You can smell the crispness in the air, leaves burning in piles, and chili bubbling in crockpots. You can see the leaves changing (at least, they are just starting to here in St. Louis!), and the sunsets look just a bit more vibrant. It’s a great time of year to get outside, pick a pumpkin or apple, bake a pie, and go shopping for a few fall essentials! You know you want to…
I had a pretty busy week, last week. I had an expected wedding rehearsal and wedding on Friday/Saturday, with a training dinner to host on Friday night. But, I also had an unexpected funeral to plan for on Friday. It was made more difficult because I didn’t know the man, though he was a prominent person in St. Louis- just a little more pressure, but that’s okay. Those things on top of usual craziness made me ready to usher in Fall in smalls ways when I could find time for them.
Little ways I’m finding “me” time:
I’ve decided to buy an inordinate number of pumpkin candles, because they are calming and make my office and home smell delightful. I also invested in a fall plant to hang outside until I bring it in for the winter. The florist assured me it would live. She doesn’t know me, though, nor my history with plants. Here’s hoping it lives because it’s got a beautiful leaf that’s green-striped on the top, and purple on the bottom!
I also decided to make my version of beef bourguignon this weekend. It’s actually Ina Garten’s recipe, but I leave out the Cognac- tastes fine without it. It’s way less complex than Julia Child’s recipe, and tastes divine! Total crowd pleaser, but not diet food. Here’s the link to the recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/beef-bourguignon-recipe/index.html
I managed to clean my house, however it was in a bit of a manic panic, because I didn’t want to spend too much time cleaning this weekend… you can’t rationalize with crazy. And, I also woke up early to squeeze in a run on Saturday morning around Lake Creve Coeur. Probably the most beautiful morning run I’ve had in a while, and I didn’t even drink any water beforehand- I felt great though, and give credit to the non-fat latte I drank beforehand, instead! The bagel afterward didn’t taste too bad, either.
Then, to top it all off, Saturday evening, we did have a fire in the backyard. First one of the season. It crackled and warmed us up, which was nice since I’ve become cheap in my old age and have refused to turn on the heat.
All in all, it was an intense, yet wonderful few days around casa Hande/Brouwer. And I think it’s because I decided to make it that way. Earlier last week I was starting to let the fact that my day off had been overtaken by responsibilities consume me and make me angry. I don’t like when I start to feel a taste of bitterness in my mouth about work, but it happens, sometimes. At some point, though, this week, I realized I did have some little moments to enjoy ushering in the fall season. And so, I took advantage of them. I ran, cooked, bought plants and candles, and it reminded me of something really important.
Sometimes the line between what I do, and who I am can get really blurred. I am a pastor, but being one doesn’t define me, nor does it (gasp!) totally satisfy me. Yes, I get to share sacred moments with people, and share their most profound joys and pains (wonderful gifts!), but ultimately, it’s not who I am. And I think most of us- not just pastors, but everybody- can get so wrapped up in what we do that we allow it to define us, our time, and our gifts… maybe we even allow what we do to limit our enjoyment of life, and of God, himself (herself).
So, what did I do this weekend? I practiced little moments of Sabbath. Buying a candle can remind you of the light of Christ, cooking a meal can feed your stomach and your soul, and running can definitely give you time alone with your Creator.
What’s more, though, is that I realized something. I may BE a pastor. But, I AM a child of God. And this child of God needed some time to herself this weekend to be reminded of it. Even though my job is such a privilege, and a true vocation in every sense of the word, it is, simply, what I do. Who I am, though, is something much better. I am known, loved, created, called on, restored, cleansed, comforted, and made whole by God. I am a child of God, and, I’ll tell you what- you’re one too. Don’t forget it, and don’t forget to make time to remember it (does that make sense?).
Take to heart, these words from Isaiah 43:
“But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”
Remember to make time for yourself, you little children of God.