I love coneflowers. They like it hot and require very little maintenance. Butterflies and bees think they are legit, too.
About two years ago, we moved just five miles down the road from the first home we owned as a married couple. That flowerbed was covered in coneflowers. And butterflies. And coneflowers.
As the coneflower finishes its bloom, the center dries up and can be lobed off and discarded or sprinkled in another area to seed and create another coneflower plant. We continually did this at our last house, and we literally had dozens upon dozens of plants; so much so, I had to gift the tiny plants to anyone who would take them. For me to give away a coneflower plant is a big deal!
But we moved, you see. And now we have this strange flower bed that holds water and has poor soil. Even after Brandon tilled the bed and brought in good stuff to mix in with the bad soil, we have a pretty terrible time with this bed.
Cue the coneflower planting. They like it hot and require very little water. These surely will live, right? Right?
Two mature plants didn’t even make it the full season last year. And this year, one died and has barely made it above five inches, even by the end of August! Mom bought me three coneflower plants at the beginning of summer, and they are LONG gone. I bought several more and the husband got a little chemical happy, and they quickly deceased. And just about two months ago I bought three and ONE has survived. Okay? So, what in the world is the difference between here and our other house?
I don’t really know. They grew like weeds in Oakland, but they won’t grow, won’t flourish because of a handful of stimulants and factors. So, maybe I just need to plant something different, change the course of my gardening.
Change the course. Change the direction and vision.
I sit here today with a quiet home. It’s 11:58 a.m., and there is no one asking for lunch or whining because they want the toy their sibling has. Change of course.
Since the fall of 2014, our family has homeschooled. It was rocky at times, but it was good at times. Carter completed Kindergarten reading, and we were rejoicing. At that time we had a 6 year old, 4 year old, 2 year old, and 4 month old. The days seemed unending. And I, I barely made it to bedtime.
Fall of 2015 brought in another classmate – Sister girl began Kindergarten. But by the end of that year, she struggled to even identify one sight word. Still, I thought, “Surely, with a little maturity under her belt, we can manage and press on.” So, we continued onto first grade in the fall of 2016. For her to sit and focus, I would have needed a seat belt in our chairs. Our middle child had just turned four, and his enthusiasm for learning and working signaled a huge red flag in our schooling with Sister.
We went first to the ophthalmologist to rule out any vision problem in the spring of 2017. And she passed with flying colors. Next, we had her screened for dyslexia. And BAM! There came our roadblock along with severe attention and focus issues. We then saw a psychologist who confirmed the ADHD and dyslexia, deemed it severe with each issue, and Sister was diagnosed with a very helpful stimulant which allows her to finally focus and pay attention. She vocalized a marked difference when she took the medicine. She said, “Momma, I can do my math!” Like, she could actually do it, finish it, feel a sense of accomplishment that she hasn’t felt her whole life, and she was 7 years old.
Change of course.
Homeschooling seemed to work for us for a few years, but then we began to see problems that we knew we needed help with that couldn’t be accomplished inside the home. Like those dad-gum coneflowers. Oh how I still really, really, really love those things. I just cannot, I mean cannot, make them thrive, flourish, grow in my new flowerbed. Why? I don’t know, truly. But it’s just not happening.
Cue change of course. Public school for CB and Sister this school year! CB is being challenged and pushed academically, and we are so privileged to get to address heart issues with him as he is the most talkative after school and tells us every single detail of his day. We are incredibly thankful for how God made CB like that. Sister is thriving socially and given one on one help with her dyslexia and sounding out words and even reading some sight words now. We are making progress. At home, we were not. At home, CB would get out of doing flash cards for math or I would tire so easily because of the three little ones who still needed me whilst attempting to give the two olders the schooling they needed. It wasn’t working. They weren’t thriving. We weren’t growing as a family in a healthy way. Change of course.
God led us peacefully to enroll these precious souls into public school in Somerville. I look at them and know that they belong to God, and He will use them mightily for His glory and the advancement of His name. It is overwhelming that they are His, and we are theirs only for a short time to train and instruct and guide. But He is faithful to keep them, protect them, and give us wisdom in how to walk with them through each day and trial.
My flowerbed has changed since moving. Box woods and daylilies. That’s about it. But they are thriving and growing and living. The flowerbed is lovely, and I will plant what will grow in this soil and have a happy heart about it! But, change is painful. Change is sometimes not what we think we want or think we need. But God gives us little precious souls that are not like any other He ever created and they join up with other siblings to make a sweet family. Their specific, individual personalities, difficulties, and strengths may need something different than we originally planned to thrive and grow and become the men and women God has planned for them to be. We have to learn to set aside our wants and desires and submit to God’s plan because it is always, ALWAYS, always best.