Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Big & Small

Some may view this blog entry as silly but I don't care.  The truth of the matter is that I didn't write it for you anyway.  I wrote it for me so during those tough days I can look back and remember God's provision and attention to detail.

I remember packing for camp one summer and having problems locating sheets.  I complained to my Mom and she told me to pray about it. Pray about it?  Really?  God is too busy to care about me finding sheets to take to camp.  I looked for two days.  Finally I gave in.  

"God, it's me again.  Mama says to pray to You about all things.  I think that means the big things and not about simple things like finding sheets for camp.  I still think asking You is silly and wasting Your time but I'm going to ask You anyways because Mama said to.  Hope You're not mad. Amen."

I went back to the same closet that I had searched high and low over for the past two days.  There in plain view were the sheets that I needed.  In the words of Mama, "if it were a snake, it'd bite you".  I learned a very valuable lesson that day.  Number 1: God cares about the little things and the big things.  Number 2:  Listen to Mama more often.

I tell you that story to tell you this one but first you need to know some basic things about making jelly.  Making jelly isn't hard, just time consuming.  Mom taught me to freeze the juice in "batches".  (A batch is however many cups of juice needed for that particular type of jelly.)  That way if I only want to make a couple of batches, I only have to defrost two bags and I'm good to go.  Normally you'll always have a bag that doesn't have a full batch so you'll have a remnant bag that you have to wait to use with another remnant bag.  Another issue is the salvage jar.  When pouring out a batch of jelly, you may not have enough to fill a complete jar.  So you put a jar to the side to use for all of those last drops of jelly from each batch.  It's not a pretty jar because you'll see the lines from each batch.

I was given five 1 gallon bags of frozen blackberries.  I had never done blackberry before so this was a real treat.  They almost wouldn't all fit in my Mehu liisa (jelly juicing pot).  I did two cookings of the berries and they produced a lot of juice!  I didn't want any to go to waste.  Once again I remembered the lesson learned from the sheets so before I started I prayed that God would provide an even amount of batches.  He provided eight perfect batches...EIGHT!!!!  
Full to the gills!
1st pot full of juice with more to come

Towards the end I prayed that God would provide an even amount of jars because I just didn't want to have to deal with an ugly salvage jar.  He provided 45 half pint jars (8 oz) and 25 4 oz jars of blackberry jelly.  I am thrilled!

I can't help but smile at that memory from long ago.  Not only am I thankful that God cares about the big and small things in life but for also giving me a wise Mama to teach me through her words and actions how important it is to go to God for all things.  Big or small...good or bad...no matter your mood or state of mind...24 hours a day, 365 days a year...God is there for His children and He still answers prayer.   

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