In addition to the family fun, I was actually able to read a bit while we were away. Of course, it was Mark Buchanan since I am now apparently his one woman bloggy fan club. I loved this passage:
"Apple trees don't strive to grow apples. It is just what they do. I have an apple tree, and a plum too, and a cherry, and not once have I seen any of them making anything that resembles an effort to bear fruit. Every year, there they are, a foot or two taller, another ring thicker. Each new Spring finds them bristling with a denser cluster of buds, each Summer crowned with a wider tumult of leaves, each Fall drooping with a weightier crop of fruit. Not once have I seen any of them strive to do it.
Yet the conditions must be right. Soil, climate, location, irrigation, fertilization, pruning, cross-pollination: all play significant roles. And maybe that's what Peter means when he tells us to make every effort--he's simply telling us in Annie Dillard's words, "to be mindful of conditions." He's reminding us that we shape, if not the environment in which fruit is grown, at least the conditions under which it can flourish.
Faith has fruit to bear. Faith alone can get us into heaven, but its purpose between now and then is to birth something in us that makes a difference on Earth."
~From Hidden In Plain Sight, by Mark Buchanan (page 48)
Although Buchanan was not speaking to parenthood specifically, I couldn't help but draw that parallel. Being a mother has taught me, without a doubt, children are born predisposed to talents, abilities, weaknesses and personalities. The differences in my three are astounding. Especially when you consider they have grown up in the exact same environment, at the same time, with the same conditions. They have had distinct temperments since the womb that hold true today. We cannot dictate the most core characteristics of our children. We can, however, shape the conditions under which these little people grow--and hopefully, flourish.
I just love this thought.
All the more reason for us to prayerfully consider the conditions necessary to keep our Mommy hearts right and in tune to the Spirit for His leadership through it all. Are you mindful of your conditions?