A pace that nourishes the soul is found in the little habits and choices we make each day. I put together a very short list of things that have helped me find my artisan pace, and I hope they can help you too.Read More
If I've learned anything this past year, it's that healing takes time.
More time than is convenient.
For example, recently my brother had to undergo a procedure. After months of being unable to identify where the pain in his muscles, knees, and ankles were coming from, the doctor finally found the culprit: a bone spur in his heal.
Now, I could probably ask him all for all the medical terms and details, but for simplicity's sake, I'll just tell you what I remember.
Part of his heel bone was actually dead, and needed to be removed. A cadaver was needed to replace the missing part of the bone. And the healing process would take an entire year before he could even jog.
A year. All for a small crack in the heel.
But sometimes, that's exactly what the body needs.
More often than we realize, our spirits need it, too.
Because healing is important to God our Father, He calls us to say "no" to some things for a while.
For my brother, no running. Only a little walking.
For me, no busyness. Only resting, for a time.
This kind of rest has taught me how these bodies and souls of ours long to be healed. That when we give ourselves the proper amount of time, healing is a natural occurrence.
And when we choose not to wait, the pain and ailment actually worsen over time.
But really the hardest part about the healing process is that it often feels even worse right before things are set right.
Like post surgery.
Or when someone is rubbing out a big knot in your back.
Or when you are striving for perfection and approval, and you realize that all that work kept you running in circles around your pain.
"For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed."
So why not take the time to heal?
Maybe it's saying no to some draining activities.
Or maybe activities you love.
Or maybe it's saying "yes" to a different pace for a while.
Saying yes to longer walks and wasted time on sunsets and private journal entries.
Maybe it's time to say "yes" to healing.
All I know is that Jesus cares a whole a lot about these weak knees, cracked heals, and broken hearts. And when given the time, He comes and sets things right within us.
So what do you say?
I remember that fateful day rather clearly.
A cup of coffee in hand.
My bible and journal on the table before me.
The frustrations of my heart that I couldn't quite put into words.
As a freelance writer, I often started my workday with the Lord. Before I wrote my articles, I needed to write for my heart.
But nothing was coming for some reason. A lack of peace kept me distracted, though I couldn't quite figure out the cause. So I closed my journal and decided that I might as well get to work. No sense wasting time when things gotta get done.
I opened my laptop and got ready to email a client about the articles he needed for the week. And then finally, I felt the Lord speak to my heart very clearly:
"You're going to tell your clients that these are the last assignments you'll be doing for them."
And then I was flooded with peace. I can't explain why; it didn't make any sense. But it felt absolutely right, for no reason other than the fact that I knew this is what God wanted me to do.
So what do I tell him? I'm just done? Do I need an excuse?
"You're going to tell them that you've been hired to work for someone else and you no longer can work for them."
"Jeana, you're writing for Me now —I will be your employer and provider."
And so I quit.
I was filled with a peace I didn't understand.
And filled with more uncertainty than I'd ever known.
It's been about a year and half since my last employment.
And I suppose I thought that when the Lord said I'd be "writing for Him," I'd suddenly have some kind of platform or starting point. Or at least some measly income to add to what my husband makes as a student worker.
But instead, God answered every question I asked Him with this one simple word: wait.
What about a part time job?
Should I work on my own blog?
I thought you said to write —what do you even mean??
And through the tears and uncertainty, the still, small voice of the Lord spoke to me, as if I was a little girl curled up in the lap of her papa.
"You can't know how much I love you when you are your own provider.
For now, I need you to stop.
It's time to rest, to find your pace.
Come and be my daughter, and taste what it is to have enough."
And so I waited.
And over the days and months upon waiting, I tasted the provision from my Father who always provides enough.
Enough to overflow my heart.
So much enoughness, that I don't need to take anything more for myself.
I already have everything because of who my Father is.
I'm only now transitioning out of that season of waiting and into one of movement, with new work and writing opportunities presenting themselves. It feels like a sunrise after a very long night, and it’s exciting and scary all at the same time.
So, it's safe to say that I understand waiting is not only inconvenient —it's often terrifying.
But friend, if you are feeling that tug from God to wait, then let me take you by the hand and tell you that IT WILL BE OKAY.
We live in a world that seeks instant answers and constant security found in things that surely won't last forever.
But even in our forgetfulness, we have a Heavenly Father who waits for us and with us. And in this waiting, He calls you and I into the greatest source of security and understanding we will ever know.
That you belong to Him, and that love cannot be taken away.
"Though the mountains move and the hills shake, My love will not be removed from you and My covenant of peace will not be shaken," says your compassionate LORD. - Isaiah 54:10
May you find peace in your waiting, dear friend.
"Aren't you going to answer the door?"
My friend gave me a confused look as I let the doorbell ring. I was trying to flip burnt pancakes and make more batter and cook bacon. And darn it, I was really counting on all the guests to show up late so that they didn't have to see this hot mess.
"Seriously, go get the door." Half smiling, she took the spatula and pushed me towards the entrance.
All that to say, having breakfast for dinner sounds really great in theory. But when you buy all the ingredients last minute and you can't multitask, it just creates burnt pancakes and an anxious hostess who wants to run away and hide from the mess.
Unfortunately, the running away and hiding seems to be a recurring theme in my life.
Although I'm an introvert, I need people.
I need relationships and connection and a meal to share with beloved friends.
Since we've been married, my husband and I have talked about making our home a place for regular gatherings around the table.
That breakfast dinner was the first of our weekly dinners that we planned to host in our home.
But after the stress of hosting just once, I mentioned to my husband that maybe we should change it to just once or twice a month. And my very logical argument could be summed up in this phrase:
"I'm just not capable of cooking for a bunch of people and holding a conversation at the same time!"
My very loving husband was silent for a moment. Then he said, "When you talk about these dinners, you are imagining as if you have to prepare this all by yourself. But I can help, I want to do this with you."
"You see that you are not alone, don't you?"
"All you have to do is ask for help and remember that I am already here with you."
Too often, I let fear make decisions for me.
I don't realize that it's fear that is doing it because I cover it up with excuses that sound like solid arguments in my mind.
"I have never been able to do it before, so I can't do it ever."
But that actually means,
"I know this won't come easy, so I'm sure I shouldn't try."
Or more simply (and vaguely) put,
"I don't want to fail."
Fear was keeping me from setting my table.
And it's all too easy to look at the other tables in my life —my relationships or my writing or future plans— and imagine that Jesus is not there with me.
To see obstacles in front of the places I'm called to be and the dreams I long to chase, and imagine that I am on this journey alone.
So fear comes in and tells me that I dare not try.
It tempts me to forget that the Word of God says, "Fear not, for I AM with you." (Isaiah 41:10)
But the thing is, Jesus is not afraid of the obstacles or my weakness.
Instead, the gospels remind us that He spent a lot of time on earth gathered around some sort of table, cultivating the Kingdom of God with people who didn't have their acts together.
Walking with Jesus reminds me that He is not afraid of my pace or my inability to multitask. That He works with me and walks with me through every obstacle —the big and scary, and the slow and small moments of everyday life.
And you know what? Being a slow-paced person means that it will take me a bit longer to make dinner, especially for friends.
And that's okay.
Because the precious things in life —things made in a simple, unhurried pace— are often the most special.
After all, that seems to be the pace of our Heavenly Father, right?
His unhurried hands healing the deepest parts of our hearts. Letting roots run deep, the sourdough bread rise, and the sun set slowly at the end of each day.
It's the artisan pace of our Artisan Father.
We've had a couple more dinner parties since then.
And it has been absolutely wonderful.
With a little planning, prayer, and simplifying, dinners in this home have blessed us and our guests.
I hope this reminder blesses you too, to set your own table at your own artisan pace.