Our move up north of town has put us on the edge of the fields that surround our city and I don’t mind one little bit.
I love watching the seasons change the landscape as we drive or walk or bike around the area.
I also love the fact that the crops and the weather give me half a shot at making small talk because as many words as I manage to tap out on these keys or yak at family and close friends, I pretty much stink at small talk.
So I can talk about the heat and humidity or the cold and humidity…and make some lame observation about the condition of the crops and I’m good for a few minutes of chit chat.
Recently I was talking to a close friend who happens to also be a farmer and so even though I don’t struggle with small talk with him, I do try to mention something I have noticed about the corn and soy beans or harvest during those seasons because I know that is his passion.
I mentioned to him how we had been noticing the beans were crazy tall this year and I wondered if this was something new.
He said they do it some years, depending on the conditions and I asked if that was good and he responded not necessarily.
And then he said this ….
We aren’t trying to grow leaves, we are trying to grow beans.
He pointed out that sometimes the plants can put all their energy into the foliage and the beans suffer.
I have mulled that over for a couple of weeks now because it preaches.
It’s what Commemoration Week is all about.
Because I can get pretty caught up in spending a fair amount of energy on stuff that boils down to producing a lot of green leaves…and neglect the nourishment needed for the beans..the fruit…the outcome…the whole point of why I follow Christ.
He has called me out of the darkness and into His Light and sometimes I forget that all that I have is because of Him.
Last night I did my first deep read through of Exodus 12-14, just like I do every year at this time.
I read it in my old pink flowered Women’s Devotional Bible that Russ gave me back on March 28, 1996.
The one that is marked up from front to back and stained with tears and coffee and notes and pictures of our three…and the children of two dear friends who prayed for ours as I prayed for theirs.
Happens one of those families and one of those pictures is our son-in-law Zach’s.
So today a prayer of gratitude for the remembrance of what God has given us over these years here in our community.
Heavenly Father, as I read through the notes from sermons or things You showed me in my quiet time, I thank You for Your faithfulness.
All my childhood, I wanted roots that went deep.
I wanted to know people for longer than a few years before we moved on. And here I hold in my hands the legacy of Your Word woven into the gift of longevity in our journey.
You have let us grow up and grow older with a group of people who love You and have shaped the story of our lives.
I have learned (and I sense You may have chuckled a time or two over this) that there is a different kind of challenge that comes with lifelong friendships held fast by a shared community.
I have learned that some of those friendships don’t survive, because a distance can grow that doesn’t involve moving physically.
And I have learned how painful that is. But I have also learned that You were serious about that pruning parable and You know best what is spent too much on leaves when You are in the business of helping us bear fruit.
So I thank You, Father God, for the history of love and the gift of so many friends who are family and then family who are friends.
You have done well for us and given us great joy and I am so thankful.
Help us to live with wide-open hands and hearts as we move farther along.
Your faithfulness and kindness are a testimony of Your goodness and love for us and we are so grateful.