If Life Feels Empty of Harvest
Every morning, when and if I’m up early to read my Bible, I click my pen and shut my journal and feel certain that my day will be full and productive.
Different than yesterday... which somehow got away from me.
I’ve got an entire day set before me. God’s “serving size” of time given to me to be useful before rest is necessary. I can do it. Full-steam all day.
And always, always I slow.
Always I find myself surprised when the hours slip away and my to-do list is largely unchanged. I feel like I’ve gotten so little accomplished.
And then Annika wants to build castles in the backyard and I've still got that pile of laundry and I’d love to get some gloves on and pull those weeds that I've been watching grow for a week, but she phrases it so perfectly well that I could never refuse her.
“Mommy, do you have time to play with me?”
And, no. Not really. But “of course!” and usually, “just let me finish ____________.”
It’s not like I’ve been lazy. That’s not why the day slips away. It’s not like I’m sipping tea and reading novels and getting tons of happy, easy “me” time instead of working hard. No, I’ve been feeling busy and moving from one thing to the next all day long. How am I still so behind?
We stack castle blocks and hide dragons inside the walls and I feel a mixture of sweet, peaceful joy in our beautiful backyard with the chirping of chickens and swaying branches of giant evergreens, combined with a hovering impatience and distraction that pulls my focus out of the moment.
There’s got to be a better way to do this, I think.
There’s got to be a way to be everything God wants me to be, everything my daughter needs me to be, and everything I long to be. It can’t possibly be that impossible to be in the center of God’s will. How can I get in that flow?
Somehow my to-do list… my life, really… feels like a bunch of puzzle pieces that I’m trying to fit together in a manageable way. Part of it is because of the move, because I have this blank-slate of a life here and so many choices to make, and part of it is just because there is still so much that I need to figure out about myself and what God might be doing with our family.
There are choices to make about Annika’s schooling… will I continue to homeschool or should she be enrolled in public school or should I be praying about scholarships to private Christian schools?
And how will she make friends? How will she learn to engage with the world in a real way?
How will I make friends? How will I engage with the women in my community? How should I be spending my time- my days?... My life?
I want to make a difference. I want to write. I want to weed the garden and plant tomatoes and learn what the heck I’m doing out there. I want to volunteer somewhere. I want to date my husband. I want to make videos with Annika. I want to clean the bathroom and cook healthy meals and learn to use my grandmother’s sewing machine that sits silently in the corner. I want the possibility of a baby next year. I want to adopt. I want to take Banjo to the dog park around the corner and learn people’s names instead of just their dogs. I want to read novels at night with a cup of tea and go to bed early. I want to wake up before the sun. I want to meet our neighbors and have them over for dinner. I want to shave my legs and pluck my eyebrows. I want to give Annika a bath more than once a week (surprise, we’re disgusting) and sit beside the tub with her. I want to build castles in the backyard. I want to want less and live more.
And deep inside, I know… there’s a better way to do this than fitting it all together like a million puzzle pieces.
I just don’t believe that life was meant to be lived in such a compartmentalized way… where everything is squeezed in and checked off and things are accomplished but just barely and I always feel a little behind and a lot unsatisfied.
I feel like there’s a flow. A groove. An easy yoke for my slightly weary and confused attempts to achieve a meaningful life.
I’m willing to labor, but not without a harvest. Not anymore.
I’m believing in Life Organic, where I can be who I am and do what I love without guilt or regret, because I'm doing what God loves at the same time. I'm believing in all the opportunities that God promises are there - if I’m just there too. I'm believing in a way of life that is daily dying to itself and it's agenda so that it can naturally encompass every good and perfect thing instead.
The center of his will, the flow, the groove. The place where there is always more than enough.
Last year God told me to “Abide.” This year he says to “Engage.” And those aren't new words, new and long-awaited secret passwords to The Good Life, I think he's been reminding his people to abide and engage for a very, very long time.
I don’t know exactly how the pieces of my life might finally work and flow together in a free and less-complicated way. I don’t know what that might even look like because the pieces, all my hopes and dreams and plans, just don’t fit as separate pieces.
I'm not afraid to say it out loud: I just can't do this thing by myself.
Only God, the Lord of the Harvest, can see my life unfolding in all its fullness, a different and more heavenly dimension, and shape-shift my heart and my time and my relationships into something beautifully functional. Something fruitful and alive. Something for him.
Where he gets the glory and I get the joy.