shaking hands with the enemy

But love your enemies and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Luke 6:35

The sweet aroma of citrus blossoms waifts into our truck as we drive through Dinuba, past acres of orange groves. It’s a smell that brings us twenty years into our past when we lived in Redlands, CA–a town steeped in a rich citrus heritage. I’m sure that if smells could heal, sickness would be abolished in the Central Valley of California each spring.


Pulling onto the property of Gleanings for the Hungry, the familiar comfort of returning to a location for a second time greets us. We are here for the week, excited to serve, ready to learn.

On Monday morning, much of the routine we remember repeats itself with predictable precision: morning devotions, bountiful meals, and fulfilling work. However, this time around holds the bonus of familiar faces and friendships that were forged on our first visit that we now get to build upon.


As the week begins we delve into the tasks at hand: processing walnuts and dried persimmons, making quilts and cleaning bathrooms. Energy is high and sleep comes easily each evening. Continue reading “shaking hands with the enemy”

serving as a family at Gleanings for the Hungry | Dinuba, CA

So, um, hi. Remember me? You may or may not have noticed but it’s been nearly a month since I’ve put finger to key here on the blog. Shortly after my last post, we spent a week serving as a family at Gleanings for the Hungry and had a phenomenal time. God really blessed Trent and I during our time there and since then we’ve been thinking new thoughts and praying over new dreams. While I hope to possibly share more on that in the future, I’ve really stumbled over how to convey our Gleanings experience with you. The ensuing result has been silence which as it turns out, makes for a terrible read. So in an effort to plunge forward, setting perfection aside, I present our Gleanings for the Hungry experience:


Mom, how soon can I go back to work tomorrow?” my six year old asks with sparkling eyes and an upturned chin. “After we eat breakfast and do devotions together as a group,” I respond. He heaves a big sigh and with slumped shoulders confides, “I just was hoping we could get started as soon as I woke up.

It’s the end of our first full day serving as a family at Gleanings for the Hungry in Dinuba, CA. We are all weary from a day worn well. As I lay down to rest and reflect, I can’t help but smile as I replay favorite memories from the day in my mind.

-Ashlyn, invited to sit down at the sewing machine in the quilt room and stitch the final hem to finish off the hand-made quilt that will be sent to Mexico.

serving as a family at Gleanings for the Hungry

-Quinten and Tanner working in the soup room assembly line catching the dried mix into bags. Continue reading “serving as a family at Gleanings for the Hungry | Dinuba, CA”