Sunday, July 23, 2017

Blueberries and Trust

We bought our house in Oregon sight unseen back in 2014. Crazy, I know. Except that we had family members kind enough to comb the area, take loads of pictures, talk to neighbors, and smell each room. They helped us make an excellent choice. And we had a good God who had prepared the way.

When our moving truck arrived I was delighted to discover three blueberry bushes in the front yard, planted years earlier, laden with ripening fruit. Within a couple of weeks, I was picking 3 cups of blueberries each morning, then 4, then 7. I counted over a hundred cups of berries that summer -- enough for a whole winter's worth of smoothies.

No thorns, no sweat, no planting or tending. Berries just ready for us to eat.

As I picked in the early morning light, the words of Deuteronomy 6 often floated through my mind:
10 When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, 11 houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, 12 be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
We were not the first to experience God's good provision. Israel's bounty came with a warning -- "don't forget who provided all this!" So here I am remembering. To me the blueberries were a tangible (and tastable!) daily refresher on God's goodness. I didn't even know I wanted blueberries, but here they were, and I was grateful.

This summer we're eating blueberries like crazy. We can't take them over the border with us to Canada, so we're relishing juicy handfuls and sharing them with friends. And as if God wanted to end this story with an exclamation mark, he provided a garden-watering job for Ana this month that has been mouth-watering for the rest of us -- a garden brimming with raspberries and blackberries that would rot if we didn't eat them. And so we have. Handfuls of the most delicious berries we've ever eaten.

Our God is so good. And we can trust him to go before us and prepare the way. He provided berries in Oregon City. He'll provide abundantly in Three Hills, too. God is like that.

Before we moved to Oregon, the kids would often ask, "Will our new house have a ____?" or "Can we buy a house with _____?" In my thoughtful moments, I answered, "We'll see what God provides!" As it turned out, he granted room to flourish and recover from the intensity of PhD studies, another amazing set of neighbors, and berries. Lots and lots of berries. The same God who provided blueberries arranged for my Canadian citizenship 40 years before anyone knew I would need it. That's impressive.

The LORD promises neither a rose garden nor a blueberry bush, but he does promise to be with us always. Ultimately, that's all we need.


  1. Dear Ms. Imes,
    At another blog (see within your text I've found the image of the Holy Family Sculpture at ND that perfectly fits into project "Challenge of Motherhood" we are working for parishes in Croatia. I'd like to get in touch with you regarding the permission to use it. My e-mail is
    Thanks in advance. God bless,
    Petar-Kresimir Hodzic

    1. Petar-Kresimir, Thank you for your inquiry! I took that photo myself, and you are very welcome to use it for your project. Please include an attribution such as (photo: Carmen Imes). Thank you!

  2. Carmen, this post has stayed with me since I read it, especially as we will be selling our home next year and another family, hopefully, will be blessed by all the planting MIke has done. And of course I am thinking of our beloved church as well. I so appreciate your writing.