Stop and Pick the Blueberries

I have this huge blueberry bush behind my house. We discovered it a few years ago and it seems to give more blueberries each year. My family members take turns picking them every few days in the hot summer months, and it still feels like we never get them all. Even with baskets full, it still looks like we don’t even make a dent.

While I love blueberries and the abundance of them on that bush, I do not exactly love picking them. I do love when someone is out there to help me though. It makes the time pass quicker and I don’t think about the sweat gathering on my neck quite as much.

I love sharing the bounty with others. We give them to family and friends because there is just way too much for us to keep to ourselves. Sometimes I beg people to come pick, haha!

This year, I did go picking by myself one day. It was a beautiful morning, and if you know me, I prefer not to wake up until mid-morning. I’m just not a morning person. But on this particular day, I decided to get up with my husband before he went to work and do our devotions together. We fixed coffee and had a wonderful moment learning about God and praying to Him.

After he left for work, I decided to go pick blueberries before heading to work myself. During the summers I work more at my father’s business, and I have flexibility with my hours. As I headed to the blueberries with my bright pink popcorn bowl (I hadn’t yet invested in a better blueberry picking bucket yet), I turned on some music and went to work picking.

In the earlier part of the mornings, it isn’t quite so hot. The breeze was blowing and my bucket slowly but surely grew heavier as I made my way around the gigantic monster of berries. As I worked, I kept thinking on how beautiful the morning had been, and how amazing God is and always will be, no matter what. While I didn’t have physical human beings I could reach out and touch, God was with me that morning as I picked. That blueberry bush has been such a blessing to my family. Not only do we have delicious berries, but it has become a time for bonding and sharing. I also thought about the great conversations that have been held while we fill our buckets and hearts from the quality time.

Instead of feeling lonely while picking by myself, I felt grateful for that time to reflect on God’s goodness and the blessing of quiet moments surrounded by His creation. I thanked Him for my family, the moments during the summer as we collect fruit and vegetables, and for the smiles on faces as we sit down to eat what He has provided for us. One of my favorite smiles is when my niece Amelia cries out for more “berries.” She just loves those blueberries!

Now, I’ve already confessed that I’m not exactly a morning person, but that morning I was. It was nice to get up early and have so much of my day ahead of me. I’ve experienced God moments throughout all different types of the day, but I’m starting to think mornings may be my new favorite way to experience Him. It starts my day off with a strong foundation. The Book of Psalms even agrees: “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days” (90: 14). But on that morning, there was another reason (unknown to me at the time) I was to get up early and fill up on God’s Word. It was to prepare me for what was to come later that day.

In the past when I received not so stellar and sometimes downright horrible news, I don’t react the best way. Who does? I’ve kicked things, slammed doors, screamed at the sky, and shut the world out to disappear in darkness where my mind wanders far away. I don’t have a great track record.

When I got to work that morning, I received some not so great news. I think I even knew what was coming before I even heard it. My whole morning was God preparing me for that news by recharging my soul and filling up on His word to give me strength. Even though I didn’t rejoice at the news, I did not sprint away from it (I have been known to just get in my car and leave when disaster strikes). My blueberry bucket filled and prayers grounded me, and reminded me that God is there to see us through what lies ahead.

My God is an awesome God, and He can do anything. I believe in the power of prayer, and I am thankful for that morning. I am thankful for that blueberry bush. I am thankful for my family. I am blessed to be a child of God, because without Him, I would truly crumble in the face of bad news.

Psalm 90: 1-2 reads “Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” We are never alone while picking blueberries or when we walk through trials. I dwell in God’s love and the creation He made for us to live out our days.

Some may get angry at God when one receives news about sickness, loss, financial troubles, pandemics, and any other news that makes the heart ache. Sometimes we get mad at the messenger. The best way to face times of strife and unfortunate, devastating circumstances is to talk to God. Lean on Him and His Word. He is everlasting and will never leave our side. We are the ones who run from Him. He provides for what we need, and He places people in our lives to help us get through those tough moments. He is always there, ready to listen. Sometimes He nudges us to start our days earlier, pick some blueberries, and marvel at all the things He created and can do.

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