He Giveth More Grace/I Can Trust God with This

I’m playing for a funeral tomorrow. Of a beloved wife who had dementia and did not know her husband for the last 10 years of her life. He faithfully visited her several times a week, talked about her, missed her, loved her. She made the best food he had ever eaten. She kept the best home. She was the perfect wife and mother. In his eyes, she was honored to the very end. I’ll be playing the tune to this text.

He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.

Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.

His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power has no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

My own dear Granna has dementia and lives at home with my Poppa. She doesn’t know him as her husband. But she trusts him. She trusts him more than any other caregiver. She will listen to him more than to anyone else. The pattern of trust built over close to 60 years was not broken by a broken mind. I was talking tonight with my mom about what it must be like for believers who have dementia and their walk with the Lord. It must be kind of like that. They may not know Him to define Him or remember verses. But if they have a pattern of faith in the Lord God, then they *trust* Him.

How firm a foundation you saints of the Lord,
is laid for your faith in his excellent Word!
What more can he say than to you he has said,
to you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

“Fear not, I am with you, O be not dismayed,
for I am your God, and will still give you aid;
I’ll strengthen you, help you, and cause you to stand,
upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

“When through the deep waters I call you to go,
the rivers of sorrow shall not overflow,
for I will be with you in trouble to bless,
and sanctify to you your deepest distress.

“When through fiery trials your pathway shall lie,
my grace all-sufficient shall be your supply;
the flame shall not hurt you; I only design
your dross to consume and your gold to refine.

“The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
that soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no, never, no never forsake!”

This article about grief sums up the truth that will give comfort as “I can trust God with this.”
http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/six-words-to-say-through-tears

I can trust Him! I will *choose* to trust Him through life’s trials. And when my time comes to see my Savior face to face, whether I’ve walked the valley of dementia or not or cared for someone with it or not, He will have given grace, He will be worthy of my trust.

Fresh Strawberries!

The other day one of my friends was mentioning that she bought organic strawberries from one of our local stores here in Edmonton, and they were moldy the very next day. I’ve had similar experiences with organic lettuce or other produce when I buy them from a big box store.

On May 17 I received a delivery from the Organic Box… it had strawberries in it. That weekend was busy with some parties and activities at church. On Monday when I finally pulled out those strawberries to wash and serve them to my kids, they looked like this.

Sweet Organic Strawberries from the Organic Box

These had been in my fridge for a five days and I didn’t have to throw any out or cut off any blemishes. They were very sweet and delicious, too! I think besides the Organic Box, the freshest place to get strawberries in Edmonton is from a farm later in the season!

The Organic Box has lots of great, fresh fruits and vegetables available as well as grocery, meat, bakery and freezer items. If you’d like to try it out, you can get $20 off your first $50 order (that’s up to 40% savings) by using this coupon code: ORGANICJOY.

Disclosure: I am a part of the Organic Box Ambassador program. I joined because we enjoy being customers and love the fresh and healthy food they provide. I am not paid for my participation, however, I do receive food credits.

How does the Organic Box work?

I’ve shared with several of my friends here in Edmonton that we have really enjoyed getting produce delivered to us from The Organic Box. Here’s a little bit of how it works!

Choose Your Box

Every Saturday, I get an email from them that says to login to “Choose my box.” Actually, I’ve already indicated many of my preferences. I prefer the “Local First” box, and don’t like to get avocados in my box, for example. (We eat avocado, I just usually get 5 at a time from Superstore!). So they fill my virtual box in my account with fresh, in season produce. I can go on and remove items I don’t want this week and add anything I might want. For example, if I know I’m planning to roast a turkey, I usually want celery, so I might add that. They put broccoli in my box, but I know I just bought some at Costco. So I remove it from my list and select rainbow Swiss chard instead.

The window of time for changing what’s in my virtual box closes (for me) on Monday at noon. So if I forget to check what was put into the box the cutoff time, I might get some surprises on my delivery day! They do work with you and I’ve had wonderful help from the folks in the office there when I needed to add something or make a change. You can also select from grocery, frozen, meat, dairy or bakery items to add to your produce delivery. Some of our favorites we splurge on have been their milk and yogurt, cinnamon buns, BBQ sauce and fair trade chocolate. Or I might notice that they have bulk carrots on sale and add on a 20lb bag! (We did that once and it took me FOREVER to get through them!)

Delivery Day

On delivery day, I get an email when the truck has left the warehouse and is out for deliveries. Usually relatively quickly (within an hour or two), the good folks from Organic Box are at my door. If I haven’t already done so, I rush to put my empty box on the front step so they can take it away with them to use again. Then we get to open our box of goodies and decide what to add to supper!

The Organic Box has lots of great, fresh fruits and vegetables available. If you’d like to try it out, you can get $20 off your first $50 order (that’s up to 40% savings on your first order) by using this coupon code: ORGANICJOY.

Disclosure: I am a part of the Organic Box Ambassador program. I joined because we enjoy being customers and love the fresh and healthy food they provide. I am not paid for my participation, however, I do receive food credits.

Resource Highlight: Mina Oglesby’s “Hey Kids, All Aboard!”

Our pastor’s family introduced us to this wonderful children’s CD. It’s called “Hey Kids, All Aboard!” by Mina Oglesby and is available here.

Children start the story by “climbing aboard” the Happy Train where the main character, Mrs. O, takes you on a tour of the train. Each car has a Bible verse over the door as you walk into it which the children learn. And there’s a discipleship theme for each car as well as a song.

The first car teaches you about having to have faith to reach God (Hebrews 11:1). You’re taught a delightful song called “Faith is the Key” that talks about how faith “opens the door to eternal life.” Another car teaches about being joyful in trying circumstances, and yet another about how love requires action, not just words.

 

Fiddleheads! a special spring blessing

I play and teach violin. But I also eat fiddleheads. Fiddlehead ferns, that is!

I first became acquainted with fiddleheads when I was in grade one. We lived in a little neighbourhood on the side of a hill in Edmundston, NB. My best friend and I would tromp through the few streets exploring. I would always get tan lines on my feet wearing little sailor shoes. One day in the spring I met a neighborhood girl who said she would take me to pick fiddleheads behind her house. She told me a yarn that you had to pick them and then throw away the curled up stem and keep the stalk! Naïvely, I believed her and proudly took a bucketful of useless stalks home to mom!

When I was a teenager in Gaspésie, every spring we would look forward to eating fiddlehead ferns. I think some folks in our church would bring them in. I remember one time going out into some wilder back-country and seeing the baby ferns just starting to poke up through the spring snow, and always close to a stream. My mom, the best cook in the world, would sautée them up and add a bit of soft white margarine and just a touch of vinegar.

Since we’ve been in Edmonton, I thought that eating fiddlehead ferns would be a thing of the past. My family has enjoyed obtaining fresh produce from The Organic Box for over 3 years now, off and on. What a joy it was one spring to discover some fiddleheads in my online box order!

Since I introduced them to my husband, he is now a fan, and even let me send some leftovers in his lunch the other day. When my Sweet Boy was born two years ago, a kind friend brought us a meal made with some farmer’s market produce. One side was fiddlehead ferns with corn and some sweet peppers. It was something like this recipe, but with corn, too. I’m glad Sweet Boy devoured the two fiddleheads I put on his plate last week :). He doesn’t always eat his greens so readily! I’m hoping to make serving fiddleheads an annual tradition—one of the many special blessings of spring!

This year the Organic Box is again offering fiddleheads which are sourced from BC and in a category called “wildcraft.” If you would like to try them out, be sure to check out Health Canada’s safe cooking recommendations.

The Organic Box The Organic Box has lots of other great, fresh fruits and vegetables available. If you’d like to try it out, you can get $20 off your first $50 order (that’s up to 40% savings on your first order) by using this coupon code: ORGANICJOY.

Fiddleheads photo credit: Wikimedia Commons/Ɱ (Licensed CC BY-SA 4.0)