This was our lesson in Bible Study last week. It also happens to be my Confirmation verse. It was a timely message as we were dealing with some difficult things in our family last week. It led to a conversation about pruning. How pruning is done to make the branch more fruitful. But pruning hurts. And it's done in the winter, when it's cold and bleak. Pruning is hard. We don't like it.
But after the winter, we have the promise of spring. And in the spring, we have the blossoms and new fruit. Without the painful pruning, we wouldn't be able to be the children God intends us to become.
I still sting from the intense pruning God did in my life five years ago. There is still pain and the occasional stab of anger and betrayal. But I look at where God has brought me, and I'm overwhelmed by the fruit He has brought into my life as a result of that pruning.
Today marked Annie's 100th day of preschool. It seems impossible that she's been in school that long.
Even more impossible...tonight was the Kindergarten parent information meeting.
I don't know if it will be easier or harder to send Annie...I do know that she is going to one of the best schools I've ever had the chance to experience. I also know she has absolutely flourished in preschool.
And yet...Kindergarten seems the end of "little kid-dom" to me. Can't believe what a big, beautiful girl she is becoming.
It's been a bit of a slow month, but I did make this really cool hat.
Much of my other knitting time has been spent making blocks for prayer blankets that will be given to my friend Melody's three children. Each stitch is a prayer for those children left without a mother. Truly a labor of love.
It's been a rough few weeks with the passing of a friend. I first met Melody at a MOPS meeting shortly after we brought Annie home. She was a young, single mom who brought sunshine and smiles everywhere she went - even in her hardest times. She's undergone a series of medical procedures and surgeries in the past few years. But unexpectedly, and very quickly, she contracted bacterial meningitis and lost consciousness. Within days, it was clear that she wasn't going to make it.
Melody leaves behind three small children and a host of friends who loved her and will never be the same because of the fingerprints she left on our hearts. There's a lot of fear of the unknown for her children. A lot of sadness and "whys".
But also hope that she no longer has pain and is in the arms of Jesus, with her beloved daughter lost at birth many years ago.
Dayna has been working hard all year on her project for the science fair. I had the privilege of subbing in her class the day they were presenting, and was impressed by so many of the projects. A small percentage of the sixth grade was invited to continue at the next level. Dayna is excited to be one of the finalists, and she will be sharing "How the Cookie Crumbles" next week at Nebraska Wesleyan University.
After a tough day that started with no furnace, I walked into Annie's room to find her like this:
Cozy. Peaceful. And clutching the Word of God.
As the month has continued, Annie is getting a little bored with letters and numbers. She asked me when she could read "real words." Thanks to our local reading specialist across the street, Annie has a handful of new books that she is excited to read!