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(MC84)

July 3, 2002.

Dear Sisters,

How I praise the Lord for the good strawberry yield and sales this year! The next few days will be the last of the strawberry picking. My pickers are very happy about that! They don't think their backs will ever recover! And I too am glad. I'm glad to see the season end. Now I can catch my breath before bean canning season hits in about two weeks. Just now, my house is in bad need of cleaning and organizing. I'm hoping to attack that with a vengeance, once this newsletter goes out the door!

I enjoyed a lovely visit with my new grandson, Ethan. What a treat to hold this precious little new life when he was only six weeks old. And guess what---Ethan is a beautiful red-head! Jennifer, Steve and the grandsons came and spent a few days with us around Memorial Day. I suspended much of my work while they were here, so I could hold little Ethan as much as possible. He is a very happy baby, making Jennifer's adjustment to two little ones much easier. It is such a joy to observe Jennifer's prowess at mothering; how I wish I knew what she does when I was in my early years of mothering.

I sometimes get letters from women that say "The demands of mothering many little ones are more than I can take. I need to get away for awhile so I can be refreshed. How can I continue to give to my family when I feel so burned out? I NEED a break!" In our "you deserve a break today" culture, it is no wonder moms frequently feel they deserve a reprieve from the big job of mothering.

But I have found that when I do take time for R and R (other than observing Sundays as my day of rest and spiritual refreshment) it never helps me cope better with my duties afterwards. I don't actually feel ready to get back at the job at all. I just crave more R and R!

The Bible has a perspective on renewal and refreshment which is totally different than that of modern culture. In my own mothering experience I have found it to be true over and over again that...

...he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. (Proverbs 11:25b, NIV)

Blessings,

Helen E. Aardsma



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