Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering Gods grace in its various forms.

1 Peter 4:9-10

Saturday, August 14, 2010

On Being Productive

The Bible says the following about productivity:

To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,' "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.  By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return." 
Genesis 3:17-19 (NIV)

Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.
Proverbs 6:6-8 (NIV) 

Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives.
Titus 3:14 (NIV)

Clearly through the folly of Adam and Eve, God has charged us to work hard for our food.  We must labor and toil to get the hard land to respond to us and give up its fruits.  Maybe this is why it is so satisfying when we see the results of all our hard work.  Harvest season is beginning here in Maine and evokes in me a sense of hope and feeling of a job well done.  We have been truly blessed this year and I've been working hard thinking of creative ways to preserve all our garden-y goodness. I've started canning tomatoes and making sauce.  Next I'm hoping to have enough Romas harvested to try a batch of paste - I'm super excited about this!  We are big red sauce eaters in this family and in the winter it's so nice to trot down cellar and grab a tasty jar of homemade sauce to brighten up a dull day.  I think of the ant proverb when I look at our growing collection of homemade goodies.  

I remember the last year before my mum passed was a banner year for their garden.  My mum was a country girl from way back and canned, processed, froze and preserved everything she could get her hands on.  I have a picture from that year of the pantry shelving packed full of that years harvest.  When she passed away the following year there was more than just her presence missing.  We were missing her busy-ness, her constant productivity in providing for her family, whether it be standing by the stove cooking whatever that days meal was or flouring her bread board to knead some freshly made dough.  As the next several years went by, that full pantry diminished and with each jar consumed we thought of the wonderful woman who worked so hard for us.  Finally I was left with a few precious jars of my favorite thing - canned green beans.  I hesitated each time I wanted to open the last one, wanting to save it for a special occasion.  In the end, I added it to a simple meal and savored the last bites, knowing it would be the last thing I would ever have that was made by her loving hands. My mother was a servant to the end and went home to her Lord in December 1993. 

Now when I can and preserve my harvests, I always think of her in this same kitchen, slaving over a hot stove with the pressure cooker ticking and hissing next to her.  The kitchen is alive again with the sights and scents of another harvest year.  My counters are heavy with zucchini marmalade, wild black cherry jelly, tomato sauce, pounds of nearly ripe tomatoes, several long cukes and a pile of zucchini!  We're waiting on the green beans to kick in - they're coming, too, we've already had a meal with some freshly picked.  We also have onion and potatoes for later in the season.  Each year we add something else, next year I'm hoping for garlic, bell peppers and carrots - we'll have to see!

In the meantime, I'm striving to follow the Lord's commands from Proverbs and Titus - to work hard and not live an unproductive life.

Stay safe and God bless you on this gorgeous weekend!

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Books on Tap for 2011

  • Knit Together - Debbie Macomber
  • Captured by Grace - Dr. David Jeremiah
  • Murder Most Foul - A Collection of Great Crime Stories
  • Fireproof - Eric Wilson
  • There's Something About Christmas - Debbie Macomber
  • Questioning Evangelism - Randy Newman
  • Murder Uncorked - Michele Scott
  • A Sacred Sorrow - Michael Card
  • Prayer: Does it Make any Difference? - Philip Yancey
  • Get Out of That Pit - Beth Moore

Books Read in 2011

  • What a Sista Should Do - Tiffany L. Warren
  • 90 Minutes in Heaven - Don Piper
  • Forgotten God - Francis Chan
  • The Purpose Driven Life - Rick Warren
  • Dead Reckoning - Charlaine Harris
  • Shadowfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Chill Factor - Sandra Brown
  • Heaven Has a Blue Carpet - Sharon Niedzinski
  • Dreamfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Wednesday Sisters - Meg Waite Clayton
  • Stealing Home - Sherryl Woods
  • Bound for Murder - Laura Childs
  • Bloodfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Faefever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Darkfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Under Her Skin - Susan Mallery
  • The Red Pyramid - Rick Riordan
  • No Wonder They Call Him Saviour - Max Lucado
  • I Still Dream About You - Fannie Flagg
  • I Am Number Four - Pittacus Lore
  • The Last Olympian - Rick Riordan
  • Spider Bones - Kathy Reichs
  • A Thread So Thin - Marie Bostwick
  • The Battle of the Labyrinth - Rick Riordan
  • The Search - Nora Roberts
  • The Titan's Curse - Rick Riordan
  • Wicked Appetite - Janet Evanovich
  • The Sea of Monsters - Rick Riordan
  • Awakened - PC & Kristen Cast
  • The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan
  • Photo Finished - Larua Childs
  • Keepsake Crimes - Laura Childs
  • Sizzling Sixteen - Janet Evanovich
  • The Icing on the Cupcake - Jennifer Ross
  • Fleece Navidad - Maggie Sefton
  • Dyer Consequences - Maggie Sefton
  • The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree - Susan Wittig Albert
  • Heaven Has a Blue Carpet - Sharon Niedzinski
  • Dreamfever - Karen Marie Moning

Books Read in 2010

  • The Yada Yado Prayer Group - Netta Jackson
  • Silver Borne - Patricia Briggs
  • The Hole in Our Gospel - Richard Stearns
  • A Winter Marriage - Kerry Hardie
  • So Long, Insecurity - Beth Moore
  • Knit the Season - Kate Jacobs
  • Dead and Berried - Karen MacInerney
  • Murder on the Rocks - Karen MacInerney
  • where do i go - Netta Jackson
  • be sweet - diane hunt
  • The Lost Symbol - Dan Brown
  • Raven - Allison Van Deipen
  • Push (Precious) - sapphire
  • Faces of the Gone - Brad Parks
  • The Lace Reader - Brunonia Barry
  • Burning Lamp - Amanda Quick
  • Fired Up - Jayne Ann Krentz
  • The School of Essential Ingredients - Erica Bauermeister
  • Matters Arising - Sarah Harrison
  • The Sheen on the Silk - Anne Perry
  • I Saw the Lord - Anne Graham Lotz
  • The Dangerous Protector - Janet Chapman
  • The Seduction of His Wife - Janet Chapman
  • Re-reading all the Tintin graphic novels - Herge
  • The Sugar Queen - Sarah Addison Allen
  • the last time i saw you - Elizabeth Berg
  • Garden Spells - Sarah Addison Allen
  • Wild Ride - Jennifer Crusie & Bob Mayer
  • Dead in the Family - Charlaine Harris
  • The Girl Who Chased the Moon - Sarah Addison Allen
  • Grave Secret - Charlaine Harris
  • Crawl Space - Sarah Graves
  • The Honey Thief - Elizabeth Graver
  • The Otherworldlies - Jennifer Anne Kogler
  • Saving CeeCee Honeycutt - Beth Hoffman
  • A Face at the Window - Sarah Graves
  • Draycott Eternal - Christina Skye
  • Shelter Mountain - Robin Carr
  • Virgin River - Robyn Carr
  • Death by Cashmere - Sally Goldenbaum
  • An Ice Cold Grave - Charlaine Harris
  • Grave Surprise - Charlaine Harris
  • Grave Sight - Charlaine Harris