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September 6, 2002.

Dear Sisters,

I love the crisp feel of fall in the air these mornings when I rise. It reminds me of when I was a young girl, wearing a sweater or light jacket walking to school in the early mornings, and carrying it on my arm coming home each afternoon.

We started school before Labor Day this year because we were caught up in the garden. So now we are back to familiar schedules and routines! In between school assignments the children are getting the garden ready for winter, freezing tomatoes and green peppers, and helping me make elderberry jam.

School for David (15) means an added class this year. He is taking Driver's Ed at the local high school. The guidance counselor is getting to know me pretty well now. Mark, Stephen, and Laura all took the course through this same school. She said, "Well, how many more do you have to go?" I replied, "When David finishes, I'll be half-way through." She responded, "I guess I'll be retired before I see them all come through!"

Do you ever grow tired of giving mothering your 100 percent effort? I do! When I've tried hard to say a kind word to a teen with a bad attitude, and they take my words the wrong way (again), I sometimes wonder why I make the effort. Or when I get interrupted for the umpteenth time while I am trying to get my walk-in-closet de-junked, organized and cleaned, to help the toddler tie his shoe, or get him a drink, or sign a school form, or help a tomato customer get a bushel of tomatoes (a whole bushel? now?), or pick up library books before the library closes...Does any one care that I'm giving up my desires for them? When I've worked really hard to make a nice meal, and it is wolfed down in seconds, and the children dash out the door without a word of thanks, I wonder if any one really tasted the food or noticed the fresh bouquet of cosmos on the table. Maybe I'll just serve hot dogs on paper plates for tomorrow's lunch....Is all our hard work for nothing?

No, it is not for nothing. It is for the Lord---and its reward is guaranteed.

Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58b, NIV.)


Helen E. Aardsma

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