May has come in with a flurry and flash–With her comes true spring weather, which in turn brings gardening and tourists. April flew by–Too fast almost, but it was a good fast. The close of April welcomes our third month in South Dakota, and closes out the earliest pages of this new life adventure.
Throughout the move and the transition here, God has provided in amazing ways. He’s provided us with a new church home, with families there that are like-minded Believers. He’s provided jobs for each of us girls: Anna has a job at Rushmore Cave, Sarah has a job at Dakota Greens Nursery, and I’ve been working for Jack Dye on his ranch and at the Hill City Mercantile. We’ve been spending lots of time with one another, as well as with our extended family, particularly my grandmother. It has been a delight to be able to just walk up the hill to her house, or to run over in the evening for a movie night. She loves the Little House on the Prairie TV series. She has excellent taste.
Although when we decided to move, I was completely on-board, I had my moments of doubt. Some of those concerns related to being twenty-four years old and completely starting over, being a graduate in music but really wanting to take time to self-search and pursue some other things, traveling forty-five minutes to get to church (the concern that our church community would all be that far away), etc.
It is generally expected that finishing college launches a graduate into a career, that the graduate arrives at the end of their degree with fully formed ambition, and goals for the future that relate directly to the degree. But what if they don’t? What if the graduate arrives at the end of college a little befuddled, unsatisfied with conventional wisdom, and with highly unconventional ideas of the future? Bloom where you’re planted.
The crabapple tree in this picture is a late bloomer. Our little valley stays cooler than other places in the Hills, so our fruit trees and this tree are just beginning to wake up from winter. Other trees in the region are already a blaze of color, their blossoming branches spreading high, full of leaves and the promise of abundant fruit. This little tree is taking its time–Whether circumstance or Providence decreed that this tree would bloom late, it doesn’t matter. The tree will blossom. It took five and a half years of college for me to figure out what my true passions are, and to realize what I truly find thrilling and joy-giving in life, to begin to understand some of the deepest God-given longings of my heart. I expect it will take longer, a lifetime, to figure out how best to use those passions in a manner that brings glory to God, and how to fit them together into a cohesive whole.
I could worry about convention, I could worry about what people will think, and I could spend time feeling silly for “dabbling” when it is expected that I pursue a “career” instead, or at least something within my field of study. I could feel a little foolish for being so eager to do smelly, unappealing cattle work (I’ll mention CIDRs again), when I should logically be doing something different. Or I could desire to pursue things that God has made possible, doors that he has opened, and seek to be useful and productive even while I’m dabbling.
In this past month (or two months–I’ll lump March in for this “Hindsight” musing), I’ve learned more about horses and cattle than I ever knew, I’ve been introduced to the fascinating work of artificial insemination, I’ve ridden horses more than I’ve ever ridden in my life, I’ve learned how to run a cash register, I’ve learned what a fat quarter is (a quilting term!) and how to assemble them, I’ve hiked a mountain, began learning how to drive stick, and my list could go on. Those fears I had have been relieved. I’ve found work that I love, we have church friends just seven miles away, and the chance to start over and reevaluate seems less daunting than it did. Never would I have thought that I’d be riding horses and herding cows a couple of months after graduating in music, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. We judged the homeschool Speech and Debate tournament a week or so ago, and went to the Volunteer Fire Department chili feed. We went to a wild game potluck at Rainbow Bible Ranch, hosted by the Reinholds, another homeschool family. We’ve spent time with cousins on both sides of the family, relishing having family so close. We’ve gotten plugged in with a church and have begun the work of putting down roots. God is good.
Here’s a beautiful passage of Matthew 6 to ponder:
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.