I began Saturday, April 30, 2022, with five devotional books. One a small, aqua blue diary titled “One Line a Day: a five-year memory book.”

An anniversary gift from our youngest daughter, I reviewed my five entries from 2015 through 2019. A rough year for the Underwood family, I wrote one word, “haircut,” for April 30 in 2015. We lost my husband’s twin brother and his mother that year. My remarkable friend Martha also left us.

Thankfully, the influence of “The Diary of Anne Frank” remained steadfast. I eventually returned to my diary January 7, 2016, determined to legibly write what mattered most that day on the six lines provided. I completed the diary December 31, 2019, and revisit five years of memories each morning.

Six years to date, also a Saturday, I read the following entry: “Kim, Mary Ellen, Erna, and I removed the felt weed-cloth and lavender from the south plot. Step by step, we transform the land, return it to native grasses.”

I’m fond of that drizzly day in the field. Our complaints and laughter about April’s mercurial weather. Chilled to the bone, knees caked in mud, we retreated to the kitchen for lunch and hot tea and removed our wet clothes.

What a pretty sight, lunching in long johns and tights! It’s possible to forget such whereabouts and companions if my baby of three hadn’t chosen “One Line A Day” for my gift.

She knows I’ve kept a personal journal since her first day in kindergarten—one occupation within three uninterrupted hours. Not to be confused with my five-year diary, my journal’s content is primarily soul-searching, prayer, and worship. Therefore, I could use another five-year diary to record the outstanding to ridiculous events of the day.

For example, my grand-dog Lily disappeared while I weeded gardens this afternoon. She soon showed up with the carcass of a dead hen I’d buried weeks ago in tall grasses. Apparently not deep enough for her sniffing nose.

I chased Lily, feathers and bones clenched in her jaws, and at last capitulated. The black lab consumed her prize all but the feathers and gizzard.

Considering God’s grace within our often hostile human condition, I see Anne Frank’s diary becoming more relevant to my household, and to the world.

As her diary revealed after her death, her record of daily life preserved her true story. Her family’s history. From Miss Frank’s words, we learn her inner conflicts as a teenager while in hiding with her family from the Nazi Gestapo in Amsterdam.

Dear Reader, her story reminds me to speak encouragement to the fearful, risk serving the needy. Love my family, friends, and enemies. Give thanks for my land and food. Listen to the robin’s song and the hen’s cackle. Look upon the bloodroot and primrose blooms with gratitude.

While I may, write and read about the mysteries of God’s grace.

Contact Iris at irisfarmletters@gmail.com.