Finding Ourselves in Unexpected Ministry
After putting my girls to bed, after our youngest’s birthday dinner was celebrated, after the living room was obliterated with gift wrap, I snuck away into the garden. With summer inching away, the sun setting earlier making the after bedtime watering, weeding, deadheading more difficult.
As I stood there in my garden, I was reflecting on how I got here, in this spot, watering a flower garden, when just a year prior I was only interested in my vegetable garden. How did I grow to love these star-like sunset speckled dahlias, or the towering tissue-paper hollyhocks? When did I begin looking for flower gardening books instead of cookbooks? Have I replaced this with my love of cooking? I felt rather aghast to think I could ever replace time in the kitchen with time out here in this garden, flower garden no less.
Rest from Self-Imposed Identity
But, then I realized how it is this fear of feeling like I need to live up to a title I gave myself long ago. One in which people would affirm and encourage. People would say, “Kamille, you should open up a bakery,” or, “When you open your own restaurant, I’ll be a regular.” I would never buy store bought cookies when I snobbishly would say to Ben, “I can bake that at home, don’t buy it.” I felt if I bought a store baked batch of cookies, then I would be a fraud. What would people think of me?
If I neglected to bake and cook, how could I keep up a food blog? What if I didn’t find joy in photographing food, writing down the recipes anymore, or simply not have enough time to do those things? And then, what if people forgot that I am known for my baking, my cooking, my grain-free concoctions?
This led to me questioning my writing, teaching cooking classes, leading women, etc. I began asking Jesus, “Who am I anyway? I don’t want to not love being in the kitchen. I don’t want to not love writing. How did I get here in this garden?”
Our Souls & Minds Need Winter Just as Much as Summer.There are seasons in life, which ebb and flow. Some winters are more harsh, while others gently come and gently go. When I lost my older brother two years ago, I couldn’t find my way around the kitchen. It was as if the muscle memory and the heart memory were diagnosed with amnesia. Tastes weren’t sweet or salty. It became a period of survival.
As I stood in my flower garden, I began to appreciate what Jesus did in Mark,
Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.
It was Jesus there in the garden allowing me to tear down my self-constructed tower of Babel, while he was nurturing the soil of my heart.
Ministry of Flowers
Flowers seem frivolous. Planting a vegetable garden, an orchard, well that’s quite utilitarian and serves a purpose. However, sometimes what our soul needs is rest from what is perceived as dutiful and useful. We need rest from the titles we have given ourselves.
We need flowers.To walk into the garden to enjoy the splendor of God’s artistry; be it for our own weary souls, or for someone else who needs the ministry of flowers.
Giving Yourself Permission to Rest from Titles
Rest is like art, we don’t need it to breathe and live out our days in the practical sense of living; however, rest enables us to better hear the inner thoughts and feelings of our soul.
Whatever it is in your life, where you feel like you still need to be doing because you’ve given that title for yourself, let me encourage you to set it down for a while. Rest. Embrace that part of you that seems frivolous. Be it an artist of baking, hand lettering, floral design, landscaping, knitting, could you use this to bring life to your soul and then share it with someone else?