A Nugget of Grace (and Applesauce!)

Yesterday I opened my home to Balcony Girls. We made homemade applesauce and talked about what it means to be a gracious girl: learning to forgive and love others, even when you feel like they don’t deserve it.

Even when they don’t deserve it? What a hard concept to teach a ten-year-old girl, as this is the age where girls can start becoming very mean! But as we went around the circle, each girl defined what the word “grace” meant to her.

Their definitions were sweet, straight from the heart, as the girls take this part of the group very seriously. The quietest girl even shared. And come to find out, their 5th grade teacher, Mrs. P, taught them about grace on the first day of school! But the most priceless line came from one girl when she raised her hand and said: “Grace is what we do every night before we eat!”

Although we were discussing the word as an action, she was right! We do sit down at our table at night and thank God for the food before us. And for our beautiful families (whom we don’t deserve), and a hearty meal (usually enough food to feed two or three families!), and the fact that we feel very loved, even though most likely we messed up that very day. We are accepted and valued and we have a place where we feel nurtured and safe. Bottom line: we have way more than we deserve.

Will the girls remember the applesauce process that they learned today, of pushing all of those apples through the Kitchen Aid, jarring, and then canning them? Most likely, they won’t. Like me, I learned it as a child from my mom, but I had to relearn it as an adult.

My prayer for today is more that each girl learned just enough about grace, to take a nugget home with her and to turn it into graciousness in her own corner of life.

Yes, “grace” is what we do every night. And every waking moment, when we live it.
Each girl canned their own quart-jar of applesauce to take home with them. And of course, we all indulged in WARM applesauce, with yummy whipped cream on top!

13 comments on “A Nugget of Grace (and Applesauce!)”

  1. Okay — my curiosity is peaked — is the fruit and vegetable strainer the same as the sausage maker on the kitchen aid???

  2. Thanks!
    I love this blog, by the way. It’s so inspiring. :)

  3. I just told my Mom on the phone that after we pick apples while I am back there in WI, we should make applesauce!! I love warm applesauce… and of course with real whipping cream!

  4. Mmm. I stumbled onto your blog through a link at Organization Junkie. I would like to add your blog to my list of places to visit, if that is okay.

    Your words are timely for me. We have lived in our neighborhood for over 10 years, and have only had neighbors over to eat twice. We often hosted elaborate functions when our children were young, but since they have grown, we have only entertained family. So, you have “put a bee in my bonnet” and I am all set to start this fall with dinner invitations and maybe even a neighborhood outreach of some sort.

    Thanks for sharing your life here!

  5. What an awesome way to share grace with young girls. I think they took home more than applesauce.

  6. Sandy, I am always inspired by the beacon of light that you are. What you are teaching these girls will never leave them. :)

  7. I absolutely LOVE your blog. You encourage me to be hospitable – even when I am sofull of fear of doing so. You certainly understand us “Chickens.” I will be reading this blog to boost myself to be the person I WANT to be. Keep up all your good work and the writing of this blog. We moved to a new home last week and new neighbors are moving in daily. I’m HOPING to start using your theory and make this a friendly, happy new neighborhood.

    Betty from the Midwest

  8. Kelli – yes! It’s called the “Fruit and Vegetable Strainer.” You can email me if you want more info :)

  9. How wonderful!

    And I never thought of using the Kitchen Aid to help with canning. Is there a food processor attachment?

  10. Oh how wonderful! I love the canning photos too!

  11. Grace!!! What a fantastic concept to pass on to our girls. I think as adults we sometimes need to be reminded!!!

    I just recieved my book!!! I can’t tell you how happy I am.

    You’ve been tagged. Check out my blog for more info. This is an easy one.

  12. Warm, fresh applesauce with whipped cream??? YUM! Never heard of that before!

  13. You are such an awesome educator! I love that you wanted to teach them something practical (even though they’ll likely forget the process and have to re-learn, like you said) and how you turned that little girl’s answer into a beautiful lesson for the rest of us. Thank you so much for sharing!

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