The morning sun had just risen over the horizon as I put the last clothespin on the line yesterday morning and headed to the barn to join Jacob and Jennifer and help them finish up the chores. The smell of freshly laundered sheets mingled with the morning breeze and my heart rejoiced in the moment – it was so nice to have a day off and be able to enjoy just being outside in the early morning light instead of hurriedly trying to accomplish mundane daily tasks so I can spend the day at a desk.
After chores, we hoed and picked the garden. Some people may view garden chores as work, but it is a respite for my work-weary spirit, and although it may happen every year, I am always at awe as to how such tiny seeds produce so much abundance.
This year the drought has truly revealed my limitations in this process – were I ever to think for a moment that my actions might control the outcome – and I am even more grateful for the harvest. This record breaking drought has left us with far less garden produce than we usually harvest, but looking at the baskets of cucumbers, peppers and squash, I was actually thankful that we didn’t have beans and peas to put up in addition to the produce we had already picked. Were we to have beans and peas, I would be grateful, but I am blessed that our table is not reliant upon them for our sustenance.
I love working in the garden, but the real work begins when we try to preserve the harvest. Jennifer and I spent most of the reminder of the day in the kitchen. Although I don’t particularly like working in the kitchen, I was so thankful for the opportunity to work alongside my daughter, and I realized as we worked that we were preserving another harvest – one not grown in the garden or raised at the barn. While we chopped and peeled and mixed and canned, we listened to praise and gospel music, and there in the kitchen as we lifted our voices in song my heart spilled over with joy and praise. We sang about the sacrifice of praise, but my thoughts were that this was no sacrifice – this was my joy! My feet wanted to dance and my lips could not sing loud enough of my gladness. I am so blessed – I have a daughter who joyfully helps me preserve the harvest; a son who willingly gives of his time to pick; a harvest in the midst of a drought; and a God whose goodness is indescribable that allows us to reap a harvest of joy and preserve it with praise!Our garden harvest is plentiful, but the real harvest cannot be see or measured!