by Mary Allen
A Potpourri of Essays about the Family, the Home, and Parenting
if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed
away; behold, all things are become new.” 2
Q: Do you have any fun, fall projects we could do as a family—maybe something with a moral lesson involved? Thanks!
A: I sure do! Get thyself a pumpkin and keep reading!
Nothing says fall like the sprawl of pumpkin vines with their large yellow blossoms taking over my nice-sized garden. To think that so much ground could be covered so quickly simply by planting a packet of seeds! Their vines trail up and over our garden fence to the hillside and beyond.
Even more amazing, is that each pumpkin, when cut open, yields over a hundred seeds! I love the lessons that can be learned from pumpkins. So here comes the fun project that you can do with your family.
Gather the family round and give your pumpkin a nice wash in the sink, rinsing off any garden soil that may dirty up this adventure. Cut your pumpkin in half, straight down through the stem. Scoop out the seeds, being sure to point out to your children how cool it is that this pumpkin that came from one seed yields more than 100 seeds itself! At this point, you can clean the seeds off for roasting.
Now, this isn’t complicated, so stay with me! Put your clean pumpkin halves cut-side down into a baking dish with a little bit of water in the bottom. Cover with foil, and bake at 350F for 45-90 minutes till the pumpkin flesh is soft when pricked with a fork. This flesh can then be separated from the “skin” and pureed in a blender to applesauce consistency. Now you are ready to make a home-made pumpkin pie, or pumpkin bread, or whatever your family so desires! (Check out the links for great recipes, and better step-by-step instructions on the pumpkin-pie-from-scratch process!)
As these things are baking, during clean-up, walk back through the project with your children making parallels to Christianity where possible. For instance, just as the pumpkin was cleansed before having “major surgery”, so we as unbelievers are cleansed of sin by God after believing that He died for our sins on the cross. The “major surgery” of the pumpkin, can be likened to the ways God grows us as new Christians, convicting us of certain sins and cutting them out of our lives, making us more like Jesus, which reflects all the glory back to God. Or in the case of pumpkins, scooping out the pulp and seeds, so that the new creations we’re baking will be more beautiful and palatable—reflecting well on our skills in the kitchen.
Last but not least, those 100+ seeds that came from a single seed, can be a beautiful way to encourage your children to share Jesus and the gospel of salvation with others. All it takes is one willing soul, planting seeds for God to grow into a bountiful harvest.
And pumpkin seeds are hardy. We used a pumpkin for target practice once, and after it was blown to smithereens, we forgot about it. The following summer, from this “destroyed” pumpkin, we had two volunteer pumpkins pop up to surprise us! Never underestimate those seeds you and your family scatter for Christ! No one is too impossible for Him to save.
Rejoicing in hope... Romans 12:12
About the Author: Mary Allen is a stay-at-home, homeschooling, country-loving mom. She makes her home in the mid-west amidst Border Collies, horses, cows, a horde of chickens, her beloved husband of 16 years and their three girls. She writes articles for several online publications, including her own website, Home-Steeped Hope.
March 27, 2014