'Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track...
Your body will glow with health,
your very bones will vibrate with life!
Honor God with everything you own;
give him the first and the best.
Your barns will burst,
your wine vats will brim over..."
I love it when a visual makes itself alive and active to transform tangibly scripture's truth. A piece of time that gives experience and wisdom to how my life fits into the story of the Gospel, to file away as a reminder of His faithfulness, to story tell when the Spirit prompts, and to give meaning to the every day ordinary.
Fall harvest has always been a time near and dear to me. (Sidenote, listen to this message on "the Harvest," SO good) I worked on a small organic farm one hot, North Carolina, summer during college. Long days, foggy mornings - both in weather and mind - sweaty afternoons, the smell of rubber boots caked in clay dirt, and the best picks from the vine of popped sweet tomatoes, tests of leafy basil, and crunches of sweet peppers. It was a tasting menu of the first and best fruits every day.
This morning my boys and I packed up in our car to inhale a morning of farm life. My favorite, worn fllannel and our blue, two gallon sized bucket in tow to pick raspberries at a friend's farm. If you have ever picked fresh berries you know it takes about thirty seconds of picking before the sneaking sweet bursts of reds, blues, or golds straight from the vine and into your mouth begins to mindlessly make its way into your harvesting rhythm.
Berry picking in a rhythm: pick, eat, pick, plop in pail, pick, plop, pick, eat. Work turning itself into methodical enjoyment because the first and best are brought forth to appreciate.
"Honor God with everything you own. Give Him the first and the best. Your barns will burst, your wine vats will brim over..."
This scripture spoken out over our finances, but rarely over anything else. Why? What about the "everything you own" part? The blessing of bursting barns and brimming wine vats.
A simple reminder in between sweet and sour bursts. How can I take more firsts, more bests, and present them to the Lord. An offering intentionally given simply because I want Him to be blessed, to receive enjoyment from every bit of my every day normal. Where am I holding back spaces of my life, labeling them as "taken care of," and not realizing that in my humanity alone nothing is taken care of, but is actually harmed in a contentment of self control.
In a season where motherhood begs heavy on so many of my minutes and motives, it is easy to put my marriage in second, third, even fourth place. And then I find myself this morning, in a raspberry field, reminded by the entrance back into humility, that I am not superwoman, and that the Lord's leading, guiding, and shaping of my life, and specifically my marriage is perhaps the greatest advantage I can help entrust to my family. Even more weighty in revelation, is that perhaps it is one of the most important relationships I am called to pull the first fruits from and to give to the Lord in a daily routine of love and honor. A union from which the rest of my life flows, one that MUST fix its foundation deep into the Gospel and will of God so that the pulses it beats out into (parenting, friendships, attitude, emotions, etc.) are by extension perfect and pruned by God Himself, but also the places of gold in my life because they are presented to the face of love every single day.
And so I commit myself again to prayer and intentionality for my marriage. Today, and tomorrow, and the next day. A reminder that my calling as 'wife' is one of my most beautiful seats of honor and service, and that it is worth winning the war in the spiritual over with intention and purpose.
A prayer for marriage:
God, thank you for the stunning union of marriage. I commit my eyes to a greater awareness to my husband's needs that you have designed me as the specific, purposed answer to. I commit to intimacy, physically and mentally as priority.
As a covenant one, we commit our first and best to You. We commit our communication, our first breaths uttered out in early morning, to bring honor and thanksgiving to You. Thank you for simple reminders seen in raspberry fields and spaces of normal, average life that draw us back to You by way of conviction and grace.
My marriage is Yours; shape it, grow it, utilize it for strategy and Kingdom advancement. We call as ours, barns that will burst and wine vats that will brim over in the name of Jesus.