Wednesday, July 28, 2010
When my jalapeno plants first started sprouting their fiery goodness, I panicked a little not knowing when to harvest them. Unfortunately, when looking online, there was lots of information that would help you with guess-ta-mates. I'm not a guess-ta-mate kind of gall. When tomatoes and strawberries turn red, it's time to harvest them. Jalapenos can turn red, but you want to pick them (for most recipes) before they turn red. So how do you know?
Well, the best information and guideline I could find online is to pick them when they have stress stripes or "corking". What is that, you say? Basically, when the pepper's skin looks like it has stretched out so much that it's causing it to have white stretch marks. It's actually an indicator that it is under stress and the more under stress your jalapeno is, the hotter it will get.
(Maybe I can call those stripes on my belly, corking. Doesn't that sound better than saying that my belly, like many others, wasn't quite ready for the ginormosity that it faced when growing a person inside of it?!)
Aleeyah pointed out this afternoon that we had a red jalapeno. Immediately, I knew I hadn't been paying as much attention to harvesting them if I hadn't even noticed one was red. I have to admit, with red being my favorite color, I really like looking at a red pepper over a green one, BUT I need them to be green for most of the dishes I like to make. I checked out the other guys growing and found 3 other ones stressed out, but still green.
While thinking about what we want to make with our newly harvested, stress-stripped peppers, I couldn't help but to think of the stress that the last 2 weeks has brought. On top of the normal everyday life stressors of having a family, finances, etc., we've been dealing with a lot of other emotions, decisions, and worry. My stomach has been in what seems like a constant state of knots. Partly because of some of my own health and emotional issues I'm dealing with, but lots to do with some things we can't "fix". Things that aren't our burden to carry, but because of love, we tend to want pick it up and make things right. Unfortunately, we can't. It's not our decisions. It's not our baggage. It just simply isn't ours to be the keepers of. Through our love, we can give support and encouragement, but somewhere, despite all our emotions, we have to step back and fully understand what this means for us. It's easy to step in and try to be the super hero, but is this what God wants for our lives? Does he want us to have relationships based on unhealthy practices? Doesn't HE want to be our super hero?
There has been times in these last couple of weeks that I've felt like that red pepper. The stress gets to me. It shows in my life and I start getting hotter and hotter until I just get emotionally red. I get angry that satan is attacking. I get angry that it's affecting my family. I get angry for getting angry.
I've used the people closest to me, to let things out and try to feel better, but yet, I find myself not asking God enough for the strength, patience, and wisdom that this time of our life is requiring. I've spent hours after hours on the phone trying to figure things out, but how many hours have I spent in solitude and prayer asking God to help me understand what my role is in His plan for my life and the lives of those that I love?
If I get honest, not enough.
I'm thankful those friends and family that are always there for to give me their support and love. I'm thankful that God has given me those people to get through the rough spots. But I also understand He needs to be my keeper. The one that waters and nurtures me. He never lets me grow and change without watching over me. He sees the stress stripes before they ever show. And HE wants to be the one to harvest my concerns and give them purpose in my life.