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Musings from the mountains

Good morning, dear friends! What a good night of sleep I enjoyed. Another precious memory made in the family. God is good to me. His love is lavish! His faithfulness encourages me and reminds me that all good things come from His hand. I know I did nothing deserving.

Last evening, our family gathered for our yearly potato raising. I sort of had an idea that the potatoes hadn’t done well, due to our moving from the farm and our neglect of them. Goodness, over the summer, it was difficult to even see the plants for all the weeds! I sort of knew. What I also knew was that I could not wait to make a new memory with my family. So many of our grandchildren came, carrying buckets in anticipation of finding the biggest potato. At one point, I counted 22 grandchildren, ranging from ages 1 through 18. The older ones took turns riding on the back of the tractor, holding down the plow. Behind the tractor that pap was driving, were a bunch of little ones, just waiting for the potatoes to be unearthed. It seemed there was much anticipation, with maybe a bit of competition going on behind the tractor.

Up and down that field the train of little ones went. As an occasional potato surfaced, you would have thought they found gold. Disheartened as I was about the lack of potatoes, may I just say that my heart was full. My little grandchildren had no clue that this wasn’t normal. They must have forgotten how in previous years, the potatoes rolled out of the soil in such a way that they could hardly keep up. Not this year, but they hadn’t even taken notice to that.

By the time we finished, or should I say that we simply gave up looking for potatoes, well, I’ll just say that we did not find as many as we originally planted. Bummer! I guess what we have is gold after all!

Our tradition then, is to sit down and have pizza following the digging. We had seven pizzas, three gallons of iced tea, a case of Pepsi, and three big bags of Hartley’s (no family gathering is complete without the chips). Once we all gathered around the food and had prayer, I asked the grandkids, “What did you learn from this tonight?” A few had answers about maybe planting the potatoes in another spot. Jokes were made that maybe we should consider weeding them, but those weren’t the answers I was looking for. I heard the oldest grandson whisper to a sibling and knew that he had caught on to what I was searching for. I told the kids that it didn’t matter whether we got five pounds of potatoes or five hundred pounds. What mattered was that we had another chance to get together and make memories. Potatoes were few, but there sure was no lack of joy and laughter. There was only family love and delight in being together. I am blessed beyond measure. This memory will be etched in my mind and keep me warm all throughout the coming year. Lesson learned…make time to weed and fertilize the potatoes, and remember to be so grateful to God for blessings I surely did nothing to receive.

This old grandma needed this occasion for love and laughter. Life isn’t always this way. Without going into too much detail, I’ll just say that one of our children is recovering from severe Covid that turned to pneumonia. In addition to this, one of our grandsons nearly drowned in the ocean this past week. At one point during these trials, I was tempted to cry out to the Lord, “When, God, when is enough?” Instead, I bowed my head and breathed out a grateful “Thank You, Lord, my child is healing and my grandson is alive!” These hard things have a way of humbling me and making me remember, again, that the blessings in my life will come and go, but God is the One constant Father I can count on through all of my life.

I may have mentioned that recently, our Bible study group began a new study. Stormie Omartian wrote a book years ago entitled, “Just Enough Light for the Step I’m On…Trusting God in the Tough Times”. Light, God’s Light, is the central theme of this book. Stormie mentions that often God allows us to get into hard places so that we recognize our need of Him. It is in those times of desperation we reach for Him. I attest to this! Last evening was a beautiful gift to my soul, sharing family love. The Lord knew I so needed this, right behind a very difficult time of suffering in my family. The fact is, God gives us just enough light for the step we are on, and the one we need to take next. He has carved a path from where we are to where we need to be, and when we finally recognize Him in all of our circumstances, and reach for more of Him, whether in thanksgiving for the blessings or in desperation from the pain, He is faithful. He can be trusted and He will lead us to the path He’s cut out for us. We simply put our hand in His and cry out, “Abba, Father!” and He comes…He shows up in our sickness. He comes to rescue on the beach. He’s especially near in the potato patch. Whether the harvest was great or not, doesn’t matter. The blessings of family are abundant and treasured, always.

Lord, thank You for the family You’ve blessed me with. I am so undeserving, but so grateful. Help me to live out the rest of my days with joy that leads others to You. I trust You, Jesus to hold my hand and my heart and lead me on…to the path You have carved out for me. You are Provider, and You are Healer. Your faithful love endures through all generations. Thank You for Your Light in my life…just enough for the step I’m on today. In Jesus’ name, I pray, with a grateful heart. Amen.

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