My husband was recently told his job has been dis-established. In four week's time the income we have depended on for a number of years, will no longer be available.
In these current economic times, this type of news creates unsettledness. No matter the size of a family, a source of monetary income becoming unknown in the not-too-distant future, sets a range of thoughts and emotions into circulation.
Shock, stress, perhaps even fear and anxiety, can come to knock at your door again and again, as you try to process and work through what this can trigger and set in place for a family and a household.
Community becomes extremely important. The kindness, encouragement and support (both prayerful and practical) offered by those who know you well, becomes highly treasured.
In amongst it all, faith, hope and peace have a place. They can come miraculously. We know this first-hand. It would be easy to let fear have a field day. To let anxiety and panic set in, and direct every resulting thought: it would surely be an understandably easy choice. You can choose to experience an alternative reaction. We are currently in that place at present ourselves.
Faith, hope and peace can prevail. The hand of God can be sensed. Rather than an opportunity for concern and fear to keep biting at your heels and cause distress, you can choose to respond by practising calmness. We are ourselves endeavouring to remain positive, while dialoguing about the way forward.
Those sharp and hard curve balls that come along in the journey of life, (just like this very one we are currently working through), are able to be viewed as opportunities. Perhaps such circumstances can even be an opportunity for adventure!
The outlook and mindset embraced and taken on board becomes extremely important, on a day to day level. The natural ups and downs that naturally occur, can be ridden out more thoughtfully and wisely. It is a case of choosing to not be totally overwhelmed by the situation you are now suddenly facing.
Faith, like potatoes is something that can, on the outside looking in, not look like much. Like the humble potato, faith can be deemed too simple, too ordinary, to have any bearing on actual current circumstances and events.
Faith can, and does, make a significant difference. Faith equips. It moves you through. It assists you to be able to see the potential open windows and doors that are ahead. Faith can also hold a range of emotions in check.
Faith, like potatoes can rest buried deep. It can rest in the deepest places within us. Faith develops and grows and comes to the surface, alongside what is one's true character, from a place originally surrounded in darkness.
At times like this, when faced with challenging circumstances, I value time in the garden. It is a place to retreat, yet also a place to work through what is going on internally, as I process thoughts and feelings.
There is value in allowing a range of emotions to be worked out, while working in the garden, in a constructive way. Digging over compacted ground, and gradually making over the backyard garden, at present is proving to be just what I need.
Yes, I am planting out a huge crop of potatoes literally at present. I have selected several varieties, and will be interested to see what produces best in the coming months.
With severe drought weather conditions forecast across the region over the coming summer, it will be a challenging summer season. I am working my way through how best to prepare for what is forecast.
As I go about planting out and sowing this current hoped for crop of potatoes, faith is being exercised in relation to our current family situation also. Faith rather than fear. Hope rather worry. Peace rather than unsettledness. Faith is indeed like potatoes.