Of Sweet Peas and Simple Faith

Sweet Peas may be my most highly favored fragrant flower. I feel strongly about them because my mother loved them. She nurtured her colorful bed of sweet peas each summer and when they were in bloom she placed bouquets on our dining room table.

I like reading things that bring my mother to mind. I know she would have been touched by the following story that speaks of sweet peas and of the “awakenings” of life for she had plenty of them, too.

This story comes from a book titled, “Simple Faith,” written by Kenneth V. Peterson of Grand Forks and edited by his wife, Lucille. Ken is grateful to Lucille for her enthusiasm for reading all he writes and for her deep appreciation for what is right and honest.

Here is Ken’s story that mentions sweet peas:

An old gardener used to hire me to pick beans for him. He paid a penny a pound. Some days I would earn up to twenty-five cents.

The gardener was poor and so were we. It was out of the red clay beneath our feet that he, as well as my family, made a living. The fields were small, newly made, hewn from the dense forests of Northern Wisconsin, those forests made up of red and white oak, elm and maple trees. There was also an abundance of rocks.

It was in this dry clay, filled with stones and dying roots, that the gardener raised his beans.

Near noon on a warm summer’s day, I stood up to stretch my young but tired back when my eyes caught sight of a row of sweet peas.

I stepped over the bean rows and stood for a moment beside these dainty flowers of every color in the rainbow. I bent down to look more closely at the graceful, delicate petals. I smelled their delicious fragrance. This fragrance awakened a longing in my spirit that I had never known before.

I was ten years old, yet the longing that was awakened in me that day has never left me.

As C.S. Lewis tells us, “We long for more, and the promise of God is that there is more beyond us, and still more awaiting us, more to delight us than we will ever exhaust, for the Fountainhead of Joy is our inexhaustible God.”

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The above is just one of the many very interesting stories and random thoughts that Ken and Lucille included in “Simple Faith,” which had its second printing in 2012. The 272-page hardcover is filled with heartwarming chronicles of faith, lovely pictures and meditative Bible verses all from the New King James Version of the Bible.

“Simple Faith,” is what it is because Ken and Lucille are very devout Christian believers who unashamedly praise and glorify the God of Creation and His Son, Jesus.

Ken writes of such things as building a bridge, literally, regretting missed opportunities, attempting to glue back together a broken (by a 2-year-old) expensive antique base, visiting and praying with a terminally ill friend.

There are thoughts and reflections from others as well like this one from Mother Teresa of Calcutta:

“It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start.”

I see “Simple Faith,” as a wonderful Christmas gift. It sells for $25. If interested you can reach the Petersons at: kenl@gra.midco.net or call them at 701-772-0286 or 701-330-6691.

This is not their first book. Lucille is the author of “The Swenson Family,” and “Lewis and Mary Mathiason-Larson Family.” Ken has authored “A Psalm of Gratefulness,” and he has produced two music CD’s, “Resting in Jesus,” and “I’ll Walk with God.”

And in January of 2012, they published, “Letters From Home,” the story of three generations of Norwegians in their family.

Ken and Lucille met at Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa and were married in 1954. Lucille was born and raised on a farm near Westbrook, Minn. She earned a degree in business from Waldorf College and later earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of North Dakota. She taught junior high and senior high school English and business subjects.

Ken was born and raised on a small farm near Bone Lake, Wis. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn. He also graduated from Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul. He received a Master’s Degree and a Ph.D. from UND and for 40 years served as a weekend pastor, was a clinical professor at the UND Medical School and also maintained a private practice in psychotherapy.

Ken and Lucille are somewhat retired now and enjoy spending their days together not only in their Grand Forks home but also at their lake home in Minnesota where – you guessed it – they grow the loveliest of Sweet Peas.

Until Soon

One thought on “Of Sweet Peas and Simple Faith

  1. Thanks for putting this article out. My parents are truly special people and their “stories” are well worth the time to read. All they have written is a wonderful testimony to their faith. Simple Faith is their sharing of that faith with others.

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