I walk through the freezer section of the grocery aisles and consider what foods might be an option for my family over the next few days. I don’t have the fire within me to make something fresh, and if I’m honest, it feels like that flame has flickered low for awhile now.
I prefer things from scratch and my heart longs to give my very best in everything while doing all-the-things, but I finally realized I can only do a few things well and those things would vary from time to time.
So I pick up the food I don’t really want to succumb to, because it serves a purpose for the season I’m in. This season ebbs and flows and it’s ebbed more than not in the last few years.
Deep breaths. I remind myself it will be OK.
When I started blogging, the plan was to journal my adventures in the kitchen, then my organic garden, my backyard chickens, and the herbal remedies I was making. I wrote a few posts but found myself bored. I enjoyed learning, but I didn’t enjoy writing about it.
Eventually, our family would endure an intense season of serving and when it was done, I would be faced with choosing what could and would get done. I was overdone with being overworked and suffering with signs of PTSD, anxiety, and depression. I simply could not do what I’d done before.
Before we ever served as foster parents. Before we ever lived with up to twelve children in our home while enduring unbelievable amounts of physical, emotional, and spiritual stresses. Before all of this, I was overextended. Multiple ministries, growing passions, homeschooling, and a family to care for caused me to run stir crazy way too long.
Earlier this year, the garden came down. We pulled out cinder blocks and raked the dirt so grass could grow instead of weeds. Part of me cried and part of me felt relieved. I knew I was in a different season, but still, in order to accept the new things I had to let go of something else.
There’s this crazy controlling thing inside of me where I like to have it all. The garden, the herbs, the decorated home, the immaculate spaces, as well as fermented foods, chickens, fruit trees, and everything possible made from scratch in my kitchen. On top of family, fun, fellowship, healing, reading, writing, and serving.
But when your fists are clenched around all-the-things, they cannot grab on to the things God gives. Those things which are often found in the releasing. Our hands don’t need to grip tightly, because what he places within them is also securely placed with His overall plan for good.
So, I released the garden while loosely holding dreams of rebuilding one day. Our chickens will find a new home soon. My herbs have sat on the shelves, dwindling as I use them for tea.
If I had my way I’d have it all, but the all I want snuffs out what God wants for me. Like the simple gifts found in surrender, in trust, in waiting, and in healing.
Years ago, people walked in and out of our home with frequency and in high numbers. We welcomed new acquaintances, old friends, neighbors, and a homeless couple known for years.
Today, few come through my doors like before. Anxiety still lingers at the thought of opening them all the way, so I cherish the few who come and the moments we have together.
Like the other night when I receive a visitor whose presence shows God’s wild ways of weaving stories together. She went to high school with me and moved several states away, just like I did. For several years she delivered mail to my front door and I didn’t even know it.
For the first time in all these years we sit down to visit and tell the stories of our lives. My kids need to eat and she offers to help me in the kitchen. I don’t have a meal planned, so I grab tortillas, cheese, and leftover grilled chicken. We make simple quesadillas and enjoy simple hospitality. Somehow in the letting go of doing all-the-things I’ve found what it’s like to live more deeply aware.
My hands aren’t so full that I can’t hold new things.
God reminds me to keep this season simple and allow a new feasting of his presence. One without rushing, but wholly redemptive.
When I sit, when I rise, when I’m in the kitchen or not, even when I’m letting my kids feast on frozen foods, this Savior who sacrificed it all for me is found simply present.
Here’s a recipe that’s used often in our home for simple hospitality.
- 1 package of pasta (Regular or Gluten-Free; Rotini, Elbow, and Penne all work great as options)
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped (optional)
- 1-2 cans diced tomatoes
- Steak Seasoning (we like Montreal or Canadian)
- Cook pasta and drain. Set aside.
- In a large skillet or dutch oven, brown ground beef with onions and garlic.
- Season beef with steak seasoning. Drain excess fat.
- Add pasta and tomatoes.
- That's it! Feel free to add more seasoning to taste.