Love in The Lean Days.

You just pulled the loaded-down Saturn out of our driveway and pointed it North. North to your first weekend at your new, out of town, pastoring gig.  But it’s not a gig, it’s a call, we both believe this to be true, but right now it’s a tough call which is taking you out of town every weekend.

This is a different side of ministry, where you do it because you love it, because you’re called to it…  but also because you need to buy milk, eggs and bananas.

lean days main pic

You’re camping in a dome tent for the weekend, and likely every weekend for the rest of the summer.  We laugh that it’s because you need to dust off your Eagle Scout skills but we both know it’s because it’s cheapest and allows us to retain a bigger chunk of your housing allowance.

I smiled at you from someplace deep last night as I watched you pack a the car, wash off the camping gear and pack a cooler with hot dogs and eggs.

These are the lean days baby, where we’re running on fumes and thankful for the simplest, smallest pleasures.

photo The sweetness of a on-sale watermelon.
The simplicity of a family walk after dinner
The joy of our kids as they ride the penny horse at the grocery store

It’s not easy, sometimes it’s awful, but there is sweetness to be found in the lean days, they’re fraught with simplicity and I think we needed the return to simple and sweet.

Something beautiful is born when we meet eyes across our sticky old dining-room table, running on just enough sleep to be kind and just enough money to keep our kids in peanut butter and apples.

That look speaks volumes, doesn’t it?

it’s one part “we’re going make it”
one part “this small, simple life is what really matters”
and another small part “I’m a little freaked out right now.”

Through it all I’m amazed at you, the man I get to share my life with, the one sleeping in the little tent up north while I sprawl out alone in our king bed after puttering around the house after the kids fall asleep in a daze because my evening buddy is up north in a tent.

I love that we’re make it work people, I love what we’re learning in the lean days and I love the future I see before us.

When we’ll look back and smile about how intense it was when we moved across the country with two kids and a lot of question marks.

We’ll tell stories to our kids about how you preached on the weekends and got ready in a tent.

We’ll remember how God provided and how deeply we relied on him in this season and then we’ll whisper thankful prayers for all the simple love and gratitude we learned in the lean days.

Have you been through a lean season?  As tough as it was/is, what good gifts did you find there?

  • Natalie Hart

    One of the best lessons of the lean season is that it isn’t a boogeyman anymore. You know exactly how hard it is — exactly — but you also know that it isn’t the end of the world. There is still sweetness and pleasure and gratitude and love and friendship. You don’t have to be afraid of it.

    • Leanne Penny

      Yes, this is so true.

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