Choosing Stew

 

You run into your home & look at the time.  Drats, it's only 30 minutes before dinner time (maybe you can stretch it to 40 minutes), but everything you have on hand requires time.  Time is not what you have.  Soup echoes in your head, yes, soup.  I have some chicken broth or at least water.   I have some veggies.  I have some leftover something & I'm sure if I throw a stone in there, it would become something magical.  

So in 30-40 minutes you have a soup.  You say a blessing over it, hoping that maybe a feeding of the 5,000 would miraculously appear at your table in the form of flavor.  You watch your family eat it & the looks say it all.  Heck, you don't even have to look at them to know what you already know.  The soup is okay.  It will do, but it lacks that "oomph" factor.  If only I had time to slowly simmer the meat, the spices & veggies would meld together in one ethereal spoonful.  But...you didn't.  And sometimes, life, is like that.  

 

Returning from the Relevant Conference, I have felt like that soup, but what I want is stew that's been braising & simmering & collecting flavor.  So when I take a spoonful, my taste buds are tickled with savory, sour, sweet, salty...in one bite.  I realize I do have time.  I only rush when fear seeps in, afraid that someone else will take my ideas, or my reflections.  But really, since when are "my ideas" truly "my ideas?"  

I met amazing women. I walked into the airplane with no expectations.  I don't get starstruck & I wasn't oober excited to hear Ann Voskamp.  In fact, I've never read her book & I don't read her blog either.  For me, it was walking into a room that felt like high school summer camp, except all the boys were missing.  And, we were older & wiser & more gracious.

I walked into a room of lots of women & I got nervous.  I got overwhelmed by the sheer volume of estrogen in one place.  My extroverted self drew back to observe & watch people.  My soul & heart's desire is to know people at their core & to encourage people to become who they have been designed to become.  

I have been stewing these past couple days after returning home of all I took in.  I feel no need to rush it, or make crappy soup.

I saw myself judging women based on their clothes, their hair, their style & started grouping them.  It's interesting how we do these things, in order to make ourselves feel better about ourselves.  It's more safe, but much more damaging.  

It wasn't any one thing that any speaker said, or fellow blogging friend said, it was a stringing of phrases, which crafted into this beautiful quilt Jesus had been making special for me.  As I packed for Relevant, I couldn't help but think, "what clothes should I wear?  What will make me stand out? How can I be cool?"  

During the conference, it was my conversations with Jesus that meant the most.  I would look at women & think, "Wow, I would never have liked them in my non-conformist days."  Or I thought, "These are the cool girls, & what could I do to fit in & be liked by them?"  And Jesus was speaking to my core. He was telling me that he has confidence in me, because I am his.  That I don't need to prove anything to anyone, or make excuse for liking something silly, or judge someone else because they do.  Instead, Jesus was saying, walk in the confidence that I approve of you Kamille, no one else.  

This translated into how my heart is fulfilled to the brim, when it's Jesus confidence & approval pouring into me & not how many comments I get on my blog, or how cute I look, or how beautiful my heart is to others.  Because ultimately, it's about how he sees me, and how I am known by him.  Oh how the idols come crashing down & I sit & eat good, good, stew; rather, than sit to eat crappy 30 minute soup.  I choose stew everytime.