Sep 24, 2008


Me neighbor came over today and invited us to enjoy their crab apple tree whenever we want since it is absolutely sagging with produce! I don't think she realized what a gift she had given me...the opportunity to stand in the dusk, picking fragrant apples...each unique...tiny little bundles of sweet and tart...delicious for baking or for jams. I have always wanted fruit trees and to be allowed to go into her yard whenever we felt like Christmas (don't get me started on Christmas because I almost love it more then the fall if that's possible.)
Brady absolutely loved the experience and he picked and picked until our basket was almost brimming. It was my dream finally reality. For those of you who REALLY know me you will know that living from the earth, living simply from all the good things God has given us from the beginning of time...sun, wind, healing herbs, spices, fruits....fresh cream and eggs, clay and my dream. To be surrounded in beauty, loving life and feeling REAL things. Real love, real pain, real joy...this is what molds us into who we are. That's why I love's so tangible, so real. It's solid.

I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with all of my little crab apples except I have been inspired to make jelly over and over again and I think in the next few days I might just roll up my sleeves and try. I admit I'm quite scared to begin...for some reason jelly making seems like only something that an all knowing grandmother should know how to do...but it isn't. I want to learn so I think I'll just get on the internet and figure it out.

Isn't this picture lovely? To think what it must be like to have your home in an apple tree...such a lucky little spider. The fat of the land just a crawl away, stars for a nightlight, silvery threads to sleep upon.
I feel like I have been surrounded in so much beauty the last couple of days, mixed with so much pain in my heart. It's so hard to describe how I can feel at peace but also in pain. That "real pain" I was speaking of earlier is something new for me. Not that I've never had hurts in my life, it's just that I didn't understand how to handle them so for me they were wasted pain. Wasted because I handled them with anger, confusion....anxiety. Worrying myself until my whole body rejected the worry and would rebel by making me sick, by making my stomach burn and my body ache all over. Sometimes I would fall into a deep depression, some dark place that seems like a pit without any foot holes, a place I couldn't climb out of. And then a few weeks ago I read from someone's blog a saying by Amy Carmicheal. "In acceptance lieth peace."
It doesn't mean that we aren't going to hurt. It doesn't mean that anger won't still surge up from time to time or that I won't be exhausted from the ache, what it does mean is that I accept. I accept because Christ has told me that He will never give me anything too big for me to handle with Him. Because when I accept I can do all things and I can do them with joy. Joy is internal, happiness is external.
My family is going through a very rough time right now... a grandfather that is sick, someone I love with all of my heart. He brings me joy by his joy of life. He is full of life...he honestly loves every bird, every flower...he loves people. I'm sad that his body is failing him right now, but I'm so happy that I get this time with him that I've never had before in my life. This is a time for growing and learning and I cherish matter what kind of a "burden" it could be viewed as. I'm looking forward to this weekend because I have a feeling there will be more apples to pick once he gets a look at that tree!
My other hurt right now is for my mother and grandmother as they have lost a piece of them, it's a piece of me too. My uncle took his own life a couple of days ago...and to be honest I have cried until my eyes have felt dry and like they could cry no more. It's strange seeing how I have had nothing to do with Uncle Mike for years and years, but I have memories. I have memories of a quirky man full of wise cracks and jokes that would keep you rolling with laughter for hours. I have memories of an aunt (his second wife) with the longest brown hair you've ever seen. I always loved it and wanted hair just like it when I grew up. I remember stories told to me from my mom, about a childhood long ago but so very near and close to her heart. Smiles would come to her eyes often whenever she thought about her brothers. Sometimes I wonder how things could fall apart for an individual so quickly as they did for this man. How anyone could find life so unforgiving, so worthless, so confused to just want to quit, to want to be with Jesus. I know that taking your life is not what God wants, I think He probably cried when it happened...but I know He was there to wrap His arms around Mike and say "you're safe now." There are three Toole men in heaven now, one son left on earth, and a mother and two sisters. I guess who I really hurt for are those left behind.
My mom...always in my mind so small and fragile, but tough as nails. I want to protect her from hurt and pain...I'm so thankful that she has a friend in Jesus. And however hard the matter how many tears have to be shed, Jesus can dry them...He has an always dry kleenex. "In acceptance lieth peace." And then to be able to walk away from this time in our lives knowing that this wasn't a surprise to Him...that we can continue being hurt and angry, or we can accept and fall into His arms of love. I want the latter. It's such a feeling to be wrapped in arms of Love...try it.


Matt, Laura, Haley and Baby said...

Hi there - I just wanted you to know that when I got on your blog tonight, when the beautiful peaceful music came on and both my girls burst into some interpretive dance - it was actually really precious! I should have taken a video :)

Grammy said...

I'm sorry, Sweetie, for your pain. At least this time it won't be wasted. What an incredible woman you are! From one heart who has been close to where you are, to another aching heart, my prayers arise to heaven for you AND your family.

Bec said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bec said...

This post was very timely for me today. Appreciate the encouragement!

I'm so glad you are experiencing that peace in this time!

Becky Tibberts

MOM said...

You are way too kind, Alyssa, my Spring Time forever...God knew what He was doing when He inspired me with your name...and I appreciate how you are able to express yourself with writing. I love you so much and appreciate the servant of God you submit yourself to be. Thank you for being here for me...Papa John thinks you are the greatest and I will agree with him as I know your dad does...anda con el amor de Dios, El cuyo es mas enormo de tu puda imaginar..He will never fail you. That is experience speaking!(Even if my spanish stinks!)

Steve's Girl said...


I'm so sorry for your sadness. I'm so glad that you too have a friend in Jesus.

God bless you and yours.

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