I’m a country girl at heart. Give me wide open spaces and tea with a friend on a tiny county porch over the finest shopping at Nordstrom’s any day of the week. And Sunday. But through the series of my life’s events, I live in the epitome of suburbia. I’m not complaining y’all. It is pretty amazing to live within minutes of every convenience & nicety known to American culture. Starbucks lattes, Chick-fil-a sweet tea and a Trader Joe’s around the corner from our house are nothing to sneeze at. But the desire of my heart is to live in the country again. The way I grew up. The way my farming grandparents and their parents did. You could say living on the land is in my DNA.
You could also say that I was not content with my life, as it related to the place I lived.
But my heart was changed on a spring afternoon two years ago. I was planting a few tomatoes in my lonely little raised bed, earnestly longing for a farm. The desire was so deep, and I just couldn’t shake it. I’ll never forget the feeling. I felt I had to document my deep dream and hope in some way, and so I tweeted “I want overalls”.
Later that evening I was playing piano in a worship set. A prayer leader came to me afterward and told me he had something odd to say. “While you were sitting on the piano bench worshipping this evening, I glanced over and it looked like you were wearing overalls. I know it’s strange, but I thought I should share it with you.”
I was flabbergasted. I felt as though God Himself had just spoken to me. And in a roundabout way, through a dear friend, HE HAD!
That day and night is ingrained into my memory and heart. I learned two things that have forever changed my perspective.
First, I realized in a fresh way (not just in my head but deep in my soul), that God knows me and loves me deeply. He is intimately aquatinted with all my ways. (Psalm 139). He even cared about my little “overalls” Tweet! I was blown away friends! He knows the desires of our hearts! He has good plans for us! We can trust His leadership and contentedly rest in His perfect ways in every season of our lives! Even when things don’t look the way I want them to look. He cares, He cares, and He cares some more! He is so good.
The second thing I learned through the “overalls” tweet was a lesson in stewardship. All this time I had been longing to live in the country again, and I knew that day that God was clearly telling me that He knew about my wishes for a farm, but that the most important place to be was in a position of worshipping him. At all times. In all seasons. No matter what. And that little spot of ground He’d given our family in a beautiful community? Well, if I couldn’t make the most of every square foot of dirt there, stewarding it well, caring for it and tending to it with diligence, how could I ever in a million years keep up with the unending, demanding and exhausting responsibilities of a creating and caring for a beautiful farm
Maybe I don’t need a whole farm right now – or ever! I need to plant vegetables in the dirt God’s given me, and make my own little piece of farmland right where I am.
Maybe I don’t need an artists studio, I need to use the paper and tools I have at my disposal, and start creating beautiful things to share with the world right here, right now.
Maybe I don’t need to go on an expensive vacation, I need to carve out a few hours in my day and soak in the beauty and treasures of the city where I am blessed to reside.
Maybe I don’t need a new car. I should clean the one I have.
The new kitchen is glamorous, but perhaps I should organize and fully utilize the stove, counter, fridge, cupboards and pantry in my house! I can make delicious food and serve my family & neighbors with nothing but a few great ingredients and simple kitchen tools.
Sometimes we have noble and good longings, dreams and aspirations -such as working in full time ministry, having a child, or countless other worthy things. I am in no way saying to stop hoping and dreaming. But I am learning that it is much more rewarding and peaceful to make the most of what I’ve been given. To seize every day and each precious opportunity. I am learning the delight of contentment, and above all, placing my hope in my faithful, always caring, ever loving, Heavenly Father. His ways are higher than mine. And he cares about every detail of my life. Even overalls.
May you also find your hope and delight in Him, as you taste and see that He is good.
~ Justina Dee