This past weekend we spent some great quality time together…reading for hours at the local coffee shop, a pumpkin patch run, and more. And today, as I meandered around the grocery store, I started reminiscing on this time of year when we first got married.
The summer before, I started a photography business. Partially because I’m the poster child of trying stuff that interests me but also because of fear. I knew he could be released from the Steelers by the time we got married and I wanted something stable but flexible to help bridge the gap.
By the time we got married, he had been released and I wasn’t making a consistent full time income from all my business endeavors yet. After the wedding, reality hit me and I panicked. How are we gonna pay bills?
It wasn’t the easiest foot to start marriage off on. I would have preferred to know we had a nice little nest egg or at least one of us had a stable job.
So I booked photo shoots to do for other people DURING our honeymoon. During that precious first week of marriage, I worked. I let fear of not having enough consume my mind and interrupt our first week together.
If I could go back to worried pre-married me hustling her butt off, or any other girl in a season similar to that, I’d tell her a couple things:
1. You go girl. Work hard and make your mark on the world. Just don’t lose your heart or stop trusting that God will provide along the way.
2. Never ever let money be the reason you don’t get married. Too many people wait to commit til they feel all their ducks are in a row…and miss out on the joy of the journey and the struggle together.
3. Never let money be the reason you neglect stewarding your current season, either. Never let the pressure to hustle steal you from being present in the place you’re in — even when it’s new and a little uncomfortable.
As a driven girl that believes in empowering other girls, I’m cheering your efforts on. I applaud you when you choose to show up and serve and do what you’ve gotta do to survive. However, I also want to be the friend that takes your hand and reminds you: It’ll all work out. You’ve just gotta be here now and believe that.
My mom gave me a pot of sunflowers two weeks ago. She knew my history with keeping flowers alive and told me this is a simple starter plant, easy to keep alive. Just needs full sunlight and water now and then.
Sunlight. Water. Got it.
I stuck it in a patch of light on my back porch, up for the challenge that’s *supposed* to be easy.
Well I’ve since forgotten about said flowers and today I found them wilted, dried up and dead.
But it did rain since I set them out there, so I think God was trying to help me out. But alas, they are still goners.
So, this is either a test of my perseverance. Or a clear sign that I was not born to have flowers.
I believe it’s the latter.
And I think we all do that sometimes—see the things we struggle at and assume we’re just not made for them. But maybe they’re really a test of our perseverance.
Maybe the very things that need to bloom in your life aren’t the things that come easy but the things God wants to grow Y O U through, too.
Give those raw and delicate parts of your heart lots of Light and water em with the Word – with the well that never runs dry.
And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
I filled my cup of coffee and tossed in a dash of cinnamon (I’ve been into that, recently. anyone else?) and walked out to the back patio.
My backyard is so quiet, serene. Living in the country lets me breathe a bit deeper.
The dog followed me outside as I took a seat and opened to 1 Samuel.
Having never read the book of 1 Samuel before, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I mean, other than that it was probably about Samuel (good guess, or??)
As I read through chapter 1, studied with commentaries, dug into every line on the page, and highlighted note after note, the page just came to life.
And God taught me something I never anticipated to learn through Hannah’s (the mother of Samuel) story.
Before Samuel was born, Hannah’s womb was closed, which, understandably, caused grief for Hannah. But her husband loved her, he would always bless her with a double portion.
But she had an ongoing burden, a conflict with her hubby’s other wife, Peninnah, who could give him children (polygamy was common back then, although the Bible never condones it, and always points to the conflict it brings).
Hannah was provoked by her rival, the other wife, causing her to feel less than, and bitter as a result.
Then, it says, that while at the temple of the Lord, Hannah wept bitterly, pleading with Him.
While her pain was valid, and while she did the right thing by taking her tears and burden to the feet of the Father, something struck me as I read:
Hannah is at the house of the Lord, with the blessing of a double portion from her husband who loves her, and she cannot enjoy it because her burdens are so heavy.
And a powerful lesson jumped out at me.
How often do we do that? It is indeed possible for your problems at home to make your time with God miserable, to ruin your very ability to experience the blessing of His presence—if you let it.
I don’t know what your burdens look like today. Perhaps they are as heavy and painful as Hannah’s, or just a little irritating. Either way, I think the question we must always ask ourselves, in pursuit of joy and purpose, is this: Are you so focused on a burden in your life that you’re missing a blessing in your life?