Friday, September 21, 2012

Come Ye Thankful People

No politics or theological controversies today. Just a thankful heart.

As most people know, the Midwest and much of the key agricultural areas of the U.S. have been in an extreme drought this summer. Entering into fall, it hasn't been looking much better. We are getting a bit of rain in northern Illinois today, for which I am thankful.

The two lovely quart mason jars you see to the right are full of freshly made salsa with tomatoes, peppers, cilantro etc. out of my garden. The garden didn't do too well this year in some things. The spinach didn't come up. The carrots didn't grow. The potatoes were sparse. The radishes were too hot to eat. The corn produced better than I expected, but due to illness in the family, we forgot about it in the refrigerator and it molded before we could get it processed. But we did get a couple of meals out of it before that happened.

The bright spots were the zucchini and cucumbers, which were prolific. The lettuce was plentiful early on. And the tomatoes really produced, much to my surprise. I don't know if the drought had anything to do with it (and we did water), but the flavor was much more intense than usual, and when canned—either just plain tomatoes or in salsa form as above—the deep red color was/is just gorgeous!

Times are getting harder. Mom and I are having to tighten the belt and try to be much more careful with our money and resources. We canned as much as we could. It's kind of sad because canning seems to be increasingly a lost art. My generation and younger basically says, "I don't have time for that stuff," or "Why waste time with that when I can go to the store and get it." They'll never learn that food tastes so much better when you've grown it yourself and worked to produce it, with prayers for God's abundant blessing. As always, whether we're talking about souls or produce, "He causes the growth."

So, folks, I am thankful. There were plusses and minuses, but we managed to gather far more than I thought we would. God is good. Come ye thankful people come, raise the song of harvest home. All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin."

Life is so much better when we have thankful hearts, even if we don't have much. God provides and takes care of His own. Sometimes I think many of us don't have greater abundance because we couldn't handle it. We'd begin depending on ourselves instead of on the Lord as He intends for His people. May it never be in my life.

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