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I feel time-compressed lately.  Since school got started again, having any free time, or “margin”, as I’ve heard it called, has been tough to come by.  It’s almost like my day just needs more oomph to make it run better.  Coffee only takes me so far.  My schedule is clunky.  I spend mornings working with Zac, figuring out what’s left to do this week for orientation and classwork.  Ruby goes to school somewhere in there.  I squeeze in some exercise, work on my actual job, and keep up on everyone’s appointments. I figure out housework and dinner and then I collapse on the couch. Whew!

When my brother and I were little, my dad was an avid camper and hiker.  He climbed mountains.  As someone who had lived in several different countries growing up, he adored the Northwest’s natural beauty.  Still does, though not as actively.  He took my brother and I camping and sometimes we ate freeze-dried food.

Never seen it?

freeze dried corn

Now you have.

Freeze-dried foods are ideal for emergencies.  If ever we experience a famine or a nuclear holocaust, they can be kept for long periods  – years – and reconstituted by adding water.  It’s a very old technique and rather energy-intensive.  Apparently, after doing (very) limited research, I found freeze-dried foods have almost the same nutritional value as regularly frozen foods. They’re in our cereals now.  I’m talking about fruits and vegetables here.  These work well as portable trail snacks, since they are lighter and won’t spoil.

The issue with freeze-dried foods is that they aren’t completely nutritionally the same as regular produce.  Nor do they taste the same.  Don’t even get me started on freeze-dried ice cream!  Guh.  These reduced forms of  fresh fruits and vegetables suffice for short periods of time.

What’s missing?  Water.  Agua.  L’eau.  That clear liquid that flows, hot or cold, out of your tap.

Spiritually, the Holy Spirit is our water.  He fills us up when we’re low and refreshes us.  He can take our busy days, filled with the mundane as well as important life tasks, and bring some much-needed joy.  When I’ve gone to my umpteenth meeting, the Holy Spirit can remind me why I’m there.  When I’ve had nearly the same conversation, word for word, with my kids about picking up after they bathe or the value of kindness, the Paraclete can give me more grace.  When my dinner ideas and funding run low, the Companion can whisper inspiration.  He can transform my freeze-dried life into something sustaining for the long haul.

…Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things. Psalm 81:10

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