Harvesting June Strawberries

A Journal During the Coronovirus Pandemic
Reflections and Inspiration from Maple Grove
June 21, 2020

We are enjoying a bumper crop of strawberries this season. . . another of God's blessings to brighten the mood for all that our nation has been going through.  Strawberry varieties fall into three classes. June-bearing plants produce one monster crop of large berries once a year, usually in June.  Ever-bearing plants produce smaller crops of smaller berries, but bear throughout the summer.  Day-neutral plants have three peak periods of bearing. Strawberry plants have a short life span (3-4 years), and we just replanted our patches last year with June-bearing strawberries.

We already have four gallons of strawberries in the freezer and many more still blooming and ripening.  There are so many delicious ways to serve strawberries, and that goodness can be enjoyed all year. One of my favorite uses for strawberries in the summer is in a Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Salad. With all that freshness readily available, you can use whatever combination of fruits and vegetables you like or have on hand.  For this one, I used strawberries, grapes, cucumbers, and red bell peppers. (A recipe for combining with a light lime dressing is linked at the bottom of this post.)

We have a lot of helpers harvesting our bumper crop of strawberries.  Our grandchildren (our "Beans") love to help with the picking and eating, and for us, that means lighter work.  While harvesting the strawberries, I am reminded of Jesus' love and compassion for all, and His urging to pray for harvesters to spread His Good News of eternal life to everyone.

"And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When He saw the crowds, He had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest'" (Matthew 9:35-38).

Disease. Affliction. Harassed. Helpless.  It sounds very much like our world today.  Jesus had compassion then, and He has compassion now. He is our Good Shepherd, our Living Savior who is very much present and at work in our lives. He loves us and wants us to rely on Him and trust Him. He wants us to show and tell others about His "gospel of the kingdom."

It has been fourteen weeks since the stay-at-home order was given.  I had decided at the onset to journal my reflections each week.  We have re-entered society. Today was the first time since this Coronavirus shutdown began that we could go to church in person to worship our Living Savior with our brothers and sisters in Christ and receive His gifts of grace.  What a glorious day it is! With this writing, I am going to close this journal. If you are reading this, I pray that you are a disciple of Jesus.  If not, I pray that you will receive His free gift of eternal life now and forever and follow Him.

Beautiful Savior, Lord of the nations, Son of God and Son of Man! Glory and honor, praise, adoration, now and forever more be Thine!  Jesus, You are mercifully compassionate and loving.  You willingly laid down your life as an exchange of our sins for your righteousness.  You offer eternal life to all who believe in You.  Thank you for redeeming me and giving me a living hope.  I earnestly pray You will send many laborers into your harvest field to spread your Gospel to all, that You may heal them. Here am I, Lord, send me. In your name and to your glory, Amen.


Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Salad

Coronavirus Journal:

June 14, 2020 - Re-Entering Society
June 7, 2020 - Sheltering in Place
May 31, 2020 - All the Colors of the Rainbow
May 24, 2020 - Growing Vertically and Horizontally
May 17, 2020 - God Bless America
May 10, 2020 - Cleaning and Repairing Cluckingham Palace
May 3, 2020 - Be a Child
April 26, 2020 - Serve a Very Cheery Pie
April 19, 2020 - Waiting and Waiting
April 12, 2020 - Planting for New Growth
April 5, 2020 - The Grass is Always Greener
March 29, 2020 - Stay at Home
March 22, 2020 - Look Beyond the Challenge

Other Devotions by Katie:

Pea Gravel
Red Sky at Night

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