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Grumpy Minnow

Kyle caught a big one! LOL

Kyle started his pre-church Sunday with a bit of fishing. I started mine with a bit of angst. Fretting about all the things on my upcoming schedule. Worried two weeks in advance about missing school to fly to a wedding in California, imagining my exhaustion coming back on a red-eye flight. Asking my husband if it’s too late for me to cancel my reservation. And then changing my mind…

This, and a hundred other frazzled thoughts competing for my attention, when I read it again:

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)

Goodness. Some days don’t you just want to crawl up on His lap and stay there?

I’ve been reading and re-reading the last few verses of Luke chapter 10, and the first several of chapter 11. So chock-full of favorites, I’ve had to read it again and again.

Mary and Martha.

The Lord’s Prayer.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find…

An hour or two later, we’re at church, and Pastor John is preaching. (John Foley is the associate pastor at New Hope, and in the few months we’ve known him, he has quickly become a genuine friend.) This morning’s sermon is called “Take Summer With You.” Which of course, immediately peaks my interest. Because let’s be honest, isn’t the primary trigger of my current angst directly related to a desperate attempt to hoard this season? And here we are, Labor Day weekend talking about “savoring summer”—which ends up being a sermon metaphor for the sacred rhythms of Sabbath rest.

And I know as soon as I see the outline, I’d better pay attention. The Big Idea: We maintain a balance of work and rest, of community and solo time, by following the way of Jesus.

Preach it, friend, and AMEN.

After church we head to the Grumpy Minnow—a lakeside restaurant where we join Kyle’s parents for a patio lunch. Sunny skies and temps in the 70’s and it’s almost perfection. Almost…aside from a slightly annoying bee infestation on the patio… and my discovery that I’ve overdressed for the weather…and a wee bit of lingering angst from my morning of worry…

We’re partway through lunch when my mom-in-law and I start sharing stories about growing up as farm girls, and how we’ve both witnessed the inevitable practice of slaughtering chickens. (My own memory is of an isolated occasion at my uncle’s place, while Marge remembers Chicken Day as one of the regular rhythms of family life.) Anyway. At some point I make a comment about today’s young people not growing up on farms—and no wonder there’s a correlation between YouTube highlights of the gruesome practices of turning livestock into our meat-counter selections, and youthful trends toward vegetarianism. A simple enough comment—and, I assure you, no intention whatsoever of stirring anyone’s pot. But alas. My husband quickly jumps on the ideological bandwagon with a whole host of opinions. To which I remind him—I wasn’t taking sides.

And then. We drop off parents and get back into our car. (Which—if I didn’t mention it—lost its AC, again. And true, the temps aren’t bad. But between commute and soccer I have surely logged close to 500 miles this week—no exaggeration. And all of a sudden, I’m an actual hot mess.) So we get into the car and head toward home, with a quick stop for groceries, when Kyle, for whatever reason, brings up the farm/meat/vegetarian conversation. Again. And suddenly I’ve had it. And I say it out loud to my husband:


Can you say “grumpy minnow”? Yikes.

Finally I am back at home, napping in my hammock, then reading a book on my patio swing. Ahhh…Sabbath. The rest I have desperately needed. AND YET. I cannot quite shake this unpleasant feeling of my soul being bound in an angsty knot. And I wonder why. I think about how Sabbath can so easily become (for me) selfish fulfillment. I think about the book I’m reading, and how it lacks the “something” I’m needing to really feed my soul. And I remember how Pastor John talked about Sabbath being more than inactivity. Not just rest for the sake of rest. Sabbath is being with Jesus.

She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said…

And finally, I listen.

“Come and rest.”

Choose Me over ALL the rest.

All the worries. All division. All the what if’s and whatnots of this unknown season. All the selfish hoarding and the stressful striving. Set it all aside. And choose.

The one thing needed.

And I do. Like a child. I rest in His lap.

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