Four summers ago I was living in this great little home in rural southeast Georgia. Matt was training at Officer Candidate School, and I was at home with a 5 year old, a 3 year old and a not-quite-two year old. And we had blueberry bushes!
I know it might seem strange, but I remember that summer as being the most perfect summer I can recall. I was so happy at home with the kids ... we played in the sprinkler and the sandbox and enjoyed playdates at the park. And every evening we picked blueberries off of the bushes in the backyard. Nathan and Julia would eat them straight off the bushes. Joel and I would pick until our bowls were full and our legs were itching from the mosquito bites.
In the mornings, I'd eat cottage cheese with fresh blueberries. I made big batches of blueberry muffins, or filled the kids up on suppers of blueberry pancakes. My mother came to visit and made us a blueberry cobbler. I had friends come over and pick blueberries to take home with them. There were so many blueberries that we really couldn't pick them all.
That fall, we moved to Virginia. My life was really never the same in so many ways. While I know I can never go back and recapture those moments of the precious summer, I have often longed for and even prayed for blueberry bushes in my backyard.
Fast forward to this week ... it's been a hard one. There are a myriad of reasons. We are still living out of boxes and it is so hard for me as a working mom to come home in the evenings and cook dinner and spend time with the kids and still manage to have energy to unpack yet another box. My kids are having a hard time adjusting. After nearly two years, my divorce will be officially final next week. Even though I've come to terms with that situation it is still sort of like a small stab in the heart for divorce was never part of my plan for my life. I'm uncertain about what to do with my job or the kids' schooling. In other words, my life feels like it is in a state of upheaval. And I've been praying for peace ...
Last night I was feeling especially down. I even shed a few tears as I was cleaning up the kitchen from supper. The kids had gone outside to play in the water hose, so I went out to walk the dog and watch them. There is an area of my yard that is secluded on the opposite side of my storage shed. I haven't spent much time over there ... not any reason to really. But last night the dog led me there as she seached for the perfect place to do her business. And that's when I discovered them ...
Blueberry bushes! Four of them, loaded with ripe blueberries! It was like this amazing hug from God. It was as if He leaned right down and put His arms around me and whispered in my ear how much He loved me. Sometimes I think that God is all about just meeting our needs. And yet, sometimes He just takes my breath away when He gives me something like blueberry bushes. I forget that He wants to give us our desires, too.
I think I squealed with delight ... and called for the kids, who ran in the house for bowls. We picked an enormous bowlful, while we talked and sang. Julia, who has been to cheerleading camp all week, made up a little cheer about God and blueberries ... which I thought was the perfect way to express our happy thanks on the surprise gift.
Last night, after I put the kids to bed, I enjoyed a bowl of blueberries. I had another bowl this morning for breakfast. You see, blueberries are quite possibly my favorite food ... I know for sure it is my favorite fruit. I'm looking forward to a summer of basking in God's goodness and love for me with bowl after bowl of delicious blueberries.