Monday, May 2, 2011

Multitude Monday XX: Strawberries

When you picture an outing to pick fresh strawberries, you might imagine something like last year's excursion. Sun-drenched rows of plump red berries, waiting for chubby fingers to pluck them from obscurity.

And this is Texas in May, so that picture would make perfect sense. However, weird things happen in Texas. Like cold fronts blowing in with a vengeance while you're shopping for groceries. And praying for rain to come soak your parched and thirsty land, only to have it fall on the one day when you finally get your act together and head for the strawberry farm.

When you drive over an hour to pick yourself some berries, you don't just throw up your hands and head for home. You borrow yourself a dadgum umbrella, and you start picking.

And there, crouched in the muddy rows, gently pushing back the gleaming leaves, you have lots of time to reflect, once your helpers have retired to the warm, dry car.

You think about this weekly gratitude exercise -- a daily exercise, really -- and how it's all just a pushing back of mud and leaves and weeds to find those perfect, ripe red specimens of berry goodness. From above, the pickings look slim. To find the berries worth plucking, you have to get down. Way down.

It works something like this. [Gifts # 201-210]

The mud and leaves: A disappointing outing (rain today, of all days!)
The gift: Watching my son hoe potatoes in an adjoining field, undaunted by the drizzle or the heft of the pitchfork.

The mud and leaves: A long drive, which always makes me feel sleepy
The gift: Beautiful Hill Country scenery and a Starbucks caramel macchiato to perk me up on the way back. Laughing with the kids at the Mr. Popper's Penguins CD we picked up at the library.

The mud and leaves: My daughters' fashion choices.
The gift: My daughters' fashion choices. Do we have an emerging sense of self, or what?

The mud and leaves: The washing, de-stemming, refrigerating and freezing chores that follow a berry-picking.
The gift: Fresh, locally-grown strawberries preserved  for the next few months, the thought of smoothies and strawberry shortcakes to come, hands that can work, and a puppy curled up on my feet in the kitchen.

The mud and leaves: Waiting, waiting, waiting, for the Professor's job offer letter to arrive. Wondering why "tomorrow" always seems to mean "three days from now, after you remind us."
The gift: Learning to trust the Lord more deeply -- trust  that His timing is laser-perfect. Oh, and the offer letter finally arriving today!


cwoodf1 said...

"Learning to trust the Lord more deeply -- trust that His timing is laser-perfect."
Awesome reminder.

(I'm glad the letter finally came, too!)


Does that letter mean you're all staying in Austin? And I LOVE that your daughter is free enough in mind, body, and spirit to make her fashion choices. How cool is that?!

Danica Newton said...

What a great word, Hannah. Looking for the strawberries in my day today!

Let us know how your hubby's job offer goes. That is one of the biggest faith-testers we've been through in our marriage, and we've had to do it several times.
-He didn't even HAVE a job when we got married (was an RA in the dorm), but got a job w/ a local attorney (after being turned down by every place he applied. And then after he accepted the law clerk job, other offers started pouring in! God kept those doors shut). This opened the door for his career choice.
-Getting into law school was another faith journey.
-After law school, finding his first job - I had to submit my heart to God's purposes, because I didn't want to leave the town we were in. But God placed us here, and 4 years later He led him to run for an elected position.
-Only after keeping close to Jesus' heart and God's purposes for us, he's now a judge 5 years out of law school. Believe me, my own plans for myself were so much smaller than what God had intended! But I had to trust and cling closely to Him no matter what.

bibliovore said...

where is this strawberry place? I'm inspired (and craving strawberries)!

JoAnn said...

Isn't it amazing how our Lord always forces us to wait on Him, learning to trust in His unfailing love and grace, and then when the letter finally does come, it's still a matter of having the peace to know that this is or isn't what He wants for you... But He has plans for you and your family that go far beyond what you can see now, so "simply trusting every day, trusting through a stormy way" (hymn 569) is still the best way.

Hannah said...

Cathy - yes, looks like we'll be staying. We're grateful!

Danica -- Thanks for sharing your experience. What a journey we are all on!

Bibliovore - We went to Sweet Berry Farm in Marble Falls (TX). Better go soon, and check their website for daily updates on availability. Have fun!