Mom and I walked out of Wal-mart slower than usual. Not because of extra groceries, but for a very different reason. The winter was coming to an end resulting in drastically-fluctuating temperatures. This caused the sap of the Maple Trees to be pushed through the cambium, which when collected and boiled down produces syrup.
Though we have collected sap for some years now, every year the process becomes more refined. But this year was drastically different. The sole reason was because of a home-school family we met through the Salem Farmers’ Market. This family went all out when it came to the maple syrup making. They tapped hundreds of trees and bought a commercial boiler to process the sap. They agreed to process our sap with their equipment if we could get enough sap to make it worth it. So the challenge was on, and this was the reason Mom and I were pushing 30 gallons of distilled water out of Wal-Mart. Not necessarily for the water, but for the jugs.
In a couple of days we had a total of 60 taps in maple trees all over our our neighbors’ properties and a couple on our own. This was over four times what we had ever done before! How were we going to gather it all, bring it all back to the house, and take it to the Colemans?
The answer came through a blessing, a willing younger brother. Together we were able to collect about 389 gallons of sap, bring it all back to the house, (with the help of a car) filter it into 30 gallon drums, they had loaned us, and take it over to the Colemans for boiling.
It’s so exciting to see how each year expands beyond what we ever thought possible, especially this year. But so is the way of God’s work in our lives. He always has a goal set before us, though it takes much patience and a willingness to expand our borders. I have learned much more than just how to process lots of sap. And I hope this encourages you not only to do the challenging, but to do the impossible!