• Courtney McLane Mize

Fresh Herbs & Grace

Allowing ourselves to live a life of gentleness

I came to a realization tonight as I was fixing dinner; pulling the fresh rosemary and oregano off their stems. I was trying to separate the herbs in one fell swoop, you know, like the professionals do, by sliding them off the stem from the top down. For some reason, I have never been able to master this, until tonight. It finally happened. I watched my little oregano leaves fall perfectly from the stem with ease. It seemed so simple, so graceful, so seamless. It was at this moment that I realized, in the past, I wasn't able to separate the herbs this way because I wasn't being gentle enough. I was simply being too rough before. And then it hit me how much this silly little kitchen scene mirrored real life for so many of us. How many times do we find ourselves thinking it should be easier, it should be happening more naturally, and for some reason, the more aggressively we try, the fewer results we see. We try and try to make something happen and instead of a graceful accomplishment we wind up with a result that's less organized, less pretty, less impressive than what we had hoped for.

Can you relate to that? Does that analogy make sense? We compare our circumstances to those of our relatives, friends, and stranger's social media highlights. We are constantly being fed this unspoken, quiet little lie that if we just try harder we will be there, look like that, have everything figured out. My friends, I find myself believing more and more that this simply is not true. We have lost touch with gentleness and grace. We have been conditioned to operate under this hustle, grind, harder, better, faster, stronger mentality (yes, I did quote 2000's Kanye West). What about stillness and intentionality? What would our lives look like if we embraced being a little more gentle with ourselves and with others? What if we gave our hearts and minds a little more grace as we navigate the ups and downs of life? What if we made an effort to accept the ebbs and flows of the seasons? I have a growing suspicion that if we approached life with more grace we would see "the herbs" fall where they may with much less strain, less mess, and less frustration.

I encourage you to take a second for reflection today. Consider the areas where you can be more gentle with yourself. Lean into the calming stillness that the fall season brings. Find peace wherever you are right now.

"But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious." 1 Peter 3:4