I had to chuckle when I saw the thanksgiving task for today. Give thanks for 3 things reaped. By no stretch of the imagination could it be said that I have a green thumb. In fact a person once gave me a plant and said, “don’t worry, I have already performed the last rites.” But there are more things reaped than what we plant and nurture with our own hands.
1. I give thanks for the reaping that is evident all around me. While a lot of areas in Canada and the States have suffered severe damage because of the prolonged hot summer, where I live has seen a nice amount of rain. Even an hour east of here, the remarkable difference in the health of the crop is disheartening. So while I pray for all those farmers whose fields are parched and who may have lost livestock to the heat, I do also give thanks for the reaping that means the corn and the soybeans are coming safely off and being stored until the time of sale. I also give thanks that God’s hand is evident, even in the drought and the famine. I will never forget the lesson I learned one day talking with a farmer who struggled to farm in the 1930’s in Alberta. He said, “we knew we were blessed if we had enough crop that we could sow in the spring”. Sowing and reaping are such an act of trust in God. May all those who have sown, and those who are able to reap be aware of the blessing that God has for them.
2. Farm stand tomatoes. I am not really a tomato fan. But as I wandered through the stalls at the market a few weeks ago I saw the biggest reddest beautiful tomatoes. I bought 4. Then I bought some slab bacon, and that together with a couple of onions came out in a dish of stewed tomatoes that reminded me of home. When we reap that which brings us home, it is a true joy. I am thinking not only of the joy that brought me back to my mother’s cooking and family times around the table, but I also am thinking about those things that we reap that remind us of our true home.
3. Those things that I have reaped that remind me of my true home with God are the amazing friends in Christ whom God has given me. I am always profoundly grateful for them, and for the opportunities to connect with them. Sometimes given our time zone differences we have to make appointments for a good long talk, sometimes we nurture the friendship with only a quick note via e-mail. Through it all we have shed tears, spoken encouragement, made Ma Bell wealthy and grown into deep and trusting relationships. I am reminded that we reap what we sow, and I am extremely grateful that I have sown seeds of friendships that have multiplied and returned a hundred-fold. Thanks be to God.
4…..I know I know, I shouldn’t be such an overachiever, but this is pure whimsy and makes a grandmother’s heart happy. My daughter, who takes after both her grandmothers, has taken up gardening. She and my oldest grandson have enjoyed the time in the garden, uprooting the carrots (they ate a lot of roasted baby carrots) and learning about growth. What he talks about all the time is the pumpkin that he has growing in the back yard and how it will soon be ready to pick and that then he will decorate it for Halloween. Because I am going to be visiting with them at Halloween, when I asked him if I could help with the pumpkin he said in that voice of a 3 year old encountering an epiphany, “Yeah Grammie we can make the pumpkin together.” I am so going to enjoy the reaping of my grandson’s pumpkin.
To learn more about the 31 days to crazy joy, see Ann Voskamp’s blog: http://www.aholyexperience.com/crazy-joy/