Musings

Drawing Water and Mourning Doves

Before our neighbors put a well in, one of our main sources of water when we lived in the woods was the stream that flowed across our driveway. We didn’t know there was a stream across the driveway when we put it in, but as soon as rain hit, it ran as heavily as if it was the wellspring that supplied the nearby Lake Superior. So, in order to wash our clothes or do dishes, we typically ran down to the stream and filled 5-gallon buckets with water. One of my proudest moments as a 12 or 13-year-old was the day I could walk up our driveway with two five-gallon buckets of water – one in each hand. Nowadays, I doubt I could carry a single one-gallon bucket up that hill. . .

Simpler times, right? I understand the appeal of living in the middle of the forest and drawing water had on my parents as I make my way through grown-up life. So much less pressure, with no depressing news following us throughout the day, no social media, few social obligations.

We’ve had a couple of mourning doves visit our home lately. It started with one, discovering our birdfeeder and eating underneath it. The next time, she brought a friend, and together they roamed our patio for quite a long time as Daniel and I watched from where we sat on a blanket in the yard. That was the day I got my first e-mail requesting an interview since I quit my job. The next time they visited was the morning of the phone interview. It’s been two business days and I haven’t gotten a call-back and I’ve been struggling the last few days with giving my expectations up to God, realizing that He might really want me to make writing my “real” job. Yesterday, I finally surrounded to Him (though it’s one of those things that I have a feeling I’ll need to do a fresh surrendering most days), and this morning*, our mourning dove sat in the tree branch next to our house and just watched over Daniel and I in the breakfast nook for a while.

I am so grateful for those mourning doves. I truly feel like God has sent them each time to remind me that He hears my prayers, and that He has us well in hand. It’s hard, giving up half our income. Feeling like we are struggling for the first time in years because of me (Daniel has to remind me that we both felt like God wanted me to quit), and then feeling inadequate because I haven’t gotten another job yet. Feeling like there is no way my writing is good enough to bring in any sort of income, while simultaneously believing God has a purpose for it. Seems like a dichotomous way to think, and yet there it is. Those mourning doves are a reminder that it doesn’t matter what happens next—whether I get a job, or stick with writing awhile—God has never left us behind and never will. He hears our prayers and He will answer them in a way He knows is best for us.

*written on June 30, 2020

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