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September 6, 2001.

Dear Sisters,

"Mom, can we please get out the winter stuff; I'm freezing'' is what I hear in the early mornings these days. Yes, fall is in the air.

Fall is a lovely season on the Illinois prairie. On our little homestead it is characterized by our own fresh chickens for lunch, making elderberry jam, getting new pencils for the children for school, freezing mounds of tomatoes, the humming of the garden tiller in the background, cleaning every nook and cranny in the house and garage...and my favorite part of all---putting away my canning supplies as I rejoice over the glistening quart jars with colorful contents lining my pantry shelves. I feel the "gladness of harvest'' (Isaiah 9:3).

As I write this letter, Mark's wife, Jenn, is in labor with our second grandchild! That means Mark is away from the office for a few days, and Gerald is a little less focused than you'll understand if this issue arrives a little later than normal. Look for a full update next issue!

We moms frequently get to see the concept of imitation in action. It is fun for me, and often humorous, to watch Caleb (2-1/2) imitate Timothy (4-1/2). Almost the entire time they play together, Caleb follows Timothy and does whatever he does.

It is also a bit sobering for me to see how my children imitate me! I hear one of the older children scolding one of the younger ones and I think, "My, what a tongue-lashing...sounds just like me!''

It is natural for us humans to imitate others---a fact which is exploited constantly by beer and cigarette ads. We naturally imitate those we see and spend time with. If we spend hours with the TV, we will soon be imitating Hollywood, whether we wish to or not. If we spend hours with secular women's magazines, we will soon be thinking and acting like Betty Friedan, whether we wish to or not. But if, instead, we spend our days in the company of Jesus, serving Him faithfully in our homes, it is His beauty which will naturally be seen in us.

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children... (Ephesians 5:1, NASB.)


Helen E. Aardsma

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