Today I'm pressing pause here for the month of June and have opened up my blog for some beautiful guests posts by a few very talented writers. Today's post comes from Christine, whom I met on twitter and have since become real life "kitchen friends" with. Her words are always full of grace and tenderness. She never fails to point me to Christ, reminding me often of His mercy and love.As I am learning to "pursue waiting on the Lord", I found the words of this post to be particularly healing. I pray you find her words today as uplifting and encouraging as I do!
In his hands was a strawberry, plucked fresh from our garden, in the perfect heart shape. He stood proudly alongside his older brother near the bowl that was rapidly filling with bright red fruit, and asked:
“Mommy, is this one good?”
I looked at it, bent down and took it, turned the small orange and white strawberry over in my hand, and had to say, “No. It wasn’t ready yet. See? It’s not red. And now that it’s picked, it will not grow anymore.” I smiled. “It’s OK, keep looking.”
This strawberry is me. I long to be done. To be complete, the color I’m meant to become. But I am not.
And I am impatient.
How do we, as imperfect beings, love ourselves in the meantime? As we yearn for what we know we can be, what our Father intends for us, and as we stumble and backtrack and fail daily (hourly), how do we live in this in between?
The answer is as simple, and as challenging, as the slim stem that my son held in his chubby little hand. We abide. We wait. We embrace our progress toward ripening. And we recognize love as the only thing that steadily brings us to completion.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Cor. 13:4-8
I don’t love myself well when I see my unripened self in the mirror. I am critical, and discouraged. I don’t give myself grace– sun, water, time to mature. But everywhere I look in the actions and words of Jesus I am reminded of the death He brought to judgement, with the purpose of bringing life. He gives permission to wait, while giving strength to grow.
That is the hidden blessing.
So underneath the messy growth of leaves and vines, he finds it. The perfect sweet red berry. He plops it into the bowl with pride. For when we see something ripe and full, we know. We don’t have to ask, do we?
Sometimes waiting is active. Wait and abide. And let the ripening be complete in Him.
I am a homeschooling mom of four beautiful and unique children, cherished wife to my perfect match, musician, singer, writer, and most importantly, a follower of Jesus, though I stumble on my way. You can follow Christine on Facebook, twitter and at her personal blog, Fruit In Season.