We have just returned from an amazingly blessed 10 day Knysna vacation.
For the past 8 years we had our annual vacation in Knysna in the beautiful Garden Route at the East coast of South Africa. We just love Knysna and with every vacation we made such wonderful memories. With our first vacation in August 2003, Danika was only 6 weeks old.
It was our first vacation in 5 years, and marked the end of a severe pruning season in our lives. Both CJ and Josua celebrated their birthday’s during that holiday, which added to the memories.
The second time in April 2005, I was 32 weeks pregnant with Andrew.
It was the first time we stayed at Brenton on Sea, in the most beautiful two storage log cabin, with a spacious main bedroom and a balcony over looking the ocean!
Christo and I spent hours in the evening on that balcony, sharing heart to heart. The following three vacations in October 2008, October 2009 and October 2010 we had 3 more babies and we celebrated David’s birthday on each of these vacations.
Each time we stayed in the same log cabin on ground level with plenty of space for little ones to play around.
We built on relationships, established family traditions, made heaps of memories and had lots of fun. But over the past three years one thing was clear - we planned our vacations for the wrong time of the year!
October was only the beginning of spring and we often weren’t able to go down to the beach due to wind or cold rainy days.
Baby Daniel in the Ergo carried in front of me, wrapped in blankets - 2008
So after our last vacation the end of October 2010, beginning of November 2010, we decided to change the time for our vacation to March. It meant we had to wait 16 months before we could go on holiday again, and it was tough. For two Decembers we saw people planning, packing and leaving for holidays, while we had to stay at home. Especially the little ones couldn’t understand why we couldn’t be on vacation on David’s 5th birthday and for our older ones it seemed like time came to a stand still and March would never come! Christo and I had to ignore our exhaustion and just keep in mind the waiting is for the better.
All things came to those who wait and all of a sudden our vacation had arrived!
And what a blessed time! Is it possible that a different season can have such a positive impact on our holiday? The weather was absolutely perfect. During our previous vacations we would have 2, maybe 3 sparkling sunshine, no wind mornings on the beach. With near anxiety we would follow the weather forecast for each day. Even though there would be no wind on some days, the water would still be freezing cold (remember it is the Atlantic ocean, water is coming from the South Pole!). When we did get a beautiful day, we would be reluctant to leave the beach after two hours and every time end up with a couple of children sunburnt.
This year we had exactly one day of rain, and though it was raining, it wasn’t cold! We still followed the weather forecast daily, and with joy we could visit the beach every single day, for wind-still, gorgeous days!
The little ones played for hours on the beautiful beach in the shallow waters
and the older children and daddy rode the waves with their buggy boards.
Even I had the time of my life swimming in the sea for the first time in years! I had bittersweet memories of all the vacations I had as a child, during which my dad and I played in the waves for hours.
We had so little wind, the older children only had one afternoon in the whole 10 days they could fly their kites.
The one day we had rain, I was thankful to just stay at home and have a break from walking down to the beach - can you believe it! For the first time in my life I came back from a vacation with an even tan, not to mention the children’s golden brown tans and not one of us got sunburn. Each day, after we came back from the beach, we took a swim in the swimming pool.
In the past it was just to cold! Not once did I need to rush crying, ice cold babies back from the beach, to get them in a warm bath!
I woke early every morning to spend time with the Lord, read a little, enjoy my peaceful surroundings with the sound of breaking waves, before my tribe arose! And I had time to think. I ponder a lot on seasons… God gave seasons. Seasons has a very specific purpose on earth. We all know the influence of seasons on plant life. Every year I experience it first hand in my vegetable garden. Growing specific vegetables in the right season is so much easier than trying to grow them to out of season.
I realized we don’t know the rhythm of seasons any more. Thinking back to ancient days, people’s survival depended on their reading the signs of the seasons correctly. They didn’t value dates as much as we do and didn’t plan their lives according to the name of a month. The farmers had to observe the seasons and act accordingly, with their harvest and their live stock. For the past few generations it changed… We don’t even need seasons any more for growing all kinds of vegetables. Hot houses and genetically modified seed, make it possible to grow almost anything, in all climates, all year long. Add to that cold storage of fruit and vegetables and we can have any fruit or vegetable at any time of the year.
I remember years ago when we just moved to Cape Town, we eagerly wanted to go and pick strawberries on Christo’s birthday in the beginning of October, but the strawberries weren’t ready for harvesting yet. These days, you can go pick strawberries as early as September!
The same applies to live stock. Since we buy organic eggs from a local supplier, it is fascinating that in nature, egg’s availability isn’t plentiful all year round. During mid winter and mid summer, it is either to cold or to hot for the chickens, who roams around in the open, to lay eggs, and their production drops off during this time of the year. We’re not quite aware of this when we just walk into the supermarket and take our tray of eggs off the shelf… Interesting, the poultry industry become so intense, indoor broilers take only 5-6 weeks to be ready for slaughter, due to antibiotics and growth hormones, in comparison with free range broilers which take 8 weeks and organic broilers 12 weeks. The more, the quicker became the motto.
Our generation are not used to be restricted by seasons, anymore. Have it all in every season. Demand it all in every season.
But there is a prize tag to this. God gave seasons for a reason. We read in Ecclesiastes their is a time for everything. Yes, with today’s technology it is possible to have everything all year round, but with great toil, extreme financial input, and catastrophic impact on our health. When we do get to think about it, is all this really necessary? Wouldn’t we notice, just like with our vacation, that it is just so much easier if we stay in season. Like with fruit and vegetables make peace with whatever is not available for a season, looking forward to the season when it is available again. Be satisfied with the timespan God intend animals to grow. Stop interfering and changing everything.
I couldn’t help but notice the correlation between being content with nature as God made it and being content with life’s seasons as God intend for human beings. In the same way we demand nature to produce it all in every season, we do in our life journey. We want it all, all the time. People don’t sacrifice for certain seasons in their lives, anymore. People don’t even know the seasons in their lives anymore, and sadly don’t know what the long term effect is of wanting it all, all the time, not living in their appropriate seasons anymore.
Just think with me for a moment:
Young adults don’t practice patience in controlling their bodies, living in a season of waiting for the right partner anymore. They have all the means and the media educate them to just live by their feelings, lusts, and rights, but with sad consequences on their purity;
Young married couples believe they first have to climb the ladder of success, postpone their time for having children, do all these amazing, worthless, worldly things and then when they eventually want children, the only thing you can take with you into eternity, their bodies has been so influenced by their precaution to have babies, that they can’t have them anymore, and have to spend hundreds of thousand of rands/dollars to try and have babies;
Or the Young married couple do have children, but instead of sacrificing for and enjoying the season of nurturing and caring for their little ones, leaving worldly worthless things behind,and investing their time and gifts into these precious ones, they rush off to earn more money, abandoning their babies and little ones. The result - a generation of abandoned children, who crave attention and love, leaving parents with undisciplined children whom soon become only a liability instead of a blessing. Raising children is far to involved to be a part time job!
What about our teens? This is the season when parents with patient, unconditional, self sacrificing love should invest hours of their time, gifts and interest to fine tune their young adults giving them life skills and train them for life. But we don’t value this season of spending time with our precious blooming young adults. We send them off and reap a harvest of rebellious teens who don’t know their worth to the community, who indulge in an immoral, foolish life in an attempt to numb their emotional needs.
Parents believe they can have their one, two, maybe three children, so that soon they can be back living/climbing the ladder of success. They cannot waste their time and talents on a season of taking care of children, while the world is calling.
Then when people reach the age of 40, a season during which they should enjoy the fruit of years of their labour, investing into their children, seeing their children come to maturity and enjoying their own maturity gained over the years by trails and hardship, we only see a generation of bitter and discontent adults. Adults frustrated, saddened and disappointed by what they see in their children. Children who don’t have time for parents in their lives, who run off to have a life of their own, on their own terms. After all that was the example they got while they were young, the way they were raised by their parents. Parents who run off to have their lives on their terms while taking care of them on the side.
The most heart breaking season for me to observe is the senior people. This privileged older generation who should be crowned by their grandchildren, who despise children and the younger generation. There is no reconciliation between these generations.
What difference would it make if we could be content in the season we are in and seek wisdom and truth in these seasons? Then it would be so much easier to move on in seasons and embrace each new season. Now we live out of season, seeking to do things in one season that belongs to another, and at the end of the day we live in regret and bitterness.
In what season are you? Are you enjoying the season you are in? Do you know what will bring you satisfaction and joy in this season of your life or are you listening to the Enemy of our souls and his lies and living a life out of season with a low to no increase and harvest?
I want to encourage you to identify the season you are in, search God’s Word for His will for this season in your life, and then walk in it regardless of what the World, even the Church presents as the norm for this season of your life.
The satisfaction of and fruit on your labour in season is more than you can comprehend, dear Mother. No one can take your place in raising your little or older blessings! You have all the talents and wisdom to take care of your children. There is nothing greater that you could be doing in the whole World.
“For 100 years, Noah did the same old thing - hammered, nailed and kept on building his ark. He didn’t have time to do all the things that everyone else was doing. He just kept on slogging and being faithful, doing the same thing every day for all those years - but in doing so he condemned the world. Yes, he changed the world because he stuck with the job he was given to do! He changed the world by doing the same thing day after day after day. And at the same time he saved his family!”
You may feel that you are just doing the same old thing every day, but as you are faithful to raise godly children, and build an ark for the saving of your house, you will condemn the world around you. You are accomplishing far more than those who go out to seek a worldly career to the detriment to their highest calling. Your influence goes on into the generations and even into eternity.
Isn’t it amazing that our daily faithfulness in the home will have its impact on earth and also for eternity? It can change the world! We have to remember that bearing and raising children is a long-term investment - in fact, an eternal one! In a culture where everyone wants everything instantaneously all the time, we must learn to think long term - for the future!
So rejoice and be glad in your high and noble calling in this Mothering Season of your life!
You are changing the World!”