Seasons (of life?)

Here I sit, snug and warm – I sought reprieve from the icy “spring” wind and drizzle here in my new hometown at an italian cafe nearby.  It is supposed to be warm and sunny tomorrow, but from where I sit, I can’t really see how.
I am used to dramatic weather after growing up in Oklahoma – however, after the devastating twister that took out the town of Moore and left the town, and many people, flattened – I am thankful for just a bit of chill!
My husband’s home town is Hong Kong, and even they had absurd weather this week – 1,500 lightning strikes in 3 hours!
This has me thinking about seasons in life.
The scriptures about time and season’s in life come to mind – but not so clearly as to offer up exact quotes and reference numbers.  When Christ speaks about those who plant, and those who harvest – I don’t think he was likely lining out the idea that some people only plant, and other’s only harvest – but I would expect that there are times in life when you are mostly “planting” and others where is seems the fruit is just plopping off the trees and right into your basket as you wander along the grove of life.
I am letting these ideas simmer around in my mind as I wonder what season my life is currently in.
There are certainly days when I feel deeply guilty that I am not accomplishing more, or “doing enough”, and other days when I have achieved nothing, and didn’t get out of my pj’s until after 4pm and I find that I can’t drum up any shame.  There are also beautiful days of fruitful productivity – often accompanied by some social time.
I have this idea that if I were able to label this season, perhaps I could let go and relax in my life and this time better – but even as I type that, I can see how I am trying to hard in my not trying!
However, I will try anyway  – perhaps foolish, but let’s see how it goes.
In keeping with the farming seasons metaphor – it would seem the best fit to me to label this time as a winter.  The last crop has been harvested, sold or preserved to last until the next season, and the ground is not yet ready to be tilled and plowed and seeded yet.  The fields lie fallow.
Now I stopped to look up “fallow” to be sure I was using it correctly – and discovered that I had – AND that it rings more true than I first expected. I love it when that happens!
I may need to completely re-write this whole thing.  I am really excited!

“Farmers let fields lie fallow because it is one of the best ways to allow the land to replenish its nutrients and regain its fertility without resorting  to the application of fertilizers.  It also helps prevent erosion as the roots of the plants left to grow on the land help to hold the soil in place against the ravages of wind and rain.” (Ken Chitwood, thelatticegroup.org)

This. This is what is happening in my life.  My life is lying fallow.  I feel nutrients being stored up in my soul, and my roots spreading deeper and stronger – reaching through the soil to get a firm grip on the land.
And what is really great about this season, is the peace in the understanding that in order for this process to succeed – I am not to do anything else.  No planting, no harvesting, not even tilling the land.  No weeding, no fertilizers, no additives.  Just sit back and grow, and rest.  Soak up the sunshine, settle into my place, rest.
There will be time for everything to be cut down, plowed over, planted, grow, fruit, harvest, prune, and begin again – but this is not that time.
In both the American, and from what I can tell so far – the British culture is one that glorifies busy.  And our spirituality is of course affected and influenced by our surrounding culture.  It is hard to feel comfortable with allowing a season to lie fallow.
When others, and even myself look at me with all the free time I have right now, and all the blessings I have in resources, talent, and security – it is hard to be okay with lying fallow.  I feel I have a responsibility to do things with everything I have.  How dare I not give of all that I have??
It is even difficult to write that and not accept guilt.  I feel a bit nervous about this, and pressure!
But I think this is very true for me, at this time.  It is a time for me to lie fallow, and draw strength for this next season (which I presume will begin in the fall when I return to the UK with my spousal visa.)  Then it will be a time for me to give of myself the way I love to do – the way I feel destined and designed to do.  I have this sense of expectation and anticipation of something big coming – but I don’t have a clue what it will be.
So I will be faithful and obey in this time of rest – and trust that when the time comes for the next season, this time will enable me to give more and better than I would otherwise have been able to do.

Yes.  I feel better now – clarity of direction, even if it is simply to stay where I am – brings a sense of peace with it, and a touch of authority.  It’s okay to do this – this is what I am supposed to do.

 

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Freak out / Faith

So I had a bit of a freak out night before last.  Couldn’t sleep, and didn’t want to keep the bear up as he had work in the morning, so I quietly panicked in the living room and the bath.  Then at about 5am I finally woke him up by crying, and then hyperventilating, and sniveling, and generally freaking out with a whole load of incredibly painful fears that I don’t think I was quite conscious of… not a strong point in my life…

 

Someone once said, “I don’t know what I think until I write it” and unfortunately I can’t remember who, and can’t be bothered to look it up – but this is my attempt at making a similar discovery.

 

I found within me a quiet, unnamed desperation, that seemed to have woken up screaming.  Disappointedly, it did not scream it’s name – just a long, howl of anguish.

 

Now, as I have said before, everything I have going on in my life in wonderful – seriously, I am living so much more than I have ever dreamed.  I love my husband, and this town I live in, my material goods are all above and beyond, and I am learning new skills (shout out to pintrest!) so nothing is going wrong – which leads me to conclude that  as opposed to something be “wrong” in my life, it is instead a case of something simply not being there.

 

I would assume this is tied to my lack of “community” – I am, perhaps, in need of a “bosom friend” as Anne Shirley liked to say.  

 

Thing is – I have no idea how to help this along!  It is simple enough to meet people if you are in school, or at work, have a church you love, or even someone else to make introductions for you.  I don’t know how to do it now.  And as my departure date for the states becomes closer and closer, and as the duration of that trip still remains unknown – I add to this the fear that I will just get things started and then I will have to leave – and then the bond will weaken.

 

But that is an absurd fear.  Because I know that in order for relationships to grow, both sides need to be able to offer something.  At the moment I feel I don’t have anything to offer – now this isn’t a “I’m not good enough” downer low self esteem thing – I know I am awesome!  But I don’t have a car, or much space to entertain people at my place, or much spare cash… I feel really needy, and I realllly don’t want to be!

 

I also had a bit of a pregnancy scare last week – only a little scary as my visa isn’t sorted yet, and that would be *quite* the hassle to organize with a baby on the way too!

I think that the idea that I could very seriously be pregnant also was a bit of a wake-up  call as to how isolated I really do feel here.  If that happened, my mother and grandma, and aunts, and best friends, are all over an ocean.  With jobs.  They can’t come over and live life with me day-to-day!  And while I have met some very nice people here, they aren’t relationships you really want to put this kind of a strain on.  

 

I think that is probably it.  Nothing all that complex after all.  Just something I need, and don’t know how to get.

So…. now what?  I turn to my religion at times like this, and I suppose this is that walking by faith (the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen Heb 11:1) and relying on grace.

 

And that feels cool and nerve-wracking.  Like repelling down a cliff face – something I love to do, AND terrifies me too.  But I never want it to stop.  The climb is nerve wracking, but the view on the way down, as you are suspended in the air, hundreds of feet up – is amazing.  

 

So that is what I will do.  Keep pressing on, and walking with that faith that God loves me and has a plan for me and my life, and that he won’t let me drop.  So as I stand with shaking knees, about to lower myself horizontally backwards off the cliff edge, I will take a deep breath, and enjoy the view.

 

I’ll keep you updated as to what I see along the way.