Monday, July 19, 2010

Pucker up

4:51 p.m. Today's project was to head over to Redlands so Steve could help my dad with trimming his trees. At 83, my dad has a couple of acres of former orange groves, and needs occasional assistance in addition to his weekly landscaper's chores. Daddy also likes to give Steve the opportunity to work, and without being asked or expected to, pays him well.

We always make sure to spend some time visiting in Daddy's kitchen. With all of his grandkids and great-grandkids, we never lack conversation. In fact, my nephew Brady, an aspiring tv commercial actor and screenwriter in Hollywood, visited with his grandpa yesterday. Proverbs 17:6 says, "Children's children are the crown of old men," and a crown for us grannies, too! I really do feel rewarded as a parent, because the range of personalities and talents of my five children and two grandsons have been a source of wonder from the day each one was born! It is so exciting now that my kids are in their 20's and 30's to see how they have turned out--so far. Just keep in mind that none of our stories will have been completely told until the very day we leave this earth!

You and I who are believers in Christ are living in the light of Philippians 1:6, "being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. " At age almost-59, I look forward to learning new skills, dusting off old ones, and starting new ministries at any time the Lord calls and people express a need suited to the gifts God has given me!
In that venturous vein, I am going to make dill pickles tomorrow, with some help from my daughter if she's able to be home. I have all the ingredients here in the kitchen, and if I can scare up 12 cloves of garlic, they'll be Kosher dills, my favorite. My garden's cucumbers are huge, and the three of us are not that likely to just slice and eat all of them, so into the boiling water bath they go! I may be able to get away with fewer cloves of garlic because I only have 8 half pint jars, two of which will be filled with the tomato sauce I made yesterday. (The two products have the same processing time).
As I was looking through the pickling section of my 40 year old Joy of Cooking, I was filled with a modicum of dread because of many lengthy processes, not to mention health warnings of all kinds. Since it has been over 35 years since my last attempt, I was wondering if I'm up to the task. Then I flipped over to the last page, and saw the recipe for dill pickles and voila! They are tons easier than all the rest!! Thank you, Lord!! We'll be happily "puckering up" after the pickles sit for a few weeks, without the preparation being a two-day ordeal.
My dad would say to my sister and me, whenever we were nervous about trying something new, whether learning to drive, or trying out for a choir solo, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained!" With the Lord, I find a better version: venture all for Christ, and receive eternal life beyond description, and abundant life today, beyond belief!

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