Homemade JAM

Angels on Earth|May/June 2020

Homemade JAM
For this new mother-in-law, a sweet old tradition comes in handy

EVER SINCE MY son Mark’s wedding, I wondered where I fit into his new life. His bride, Aarika, and I were fond of each other, but we were family now. I wanted to bring something special into her life, something only I could bring. I just couldn’t imagine what. Aarika was an only child, with loving parents she adored. What could I possibly have to offer this young woman who’d grown up with so many opportunities?

As a mother of six, my greatest talent was juggling: I juggled carpools, laundry, homework, school events. I always just managed to stay on top of the calendar and within our budget. I mended the kids’ clothes, baked our own bread and made jam out of any fruit in season. I was proud of my homemaking skills and our scrappy do-it-yourself family. But I couldn’t see how any of that might benefit two young newlyweds with only themselves to worry about.

“You know she appreciates you,” my husband, John, said as we drove to see them, our car packed with peaches, pectin, jars and a steam canner.

“Being appreciated isn’t the same as being needed.” I wasn’t sure John really understood what I wanted, but I knew God did. I prayed to him to show me what to do.


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May/June 2020