A Blade of Grass

 

Grass BladeUnless a man can duplicate a blade of grass, he can laugh at his so-called scientific knowledge

~ Thomas Edison

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My sons and I spent Valentine’s Day dissecting a worm. Because nothing says love like worm guts, right?

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What we discovered was so much more than dirt-filled intestines. We were dazzled by the incredible complexity of creation! Worms do not have a heart, yet they have an elaborate cardiovascular system. They don’t have a brain, yet their nerve relay system is sensitive, responsive and powerful. They don’t have a stomach, but they till our soil and bring life to the earth through their digestive system. What we didn’t expect was to discover that even the lowliest of life forms was an intricate masterpiece of ingenuity and design!

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What does this have to do with grass? I love this quote because Thomas Edison recognized what so many of us fail to see. The commonplace, the everyday, the uninspiring… if we look closely, if we reallly take the time to observe, study and ponder them- they are not common at all!

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When we walk barefoot through lush green grass, we are blissfully unaware of the intricate, living mechanisms underfoot. For starters, grass is THE major food source for life all over the earth! The sugars locked in the polysaccharides of the cell wall make grass one of the most significant sources of renewable energy in the world.

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It’s roots search the darkness for water and nutrients. Its leaves harness the energy from sunlight and converts sunshine into food. Its tenacity is astounding- grass can grow through concrete walls. Its perseverance is why homeowners love to grow it (but hate to mow it) Not only that, in 2018 certain strains of grass have been shown effective in destroying cancer cells…

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In fact, many (Many, MANY) plants have been shown to contain anti-cancer properties. The cutting edge of medicine has only BEGUN to discover the secret life of plants, their mind blowing complexity, their chemical constituency, their life-giving properties. Plants are the most sophisticated chemical factories on planet earth!

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Oh we can send a man to the moon. We can circumnavigate the globe in a fraction of a second through technology. Nuclear power, jet engines, satellites, computers, particle colliders… science is advancing at such an exponential rate that it seems nothing is impossible for man to achieve. Except for a blade of grass. Hell, man can’t even duplicate the amino acids necessary to build ONE SINGLE CELL of a blade of grass, let alone the entire plant!

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So remember, the next time you lay in a field of green on a warm summer’s day- all we reeeeally know is that we truly know nothing at all!

#amazingcreation #fingerprintsofgod

Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant

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I wish there was an essential oil called Encouragement, because I would have been bathing myself in that stuff hourly.

We homeschool Mamas, need lots of encouragement. Buckets and buckets full, because we never know if what we’re doing is good enough.  All mothers, but homeschool moms in particular, suffer a fear of inadequacy beyond anyone’s wildest imagination.

It starts when they are little, we dream of our children being multilingual classical composers with a PhD in astrophysics. We throw ourselves into teaching them colors and numbers and letters… and then it’s reading and writing and oh my word… MATH. There’s history and science and literature, diagramming sentences and proper punctuation, Latin and Bible studies and poetry recitations.  There’s drawing and painting and piano lessons- but don’t forget about swim lessons and sports teams, and the food pyramid for healthy eating. They have to learn to brush their teeth, clean their rooms, feed the dog, wash their dishes… without me reminding them. But in between all that, they must learn to learn to buckle their seatbelt, tie their shoes, ride a bike…

…are you exhausted yet???

And that’s just the beginning.

Eventually we awaken to the sad truth that Johnny’s math skills aren’t as strong as the neighboring fourth grader. And he’s batting zero on that whole astrophysics thing. Not to mention, he positively HATES the piano and you never did get to all those language lessons you dreamed of… sigh.

Mamas, YOU 👏 ARE 👏 NOT 👏 ALONE!

Please please pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease hear me when I say what you are doing IS ENOUGH! In truth, it is probably too much. They need our love, they need our wisdom. They need our gentle guidance- they do NOT need the multiplication tables at age four!

I wish I’d had an older, wiser mama so I could sit at her feet and have her tell me this. I wish I’d had someone to point to her own happy, thriving, adult children and tell me to take a deep breath, that everything was going to turn out FINE. She would gently laugh at my self-inflicted stress and wisely remind me that it’s their character that matters, not their knowledge. As mothers, our job is to train their hearts, to teach them to walk in truth, not to walk in the fear of man. But the system outside our sheltered little schoolroom is, in fact, dictated by the fear of man, so we exhaust ourselves to prove we can meet and exceed the world’s standards.

Well, I did not have that older, wiser woman, so Mamas, let ME be that voice to you!

My children are in high school. To me, their inevitable departure, out from under my wings feels like staring down the barrel of a gun. It’s like being tied to a railroad and hearing the train whistle, feeling the rustling tracks. MY TIME IS ALMOST OVER. My job is almost done. I’ve run with endurance the race set before me, and I honestly wish the finish line wasn’t nearly so close.

What I wouldn’t give to take back all those frustrating French lessons and just snuggle them on my lap with a Bible story. To share in their pure delight as they hang homemade ornaments on the lowest boughs of Christmas Tree, or to sing bedtime lulabys as they drift off to seep. I can’t remember the last time I sang a bedtime song. It’s not like there’s a precise moment when you say to yourself, “This is the last song I will ever sing,” but one day you will not sing to your children again. And just like that- the season changes.

Please hear my heart- there will be days when you feel overwhelmed, tired, and downright discouraged. The world will always be in your ear telling you you have to run faster, jump higher, do more. But what good is a set of academic standards, measurements and norms if we lose their hearts in the process?

Stay the course, mama. What you are doing is RIGHT, and GOOD. You have sacrificed career, self- satisfaction, time and even some friendships… but you have made the most precious investment that any person could ever make- in your children.

Believe me, the time will come when you start to see dividends on that investment. As they get older, the more return you will see. First, the kids on the playground will not entice your kids into nefarious behavior. Then your relatives will be impresesed by their  sense of responsibility. The boss at their first job will applaud their good attitude and work ethic.  Your friends, whose teenageers want nothing to do with them, will look longingly at your dinner table conversations and wonder how you did it.

I PROMISE YOU- this day will come!

So if you are feeling discouraged, grab your bottle of Valor, or Hope, or Joy. Take a moment and breathe in the uplifting fragrance of Bergamot, Sacred Mountain, Frankincense or Orange. Inhale Cedarwood over and over and tell yourself,  “Well done, Mama.” Because when you are faithful in the little things, when you have been entrusted with a treasure and you have guarded it well,  those are the words you will hear spoken to you. Well done, good and faithful servant. Well done.

❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

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🌈 Join my oily Facebook Group, Promise Life Team for an amazing oily community and more educational goodies!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1398546793593570/

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Discover Your Purpose

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If this isn’t what life’s journey is about, I don’t know what is.🤷🏻‍♀️

Nobody could have ever told me that I would be a stay-at-home military wife, homeschooling two boys. I wouldn’t have listened. 🙇🏻‍♀️

If someone had predicted that I would move 12 times in 15 years (twice overseas and twice into an RV) I would have laughed them out of the room! Not this girl! I had goals and aspirations- none of which was to stay at home wiping little noses, teaching abc’s and hanging broken picture frames in government-issued housing! 🙅🏻‍♀️

But God had different plans- and those plans come with twists and turns, mountains and huge valleys, trials and triumphs.🎢

If I’d had my dream career, I would have never spent four glorious years in Japan. 🇯🇵

I would never have discovered that simple living suits me far better than the palatial home of my dreams. 🚐

I would never have understood the richness of community, the depth of gratitude towards our service members, the appreciation of foreign cultures, the passion for travel… ✈️

Had I not married a Marine, I might never have loved as generously, lost as deeply, prayed as fervently as a military wife is known to do. 🙏🏻

If I’d had my dream career, I would have been too busy to savor the precious and fleeting moments of my children’s youth. If I’d had life my way, I would have missed so much of what really matters in life.
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Through all this time, through all the hardships and sacrifice, through all the dreams and ambitions that have fallen by the wayside- I have not found myself.  Thank God- I have found who I was meant to be. And it’s something far better than anything I could have imagined.

 

It’s Not Too Late

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I’ve heard it said that, as parents, we only have 19 summers with our kids before they leave the nest. The days are long, but the years are short, and to me, 19 was a sobering number.
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Our family is headed into summer 16 with our oldest, and looking back, I have no idea where the time went! All I know is, we intend to make the most of what’s left.

Teens need their parents more than ever in these volatile years. This is not the time to throw up your hands and give in to the tides of culture. We need to stop promoting the idea that it’s natural for every teen to shut themselves in their room with headphones on, hating their family. ⠀⠀
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The teen years are a critical time for relationship. As parents, we must transition from training and disciplining to coaching. We must elevate them to an adult level, while gently steering them with wisdom and grace. It’s not an easy balance, but it is possible with focus and intention. ⠀⠀
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Wherever you are in your parenthood journey, it is not too late! Turn off the noise- the TV shows, Netflix, YouTube, Instagram. Turn on some music and start having conversations. You will be amazed at what you learn about your kids! They are deep thinkers who need to know that you HEAR THEM. But remember, in order to truly hear, we have to LISTEN!!!
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The time to start is NOW- cultivate that dialogue with your child. Listen more than you speak. Instruct them in righteousness when they are NOT in error, and when they make mistakes, don’t condemn. The goal is to win their hearts, not to rule over them.  :)
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We only have 19 summers with the most precious gift God can give us. Let’s make every moment count!

Break out your Believe oil, or Gathering, and gently but deeply allow the aroma to penetrate your mind and your heart. You CAN have a healthy relationship with your teen. Choose to believe it. Gather in those negative emotions and hold every thought captive to Christ.  You’ve got this.

❤️  ❤️  ❤️  ❤️  ❤️

👉 Follow me on Instagram @rachelghoward

🌈 Join my oily Facebook Group, Promise Life Team for an amazing oily community and more educational goodies!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1398546793593570/

😃 Let’s get oily together! http://bit.ly/RachelGHoward I will personally contact you and help you learn how to use and grow with essential oils! ❤️

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