Change,  moments of truth,  Worth

small is the new centered

Today I was small.  I did small things.  It was a seeding day – one of those days that will fruit later.  I talked very little.  I learned more than I taught.

So at the end of it, I came home to a quiet house and I baked fat potatoes and cooked up some garlic, broccoli, and peppered turkey bacon to stuff them with.  And I thumbed my nose at my puny day, and I called myself names.

Unaccomplished.  Simple.  Mediocre.

I do know better.  I let the weakness win for just a bit and just a smidge…. even though that kind of talk has no place in this temple. It plays in the vestibule and tries to sneak up to the altar, but it is foul and dangerous, it isn’t welcome to stay.  But, can I be honest?  It does rent space.  And sometimes if I am too busy being busy and gladly madly running the world, this mean streak makes itself at home.   In my cracked efforts, it plots renovations.

But not for long.  While the bacon sizzled, I made a mental list.

I am well.

I am making great choices.

I am stronger than I was even seven days ago.

I got my bike out 3 times this week!

I’m teaching myself how to work hard on long distant outcomes.

Jesus never left.

There’s a lot to feel good about. It is my tendency to want fast great things to come easily, as if our gifts alone should spit out perfect products.  But, “nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever could” as Julie Andrews sang in The Sound of Music (oh my heart, go watch this song again), and middle seasons are more about designing than producing.  Does this sound familiar, is this your season too?  When it feels like your world is shoving “Open for Business!” signs in your face, do you feel like your still drafting plans?

All our beginnings and middles and endings are happening symphonically, and it helps to remember that part when we wonder if we’re behind.  This middle place is more than fine, it is dreamy and lush.  It has perks, not just pits!  Kind of like the Real Cherry Lattice Pie (my riff on this recipe*) that I made last week.  It took time.  My summer stained butcher block remembers it well.

That’s how honest cherry pie is crafted — fruit by fruit, stone by stone.  If you’ve only ever had the canned cherry variety, you have unspeakable joy in your future.  One pie at a time, I finally figured out how to crisscross dough strips like my grandmother did, but at first I just cut shapes in my top crust with small cookie cutters for the fruit to bubble through, and thought I was clever at family Thanksgivings.  And I did that mainly because I couldn’t weave a lattice.   Until I could.

When I was young and perfect (a favorite phrase of my mother’s that’s funnier now than it ever was then), my pies were as well.  Gosh, I even made the pastry.  Now, flavor is king, and I embrace the mess in my baking and in my one and only life.  This too, takes time.

small is the new centered
Oh hello, you.

For way too long, busy was a thing I respected myself for.

And now I blow kisses at her, that sweet frayed girl.

Living at a healthier tempo, valuing handfuls of people over crowds, staying extremely honest, and letting God blow my mind without shunning my heart for its limits – these are real changes I feel popping up, here in this seeding season.

God had to pry busy from my white knuckled fists.  I’m ever so glad he has.  Even though I still struggle to wholly respect this unrushed pace, I know in my rooted soul that there is new dignity here.   I recognize my face again.



*To make Cherry Lattice Pie my way, use the dry ingredients and butter and cook temp/times from the recipe linked above, then sub out her fruit for 4 cups of pitted cherries.  Use a nice store-bought pie crust because you have a life.


  • justplainbeth

    I was diagnosed with a health condition last week (far less scary than the one the tests were pointing at) that is rooted in chronic stress. For years I thought I was managing all this stress well, and my body has been yelling for help and finally threw in the towel. I’m told it could take up to 24 months to recover because, “It took a long time for you to get here, you can’t expect it to resolve overnight.” It affects all manner of things from my sleep to the way my body metabolizes (or doesn’t) different things (carbs, fat, proteins), causes issues with fluid and electrolyte imbalances… your mood, etc etc. Such a mess. And the way out is more rest. Slow and easy exercise. Less stress. “Living at a healthier tempo” as you wrote… I have to chase slow and be mindful and pray that life stays even and the big hard things are over for a while so that I can get better. I’m not going to lie, but I’m worried. I’m worried about what happens in the fall when school starts again, about a host of things out of my control, and what happens if things continue to downslide.

    But God… and so I trust and before the month is over I will sort out a plan for that healthier tempo and we’ll see how it goes. I’m going to be watching those of you who are further ahead on the journey than I am.

    • Lynne

      I am so glad to know you’re on this journey because it’s way too easy to fall prey to what I call my “worth idol” – getting worth from doing and mattering to other people. So now, we can call each other gently out 🙂 Thanks, Beth.

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