A Dark, Sweet Pleasure

As Seamus Heaney wrote in his poem, “Blackberry Picking,” the red berries finally “inked up and that hunger / sent us out” to harvest.

It’s all poetry in my yard today:

Ripe Blackberries

The blackberries bring a joy I can’t name.  I don’t need anything else but those warm berries in my hand.  They deliver a dark, sweet pleasure. 

It’s a daily provision–just a handful of fruit–each morning. 

We turn to the overgrown, unattended vegetable garden, and I send the girls within the tangled vines like jungle explorers.

The oldest sends up the offering. 

Another handful–just enough–for lunch.  I’d been thinking of the beauty of the Lord’s prayer:  Give us this day our daily bread.  There’s just enough today.  We don’t store or fret over this.   We just open our hands and are filled with what we need for today. 

Journal:  Hold your palm open and ask God to fill it with what you need today. 


Desperate and Dependent

The Northern Cardinal eggs hatched this morning!

Baby Northern Cardinals

Fresh from their shells, those little mouths open so wide!   Feed me!  Feed me!

I love the desperation in those little beaks (especially the baby bird on the left).   So dependent!   Those eyes cannot see yet.  Those wings don’t flap.  They contribute nothing.  I later learn that the father bird comes and feeds the baby birds.  There’s something precious about this as I consider the truth in Psalm 81, where another Father commands his people to do nothing except one thing:  “Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.” 

Might I lean back, open wide my life (even when I can’t see the path) and let God fill me?  Desperate and dependent characterizes another way to live with flair.  We’re baby Northern Cardinals, opening wide to the Father’s provision today. 

Journal:  Have you found God’s provision when you are desperate and dependent on Him?


This Question Might Help You Rejoice Today

During breakfast, my husband announces: “The tire man really helped me rejoice today!” 

I know that some flair is coming.

“What do you mean?” 

“Well, when I dropped off the car at the tire shop, I told the man how thankful I was that this flat tire happened in a parking lot and not out on the road in traffic.  I could change it safely in that lot and not on the side of the road.  But then guess what he asked me?”


“‘Was it raining?’ And I said, ‘No it wasn’t!  It was the only hour all week that it wasn’t raining!’  I was so thankful when I remembered that.”

My husband remarks that the tire man simply asked the right question to help my husband rejoice in the midst of something inconvenient. 

Living with flair means I ask the right questions to realize all the ways God is indeed protecting and providing even in the midst of trouble. 

Journal:  Was there a time in my life that God protected and provided for me even during trouble?