I love ‘a simple life’. However, mine has been anything but simple this summer for several reasons:
- A new grandbaby
- My only daughter getting married
Both the grandbaby and the wedding are in another state so fitting in the gardening between out-of-town trips has been quite a challenge. And just this week we’ve had the ‘blessing of bounty’. What is this you say? Well, that’s when friends call and say, “We’ve got corn…..we’ve got blueberries….we’ve got peas…come get some!” That’s the blessing of bounty. Fresh fruits and vegetables are definitely in the category of one of God’s best blessings.
Last month, we got over 250 ears of corn. Wonderful bounty but LOTS of work to shuck it, take it off the cob, blanch it, and package it for the freezer. But oh, this winter it will taste wonderful!
This week we picked blueberries….have you priced them lately at the store? What a blessing!
And three days later, the call came…we have peas to share! Another wonderful blessing….but then there’s the shelling, the blanching, the packaging. While quite time-consuming, to me this is living ‘the simple life!’
It was such fun to get up early and pick the peas while it was cooler, come home, quickly shell a few and put them on to cook for lunch. Less than 3 hours from the field to the table. It doesn’t get much fresher than that!
Check out this delicious lunch: Okra, tomatoes and butter beans fresh from our garden and peas shared by friends.
And to be sure I’ve really made you hungry, here was our Sunday morning “Alabama” breakfast!
Why was it an “Alabama breakfast”? Well, there were peaches from Chilton County, AL; Conecuh (kuh-neck-uh) sausage from Conecuh County, AL; and tomatoes from our garden in Dallas County, AL…not to mention strawberry fig preserves from last year!
Even our new kitten was trying to find her way to share our meal! HA!
However, in spite of a much busier than normal summer, I’ve tried to stay in the ‘simple life’ mode. In many ways, this can be more of a mental attitude than a physical one. There are several verses that seem to call out to me when I read them and I’ve been meditating on them as I ponder the busy world we live in and the joys of a simple life.
Jeremiah 6:16 This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
There is ‘rest’ when we walk in the ‘ancient paths’. I know this can be interpreted in many different ways, but the way the Lord is speaking to me lately is in terms of the ‘simple life’. There is rest in a life that is not meeting oneself coming and going. There is rest in a life that slows down and pauses to reflect and mediate. (You can meditate for quite some time as you shuck corn or shell peas!) There is rest when we stop and say, “enough is enough!” But as you’ll see from the Scripture above, many choose to say, “We will not walk in it.”
Another verse that speaks to this is Isaiah 30:15
This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.
Why do you suppose many refuse this lifestyle of repentance, rest, quietness and trust? My heart hurts for the Lord as I read this verse and hear, ‘but you would have none of it.’
Again He tells us:
Isaiah 32:17-18 The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. 18 My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.
Peace….I lived many years without it, but now that I have found it, I don’t ever want to let it go. Most importantly, I have found peace in the Prince of Peace. Additionally, I have found a great deal of peace in a simpler lifestyle.
Secure homes, peaceful dwelling places–who really doesn’t want this?
Quietness in many ways seems to be a lost art. As an introvert, I’m more inclined to ‘quietness’ than many, but there is much value to be found in quietness. (Vines Word Study Dictionary says the primary meaning of this verb is the state or condition of tranquility.)
And ‘undisturbed places of rest’–many people would give their last dollar to find this treasure! I believe slowing down our pace is one key to being able to ‘lie down and sleep in peace.” (Psalm 4:8)
Are YOU too busy? Do you meet yourself coming and going? My encouragement to you today is to find some time to stand (before you can stand, you have to stop!), look, ask and walk…and you will find rest for your soul!
Jeremiah 6:16 This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.