When Dominique and I were trying to name our new blog, she suggested Sowing in the Morning, the first line of the lovely old hymn “Bringing in the Sheaves.” I loved it! Partly, because it reminded me of the hymns we sang at our little church back in Georgia and partly, to be honest, because it sounded deep and simple at the same time. As I thought about a topic for my first blog post, I pulled up that old hymn and gave it a listen. Man, did it give me a little kick! After five years of homeschooling, I had recently been feeling a little weary and unfulfilled, and this hymn pointed to the place I needed to look. Here are two of the verses from the hymn, written in 1874, by Knowles Shaw, that are now in public domain.
Sowing in the morning, sowing seeds of kindness,
Sowing in the noontime and the dewy eve;
Waiting for the harvest, and the time of reaping,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.
Sowing in the sunshine, sowing in the shadows,
Fearing neither clouds nor winter’s chilling breeze;
By and by the harvest, and the labor ended,
We shall come rejoicing, bring in the sheaves.
You see, this past year, in many ways, we had our most successful year to date. We completely finished most of our curriculum books! A first for us. I had introduced a new routine that had the kids practicing more independence in their school work and they had mastered it. We were checking boxes and completing tasks all year. So, why was I feeling unfulfilled and pondering a change? Why did I feel like quitting?
In our box checking, I had lost sight of what I was trying to sow. I don’t want great box checkers, although this is needed at times. I want children who love the Lord, who love learning. I hope they are children who grow to become good citizens, who cherish their blessings, work hard, and look back on their childhood with warm memories. I had let our school and my attitude become one big “to do list.” Was I sowing kindness or grumbling and nagging? Was I waiting for the harvest or wanting to see the reward for my toil right now? Was I taking my child’s struggle in a subject as my personal failure or having faith and patience? Was I treating my role as homeschool mom as a career filled with great importance or was I feeling unaccomplished and small? Was I learning and growing or sowing seeds of just getting the job done? Had I forgotten what a blessing these children and this opportunity are? Was I sowing the wrong seeds?
I hope not. Our school year was not all bad and closed with some feeling of success, but now as I listen to this hymn and look into a new year beginning, I hope to be more mindful and purposeful of the seeds I am sowing and the rejoicing that will come. Joy! I forgot to put joy on our checklist. I want to sow seeds of joy, faith, and patience! Mamas, the road may at times be weary but don’t forget the joy and the rejoicing that will one day come in due time! -Lisa