Parody of the Pickles…and Perseverance

If you’re receiving this post late, I’m so sorry. There was an issue with my website service.

“Julie,” my mother said. “We aren’t those kind of people.”

“What kind of people?”

“Pickle-making people.”

My husband Rick had just brought in a mountain of cucumbers from his garden and we planned to make pickles.

Cinnamon Red Hot Pickles.

Starting the tedious process I thought, What in the heck are we doing? Mother’s right. 

Our ingredients included strange things like ALUM and PICKLING LIME.

Here’s the recipe I’m warning you. It’s intimidating. The recipe says it takes three days, but we started at night. It took four.

Washing, peeling, and removing the seeds from 5,000 cucumbers was quite an ordeal.

Next we cut them into a million pieces.




We cheated and used the dishwasher to sterilize the jars.

With each step, my doubt grew.

We’re wasting our time.

Mother’s right. 

We aren’t pickle-making people. 

It was messy. Sticky. Exhausting.

One night after eleven o’clock, I was so sick of making pickles that I went to bed and left Rick stirring.

Somehow, we made a monumental mistake and bought the wrong kind of Red Hots. 🙁 Ours turned into clear rubbery balls that wouldn’t dissolve.

Nevertheless, Rick charged on, hoping they’d miraculously melt.

They didn’t.

By day three, red sticky syrup covered the counter. Cucumber seeds clung to the cabinets, the floor, and the refrigerator door.

The final morning before Rick left for work he asked me to do the next step.

“You’re kidding,” I said. “We’ve wasted enough time. Let’s just quit.”

“Nope. We’re not giving up.”

Feeling foolish and frustrated, I took the stupid cucs out of the fridge.

To my horror, they were pale green and pink. 

Not candy-apple red.

Then my mother called. “I tried to tell you,” she said.

Throwing the mess away, I decided NO MORE PICKLES. 

This is it. 

I’m done. 

But Rick wouldn’t give up. 

He went to four stores in search of the right kind of Red Hots.

He found them.

This time, he called his aunt for her recipe.

We started all over again.

But guess what?

It worked!

We did it! 

We made absolutely incredible Cinnamon Red Hot Pickles! 

Mother still can’t believe we’re pickle-making people. 🙂

I saved her a jar. 

If you’re working on something that seems impossible:

1. Tune out all negative thoughts. And comments. 🙂

2. Don’t be afraid to change your approach. (Aunt Jane’s recipe.)

3. Hang in there. Sometimes God’s favor comes when you least expect it.

Can you identify?

P.S. They’re gluten-free!


Julie and Rick



Ever Feel Like Giving Up?

I have.

For me, it’s been about writing, but it could be about anything near and dear to your heart. Anything you struggle with. Relationships, a career, maybe a dream.

Giving up starts with a single negative thought. I entertain a flicker of doubt.

Who am I to think I can write?

Thoughts gather. Circle like buzzards.

Why in the heck would anyone want to read this?

It’s an awful lotta work. With no guarantees.

Discouragement settles over me like a summer cold.

What if it’s all for nothing?

What if I missed God?

I should probably quit.

Before I make a fool of myself.

Before I fail.


Saturday morning, Rick and I watched our son Thomas, his girlfriend Brittany, and her brother Shooter run a Chick-fil-A 5K. Brittany and Shooter’s mama watched too. 🙂

It was Thomas’s and Shooter’s first race.

We cheered them on at the starting line and were waiting at the finish line. One by one, as they came into view to run the final yards, we clapped, whistled, screamed, “You can do it! Come on! Almost there!”

Holy chills ran down my neck as I witnessed what happened next–the kind where God seems to say, Pay attention.

Rounding the corner toward the homestretch, each one of them did the very same thing.

They kicked it into high gear.

Turned it on big time.

Gave it all they had.

(Thomas above, Shooter below)


(Brittany above)

As I saw their determination– jaws set, legs pumping harder, faster, eyes fixed on the goal, I felt the glorious fire ignite inside my heart again.

I can’t quit.

Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. Isaiah 50:7 NIV

Stay the course, my friends! Keep running!

If you feel like giving up, let me know. I’ll pray.