COLUMN: Look for the strawberry in every situation


So, we continue in this semi-quarantine? And for how much longer?  I hope you are being very selective as to where you are going and with whom you are going!

How many picnics have you had outside so you could visit with your friends? We did meet a couple last Friday for inside dining for supper, and it was so pleasant. Jim and Linda came Sunday night for supper, and we enjoyed their fellowship so very much.  You know I need people on a regular basis.

Bethany and Alex enjoyed a vacation for a few days last week compliments of his Dad. Caleb learned quickly not to put sand in his mouth. He has learned to say bye bye and is sweet to hear him. As you know, it is so encouraging to see young children begin to use their brain.

We hope to see them this weekend. We continue to praise the Lord that He arranged for them to be here when all of this virus mess began and continues. I know they are safest wherever God wants them to be, but this mama is so thankful to be able to see them on this side of the ocean.

I do hope you are counting your blessings for large and small things during this time.  Look for the strawberry in every situation. Speaking of strawberries, I have made two jars of strawberry jam so far. Several weeks ago, Kelly Duke Vann gave me several dozen jelly jars she found at her grandmother’s house.  I have really enjoyed filling them too!  I use the low sugar pectin and only add 2 cups of sugar instead of the usual 5-7 cups.  When you add that much sugar you only taste sweet, not the fruit.

Another former student, Stephanie Caughman Amick is making jelly with dandelion flowers. She is such a student of the earth!  She told me how but I think I will pass on that flavor for now. Let me know if you want to learn how to make jelly. 

Speaking of sweet things, in the book of Philemon, Paul tells us “For we have great joy and consolation in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother.” I am sure he means women as well! 

So, I say to each of us, do we refresh the hearts of those around us or the opposite? We know the old saying, “All people please us; some by their coming and some by their going!” I would pray it would be the first phrase and not the second. When folks see us coming, do they automatically think good and not the oh no, not her?

When people see your children, what do they think? We all know children who have been taught to have manners are much more appreciated than those who have not been taught how to behave. Children will always rise to the occasion, so be sure you have taught them well how to behave.

Now is a great time to rehearse with your children some sweet manners.  Sad to say, but some adults don’t have good manners, so it would be a challenge to teach what you don’t know, right? Be sensitive to the ways people behave and develop positive actions and responses.

Remember my sharing with you how Joshua responded to his teacher about the cookies she had made?  Instead of blurting out “I don’t like them!”  he simply said, “It’s not my favorite.”  If we could learn to say the right things at the right time.  Oh, that is a lesson I am still learning! 

Hope to see you around town soon.