Raspberry Jam and Refining my Soul

Recently, my family and I visited an apple orchard close to our home called HoneyHill Orchard, in hopes of picking some scrumptious apples.  My girls love apples so much that I need to always have one on hand.  And I frequently find half eaten one’s randomly lying around the house with tiny bite marks in it from my youngest daughter, who doesn’t like the skin but insist on still eating the apple like her big sister.  Upon our arrival to the farm we quickly learned that we were 4 days to early for the apple picking season. In our attempt to be spontaneous we forgot to check the schedule. So we picked raspberries instead.  My family isn’t too fond of raspberries but will eat them on occasion.  I find the store bought fruit rather tart and shy away from eating them all together.  Since we were there I decided to live in the moment and let my family pick as many as they wanted for the experience.  My middle child ate more off the bush than she put in the bucket, but this momma wasn’t complaining.  It just meant I didn’t have to feed her lunch!  Just kidding of course!

  

  
My youngest got involved too! “Let’s Taco about how cute he is!”   
 

We picked about a 1lb of raspberries and then headed home.  I knew that we would not be able to eat the whole pound so I began researching jam recipes.  I found this Old Fashion Raspberry Jam Recipe and decided to try it.  Thinking it was a somewhat easy process I talked myself into making my very first raspberry jam.  I ran to the store for some mason jars and then began the process while my youngest was napping.  

  

I rinsed the berries and added them to a stainless steal pot.  

   

 I began mashing them until they were in a liquid form.  (Confession:  I used my daughters ikea utensil for the job since I didn’t have an adult size version 🙂 It ended up working out perfect.) 

  
 
Then, I added the warm sugar to the mix and then started the sterilization of the jars.  (note: I forgot this process and would probably work better if done ahead of time)I learned a couple things during this process of making jam.  

  1. I didn’t have proper canning tools but I made it work this time.  Next time I will be a little more prepared and maybe attempt this at night when all the kids are asleep.  
  2. God was showing an amazing refining process that looks messy at first but comes out so sweet in the end.  

This past year God has been and still is working on refining my soul.  Pulling out the bad things inside of me such as rejection & comparison of others, needs vs. wants and my will over His,  just to name a few.  There are so many more but I won’t go into that now!  Youre welcome.  But what that looks like sometimes is a hot mess with lots of tears, the ugly kind.  To begin to pull these things out we have to ask God to reveal these things within us and then let God change us. Hopefully when He’s done something far sweeter will be present.  I would love to get into each of these awesome qualities of myself but for now I want to just focus on the process because that is where I am now.  God loves the process.  Don’t be afraid of the process.  It may take a long time and it could look really messy from worldly standards, but to God it is beautiful.  Embrace the mess, embrace the hurt and go there.  God wants to bring us somewhere more fruitful and nourishing so that we may be fully ready to be used for his glory.  When we have impurities attached to our soul it is hard for it to be used properly.

 

The raspberries were picked with dirty hands and contained lots of bugs, in that state they were not going to get used or eaten by my family.  But a little journey into an unknown messy process turned into the sweetest jam we ever tasted and we will be able enjoy it all year.  

  

   

 

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