Wait For it

Field of Flowers

My husband and I take our daughter on walks most evenings.

On our walks, we typically take a route that allows us to walk by this big open field near our neighborhood, where the owners mostly let the grass grow wild.
They mow it periodically, but the mows are few and far between because this field grows the most amazing Texas wildflowers.

Towards the end of February after the last cold hurrah of Texas winter, we walk past and the field glitters with Pink Evening Primroses.

Between March and April, those typically subside and make room for the beautiful budding Bluebonnets that everyone loves— until the heat from the emerging summer sun chases them away.
Then from May to around late July the Texas Firewheels with their fiery centers and their yellow crowns illuminate the field to match the mid-summer skies.

And finally, finally, the Wild Sunflowers that have waited their turn all year eagerly jump up in early August and bloom through the start of fall.

The thing we love about this field is the fact that it’s not just a field of Bluebonnets all year long. Different flowers bloom in different seasons and every flower gets its own few months in the limelight. As the months’ pass, they patiently wait for their time.

This year, I guess because of the milder spring, the Bluebonnets lingered, and it seemed like they would be there all summer, and the Firewheels would never get their turn, but we waited patiently and sure enough, this weekend we walked past the field and there were the Firewheels, blooming brilliantly.
Just because the Bluebonnets sprung up before them, even in the exact same field, didn’t mean their time in the sun wouldn’t come.

I picked just one flower for my baby girl because I know there is a lesson there that she might need one day. I’m sharing because maybe all of us need it too.

YourSeasonIsComing #WaitForIt

Sit Down on the Ground with Your Friends: The Ministry of Presence

“So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great.”- Job 2:13

I’ve always loved this scripture.

I remember when my Dad passed away just over 10 years ago now. I was walking in a bit of a cloud for a while. Grief is strange like that. It can make you feel everything and feel numb at the same time.

It’s heavy.

Both of my best friends were out of the state when it happened, but God in his sovereign will, and them in their love for me, had their family members or friends come by and check-in.

One brought pasta salad, a huge bowl of perfectly cut fruit, and chocolate cream pie.

Another brought flowers and a card.

One brought bottled water.

Though I was grateful. It wasn’t the things they brought that mattered. That only gave a reason for the visit, and to be honest I didn’t even know them all that well.

But, it didn’t really matter that we weren’t close. Each time they came, they sat for a bit and held the grief with me for just a moment. Lightening the load.

Then people who I hadn’t seen in ages, showed up for the viewing and the funeral and they collectively shared the grief and lifted the burden for a brief time. Enough for me to catch a breath before continuing on.

I’ve seen quite a few people on my timeline dealing with the death of family members and grief in other forms and it was really weighing on me.

Then I read this passage this morning and was reminded of this simple wisdom.

The power of “The ministry of presence” cannot be understated.

Everyone is at a different stage of life (I have a 2-year-old who has my phone disabled 75% of the day so I know), and “presence” may look a little different.

But if it is in your power, “sit down on the ground” with the people around you who may need a little break from carrying the burden of grief. A short “drive-by” hello, text or phone call can do amazing things.

Salt and Time

This past Sunday (yesterday). Alvan and I decided to take our brunch adventures, back to a place we have been before. This particular spot in Austin is called Salt and Time.   Now, this may not sound that unusual, but for us it is.  Why?  Well, we typically like to try a new place every Sunday, however the food at this place was so amazing the first time we visited, we actually had to try it again just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. Turns out that it was not a fluke and this second time around the food was absolutely amazing again.

The interesting thing about this particular restaurant is that it is a somewhat unique eatery.  It happens to be both a butcher shop and a restaurant.  Of course, first and foremost they are a butcher shop and because of that, the meat is amazing and fresh. But they also serve brunch on Sundays which happens to be delicious.   As we ate the melt-in-your-mouth biscuits and gravy, porkchop and eggs, I had a chance to discuss what God has been dealing with me about and how it was reinforced at church that morning.

Lately I have been in this weird season of uncertainty. I recently finished grad school and have been on the hunt for a new job, but to be honest I haven’t felt led in any particular direction. I know that I’m finished with the classroom and I want change, but I’m not sure what is next.  In addition to that I made a promise to myself that I would work on my writing business this summer and have missed my personal deadlines on several writing goals. Mainly because I’m just overwhelmed by where to start.  There are other smaller decisions that I have been trying to hear God about, but I have not been getting answers. I suppose this has sent me into a sort of frenzied impatience.  I’m applying for jobs all over the place, reading about entrepreneurs and working my summer job off and on.  All of this doing at a breakneck pace, only multiplied by the comparison game I like to play by reading the daily Facebook posts.  I know I’m not the only one who gets caught up in all the success that just seems to be bursting from your top 500 friend’s daily social media updates right?

I’d been trying to get some direction and just find out what I need to do to be just as great as all the other Facebook users out there. Just this week, I’d asked God again for next steps, and instead of hearing that answer, He started dealing with me about comparing myself to others and judging both them and myself based on what they are doing and what I am not.  I mean, it was a great message, but not exactly what I was looking for.

Finally, yesterday it hit me.  And it was exactly the topic of the message at church that morning.  Maybe God hasn’t given me answers about what I should be “doing” because He is more concerned about me “being” and becoming.  Our Associate Pastor preached yesterday and what she said rocked me.  She said “Don’t worry about what you should be doing, just be and the “doing” will emanate from your being. Sitting in the restaurant I began to think. I mean seriously what makes the restaurant so good? It occurred to me that they are just busy being a butcher shop and using what they already are and what they already have to create good food.

Taking a look at the menu, I noticed that everything they serve is either meat or a meat by-product. Which makes perfect sense, because in essence “meat” is what they do best. It’s who they are. And they only start there.  Then they season their food so perfectly and different than anything that we have had at any other brunch.  The seasoning is so good that it stands out.  It made me think, why am I so worried about doing something big, like I think every else is doing?  Why am I begging God to tell me what to do so that I can be someone important?   My job is to just be.  He already has a purpose for me, He has already ordered my steps. Maybe he is just taking me as I am, as He created me to be and He is seasoning me so uniquely that when it is time to put me on the table in front of the world, I’m flavorful and perfect.  I just have to focus on becoming who He already knows that I will be and allow Him to get me to to the right place.  Guess I just need a little Salt and Time myself.