Saturday, September 15, 2012

Canning Season

Do you know how hard it is to type, one-handed, with peach juice dribbling down your forearm?  I'm trying really hard to hold this amazingly delicious fruit away from the keyboard so I don't juice the computer.  Somehow I think bad things would happen.

I tucked in all of the kidlets.  The kitchen is clean.  Trent is watching a ball game with his dad.  The house is quiet.  It has been such an incredible day, and my heart is full to bursting.  All of the above means that I deserve a treat.  I wander into the kitchen and find vegetable soup from dinner, some leftover pasta that wasn't really good the first time, a few cold waffles, and half a tub of Cool Whip.  Tempting...  But as I walk over to the drawer to get me a big spoon, I saw the fruit bowl holding these huge, luscious-smelling, ripe-to-perfection peaches.  Sold on the peaches.

I love peaches.  I love them fresh, I love them in jam, I love them bottled.  There is not much more beautiful than rows of freshly-bottled sunshine sitting on the counter.  It's a lot of work to pick and wash the fruit.  I actually hate blanching and peeling the slippery devils, but the slicing and pitting isn't too bad.  The whole kitchen gets hot and muggy and miserable.  But it is so worth it, on a cold, bleak winter day, to open a bottle of peaches and savor the taste of summer again.

I had the opportunity to go to a conference tonight and hear a speaker talk about how marriage was like bottling fruit.  He told us that the Lord gives us an amazing gift when we are married: an empty bottle.  He will seal it for us, to keep our love forever fresh and our marriage delicious through the eternities.  But first we have to fill the bottle.

I think I first filled my bottle with twitterpation and excitement.  After that comes a gradual torrent of shared experiences.  But is my fruit sweet?  Am I trying to bottle up resentment or martyrdom?  Have I included the green fruit of unrealistic expectations, or the over-ripe mush of anger?  Even a little bit of bitterness will ruin my preserves.

Tonight, I'm taking careful inventory of my marriage recipe.  I think it needs some adjusting.  I'll put on my apron, roll up my sleeves, and get to work.  I'm sure I can find more natural sweetness around here somewhere!  And when I'm done, the Lord will seal it up and keep it pure forever.

It's canning season - what are you preserving?

(edit:  I found another story of the empty jar here - it's worth a read!)

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