Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Berry Delicious

I was blessed to get back in touch with an old high school friend through Facebook the other day, and she promptly invited the kids and I over to pick blueberries. She has seven or eight  HUGE bushes that were taken from her great grandmother's farm about ten years ago. When she planted them, they were just twigs, and now they are ENORMOUS (maybe eight feet tall) and heavily laden with delicious berries, just waiting for someone (or something) to come and pick them, and use them for pies, cobbler, jam, muffins, pancakes, and oh so much more. 

Today I am thinking about our children, and how like those blueberry twigs they are. They begin with a whole lot of potential, but not a lot of present usefulness (other than cuteness!). My friend said it took years for the bushes to finally bear enough fruit to make a decent cobbler or batch of muffins.

But with tender care, pruning, weeding, and the love, teaching, protecting, and discipline we give our kids...they will grow and be abundantly fruitful. But if we neglect them, or don't prune them properly, or fail to water them during a dry season, they will not flourish. They might still produce (assuming they survive) but not so well as they might have, given better care.

I know that I want to make sure during these important years that I am diligently tending my precious "bushes" so they will go on to produce the fruit God has planned for them. I want them to be as abundantly fruitful as these beautiful bushes and to bless others the way these blueberry bushes continue to bless my friend and her family and friends.

In any case, the kids all had a lot of fun, though I think they ate about as many as they picked. That's okay, because my mom, my friend, Tex, and I together picked four bulgingly full gallon-sized ziplock bags of berries with very little effort. Really, the blueberries were hanging like clumps of grapes off of the branches...and truth be told, we barely made a dent in what is there. There were plenty more for the birds to enjoy, and for her other friends and family.

We are like that, too. Even after we have given and given, God, our Master Gardener, makes it possible for us to give even more by properly caring for and pruning us. We all have the potential to bless many people in our lifetime. Even when one season is over, the next season will come and there will be more, and more, and more to give, if we continue to grow.

I would like to thank my friend for being so sweet and generous with what she has. She blessed our family greatly, and I hope that our visit blessed her in return. We are looking forward to making blueberry jam for the first time today or tomorrow, and plan to take her a jar or two when we are finished. I also discovered that out she likes to read some of the same authors I do, so we will hopefully go back soon to share books with her, and jam, the way she shared with us.

Until then, I will have to try to keep Ladybug from eating all the berries. Every fifteen minutes or so she is back at the fridge asking to have more berries. Even after berries yesterday, berries on cereal for breakfast, and berries in yogurt parfaits for lunch, she still has room for more. Amazing.
If we're not careful, she's going to turn into a giant blueberry, just like that girl on Willy Wonka.

She tells me she thinks these blueberries are " so sweet and berry delicious" and she just can't resist them.

But I know the truth...she's the one who is so sweet. I am truly blessed.


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