Monday, August 30, 2010

"Bless all young mothers..."

This past weekend I hosted a delightfully successful Phonics and Early Maths workshop for 42 mothers and pre-school teachers. We had the joy of listening to two knowledgeable and passionate ladies share some wonderfully creative, practical ideas for playfully teaching our children, and my toes curled with utter delight as I watched the moms in the audience enjoy the whole thing! But I had put in many long hours to make the morning happen, and spent most of last week making up goodie bags, sewing bunting and a banner for my toy display, baking and frosting cupcakes for the ladies to enjoy at teatime, and sending out many, many e-mails in reply to queries about the event. Still, what a joy to see something like this come together and mothers being inspired to go home bubbling over with delicious ideas!

So when my husband suggested a daytrip up the West Coast on Sunday morning, I gratefully accepted! Earlier in the week I saw a quick and easy recipe for kebabs and couscous salsa salad over at Se7en, and I quickly put it all together to serve as a cold lunch later in the day. We packed the picnic basket, the small folding table, some soothing instrumental music, and a bag full of books to keep littlies entertained, and winded our way through glorious fields of spring flowers, and up the coast to a tiny fisherman's villiage called Velddrif. It was the perfect spot for us: a seemingly endless stretch of shelley beach,  little waves just big enough to cause a toddler tremendous excitement without any threat of knocking her over, and only two other people also quietly enjoying the mellow spring afternoon on the beach.

Sweetpea picked the Namaqualand daisies from a little patch of wildflowers next to where we were parked...

Lunch is served!

All I forgot was a cheery table cloth -will do better next time!!

After lunch the Dad dozed in the shade of the car, Arrowboy explored the succulents growing on the road next to the beach, and Sweetpea and I used some of our enamel picnic crockery as vessels for building sandcastles. And all around just the sweet quietness of swishing waves breaking over broken shells and pebbles, and the seagulls overhead...

And off he goes..

The view...

And then, after all that delicious tranquility, we headed back home with two exhausted children who nodded off before we even reached the tar road again... And it would have been the perfect end to the perfect day if only they had remained asleep for the rest of the two hour drive home. But, alas, Sweetpea woke up after just ten minutes, terribly groggy and complaining of an earcahe, until her wailing woke up ArrowBoy and he joined in the cacophony with wails of his own, and all this persisted for the rest of the drive home, and well into evening. I fell into bed bleary-eyed and drained later that eve, only to be woken shortly thereafter by Sweetpea's inconsolable sobs that the only way she could ever go to sleep, is if I let her sleep with us. By four in the morning the Dad and I could not stand the kicking anymore, and I carried her back to her own bed.

Suffice it to say that I don't do well on lack of sleep, and that today was hard, Monday being laundry day and then the oven stopped working and dinner was late and I found out we won't be moving to a house with a beautiful big yard after all...Oh my goodness, it is a sure recipe for horrible, selfish, utterly unattractive SELF-PITY!!!!

 But then..oh then... at the end of it all, I sat down at my computer to tie up some loose ends in the admin department of this household, and inbetween browsed a few blogs...and discovered this poem. And a little wall broke inside and released some weary tears and The Gentle Shepherd softly reminded me again that "He shall gently lead those that are with young." Isaiah 40:11.

" God,

bless all young mothers

at end of day,

kneeling wearily with each

small one

to hear them pray.

Too tired to rise when done...

and yet, they do,

longing simply to sleep

one whole night through.

Too tired to sleep,

too tired to pray...


bless all young mothers

at close of day."

~ Ruth Bell Graham


  1. Thank you for your precious comments - I love that verse, too. It has comforted me so many times! I am so happy to hear about how God encouraged you. That is so beautiful.

    I was actually surprised to see your comment - I had been on your site this weekend trying to figure out where in RSA you are. My parents live in Kommetjie (sp?) and we used to live in Jo-Burg and in the Cape.

    I hope your week is better - I am sorry to hear about the house with the yard, though. That is no small thing with small kids.

    Lots of love from across the ocean!

  2. Yeah...the yard thing is a biggie, but I think it was Maya Angelou who said life likes to be taken by the collar, looked right in the eye and told: I'm with you, kid, let's do it! So...I am going to do just that with our teeny tiny little patch of grass. I'm reading alot of Charlotte Mason right now and her philosophy of letting children roam free to explore nature for 5 hours a day really appeals to me. 5 minutes is about what it takes for mine to get bored with our patch! But I serve a God of infinite creativity and pray that He wil firstly inspire me to turn our little patch into something amazing, and then to bless my children with rich and meaningful learning experiences despite being surrounded by man-made materials with hardly a tree in sight. Hey, this could become quite a testimony, don't you think?!

    By the way, we live in Durbanville, one of the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town, but have friends out towards where your parents are, so we do make it down there every once in a while! I lived in Jo-burg when I was a student, too! And later I had a wonderful two years in Michigan in the USA, so we seem to have done a bit of cross continental pollination here!

    Lots of love right back at you...looking forward to hearing from you again soon!


I love to hear from you and appreciate your comments! I will try my best to reply here to each comment promptly. Have a beauty-full day!


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