Ministry is tiring. And hard. My humanity keeps getting in the way - the judgmental attitude, frustration, weariness, whatever. I must continually remind myself that it's not about me, and that I need to rest in my Savior. Such an easy concept, such a difficult thing to DO. "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." (Matthew 11:28-30, The Message)
As part of my Bible study this week, I read the parable of the unfruitful tree in Luke 13 (verses 6-8). I am the tree, and Jesus is the gardener. He is doing whatever He can to make me grow, including providing fertilizer. I think we're all familiar with natural fertilizer... am I accepting that as a growth aid when I feel like I'm knee deep in it or whining and trying to get the whole mess off of me?!
So many dear friends are going through tough times right now - deaths in the family, difficult diagnoses, job issues, and so much more. I know part of this is just the season of life we are in (because, well, we're gettin' older!!) but this doesn't make anything simple. I still struggle with finding encouraging words and wanting to do something to somehow make it "better."
We've lived down here for about 27 months now, and I think I'm starting to get used to things. For instance, I no longer freak out when I see a roach crawling across my floor. I can't believe I'm even admitting that, but seriously, it's just a fact of life here. We have regular exterminator service and I do not have a filthy house, but with 5 exerior doors plus the garage access, the sneaky li'l guys find their way in all too frequently. Ewwwwww. BTW, our guest room is still open for anyone who wants to visit! ;) One thing that DOES still drive me crazy about the valley is the utter disregard for time and general lack of organization. School runs on a schedule and generally medical appointments are timely (just like anywhere else) but when it comes to social events noone shows up on time. I was excited to discover that one of the local farms is now offering a CSA program, and they were even having an "open farm" day this past weekend, with tours scheduled at 1:30 and 2:30. We arrived about 2:20, as I figured we could take a quick look around and then join the tour. Yeah, right! First off, parking was a mess as there were no clearly designated areas, and when I nosed our car in, I was already wondering how we were going to get out. We then headed toward the main house where there were a number of people standing around talking, but no information to be found anywhere. No info sheets about the farm, the owners were not designated in any way (seriously, how about a name tag or a hat?!), no.thing. I finally figured out one of the owners just from watching the conversation flow, but when I finally got to her we simply exchanged a few sentence fragments as she was continually interrupted. She handed me a list of crops they have planted along with approximate harvest times, but nothing about share sizes, prices, or anything! She did vaguely mention that they were going to do a little walk around the fields, but we left at 3:00, frustrated. The only good thing to come out of the afternoon is my hubby's newly-found passion for habanero honey (samples provided by a neighboring farm - and they had little handouts. What a novel idea!)
On a lighter note, the kids were having a lovely little conversation before school one day last week. Reminiscing about vomit. Yep, you read that correctly. A full conversation about colors and other details that I was quite content to banish from my memory bank. Is this one of those little gems of motherhood that I was promised? ;)
I really hate TV programming in October, particularly in regard to my kids. Why does every bloomin' show have a "Halloween special" that invariably includes ghosts, spooky sounds, and witches. Grrrrrr.
And lastly, I'm excited to announce that I purchased a giant book today - Vogue's Guide to etiquette - and it will become my Halloween costume. Yes, I do promise to post pictures!