of muffins and monarchs

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“There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice.” ~J.Calvin

Sarah Joy had a check up yesterday with her surgeon.  I hate to admit this but I did bribe her to be nice to the poor doctor.  Ever since her first surgery, Sarah has had a very negative reaction to all the nurses and doctors.  Dr. K, her main surgeon, has been so polite, kind, sweet, and loving to Sarah every step of the way and has felt Sarah’s dislike keenly, although she completely understood and did her best to reduce contact with her, keeping her conversations directed toward me and Rich instead.  I bought Dr. K a necklace and had it wrapped up very prettily, with a bow.  I gently explained to Sarah that she was going to bestow this lovely gift to her doctor with a smile and a hug, “OR ELSE YOU ARE GETTING NOTHING FROM THE GIFT SHOP after your appointment!!”  “WHY do I have to give her a hug?” she cried.  “Because it will be good for YOUR HEART to be kind!” I said, wisely, with a prayer that this would work.

Success!  What a joy!  She was more relaxed and talkative to the Doctor than she has ever been.  She made Dr. K so happy with the necklace, but most especially with the smiles and conversation and hug.

Sarah was told that she was healing very well and could now do anything she wanted to do, as long as it was okay with her parents. We were given lollipops and then went skipping down the hall to the gift shop, where Sarah happily chose a 1.99 bracelet as a reward for her good attitude.  The brothers were with us, too.  Caleb chose Jolly Ranchers (making me remember an old xanga friend), and Seth chose a stuffed animal.

*****

When we got home, the only thing Sarah wanted to do with her renewed freedom  was go wild-berry picking with her Mama.  We walked up to the raspberry patch and picked big beautiful jewels of berries.  When we came back home to put on bug spray, she saw that Seth had turned on a movie and decided to take a rest from berry picking because she wanted to watch the movie, too.  (It was “Home”).  I went in my room to relax and when her movie was over she came in, looked into my eyes, and said, “Are you ready for a berry-walk?  Or do you still need to rest?”  I looked at her and thought, “I’m not the one who just had surgery.  If you don’t need any more rest, I don’t either.”

Off we went to pick BLUEBERRIES this time!  The bushes in the woods are small, and low to the ground–nothing like my parent’s property covered in nice tall, fat and mature bushes.  But we found “just enough” berries and the sun was at the golden hour…..making everything glow like magic.  We found blueberries of all shades.

*****

This morning I woke up to my daughter right in front of my face, telling me it was time to wake up and make muffins.  My mind was willing but my body felt leaden.  I tossed and turned for a few minutes and then got out of the covers, not so much to make muffins, but because I was curious about how my monarch caterpillars were…….

I found Sarah waiting for me on the little couch and I kissed her face.  Together we went into the kitchen to make the muffins she naturally knew we just had to use the berries in.

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She sat on a stool to scoop out batter with an ice cream scoop.

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She kept tasting the dough and saying “yummmmmmmm”.

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I filled the regular sized muffin tin and soon they were baking in the oven and we called up the boys to have their breakfast.

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*****

I ate a warm buttered muffin with a cup of coffee, perched on a stool in front of the aquarium which held a dangling caterpillar, two chrysalises, and a caterpillar.

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I knew this caterpillar was very close to shedding it’s skin so I determined to wait and get it on video.

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These two attached to a stick that I put in the aquarium.  They were the compliant caterpillars, the other one was a rebel and escaped the whole set-up to attach to a iPhone charging cord.

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When I saw what it had done, I draped the cord over the top of the tank.  (I had blocked half the top with a cutting board.)

I sat for a while watching the dangling caterpillar gently convulse.  I knew it was almost time and called the children over.  We were able to get the whole process on video.

As I sat, I couldn’t help but think about how astonishing God’s creation is.  Why did he make these detailed, intricate creatures, and millions more beside?  He is The Creator–Creators MUST CREATE.  Just think of the things humans make and how we get “in the zone” as we sing, or draw,or sew, or garden.  That urge to create came from Father-God, we are like Him, in a very small way, because He made us in His image.  It is good and we enjoy it all.

So God created humans in his image. In the image of God he created them. He created them male and female.  Genesis 1:27

He brought the most mind-boggling things into existence—plants, humans, animals, all of these things reproduce and continue the cycle of life.  Self-sustaining creation.  A-MAZE-ING.  Overwhelming.  No one is like Him, but we have a touch of the divine within us, allowing us to enjoy life, and all parts of living.

No one is like you, LORD; you are great, and your name is mighty in power. Jeremiah 10:6

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“If you have been afraid that your love of beautiful flowers and the flickering flame of the candle is somehow less spiritual than living in starkness and ugliness, remember that He who created you to be creative gave you the things with which to make beauty and the sensitivity to appreciate and respond to His creation.”  Edith Schaeffer

8 thoughts on “of muffins and monarchs

  1. That was very neat! I have seen the butterfly emerge, but haven’t seen the transformation into a chrysalis before!
    The berry picking sounds so magical and sweet. Good to see sweet Sarah glowing and happy. Her hair is so long! And what a good mommy you are, helping her work through the feelings, and bless the doctor.
    xoxo

  2. That was so fascinating and how does it stay attached with all that wiggling going on! Your muffins look so wonderful and I’m happy to see that Sarah is doing so well after her surgery. Our daughter’s middle name is Joy too (Kristen Joy)!

  3. I’m so glad to hear that Sarah is recovering so well from her surgery. Sweet that she was finally able to connect with her Dr. in a positive way (great and thoughtful idea of yours). How exciting you are raising Monarch butterflies this summer! And how neat you caught the caterpillar to chrysalis transformation on video. I love thinking about God as creator every day. How everything points to His great wisdom and care, beauty and sometimes sense of humor in His creation. And to think it all was created out of nothing – what power as well! Hope you and your family have a great week. ❤

  4. Thanks for the video!! It’s been a long time since I got to watch that process in person. Having just given birth 6 weeks ago, it reminded me of that. Made me wonder if it hurts, and how aware is the caterpillar of everything that’s happening?

  5. What a beautiful post. So thankful your daughter is doing well! The photos are lovely, and the muffins & berries made me want to go bake something now! Have a blessed Sunday!

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