As soon as I walked toward the pop-up tent at the edge of the Lowe’s parking lot I could smell them. Peaches.
Farm fresh and tree sweetened.
“Do you have any jam peaches?” I asked the older gentleman who had introduced himself as Grover McMurry.
“These look like perfect peaches for a pie, but what I really love is making jam.” I handed him my money and selected a bag that sat on the folding table.
“Well darlin’,” he said with a smile, “I will make sure to cull out any seconds next week for you. I hate to toss them out so if you can use them, you can have them.”
I went home and made a pie out of some of the perfect peaches, but I was already looking forward to the next week when I would hopefully be able to make some jam.
On Saturday afternoon I went back to the same parking lot. Grover McMurry was there, just like the week before. He was talking with another man and when he saw me walking toward then, he waved.
“I was just telling my friend I hoped the gal looking for jam peaches would come back! We have plenty for you,” he stated as he pulled a box from the back of his pick-up truck.
They had set aside all the peaches that were bruised and had bad spots and blemishes on them.
I don’t know what it is about making jam that brings me so much joy, but it does. The ping of the canning lids as they seal, the smell of fruit simmering on the stovetop, tasting the wooden spoon after the last jar is filled, I love it all.
Sure, it is a lot of work, but there is nothing that compares to home-canned jam on fresh bread or biscuits.
As I saw the jars lined up, I was thankful.
I set one aside for Mr. McMurry to repay his kindness and generosity. All the scrumptious jam that would last us through the year had been made with peaches considered unsellable, but far from unusable.
Just like me.
I am not sure what season you are in right now. Maybe everything is going as planned. If so, that is great. But, if you are feeling like this has been a season where you feel a little like those jam peaches ~ bruised and maybe not Pintrest perfect, take heart.
You are not alone.
Being creative means looking beyond the perfection of the fruit in the bag..to the discarded produce in the box.
I guess you could ask yourself if your jam jar is half-empty or half-full :~D
Seeing the row of jars filled with bright peach jam reminded me of a verse in the Old Testament, “Behold I am doing a NEW thing.”
Boy, has this last year been full of NEW things. Moving from California to Tennessee. Becoming official Empty Nesters, having a book contract, and wondering where I really fit in.
I need to think about this season where God is doing a new thing in my life. Not because I am perfect, that is obvious, but because God cares about second chances, just like my jam peaches.