On Sunday after church, we collect pecans and begin the process of sifting, sorting, and shelling. It's our second year on our small homestead and we hope to have gleaned some wisdom from our attempt at picking pecans last fall. Our system now is to keep the grass cut, the leaves blown, and use not only the hand-roller to pick up the pecans but also our new handy dandy pecan picker-upper that we attach behind the four-wheeler. Once they are collected, along with the leaves and other debris, we sort them with our own make-shift colander, a square piece of chicken wire that sits on top of an open trash can. In the pecans go, out the leaves stay. After that, the shelling begins. Some pecans slide easily out of their coat and are placed in the final bucket that we will take to the mill where the pecans will be cracked. Others are stubborn and my nails get dirt underneath them as I try to pry them open. It's work on the farm but with the sun shining, the rocking chair rocking, and my husband and son sitting beside me, it doesn't seem much like work at all.
Picking pecans is simple work but it is a process. We don't suddenly have pecan pie just because the pecans are falling from limb to ground. We have to go through the motions, put the time and energy and effort into the process of picking pecans. Many people would easily think that it is just easier to go buy an overpriced small package of pecans at the grocery store. Trust me, when we don't have our pecans, this is what I do. But I'm learning that it's not nearly as rewarding.
Work done with our hands and our hearts is a process, just like picking pecans. I've been reminded of that truth recently with the release of Practice Hospitality and our shop's new line of Christmas cards. These items did not just magically appear after I thought of them. No, it was a process that took weeks to complete. I cried and prayed all through the process. I wanted to quit, to just go out and buy it from someone else. But if I had done that I would have missed the reward.
If you feel God calling you to create or work or do something that is above what you think you can handle, I can guarantee you that your work will take time, dedication, and lots and lots of prayers and chocolate. You will feel exhausted but God will give you just enough energy for each day. You will be scared to release your work into the hands of others but if you sit scared you will never be able to receive God's goodness and rejoice in the work he is doing in and through you. Take time to rest in his presence, dig deep into scripture to stand firm and press on toward the goal.
One of my favorite passages of scripture is Colossians 3:23-24, "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ."
Today, as you dream about all that you want to do, ask in prayer that your eyes may be fixed on Him. Let his truth, love, and power guide you to work with all your heart. Remember today that work is a process and can only be done one day at a time.
If you love pecans, you need to try our Fancy Salad recipe in Practice Hospitality. It's simple yet delicious and perfect to serve for your next holiday party with friends.