Growing Like Grapes Blogpost #13

Inspiring our kids to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables is a constant mission at our house. Our bodies have more energy when we fuel ourselves well. When you have a sensational child, getting your child to eat a variety of different foods can be challenging. Textures, smells, and tastes can be much more intense for their senses as compared to other children’s senses. Grapes are one of the go-to fruits that I can count on my sensational child enjoying. After reflecting with my child on why he likes grapes, he told me that he likes grapes that have an outside that is a little crunchy and the inside is sweet. (He doesn’t quite have the language to explain how the outside is a firmer texture, and not quite crunchy, but for a young child, I think his description is pretty solid!) 

Recognizing that grapes are a snack he regularly enjoys, I like to enlist his help several times a week to pull off the grapes from their stems one by one and wash them in the colander. At first I came up with this activity as a way to channel his energy productively while I cook dinner, but as I watched his satisfied smile after cleaning a bowl full of grapes, I realized this could be a great fine motor activity he could do regularly. As I talked with our OT about this, she recommended that I take it a step further and instead of only using his thumb and pointer finger to pull off each grape, she suggested that I encourage him to use his thumb, pointer finger, and middle finger together and pinch the grapes off the stem to mimic the tripod pencil grip. I loved this tiny tweak!

Later on that day, I watched an interview between Jennie Allen and Beth Moore talking about Beth’s book Chasing Vines: Finding Your Way to an Immensely Fruitful Life. Beth shared her book was inspired by a trip that she took with her adult daughters to Italy. She learned from a local Italian that in order for grape vines to successfully yield luscious fruit, they must grow in rocky soil. If grape vines are planted in lush soil, the vines will yield an abundance of leaves, but not any grapes. Beth said this deeply connected with her spiritually, because she reflected that in every season of her life, there have always been challenges (rocky soil) that the Lord has used to refine her character and produce fruit in her life. This connection made me look at the grapes that my sensational child and I prepare several times a week in a fresh way. Now instead of just seeing this as an exercise in channeling his energy, preparing a healthy snack that he enjoys eating, and weaving in fine motor practice, I see this as a reminder that the Lord is using this hard, rocky season to refine our family and help us produce fruit that will lead others to Him. 

Friend, I am wondering what type of rocky soil you are working through right now? I am empathizing with you through the challenges that keep you up at night and the questions about how many more “rocks” will you have to work through before you see the impact of your efforts? Maybe like me you are coming to the conclusion that life isn’t about eliminating all of the challenges, but instead asking the Lord how He wants to use our current challenges to cultivate in us more compassion, patience, and kindness. I hope that the next time we look at the simple beauty of a bowl full of grapes that we will also be reminded that God grows beautiful fruit in our lives when we allow Him to work through our rocky, challenging seasons. 


3 responses to “Growing Like Grapes Blogpost #13”

  1. Kay Avatar
    Kay

    Love the reminder that God works all things for our good, even and especially the “rocky” soil we grow through.(And I love that sensational child-great strategies!😊)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kelcey Avatar
    Kelcey

    So good and so timely! I love that – it isn’t about asking God to eliminate the challenges but seeking what He has for us to learn through these seasons and how they can be used for His good and our growth! Great OT idea for your sensational kiddo, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Christine O'Neil Avatar
    Christine O’Neil

    I’m thankful for your “rocky soil” analogy, friend! I’m learning to thrive in less than desirable circumstances; a hard lesson, for sure, but one that is so important for spiritual growth!

    Liked by 1 person

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