When I was a little girl growing up in the foothills of the Missouri Ozarks, I thought I was the richest kid on earth.
In that day the gulf between class distinctions didn’t span as far and wide as it does now. It was a gentler time—a sweet, brief season of decorum and sensitivity mingled with understated regard for those less fortunate.
Most folks in our little town were hard working people. They paid their bills, their word was their bond, and neighbors helped neighbors. With a few exceptions, most took pride in what they did. Earning a living—whether it be by the sweat of one’s brow or the hum of a keyboard—held great importance.
Doing meant engaging.
Folks didn’t wait to see which way the wind would blow. They prayed for provision, but they prepared for the unexpected. And they trusted God when things got hard.
For a time our family lived in a drafty, old stucco house on a quiet tree-lined street.
Our home wasn’t fancy, but the rooms were large and tidy and they held a modest amount of furniture.
Mama kept the pretty wood floors waxed to perfection and there were always delicious aromas of simmering goodies wafting in the air.
I think what made the place magical was the tender loving care Mama and Daddy poured into it.
Come spring, Daddy tilled and readied a large garden spot. It was hard, back-breaking work because we didn’t have the fancy machinery we do today.
Every season, we’d plant things like corn, green beans, squash, lettuce, and tomatoes. And while Daddy worked his day job, I would help Mama pull weeds and gather vegetables.
We were also blessed to have fruit trees. (Peach, apple, and pear.)
Often, Mama would spot me as I scampered up those trees under her watchful eye.
“Careful, now… there you go. Shake. Shake real hard, darling.”
And of course, I’d rustle those tree limbs for all I was worth.
Plop, plop, plop.
Those apples and pears would come tumbling to the ground where Mama stood at the ready with baskets and boxes.
The peaches took a more delicate touch. Since they bruised easier, I tried to pick the ones I could reach first before nudging the others to the ground.
Once our work outdoors was done, we’d head inside and begin the next step—jam and jelly-making. I don’t remember too much about that process because Mama took over from there. I do recall tasting the fruit of her labor though and mmm… truly, heaven in a mason jar!
For a long time, I didn’t realize just how lean those early years were for our family.
I thought I wore the same gold ribbed leotards for two years in a row because I couldn’t bear to part with them. Now I know it was an early lesson in frugality. The fact they’d been restitched in the crotch multiple times to accommodate my growing legs should have clued me in, but again—it was part of the adventure. The fantasy.
I fancied myself a princess and I thought I was the belle of ball when I wore those tights. (Is it any wonder why my nickname in school became Cinderella? (Obviously, I had a healthy dose of self-esteem!)
If I hadn’t had the grounding I did as a child, trusting God to meet my needs today would indeed be a real stretch.
I couldn’t do it.
Navigating life is hard. Placing complete faith in One who has it all under control when I don’t is harder.
I want to help God out a bit. You know—adjust things a little.
But then that negates trust, doesn’t it?
I think what I’m learning is that provision is really less about my expectation and more about His perfect plan at just the right time.
Semantics. When our definition differs from God’s.
The hardest thing we’ll ever do, but a big step in the learning curve.
What’s something you’ve learned about provision and trust?