Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing (1 Thessalonians 5:11, ESV)
This past weekend I completed the simple touches to the home, which shows some semblances of the autumn season. Often, I work with nature and the natural elements of garden life to offer sweet surrender to this time of the year. A few shafts of dried barley and wheat adorn the display on coffee/tea tables. And, I have finished making all the seasonal room sprays and natural air fresheners. These enhancements include essential oils of vanilla, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, and ginger. I hope to have a video online soon, demonstrating how they are made.
Last week, I had a long conversation with a dear friend who resides in the deep mountains of Colorado. She congratulated me once again on completing my degree. I thanked her and replied, “You know, if I could work in my garden and the farm, do crafts, create pretty things, and have tea or coffee with friends as often as I’d like. To teach students to be better people no matter their academic interest, continue to produce valuable research studies, and write on well thought through efficient themes–full-time–my degree would hang on the wall of my office to simply show determination. Not accomplishment, but instead determination. If my daily living came from these things on a full-time basis, my life would be as I believe God has planned for me. He really knows my heart.”
My dear friend is a deeply spiritual woman; she understood me completely. Approved to be shared, she said, “Your determination to see this life through, shows up every day. You are never something other than what God has embedded in your heart. To live as simple a life void of competition with others, but only with yourself, as continued growth in Biblical understanding, and care for people, animals, and the earth God gives us. Everything you mentioned above, you already do! Like all of your caring friends, and the people who love you, you have my complete support.” Wow! Right? I felt so good that she sees me and knows me so well. Her expressions endorsed the idea that despite my tendency to not be an element of attention (Philippians 2:3-4), God still shows me, as me, for His glory! I am extremely content with that.
A 2018 query of my core Christian faith I maintain daily is this “How can I speak truth to myself if I deny this truth exist? How can I deny my needs and desires embedded deep in my heart if I show no acknowledgment of their existence? The truth I speak of myself will not be entirely revealed unless I continuously work on and show their triumphs. For as my mother used to say to me on those days, I sat at our kitchen table in Belize with curlers in my hair. As I struggled to figure out a chemistry formula given to me by Sister Rosalyn, Mum would say “Remember, God only helps those who are willing to help themselves.” Today, I still ponder on and deliver this statement to my heart when I am experiencing some bouts of laziness or unwillingness to do a chore I must get done. And I get it done. I am also somewhat resistant when I must don professional attire to leave the home. But I do.
My grounded and life-giving ministry must be one that repeats itself each day. One that represents God’s divine greatness in love, kindness, gentleness, forgiveness, compassion, discipline, and clear guidance. It’s one, which attempt simple examples outside of the glitter and need for recognition. It’s about being aware of ministry itself. Like Isaiah 21:11-12 says:
11 The oracle concerning Dumah.
One is calling to me from Seir,
“Watchman, what time of the night?
Watchman, what time of the night?”
12 The watchman says:
“Morning comes, and also the night.
If you will inquire, inquire;
come back again.” ([ESV] [See Source 2 below])
Deep personal inquiries, I offer room for, in my heart. Even though my personal reflections here on this website are often in the first person, they likewise aim to profess the need for deep inquiry within the souls of every person who takes the time to read them. Those personal reflections of what lay buried deep within. Those of proof, differences, and dislikes. Of curiosity and potentiality. Like the awe of the various colors in a new leaf discovered on a long walk on an autumn First Day afternoon.
This women’s ministry, I hope, helps to clear the sometimes clogged elements in our lives, allowing God’s bountiful characteristics to simply flow into all of us. To flow into every life no matter chosen paths. To watch, inquire, watch, discern, understand, implement, know what is asked of us, monitor with no judgments, and instead with care and extraordinary prayer. And to gently speak up when Biblical clearness is sought after. When unfairness exists and prevails.
In the book called The spirituality of imperfection, on telling our stories, the authors shared that stories themselves “… use words in ways that go beyond words to speak the language of the heart.”
I think when we have a sure vision of who and whose we are, as we move toward this vision, we can better weed out the unnecessaries. We can walk with hopes and drive with perceptions of reality. To know what is possible and what simply is not. To see and make real the vision of our future, forward, toward it.
These writings are here, giving a different perspective on the hurried life of which most of us are forced to partake. They provide a different concept of what a simple ministry consists of. Every week I sit at the computer wondering what to create. What to write about? I sit, and I allow God’s insight from His written words to flow into me. These writings happen when Holy Spirit moves me to this tender sharing in the hopes that my joy and daily appreciation of Jesus’ complete role in my life can be seen and experienced by you as well.
So on this day, I wish you the happiest of this autumn season. May you feel the generosity and comfort of God’s love in everything you do! As you smile while leaves are falling. As leaves are pleasantly falling, all around you.
I’ll see you in October! 🙂
Source & Suggestions:
1. First Day=Sunday
2. It is my suggestion to seek out a Bible commentary on Isaiah 21:11-12 to better understand its meaning. Several perspectives can be found here. When we take the time to read commentaries, interpretation of what the Bible is really saying comes to life. This is the way we exegete to friends who may be curious and who may want to know more about God’s teachings. Matthew Henry’s Commentary is best aligned to my discourse above.
3. Kurtz, E. & Ketchman, K. (1992). The spirituality of imperfection: Storytelling and the search for meaning. Bantam Books
Susan Davidson-Davis says
Today you’ve said it all, Char. My tendency to dread Autumn is somewhat assuaged in simply reading your inspiration!
As always, the times call out to Christians to serve, minister if you will, and we may be made aware of internal resources that can make our service most suited to moment-to-moment living. Which is all we can ask.
Thank you for reminders of the value of commentaries.
M.Charlotte Oliver says
Yes, I had a lot on my heart when I began composing this expression. I am glad I was able to complete it with no distractions.
Thank you so much for your comments here. As always they are very much appreciated.
I trust that your autumn season has started off nicely.
In grace & in gratitude,