Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Grace - From Spice to Eternity

Today we have a special treat! I had the pleasure of reviewing Yvonne Pat Wright's book From Spice to Eternity and was impressed at how she creatively merged her love for scripture with her culinary knowledge and talents! Each devotional is based on a spice and at the end has a recipe (or craft idea) using the featured spice. Below is an exclusive excerpt from her book on the topic of grace and the spice rue.
**TODAY ONLY: Yvonne has a special offer for those who purchase From Spice to Eternity on 8/21/12 including many free gifts and drawing for a new Kindle! Click here to visit her website.

Chapter 35: That Thing Called Grace

Rue: Shakespeare called rue “the herb of grace on  Sundays”. Sprigs of rue were used in the Catholic Church to sprinkle holy water. The herb is said to have medicinal qualities and has been associated with loss, regret and bitter lessons. Once a popular garden herb, it has lost its popularity in favour of other plants, which are more useful in cooking.  Although there are recipes that use rue, caution is advised in using it, as it is very strong and can easily ruin the dish. Pregnant women should not consume it. Cats and dogs do not like the smell of rue, so they will stay away from gardens where it is grown.
The excitement had reached fever pitch. I found it hard to get my two daughters to concentrate on everyday things, like going to school and doing their extra curricular activities. They had been present when my friend, Chester, asked me if I would be willing to be house mother for the Jackson Five who would be visiting Jamaica for a concert tour. Of course I said yes, and my daughters immediately elevated me to ‘Saint’ status.

This privilege allowed my girls to meet with the famous children in the quiet of their hotel, away from the crowds and the media. They played and chatted with them, took photographs and became friends.  As friends, they were invited to be a part of the group going on a trip to a beautiful white sand beach in Negril on the western coast of Jamaica.

For the Jacksons, who had private tutors, this was fine. If my girls were to go, it would mean missing at least one day of school – perhaps two. My services were not needed for the trip and in any case I could not take two days off work. The reality was that I had conjured up scenes of wild, unbecoming behavior by the youngsters, and did not wish my girls to be part of it – especially in my absence.  I made a fateful decision. I told Helen and Heather that they could not accompany the Jackson Five on their beach trip.

As can be expected, I quickly lost my sainthood and was deemed to have committed an unpardonable sin. Heather was sure she had lost her chance of becoming Mrs Michael Jackson, and Helen shared the same sentiment concerning Marlon Jackson.  I am so grateful for grace. To my daughters, I was totally undeserving. There is no way they could forgive me for what they thought at the time was equivalent to ruining their lives.

Even so, grace stepped in through little voices that  said,  “We still love you Mommy and forgive you, even though you don’t deserve it.”  I have often wondered what difference the alternative decision would have made to all our lives. Though I suspect it would not have been much really. But in the light of the events that have happened over the years, I have had rueful moments and wished I could go back to that ‘once in a lifetime’ event in 1975 and said yes instead of no!

In my relationship with Jesus, I’ve also regretted some decisions that I’ve made that caused me pain, and caused Jesus to suffer a cruel death. But I am so thankful for grace – His grace that forgave me even as I was making poor decisions.

‘But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.’ Romans 5:20b, KJV.  

Nothing that I have done or could ever do, can earn the undeserved and unmerited favour that Jesus so abundantly dispenses.

Dried Rue and Herbs Floral Wreath 

4 bunches of dried rue
1 bundle dried baby eucalyptus twigs
1 bundle of cinnamon leaves on sticks
½ lb bay leaf twigs (with leaves on)
2 strings of garlic (approx. 6 to a string)
12 dried red chilli peppers
6 rose hips
6 stems of bear grass
1 large bunch of dried rosemary herb
1 small bundle of natural raffia
Approx 12 pieces of a medium gauge florist wire

Bend eucalyptus and bay leaf twigs gently so as not to break the twigs, to make a circle about 25 inches in circumference. Then add the bunches of rue stems around the other two twigs. Tie and secure this round with the natural raffia. Separate the bundle of cinnamon sticks into about 3 pieces of 3 bundles, tied around with raffia, making a bow on each. Using the bear grass, string the rose hips at the ends of each bundle. To affix the peppers, either wire them in or use a hot glue gun.

~Excerpt From Spice to Eternity by Yvonne Pat Wright


  1. I love Yvonne's book and I'm going to be giving copies to some of my friends at Christmas. Yvonne, we're all celebrating your book's Amazon launch with you today and thanks, Saundra, for sharing Yvonne's wonderful book with us!

  2. Thank you for sharing this post with us. Sounds like a wonderful book. I can't help but wonder if Rue will also keep slugs off your lettuce and vegetables in the garden since it makes your cats and dogs stay their distance. Very informative!