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July 2, 2003.

Dear Sisters,

Hot summer days are here again. I have been waking the children earlier than usual so they can get the garden strawberries picked before the sun becomes unbearable. Earlier this spring Gerald designed and David (16) installed a central air conditioning system for our home. What a treat to come into a cool house after running to serve the strawberry and vegetable customers lining our driveway.

Our cow had her calf right on time. She had another bull, her third in a row! Timmy (5) named the calf "Nimboo." Do you know what farm-fresh, creamy Jersey milk, bobbing with vine-ripened, succulent strawberries sprinkled with sugar does to one's diet?

I mentioned last letter that someone is expecting a baby. Well, I better tell you who it is before I run out of room again. The blessed person is my daughter Jennifer Hall. She is due with baby number three right around Laura's birthday (December 3). We are excited! Perhaps it will be the first granddaughter?

Recently, after several "blue" days, I thought, "I need a good dose of Elisabeth Elliot!" Out came my little tape player. As I sorted and packed strawberries, and washed the numerous mounds of milk and cheese pots, I listened to her tapes once again. She never fails to lift me to a higher plane of service.

This time she got me to thinking about her "my life for yours" theme as it relates to mothering. From pregnancy onward, it is a giving up of ourselves for the well-being of that precious baby---my life for yours. When at the table the little children ask us for another glass of milk, having cleaned their plates before we've had a single bite, we can either scream, "Can I please eat?!", or we can serve them while we quietly think, "my life for yours". When we miss out on the special music at church to take a child to the bathroom, we can say, "Your needs before mine---my life for yours". When we are disturbed out of a sound sleep to give a child a drink of water at 2 a.m. our attitude can and should be, "You can't fend for yourself; God gave me to you so I can take care of you---my life for yours." In doing so we follow Jesus, the ultimate example, who gave His life for us.

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
(John 15:13; NASB.)


Helen E. Aardsma

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