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One Year From Now

Life with a preemie #23

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Life at the White House is currently very peach-y. Anyone that has been keeping up to date on my FB posts the last 36 hours or so knows that we brought home close to 100 pounds of peaches yesterday, all FREE. (Side note: Jeremy was eating a peach last night and I asked him what he thought. He said "FREE tastes very good.") So last night and this afternoon I've been busy processing peaches - peeling, slicing, and freezing, as well as canning peaches and making some peach jam. Knowing there was no way I could handle that many peaches all by myself,  I gave away a big box worth to another family that does a lot of canning and preserving. I'm going to be handling these peaches for several days, I'm sure.

Although it's neat to talk about free peaches, I'd really like to talk about the back story which makes the free peaches so much more amazing. It all started on Thursday...

I was evaluating where we were financially, looking at bills and such to see what August would look like. It wasn't looking very happy. Being laid off for a while depleted our savings and having medical bills for Timothy and Emily has made things a little less roomy in the money department than we would prefer. Being self-employed has taught me something - cash flow is very important! Anyway, as I looked at the numbers I realized that in order to make things work we were going to have significantly less to spend on groceries than normal. No problem - I have lots of meals in the freezer and supplies in the pantry so I knew we'd be fine. But I was a tad concerned about how I would make sure the kids get the nutrition they need from fruit and vegetables. Fruit is expensive, you know. My kids can eat 2 pounds of peaches in a day if I let them. I called up my friend, who used to be a Home Ec teacher, and asked how I should prioritize my spending in order to get maximum nutrition for the children. Fresh? Frozen? Canned? She was very encouraging and told me to focus on broccoli ($3.99 for a big bag at Costco) and bananas ($1.40/4lbs at Costco) and a few other things. After talking with her I knew what to do and was excited about the challenge.

 

Friday morning I was up early and reading my Bible and praying. I specifically prayed about our budget and remember telling God "You know, God, I really need some free fruit. That would make a huge difference."  Since you know the end of the story, feel free to chuckle at this point.  I wasn't worried about how we would eat, just taking my cares to God instead of worrying about it.

 

Later Friday morning a friend told me she was going to bring me some berries from her freezer. Excellent! And she had a friend out of town that had nectarines falling off her tree so she'd bring me some of those, too. I was thinking, "Wow, God, so cool, thanks!"

Saturday morning I checked on Freecycle and saw that someone had posted they had 3 dozen quart size canning jars. I contacted her and hoped that she'd pick me and she did! I told her I'd pick them up between 3 and 4 that day. I started thinking "Man, I'd really love to have some peaches to can in those jars." I started looking around on the internet at different places I've heard of to get cheap or free fruit. On Craigslist I found an ad placed on Monday by a guy that has two peach trees that were overburdened with fruit, free to anyone willing to pick it and he'd appreciate a few jars in return. I contacted him and he said to come on over. He lives just ONE MILE from the lady with the jars. Considering that they live West of 99, that was a big deal to me.

The whole family piled in the car and picked up the jars then headed over to pick peaches. I was expecting an older man, maybe a widower who's wife used to can or something. The man that opened the door was probably around 28, piercings everywhere. Not exactly the image I had of someone interested in canned peaches. The trees were in  his front yard and were definitely overloaded. One branch had actually broken off. So, we picked. And picked. And picked. We took all that we possibly could. I'm estimating that we picked nearly 100 pounds of peaches. They aren't the prettiest peaches and they are definitely the fuzziest I've ever seen! But looks does not determine taste.

As we drove home I just had to laugh! I don't believe that God is always going to answer yes to my prayers. Sometimes NO is better for me. But I believe that he wants us to pray them anyway. This time he chose to say YES in a VERY. BIG. WAY.  I'm thrilled because I am able to provide fresh fruit for the kids without thinking about the cost.  I'm thrilled because I am able to then pass on the abundance that we have been given to other people. Isn't GOD amazing?? All day long, as I've been dealing with all those peaches, I keep thinking "Every good and perfect gift comes from our Father."

Jeremy suggested next time I pray for chocolate :)

Now for those of you thinking we're destitute, that's definitely not the case. But it is important for us to be wise with what we've been given and so I take seriously my responsibility to provide budget-friendly, nutritious food for my family.

 

 

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