Slowly but surely, I’ve crossed things off of a little summer bucket list. 🙂 Shortly before Jonah was born, we popped by a little local farmstead with Olivia to pick farm-fresh strawberries. It was a first for all of us, and we very quickly learned that it was well worth the adventure. 

Really, there were two key learnings from our strawberry-picking afternoon. No gatekeeping around here – so naturally, I had to share. 😉

Lesson #1:

There is simply NO comparison between freshly picked berries and store-bought. Really, they taste like totally different fruit. A sunkissed strawberry plucked right off the bush is in a whole ‘nother LEAGUE compared to literally anything else at your grocery store. They don’t taste the same, they don’t look the same…they’re juicier, sweeter, fresher and better in every way.

FIND THE FRUIT - Monday Mantra on Coming Up Roses

Lesson #2:

Find the fruit. 

So many of the best berries weren’t just hanging at the tops of bushes for easy picking. Instead, they were burrowed beneath surrounding weeds that were actually super sharp – not at all something you wanted to plunge your hand into, and absolutely something that required care + caution to navigate around. As we walked up and down the strawberry bush-lined paths, our eyes were peeled for bright, beautiful pops of red. And when you found them, you had to do a quick scan of the surrounding plant to make sure you weren’t about to stick your hand into this surprisingly sharp weed on its way to the berries.

Granted, we went at the near-end of strawberry-picking season, so maybe the pickings were slimmer and findings were harder because of that. But I couldn’t help sensing the lesson with each cluster of red I found peeking out from a spiny cluster of green.

FIND THE FRUIT - Monday Mantra on Coming Up Roses

FIND THE FRUIT - Monday Mantra on Coming Up Roses

Life can be so full of weeds. So full of spiny clusters – big, sharp, scary, painful things that threaten to stop us from finding anything sweet. 

If we run through life blindly or naively, pretending the bad just doesn’t exist (in that “toxically positive” kinda way)…we’ll be surely reminded that it does, in fact, exist when something sad or difficult hits us smack in the face. No one gets through this life unscathed or without hardship – and that’s a Biblical promise. So it’s smart and wise and real to acknowledge the existence of the weeds and plan accordingly when we can.

But on the flip side, if we focus too much on the hard things, we might miss the good things altogether, or be too scared to even try to pursue them thanks to the “what if’s” and anxieties they carry.

It’s up to us to set our sights on the GOOD to reap the best harvest. Find the fruit.

In strawberry picking, and in life. 😉

Choose to actively seek out goodness. Most of the glasses in life can be half full or half empty, depending on your perspective. And however you see it, the volume inside is exactly the same. So if you’re faced with a choice to see the weed first or to focus on the fruit…I hope you find the fruit.

Make it a personal challenge or a game with girlfriends – do whatever you’ve gotta do, but keep that fruit in your focus. The weeds will grow – and man, sometimes they’re sharp as can be. But don’t let them overgrow or cover up the sweetness and goodness that is growing right alongside it, too.

In some seasons, the fruit be may abundant, totally overgrowing in your life (yay!). In others, it’ll be a challenge to find it, let alone pick it, without feeling the jab of a weed along the way. 

But the fruit’s harvest will have a longer, better, sweeter impact on your life – and you’ll likely savor the joy in that moment more than any spiny setback along the way.

So that’s it – that’s the little tidbit of encouragement for this week. Find the fruit. (Then enjoy the heck out of it. 🙂 )

FIND THE FRUIT - Monday Mantra on Coming Up Roses