Summer is in full swing around here, which mean all of those lovely homesteading activities I fondly dreamed about are actually happening. My thoughts are not so fond now.
My internal monologue hit a swearing peak yesterday while my hair kept getting snagged in the twigs of our apple tree during thinning. As soon as I thought, "Man, why do we have SO MANY apples, I wish we had less," I knew I needed to shift my thinking or risk losing my sanity.
I could curse the fact that we had so many apples to thin out, and the future crop that will need preserving will be so large. Ditto the pears.
Or I can feel blessed because I'll have green apples just in time to make pectin for my raspberry jam. And I'm blessed to have new friends to share my apple crop with, making it manageable and blessing others. Also, how grateful I am to have future food assured and plenty of cool garage space to store fresh apples. Ditto the pears.
I could curse the fact that we planted so much garden this year it was hard to get to it all, and now all our greens are going to seed and turning bitter.
Or I can feel blessed for this opportunity to learn how to eat things out of my comfort zone. I'm grateful for fresh eggs from our hens and nitrate-free bacon from the store that makes eating greens more enjoyable. Also it's a joy to discover that some radishes bloom purple and feel excited for the seeds that are forming to preserve our heirlooms for next season. And now it's time to plant our fall crop, which is fabulous because here in the Pacific Northwest the best gardens are in fall.
I can curse the fact that because of all the things that need to be done I don't always have enough attention to devote to my kids.
Or I can feel blessed for this chance for my children to grow, for them to learn that they don't always need their mommy to play. They are finding joy in working with me (if I can look past the apples that Doozer unnecessarily thinned) and discovering that preserving the harvest can be fun and tasty. They are learning about priorities, and that there are other people in the world besides them. What a wonderful lesson!
In Genesis the Lord tells us that the ground was cursed for our sake. Well, I have learned something new today. A curse is just a blessing looked at from the wrong end. I am naturally a lazy person, so getting the initial gumption to start a new project is daunting. But there is so much joy in finishing it! Not just the first glow of success, but every time I grab another jar of blackberry jam or pull a homemade shirt over BuggaBoo's head or gather eggs from our well-built hen house I have continuing happiness and pride.
We are not a privileged family in the familiar sense, but when I look around me I see my world overflowing with blessings.