Teaching Children to Bring Sunshine

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When Ray and I stopped by Dollar General on our way home from church on Wednesday night, the flowers by the checkout looked so fresh that I picked up a bouquet, thinking it would cheer us while we wait for Tuesday’s surgery. Those flowers prompted me to gather some Russian sage and some of our unidentified flowers with yellow blossoms from the garden to add to them. Here is the result.

My Russian sage is huge this year. I brought in a big bunch of it, plus more of the little yellow blossoms, and made a second, rather wild-looking, bouquet.

I bought a small container of that yellow flowering plant at a farmers’ market many years ago. The lady at our garden center doesn’t know what these yellow flowers are either. Do you? Here is a closeup . . .

. . . and here is a picture of the whole bunch. It is always huge. I included the grandchildren’s slide in the picture to give you perspective on how big it is.

Yellow is the theme of the flowers in our yard right now, as you can see in these photos I took yesterday afternoon after several hours of rain. There is a hanging basket of lantana, which I enjoy because my Aunt Nan recommended it to me several years ago.

The black-eyed Susans are blooming by the porch as they do each summer.

This year’s new coreopsis plants are small but pretty.

The dahlias appear to be almost finished, . . .

. . .  as are the gladiolas.

I like all of the flowers God has made, but the brightness of yellow flowers, particularly when they are drenched in dew or rain, is especially cheerful.

My friend Susan is like a bright yellow flower. She brings sunshine when she enters a room. Each of us has the opportunity to bring sunshine. What a difference that makes for the people who are in the room, especially those who have heavy needs.

I was recently talking with someone who has serious medical needs. Everyone who has helped her has been efficient and helpful. Most have brought sunshine. However, recently this person had a nurse who did her job kindly and well, but who didn’t really engage with her patient as the others have done. The patient wasn’t complaining, but told me that the experience was much less pleasant than what she was used to.

As I listened to the patient, I thought about you and your children. I wondered how a homeschooling mama can influence children to be more like the bright and sunshiny helpers. The world needs more “bright yellow flowers.” It’s something to think about. How can we help children become that way? One thing I feel confident about is that we can teach them to think about others and their needs. I know that is a key. I’d love to know your thoughts.

For you were called to freedom, brethren;
only do not turn your freedom
into an opportunity for the flesh,
but through love serve one another.
for the whole Law is fulfilled in one word,
in the statement,
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Galatians 5:13-14


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  1. There is a wonderful little free app called Seek. It is very simple to use: when you come upon a flower or tree that you don’t know, you pull up the app and point your phone at the flower, and it will identify it all the way down to species! You can even take a picture and save it on your phone. Having this app has made my walks and hikes even more enjoyable, as I can now know what I am looking at!

    As for helping children be more sunshiny, I have found that setting the example goes a long way!

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