Motherhood is about the mundane. The daily ins and outs of life that are often repetitive and necessary take up most of our time. But in addition to the mundane is the very important task of seeding, watering, and weeding the soul. Any gardener knows that those tasks are also repetitive an necessary for a healthy garden. If left undone, ugly weeds grow more quickly than we think.“Children do not accidentally become mature adults of strong character, great faith, gracious relational skills, effective leadership qualities, and sharp intellects…Seeds of excellence and grace must be planted and tended. The weeds of selfishness and bad attitudes must be plucked. The plot must be protected so that the wild storms and prevailing winds of culture will not damage the fruit.”
What I love about this chapter is the appeal to have a plan for parenting. We are planners. We approached parenting with a plan. God kindly put people in our lives long before having children to model to us and to share with us wisdom that has served us well in our endeavors.
While I believe that she speaks very broadly about a vision for our children, I think we can and should get as specific as we can as we think about our goals in parenting.
Ms. Clarkson speaks of the specific areas they chose to focus on in raising their children. It was interesting to learn what is important to them and to see differences in each family. No family is the same and therefore the approaches taken will vary from one to another.
“Because families and children are so different, each family has a unique opportunity to define their own particular heritage of skills to be shared with children…”
She shares the five areas of concentration:
1. Cultivating real skills. Hospitality, learning how to play an instrument, communication skills, and office skills.
2. Cultivating appropriate life experiences. Being familiar with different cultures and traveling to learn about history were the main means of seeing this come to fruition.
3. Cultivating manners and graciousness.
4. Cultivating appetites for excellence. She speaks of works of literature they read, music, art, and movies.
So, do you have a plan?