As winter rushes by, those of us at Abundance House are finding out that purposeful, intentional living has the ability to reveal itself in a variety of areas. Even school can be filled with abundance. Read aloud time in school has found us devouring a couple of books about pioneer children. What began with a book Giggle received for Christmas, has resulted in us now reading the adult version of the same pioneer child’s story. No Time on My Hands by Nellie Snyder Yost as told by Grace McCance Snyder, has started to fill quite a bit of our day.
Remembrances of herding cattle at age five and many other “older kids” chores have Giggle and Mighty Man of God thinking they really like their lives now with their much easier chores. As a mama I find myself wondering if I am allowing them to live below their talents and abilities. Giggle’s desire to quilt has definitely been fed by Grace Snyder’s stories. Even the older ones and Papa have been known to sneak a listen in as we read these true life accounts of pioneering Nebraska in the late 1880s.
When Grace McCance was a small girl pioneering in southern Nebraska with her family, my husband’s family was pioneering here on the ranch we now live. Dugouts, sod houses, and other experiences were lived by pioneer families the country over. Some day perhaps my great, great grandchildren will consider the stories of Giggle and the other children to be those of pioneers. For surely there is surprisingly much the same for my prairie children of today as of those way back then.
Of course this is Abundance House so naturally we aren’t reading only one book. The Burgess Bird Book for Children by Thornton Burgess is also providing much knowledge about common birds. We are enjoying observing the birds we read about feeding at the feeder outside our living room window. There truly is no better way to learn than by personal observation. Being able to recognize individual birds by sight is almost like becoming acquainted with a new friend. Better still, it is fun. It is most especially fun when you are four and six years old and are able to “inform” your much older brother and sisters about all of the various birds and the traits of their families.
Learning is a cycle that can be never-ending, if we allow it. The more one learns, often the more he or she wants to know. On and on the learning goes until an entire lifestyle has been developed. So, in spite of the fact that none of our birds have eaten the extra special treat we made them out of a pinecone, peanut butter, and bird seed, they still come to the main feeder so that we can watch them and observe firsthand their personalities and tendencies. Observing my children observing the birds and watching them embrace the thrill of learning for themselves is a treasure to hold close and dear. If you notice that we’re not showing up for visits as often or that our visits are shorter, we’re probably snuggled in close reading about those pioneer children of long ago or gathered with breath held still watching our new feathered friends. We’re drinking in the abundance of us all together living, loving, and learning fully, wholly, completely, intentionally, right here, right now.
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