Photo by guilhermedentista,

“Can I check for strawberries, Mummy?”

Photo by guilhermedentista,
Photo by guilhermedentista,

Almost every day my daughter repeats the refrain, ‘Can I check if there are any more strawberries, Mummy?’ We have about four small plants that are producing about one berry every three days, and yet she hold out so much hope for them. I’ve promised her that I’ll get more plants next year, so she can get that bit closer to a bowlful 🙂 Yet her hope that something small and sweet will emerge to brighten her day is precious.

Clients come to me when what they have been doing isn’t working anymore; when efforts are going unrewarded and coping mechanisms are unravelling. The efforts they have made, and investments they have poured themselves into are not producing fruit, and so they come for Hope.

And Hope is what Life Story brings. When we can sift through our history, and see where the periods of plenty and drought lie, and the threads the join them together, we can Hope again for our future. Moreover, when we, as fellow travellers, can learn from each other’s journeys, seeing roads extending further than the one along which we currently trudge, we find Hope.

And if we keep Hope, and we keep checking along the wayside as we trudge, we may find something small and sweet to brighten our day too. And if not today, tomorrow.

If you need some help seeing the Hope in your future, and want some company along a rough part of your journey, get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.

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  1. Dan Elyea says:

    Dr. Rachel, your illustration kicked off a boarding school memory from long ago (nothing to do with the point you were making.) Thought it might bring you a smile . . .


    Dessert Dilemma

    Through some fluke of nature, I despise that almost universal favorite finish to a meal—strawberries. I loathe the smell, cringe at the texture, and am revolted by the taste. We’re talking industrial-strength, gag-reflex dislike. Almost un-American, but it can’t be helped, folks. Fortunately, in late 1940s and early 1950s Nigeria that problem just didn’t come up.

    Assigned to Miango Rest Home, veteran missionaries John and Sadie Hay also ministered to the older KA kids. Each Sunday afternoon they’d invite two of the older kids over for lunch at their home on the Rest Home compound.

    It came time for my buddy David John and me to eat with the Hays. We looked at pictures of early Mission work in Nigeria and made small talk while Mrs. Hay put the finishing touches on the meal.

    I’m sure the main course tasted really swell, but I remember nothing about it. After all, that was over 60 years ago. Then Mrs. Hay triumphantly served up the dessert—strawberries! You’ll be so proud of me. I realized what a rare treat they thought they were providing us and what efforts they must have made to get them. Fighting every instinct and instruction from my body, I choked them down. At the time, I thought I faked my way through OK. Now I wonder whether any insufficiently repressed facial tension might have given me away! I bless them for their kind hearts and now can laugh at the irony of the situation. But don’t you try serving me strawberries!

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