Isn't there such joy in the harvest! In seeing a flower fold into a fruit and a small little form begin to grow into a juicy tomato! I love being around plants, and especially during harvest time. It has been on of my great joys to be around blackberry bushes again, and to be in a place that grows its own food. One of my fondest childhood memories is of my mother sending us out into the neighborhood to pick berries and bring them back so she could make us a cobbler or baked treat of some kind. I love visually searching through the branches and plucking every ripe berry, eating more than I would put in the bucket, and staining my hands purple as well as my clothes. There is a certain joy that comes with the harvest, a certain rightness in delighting in the fruit of your labor. I've been seeing as of late, that when we restrain ourselves from entering into the fullness of the gifts God gives us, then we also limit ourselves from tasting the depths of his goodness. Every season has an end, some much more strenuous and long, others shorter and sweet, but in every season there is an end. My encouragement to you, is that you make certain, as you see the end arriving, that you have done well to receive the gifts around you. Note what provisions he has given. Think of what dangers he has kept you from and what perils he has withheld from you. Rejoice in the abundance of his goodness in allowing trials to face you, and challenges to strengthen you. Re-enjoy the sweet and very pleasurable gift he has given. 

As my husband and I are now 10 days away from leaving the place we have called home for the summer I'm increasingly aware that I have neglected this task. That I have worked and seen, but that my seeing was ungrateful. That I passed a mountain covered in trees and smoked with clouds like I would one of a thousand pictures on a blog. I have become blinded to the glory, in part at least. But his grace goes further still, and I am aware that the season has not yet finished, and there is still time for me to re-enter into many, but not all, of these things. So I did just that, I sat a moment longer as I looked at the sun rising behind the great peak, and enjoyed the colors and mountains and the trees, and the ocean this morning. How often I rush by beauty, instead of bathing in it like I ought. Why do I sometime forget that beauty is not a necessity but the extravagance of God's goodness and love.

Don't you love when someone really sits and enjoys a gift you have given them. My aim this week, is to slow down, to recall my father's generosity, to bathe in the beauty of his goodness and love for me in the small and large gifts that fill my day, and to genuinely thank him with my words. And I invite you to join me.