Burnt Yams

There were ‘hellos’, hugs and ham. My mom, sister, my daughter and myself were busy bees in the kitchen. Preparing all the wonderful Thanksgiving usuals. Unless you ask my Farmer and our daughter…they’d disagree wholeheartedly. Thanksgiving food is not their jam, actually they’d probably prefer jam. So here we are just about to put the finishing touches on the yams and by finishing touches I mean the most important part, marshmallows!

You know the phrase ‘out of sight, out of mind’? Well, that’s exactly what happened. Suddenly the yummy food fragrance was tinged with a slight smokiness. The yams! We opened the oven and sure enough, they were toast, burnt toast. Not the yams!?! We can fix this, my mom said and she began to scrape the burnt gooey topping into the trash. We re-mallowed the yams and back in they went.

Well wouldn’t ya know it? We forgot…again! Pulled the hot dish out and here comes the spoon to scrape the burnt top off, again. At this point we were laughing and opening the kitchen window. Burnt marshmallows do not smell appealing, unless you’re sitting around a campfire. And camping we were not. Ok, third time’s the charm. With fingers crossed we stood at the oven, all eyes on the marshmallows. Dinner was enjoyed by all and we have a Thanksgiving story we’ll never forget.

Thinking about this reminds me of 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Now I realize that my burnt yams may be stretching this ‘thanks in all circumstances’ but hear me out. If I can’t have a good attitude when small things don’t go my way, how will I ever be able to face life’s big disappointments? Thanksgiving in itself is an act of faith. We are not naturally thankful. How many times do you hear or have said yourself to you children, “What do you say?” Gratitude is a learned behavior. We are taught at a young age to say ‘thank you’. Well, most of us are…I have my doubts with some people.

A thankful heart is a heart at peace.

-A

I have never met anyone who truly had a dislike for peace. Peace brings all the good stuff like contentment, joy and marshmellowed yams. Ok, maybe not the yam part but when I’m at peace I’m definitely more mellow.=) I was looking through my (one of many) journals and noticed something. Just about every other page entry began with “Thank you God for…” I’m so spiritual huh? Um, no. One thing I am, is thankful. I’ve seen some pretty dark valleys and I’ve seen God move some very big mountains. I know what hurt feels like and I also know the soul quieting peace that healing brings.

Grateful, thankful, pleased; however you say it, mean it. It sounds so trivial to say ‘count your blessings’ right? But it’s not. A thankful heart is a heart at peace. At peace, it’s quieted and contented. “I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.” (Psalm 4:8) This scripture whispers to me. It’s like curling into my bed with the smell of freshly washed sheets, my soft down comforter and my fluffy pillow. Closing my eyes with the assurance that I’m safe and cared for. Isn’t this the longing of all our hearts? To be at peace? And who would have thought it all begins with thankfulness?

When I’m thankful I find that I’m much happier with what’s in my hands instead of what (I think) I lack. My list of ‘thank yous’ might look very different than yours but that’s cool. Here are a few of mine:

  • a morning walk with my mom
  • messy countertops after a night of giggling girls in the kitchen
  • a hot cup of coffee brought to me in bed from my Farmer
  • tiny hands in mine as we cross the parking lot
  • a text from my dad with a picture of yet another fish he’s caught

My soul longs to be one of thanksgiving. A constant flow of ‘thank you’ notes to God for all that He is and has done in my life. And in spite of me. He’s taken my sorry attitude and transformed it into one of gratitude. As we prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday (such as it is this year) take time to stop and make your own list of ‘thank yous’. I love looking back in my journal and remembering the big and small things that I’m so grateful for and blessed with.

-A

Broad Places

Morro Bay, it’s a beautiful little seaside town that our family loves to visit. There’s good food, great weather and lovely views. We decided to take Lyncon with us on a day trip to Morro Bay. Figuring that he would love going on a roadtrip and playing at the beach. After arriving, lunch was on the agenda. There’s a small restaurant that we enjoy frequenting when we visit and they have a fenced in outside patio, score!

What we have failed to realize however, is that the patio is pretty small and there are several people seated there. Hoping to socialize Lyncon a bit more we navigate through the families who are enjoying their lunch and then it happens. Lyncon panics. And not just a little, something spooked him and he was frantically looking for an escape route! I was holding his leash and he caught me off guard with the pulling and the thrashing he started to do. He wanted out and now! Jerking me forward and slipping out of his harness Lyncon took off for the only way out, to the big parking lot. Thankfully, several people helped block Lyncon from his great escape, it was a close call.

Can you empathize with Lync? Have you ever found yourself feeling the noise and the pressure of life, pressing in on you? The too busy schedule just overflowing with ‘to-dos’? Maybe a situation that is totally out of your control going full speed ahead, brakes squealing as you dig your heels in? I can. And it’s scary. I’ve had moments of panic, just like Lyncon, and I’m just trying to breathe but the walls feel like they are closing in. Take heart friend!

I came across this scripture one day as I sat and read my bible, even feeling the pressure of walls that I’d built with my own hands. Psalm 18:19 reads, “He brought me forth also into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me.” It stopped me in my self loathing tracks. Immediately I got an image of a wide open field, breeze swaying the tall grass around me. Big blue sky open above me. And I take in a deep breath. Can you see it? Can you feel it? The weight being lifted off of your weary shoulders.

The author, King David knew what weighted weariness felt like. He had been both at the highest of triumphs with God and experienced the lows of failure at his own hand. He was no better then you or I and we see that his heart longed for the wide open spaces too. God rescued David a time or two and David knew what we so often fail to see; that God doesn’t rescue us because He has to but because He delights to. You are loved and cherished by the Father.

David continued this theme in Psalm 119:46-50 when he pens, “And I’ll stride freely through wide open spaces as I look for your truth and your wisdom; Then I’ll tell the world what I find, speak out boldly in public, unembarrassed. I cherish your commandments – oh, how I love them! – relishing every fragment of your counsel. Remember what you said to me, your servant – I hang on to these words for dear life! These words hold me up in bad times; yes, your promises rejuvenate me.” The Message translation is so beautiful, isn’t it? There’s both adoration and exhortation here. It’s funny how we long for full freedom but when David speaks of ‘wide spaces’ it’s within the safety of God’s commandments. It is in Him that we find freedom and protection, they are two sides of the same coin.

The day at the beach ended on a high note by the way. We calmed Lyncon down and slightly tightened his harness. He was so excited when we arrived at the water’s edge. He ran (as far as the lead would allow) chasing his ball in the waves, happy to be out in the broad places.

Check out my podcast by searching ChirpCast on any of your favorite providers! I’d love to share more of my life lesson adventures with you.

-A

Be Still

Growing up I did a lot of church time. Not to be confused with ‘hard time’. Church was a way of life for us; Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night service. After singing and then getting settled in for the long haul, I mean, sermon; I was good. For about 20 minutes. Inevitably I’d start to get restless. Wiggling around in my seat, digging in my mom’s purse for mints, looking around to catch the eye of a friend or cousin to make faces at. My mom would whisper two little words; ‘Be still.’

These words were not my friends. I hated having to sit still. I had exhausted my limit of sitting. On the rare occasion when I pressed my luck my dad would ask me if I wanted to go outside. This was code for step outside and get a swat on the behind. Honestly, yes I did want to go outside but I’m sure saying this would have not ended well for me. My smart mouth would be getting me into trouble for years to come, believe it or not.

I still have a hard time sitting still. I am almost always doing multiple things at once. The one exception is when I am reading. How I can sit still for hours and read is beyond me! When I watch TV I’m usually working on a craft project of some kind; painting is a favorite. Singing or listening to music is another “add on” for me. Even as I type this I’m humming to the music in the background.

This afternoon I had an object lesson moment. It was so poignant that I snapped a picture of it…

Do you see what I see? I was not being still! In fact, I had so many things going that I laughed out loud at myself! My mind was going about 50 different ways. These are only the things you can see. One night a week I host a women’s bible study at our home as well. And you guessed it, it was only a few short hours away. After finishing a few items (and my pb&j sandwich) I took a break…

Just kidding! I began to pick up here and there; in the kitchen, emptying trash cans, doing dishes, picking up school books and on it goes. This moving from one thing to another is my natural motion. Busy. As I walked through from one room to another I heard those two words in my heart, ‘be still’. But God, I don’t have time to be still, was my response.

God is so crazy patient with me, seriously. He gently reminded me that I will regret not sitting down. I have been gifted (read: cursed) with osteoarthritis, it was confirmed this past year. I find that when I don’t sit still for a bit every day I pay for it dearly at night when I lay still in bed. My joints and nerves are in a lot of pain, sometimes making me forfeit a good night’s sleep. There is a fine line between moving too much and sitting still for too long. It’s something I’m learning to balance. And by balance I mean it feels as if I’m juggling sticks of dynamite. Did I mention that I don’t know how to juggle?

Apparently, God knows me much better than I know myself. I sat down and Googled ‘be still scriptures’. And guess what? Isaiah 40:31 jumped off my screen and hit me like a semi truck.  “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” What? Wait? But I have things to dust, trash to empty, floors to vacuum (currently I can see cat hair on the living room floor…errrrr), the list is a mile long.

Obviously, I listened. I’m sitting and honestly, it’s kinda killing me. But only because I let it. I think what I need to do is a real ‘need to’. The ladies coming to study God’s word are my friends. They aren’t coming over because my house is spotless. As I read Isaiah 40:31 I come to the realization that my strength is found only in waiting on Him. Waiting IN Him.

I am renewed because He alone is my strength. Do you find yourself running in circles only to find that you’re back where you started? Take time today to rest in Him, wait on Him, be renewed by Him. Funny thing too this is also the very scripture I have tattooed on my wrist. He sure is sneaky.

Rest. Renew. Then run.

-A

Vines & Verses

A few days ago I found myself out in our yard, watering our very thirsty plants. California summers are brutal. Days upon days of heat and sandy ground that dries out quickly if not constantly watered has caused more than a few casualties in my garden over the years. On this particular day I walked around to the north side of our house and found that my trumpet vine was growing by leaps and bounds!

I was ecstatic, to say the least. I absolutely love this plant. If you want a beautiful vine in your yard, this is THE one. Seriously. As I turned on the spout to water this and a few others in the same planter I looked a bit closer at the vine. I noticed something about the long swirly tendrils. Check out the picture and see if you see the same thing that I did…

The question came to me; ‘What are you willing to do to thrive?’ Odd question, I know. Especially since I was just trying to hurry up and get out of the heat. I paused a moment and just stared at the plant. What stood out to me was the way the vines were intertwined and reaching up toward the sun. Here’s a closer look…

Do you see it? There are about 5 small vines wrapped around each other. Back to the question and what the heck does it have to do with you? These vines were doing something that I had not trained them to do. I have two metal trellises, one on either side of the plant. As the vines have begun to grow out I weave them in and around the trellis. This is because the vines have been getting heavy and need support. Apparently, the vines do not need my help! I was trying to make the vines hold on to the metal so that it would thrive, as a whole.

However, the vines were doing what they naturally do. Holding onto each other, being a strong support system. Reaching toward the sun. The question of ‘What are you willing to do to thrive?’, for me the answer lies in what the vines are naturally doing. They are reaching for the sun, the source of their life as well as digging down with their roots into the soil. They are holding on.

For some, right now it’s a season of ‘just hold on’. Just make it through one more day, just survive another heat wave. I’m reminded of the scripture in Hebrews 10:23

Let us hold resolutely to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.

He is faithful. We waver.

Friends, let us hold tightly to the hope that we profess. Let us streach up to the Son, to Jesus. Let us dig deep into the rich soil of God’s Word, allowing Him to quench our thirsty souls.

-A

The Unhealed Heart

It’s a quiet moment. The clarity in the pause.

A deep breath in. It rustles an escape.

Hands untwisted, the same is the heart.

Eyes lay closed on tear dried cheeks.

Please God, if only you would…


Stepping in, His presence fills the space.

His very breath brings healing grace.

Hands that are scarred upturned with open arms.

My tiny heart cracks and the massive places of lack.

Dear one, if only you’d let me…


With eyes upturned and broken heart in hand

He accepts this gift with a gentle plan.

The process is bitter, vinegar and wine

Taking slow His time, binding hurt lovingly with twine.

‘What’s taking so long’ I cry

‘You can’t rush the heart’s mending’ comes His quiet reply.


Patience is hard. To sit, to wait.

There’s a process in the plan

Even if you don’t understand.

The rush of fear comes beating on my heart

But He answers the fear with a look that would start.


His gentle reminders of hope in the years

The sun through the clouds, laughter in the tears.

A hope and a promise, even yet to be fulfilled

Brings a lightness to the heart, even one that’s broken apart.

-A

 

 

Mary Moments

The story of Christ’s birth has always been a staple for me, especially during Christmas time. As a child I was in countless church plays and programs, retelling the story of baby Jesus with equal parts humor and sentiment. Twice that I can remember I was playing the role of ‘Mary’. As a little girl I didn’t quite understand the gravity of this role. As I got older I came to see Mary as a standard that I couldn’t live up to, the Proverbs 31 woman has nothing on the Mother of Jesus!

So in my mind the bar was set, and set really high. In Luke 1:26 she was visited by the angel Gabriel and his greeting begins with calling her a ‘favored woman’, she was special right from the onset. He goes on to say that the ‘Lord is with you!’ Their exchange is brief and honestly not much information is revealed to her. But in Mary fashion she ends with the words, ‘I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.’

I’ve reread their conversation and here’s what we know:

  • She’s favored
  • The  Lord is with her
  • She’s going to have a baby (Jesus)

Yep, there’s the plan. Um, hold up a sec. And here’s where I get lost. You see I am pretty laid back girl but this would not have been enough information for me. No way. I’d have about 38 more questions and need a pie chart, maybe even a slide show presentation. This, along with a slough of other reasons is why I wasn’t chosen to be the mother of Jesus. Now Doubting Thomas? I could fill those shoes in a hot second!

Now fast forward to my drive to church this past Sunday. I’m an all things Christmas lover; lights, trees, shopping for gifts, music…all of it. So I’m driving to church and I have my Christmas station playing away and an unfamiliar song comes on. It begins by describing Mary and how wonderful she was. My first thought is well I know they’re not singing about me. In a split second God spoke to my heart and asked why can’t it be you?

My thoughts kind of went everywhere at once and I began making a list of how I’m not ‘Mary Material’. First of all, I ask way too many questions, I’m stubborn, I’m not always an easy follower, I like knowing what the outcome will be…I could go on and on. My first stop before church was the store because I’m a procrastinator and needed a few things for my Sunday School class. As I’m standing in line a gentleman pulls his shopping cart up next to me, not behind me, next to me. I look over as he asks how my Christmas is going. I replied ‘pretty good and how’s yours?’ He said not really well and I had no response other than a sad ‘I’m sorry to hear that.’

Thankfully I was rescued by being next in line because I didn’t know where to go in the conversation at that point. The man put his few groceries on the conveyer behind mine and I quietly asked to cashier to add his total to my bill. As I paid for his groceries he didn’t realize what was happening until he saw the lady put his items into a bag and he stopped her saying that those were his, not mine. She just smiled and apologized to him. I was walking away and he called out ‘You have a wonderful day!’ I smiled back and wished him a Merry Christmas.

Then it hit me, Mary Moments. See this idea that I have to be a saint to be like Mary is just silly. She wasn’t perfect, but she was willing. She was obedient. I didn’t need God’s loud voice in my ear telling me to buy the gentleman’s groceries or to be polite, but I knew that I needed to; it felt like loving my neighbor. As we go about our business of preparing for Christmas I want to challenge you to look for Mary Moments. Be a little more patient than you feel. Give a little more grace than you’d like to. Show a little more love by going out of your way. Be gracious and kind, be willing- just like Mary.

Merry Christmas!

-A

p.s. The image is circa 1985/86 and this was my first play as Mary along with my cousin Josh as Joseph. Aren’t we cute?!

Least of These

Who are you?

The misfit
The mindful
The miracle
The maker
The mortal

The broken
The beautiful
The basic
The backward
The brilliant

The crushed
The cruel
The carefree
The castoff
The callous

The lost
The lonely
The loved
The less than
The littlest

We all march out, seekers of truth and life. Eyes wide in anticipation of a King. One who will rule with justice, lest it be left up to us to self govern. High and low, near but usually far from safety is our first place to go. Sending out the call, looking for One who will never fall. Trusting, honest, true; a Hero who always comes through.

He stepped down from the heavens, to be a man. Taking on life as a burden, far too much for us to carry alone. Seeking each heart, straight from the start. Like two halves drawn together, we seek and He reveals. Upturned eyes and hearts find the One. He is steadfast and true, mysterious and brilliant, whole but allowed to be broken; carrying the hearts keys.

He is the King of the Least of These.

That’s you and me.

 

 

 

Not a Pro

I grew up watching my grandpa Lee build any and all things. He amazed me with his skills in engineering and quick math to get the job done. I’ve seen him look at furniture and then within the next week replicate it. He built rocking elephants, wine barrel furniture, wall art, clocks; and that’s only to list a few. To me he was a craftsman to the core, always drawing on restaurant napkins. If that’s not legit I don’t know what is?

Being able to take bits and pieces of raw material and turn them into something beautiful and useful is my jam. I love it. So it’s very fitting that my excitement level is through the roof right now as I watch our back deck being transformed from ‘taking your life into your hands if you climb the stairs’ to ‘the view from up here is amazing’.

before

You can see from the picture above what a wreck it was. A messy situation for sure. A few nights ago I dreamed that I was standing in front of a house looking at the porch. I had just finished painting the railing white and I was admiring how great it looked. Then something caught my attention and I looked to my left and realized that the house was so much bigger than I had thought. I took several steps back and looked at what was now the whole picture, this giant house but it was in full construction mode.

In my mind I thought the porch was the finished project, and I was content with just the small area that I saw. However there was a much larger project going on that I didn’t even know was there! When I woke up the scripture Psalm 127:1 came to mind. It says, ‘Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.‘ This makes me reflect on our deck. If I tried to build it I would never fully trust in it’s strength and sturdiness. But because the men who are actual builders are putting the posts in and constructing it correctly, I have complete trust. Trust that it won’t fall apart when we enjoy the view from the top. Trust that it will withstand the winds of winter.

Such is life. Over the years I’ve tried to build my life the way I saw fit. Making decisions without consulting the Master Life Builder. Assuming that my plans and ideas were all that mattered. When in reality there was a much bigger project going on that I had no clue about. It’s just like me to have tunnel vision and only see what I want to focus on, like the porch in my dream. After an ongoing remodel of both inside and out of our home I’ve learned a few things. One thing is that the pros are just that, pros. They know what needs to be done and ultimately what can be done. So I need to just let them do their job and in my daily life I need to better learn to hand the plans over to God. He sees the bigger picture and always has my best outcome in mind.

after While our back deck isn’t completely done it’s just like my life; a work in process.

-A

 

Bench Warmer

Go back with me to more simpler times. Before church sanctuaries doubled as event centers.  Before you could give your tithes via the click of a button. Even before there were padded hook together chairs. I mean waaay back. Like, 30 years ago when I was still allowed to bring toys to church. Any by ‘toys’ I mean paper and a few color crayons. The quiet kind of toys that miraculously kept me quiet for at least an hour.

And let me tell you, the hour was just the first two songs. Our church was way ahead of Hillsong on the long drawn out songs. Growing up my entire life going to church (which I still enjoy) it wasn’t all Sunday school songs and snack time. So here are a few bench warmer thoughts and insights.

  • The Song Change-up: When I was younger we could go to pretty much any number of local churches and sing from either the brown book or the blue book. It sounded the same, everywhere I went, no changes. Even if it was sung so high only dogs could hear it. No change. Now, it seems impossible to get a song to be sung the same because every worship team wants to “make it their own”. I’m not saying we need to be carbon copies but it is nice to visit a church and actually be able to sing along without fear of being that one voice singing a solo when there isn’t supposed to be one.

 

  • The Bum Rush: I have been on the receiving end of this. My Dad was an evangelist before pastoring for most of my life up until I was a teenager. So we visited a ton of churches up and down the West Coast. Let’s just say some churches were so eager to have new faces that they would basically make a tunnel for us to run through as we entered the church. Now, as a visitor it’s nice to feel welcomed but to be smothered, not so much. A nice ‘hello & handshake’ will always suffice. At least let me get to know you before you decide to give out bear hugs.

 

  • We Have A Runner: There have been many times when I have visited churches and never returned. It’s not that your church was bad it’s just not a great fit. My husband has a phrase, ’31 flavors of churches, if Baskin Robbins can do it why can’t we?’ However, sometimes it was them and not me…for instance one church expected their congregants to run around the church (literally) as they played music. I go to the gym to exercise, not Sunday service. But to each their own.

 

  • Sermon For Eternity: Back before our nice padded chairs there were pews. Yes, wooden, hard, cold pews. Maybe it was to keep us from getting too comfy during the sermon (not about eternity but for eternity). I’ve spent a great deal of my childhood asleep on church pews. Or asleep under them on the floor. Or asleep leading on my Mom’s shoulder. And no, I didn’t have a sleeping disorder. It used to be that the longer the sermon the more spiritual it was thought to be. Well let me just say for the sake of those who are trying to politely yawn behind their Bibles, if you can’t make a point in 90 minutes maybe you’re in the wrong profession.

 

  • Tight Tights: I should probably apologize to my Mom for the month of Sundays (literally) that I fought with her about my church dress code. I’m sure I begged and pleaded to wear my sweats to church more than a few times. My sweet Mother would walk into my room where I was supposed to be getting ready and find me still bare legged trying to buckle my church shoes. Not gonna happen, she’d wrestle me into my tights and I’d complain pretty much the entire time. Now if you enjoy the constant tugging and pulling up that comes along with wearing tights (or nylons), have at it. But I wanted to run around outside with my cousins after church and tights just weren’t going to cut it. Which brings me to today’s ‘dress wear’ for church. I’m a little older now so I don’t wear my sweats but let me tell you I’ll wear the heck out of leggings! With a modest long shirt of course 😉

 

I have seen the good, the bad and the hilarious in churches. I’ve been to the smallest, wood stove heated church and the state of the art stadiums. I’ve heard world known speakers and little old ladies share their hearts. I’ve experienced God in these and everything in between. That’s what I love about it, there’s no formula for a perfect church as long as we are loving God and loving others; just like He said to.

“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” (Colossians 3:16) When we gather, rather in large masses or tiny kitchen tables, let’s set aside pretenses. Let us bring encouragement, love and open arms to the table of grace because we are all there by His invitation.

-A

You know it’s harvest when…

…you decide dusting is a huge waste of time, for the next month at least.

…you look into your coffee cup before each sip, for fear of swallowing drowned gnats.

…breakfast, lunch or dinner are meals that you squeeze in. A set dinner time? Ha!

…you talk about seeing a movie but always end with “maybe”, because you know plans can change the moment the  tractor has a problem.

These are a few tale-tell signs around our house as harvest comes and goes. I had the privilege of experiencing harvest as I watched my grandfather-in-law Mike or “Pop” for several years before he passed the baton to my husband. It was long hours, hard work and lots of dirty laundry. One fond memory of Pop and my husband I have begins with a yelling match.

Now I knew Pop was as stubborn as they come but apparently so is my husband. I was in the house across the street and I heard it…the yelling. Yes, I said across the street, in the house. At first I wasn’t sure what I was hearing so I went to the window and imagine my surprise at seeing my husband and his grandfather almost toe to toe. Now Pop wasn’t a large man and Bryan had him by a good 8 inches in height; however Pop had the shovel. And he didn’t look too afraid to swing it either!

I later found out that the argument had to do with a simple thing. Pop had a way of going about a project and Bryan had a new approach, something quicker. It just didn’t make sense to Pop to change the way it had always been done. And it just escalated from there. How many times have I argued with God about how things should be done?

My own life has many projects, honestly I feel some days I am an entire overhaul in process. The list of personal to-dos seems never ending. Exercise daily. Get my devotional time in. Wash the make-up off my face before I fall asleep. Eat clean (this one still has me a bit confused…whose eating dirty food?!). As these to-dos or even problems come up I fall into my normal stride. What I do is the same thing, I use the old ways of thinking. “I can fix _____”, “I don’t need to involve anyone else.”

Asking for help is one of my weaknesses, as in, I don’t ask. I am stubborn in this to my core. Often I get into something but then I get tired of doing it on my own. The burnout comes quickly and I soon find myself right back at the starting line. I found myself at this line a few weeks back and I was goin’ down, hard. My usual MO is to seclude myself and figure it out, whatever it is. This time I was overwhelmed to the point of desperation.

My ah-ha moment came while sitting in a Celebrate Recovery meeting one Thursday night. It was clear as day, ask for help. What?! No way, I do not do that and who would I ask anyway? As I sat in the room I realized that the help was only a few chairs away. My good friend was sitting in the same circle as me, with compassion in her eyes. After a good while of sitting alone and talking with her my heart felt lighter. I had heard her words of affirmation, love and encouragement; and they breathed life into me. All I had to do was change the way I normally operate, on my own.

So what does this have to do with harvest you ask? Well first, harvest isn’t a lone ranger sport in the least. Bryan loved working side by side with Pop, most days! Now Bryan is the manager and harvest looks a bit different but it still requires the extra hands of the crew to get the job done. In life we can’t hide in our own corner and try to figure it all out by ourselves. We need our crew, those who we can confide in and count on to help get us through whatever season we may be in.

-A

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