic. Instead, they are contrived and mechanical, propped up by gimmicks or ideals that have stood neither the test of time nor the wisdom of the ages. Often they even defy common sense. They may get results, even spectacular ones, but at what price?

Over the next few weeks I am going to look at what organic, natural, God-glorifying, and people edifying relationships look like, what it takes to make them happen, and what some of the threats are to their existence.

Organic gardeners will tell you that there are two very important things to know. The first one is that organic gardening involves continually replenishing your resources, making sure that you are adding healthy, nutritious, soil-enhancing material to the garden.

I think that this is one area where homeschooling families, for the most part, shine. Many of the areas of life that threaten a healthy Christian walk are just not part of how we live. We don’t accept wrong behavior as normal and we recognize sin for what it is, doing what we can to avoid it when we see it or repenting of it when we practice it.

Also, many of the materials we use for educating our children are exceptional and have been written specifically for parents as they disciple their children. But we need to always pay particular attention to the content of these resources. Sometimes they contain time-wasting “junk food,” useless trivia that is basically what Mary Pride always called “twaddle.” Other times they include poison, little seeds that are planted that can and often do grow into bad theology and life practice when they come to maturity.

The second thing organic gardeners need to realize is that there is always a bigger picture to consider, that growing plants naturally means cooperating with all of nature, seeing your own small garden as part of our whole Eco system.

There is a tendency within homeschooling families to become so self consumed and inwardly focused that we miss the fact that all Christians are part of the body of Christ, that we must work together to build His spiritual kingdom. The results of our efforts are to bring edification to the body, glory to Christ, and a thirst in others who have not yet tasted of the Living Water. It is as we work toward that end that we will be setting the stage for producing fruit that is pleasing and healthful.

Organic, natural family life does not just happen by itself. Next I will be sharing about the “soil” of organic family life.

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11 Comments»

  susan t wrote @

Well said Karen!

  shadowspring wrote @

“The second thing organic gardeners need to realize is that there is always a bigger picture to consider, that growing plants naturally means cooperating with all of nature, seeing your own small garden as part of our whole Eco system.

There is a tendency within homeschooling families to become so self consumed and inwardly focused that we miss the fact that all Christians are part of the body of Christ, that we must work together to build His spiritual kingdom. The results of our efforts are to bring edification to the body, glory to Christ, and a thirst in others who have not yet tasted of the Living Water. It is as we work toward that end that we will be setting the stage for producing fruit that is pleasing and healthful.”

I love the analogy!

I often tell my children that there are at least 3 billion999million 999thousand 999 other people they share the planet with. =)

The Lord loves these people, not in theory but in reality. His heart yearns for them to enter into fellowship with Him.

This is the world we are called to be salt and light in and for, not some future utopia, but here and now.

  anika wrote @

One of the blessings we enjoy in our little garden is traveling with my husband on his business trips.. We are gone anywhere from 3 weeks to 4 months… and right now we are in Lyon France 🙂 We have been here now 2 months, and are at the 1/2 way point… It really is an amazing opportunity for the kids to “bloom where planted” and for them to see US being salt and light; being filled with grace, in some hard situations, seeing us falling & getting back up, and moving on in Christ… All by the Grace of God!

Christianity looks different in different places, and we are thrilled that they can see this, experiencing in REAL time, REAL life, what it means to walk about in different cultures,
it really is a good analogy you used…

We went to a big park here in Lyon, and they have there some “exotics” in their garden, one of which was the north american magnolia tree…. ??? to you and me… this IS so not exotic… It really is to someone else… Sometimes we can be planted in different places, and as Christians, as home schooling families, we can really help our children see beyond their own backyards….

Looking forward to the future posts 🙂
your adventuring friend in France 🙂
<

  thatmom wrote @

Anika, what a terrific opportunity you and your children have to travel. I have been reading on your blog and enjoying your trip along with you. We spent nearly 4 years living in Germany and our two oldest boys were born in Bad Tolz. Living abroad really gives you a new perspective, does it not?

  Jack Brooks wrote @

Organic gardening is hard, so make sure you keep your composture.

  anika wrote @

THAT MOM,
It really does give a different perspective! It is a huge blessing, a huge challenge a wonderful opportunity to see the world with different glasses…. 🙂
So glad you stopped by the blog! 🙂

  anthea wrote @

What a great extended metaphor/analogy. I look forward ro the next part. It’s this sort of article which makes your blog so edifying.

I spent 6 months in the US in 1983-4 as an AFS student, which has been a real boon throughout my life. If the govt here (UK) continues to “crack down” on home educators, I might be back again. Please pray that God will preserve our freedom to home educate in Europe. The govt advisor wrote approvingly of the German laws forbidding home schooling, which were written in the 1930s by the Nazis. He claimed we were “out of step” with Europe because our laws respect families’ rights!

Sigh!

Are those your hanging baskets – I’m impressed.

Anthea

  thatmom wrote @

composture? I love it. We are a family of punsters. In fact, a couple of us can keep a good one going until the cows come home! 😉

  thatmom wrote @

Anthea, I WISH these were my baskets! I snapped this picture a few years ago when we were in down town San Francisco. I pull out that picture every year when I am planting my hanging baskets just for inspiration. Right now mine aren’t looking too shabby….purple wave petunias, hot pink vining geraniums, asparagus ferns, and a little yellow flower that almost looks like a miniature mum. I will take some pictures when the Miracle-Gro kicks in!

  organic family life ~ part two « thatmom wrote @

[…] Here is part one in this series. […]

  organic family life ~ part three « thatmom wrote @

[…] Here is part one of this series. […]


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