Every summer when my oldest granddaughter comes to visit, she loves to pick black raspberries with me. Usually we have enough to keep our tummies full while picking, pile them high on our morning cereal throughout the month of June and still are able to freeze about 30 pints to enjoy throughout the winter. We’ve done this since she was born–about a decade ago. Two summer ago I noticed that about a third of my plants were dead so I pulled them all out, bagged them and hauled them away. Last summer half my plants were dead and we only got enough berries for the month of June and a dozen pints to freeze. I discovered that we had an orange rust that hides in the roots during the winter to ruin the spring crop. Fruit experts in the area that I have spoken to tell me there is nothing I can do, but plant new plants in a completely different area of the yard. There is nothing that will kill the fungus that they know of.
Saturday my son came to visit me with two raspberry plants in his hands. He told me that they are the first of my new patch. I smiled. He doesn’t want his daughter to lose the memory of picking raspberries at his grandmother’s house. I smiled back. In the background my husband was already planning where and how to begin a new patch. While I was at work the next day, my husband got his gardening tools out of the little shed we keep them in and he dug a hole for the two raspberry bushes. My mouth hung open when I saw the hole!
The plants have to be two to three feet apart and set in soil at a depth of 9 inches. We will be filling the hole my husband dug with very rich topsoil to replace the two inches of topsoil, half a foot of ashes and another foot of shingles and garbage that my husband removed while digging the hole. He was quite surprised what was underneath our grass! Our new raspberry plants should be very happy far from the orange rust and in their new rich topsoil! Our plan is that they be anchored securely so they can grow and spread around the south side of our house.
This morning’s devotions ended with Proverbs 12:3b (NLT), “Only the godly have deep roots.” I presume that Solomon was seeing rootedness as a symbol of strength in this verse. Mark Buchanan in his book Spiritual Rhythm says rootedness can present a mixed picture. ” Sometimes rootedness is an alibi for doing nothing, going nowhere. Sometimes it’s a failure to dream and take risks. Sometimes it’s a way of justifying a life of complacency….(p. 260) Yes, sometimes there is orange fungus in those roots. As I look to Jesus during this time of Lent and realize that He’s made me “without blemish and free from accusation” (Colossians 1: 22) through the blood He shed on the cross that paid for my sins, I want to use the rootedness He’s given me to bear much fruit. I want there to be enough fruit for now, for the next meal, for tomorrow and even some stored up for the winter. I want Him to show me if I have any lurking orange fungus that would limit my yield, and, if so, be willing to make the changes needed and begin again.
Today I am thankful :
#61 for my son who treasures family traditions
#62 for my granddaughter who shares her summer with me
#63 for my husband for doing all the foundation work to make family traditions a reality
#64 for healing in my body (both physical and spiritual)
#65 for the change of seasons
#65 for blog friends whose comments help me grow and nurture my soul
#66 that Ann Voskamp’s book is a bestseller
#67 that I am finally able to say the verses in Colossians correctly that I kept getting mixed up
May you have a sense of victory in one area of your life today,