Saturday, July 9, 2011

Turning Curses into Blessings

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.


  1. What a good post! Thank you for helping me to remember to look at blessings instead of complaining when I am given those opportunities.

  2. Yes, having this sort of perspective really does help you get through *those* days. I know I was up weeding the raspberries the other day thinking - "How will I EVER get through all of these weeds?" But then I remembered something my mother taught me - don't look at the big overall picture, just concentrate on what's in front of you, and before you know it, the job is finished! And she was right. When I pulled that last weed and looked at my heaping piles that are now being fed to the sheep and chickens - well, there is just a sense of satisfaction that I took on a big job and finished it. And the best part....we can now get to those yummy raspberries! And I found that working along side my children (meaning YOU!) was so much more fun than doing the chores alone. We always had such good conversations. So having your children working along side of you (yes, even when they may pick too many apples) is fun and they too may someday have their own little gardens of Eden in their own backyards. Love you my little farm girl.

  3. We women need to be reminded of this perspective often. daily. Hourly sometimes. "Oh, I hate scrubbing the toilet" or "I'm glad I have a toilet to scrub and not chamber pots" or "I'm happy to have the physical strength to make a clean home for my family." If you figure out a way to make this mindset stick permanently, let me know (Though I know given human nature, that's impossible)

  4. Great reminder Krista :) thanks for sharing the post!! I want to say more, but my brain is not functioning....

  5. Thanks for the "hair" links. I really really like the first one. I'd seen Casey's too, but wondering if my hair is too short / thin for that. I should try it anyway. :) Thanks!!

  6. Great post! Thinning the apples??? Um, yeah didn't know you're supposed to do that. Guess I better learn more. Also thanks for the link about making pectin! I have a crap apple tree that would be perfect for that.

    Miss you!