A Dusted Clay

From shooting skeet to building fires to riding four wheelers, from driving deer to flying in a two-seater airplane to hunting raccoons, from sleeping in 44 degrees to watching the sun rise and set over the water – the adventure never ended and sparked in me an adventurous spirit that had been lost (or, more accurately, hidden away) in the natural stress and strain of everyday life.

This weekend, at a coastal South Carolina farm with a group of best and new friends, I reflected on my first couple years out of college. In the face of uncertainty and in the aftermath of long hours of sometimes passionless work, my heart is deceived by my flesh.

My flesh longs for predictable and sure. I begin craving my couch and TV and sheltering my heart from any disrupting forces. It’s like my soul moved to suburbia and packed in attic boxes the parts of myself that were a threat to my new way of living, best described as surviving or compromising. I believe those boxes are labelled, “Freedom to Be” and “Unabated Joy.”

I am not sure when it happened—perhaps somewhere between the sip of world-renowned whiskey and the frozen feeling in my toes—but this weekend I remembered the joy and freedom that, when given the right conditions, grows wild and strong in me. Boxes and walls and financial prudence and career trajectories can’t hold them. They can only be described in unsophisticated metaphors: a dusted clay, an airplane buzz, a big fire slowly catching but burning still, a broken bottle that signifies right aim.

But how to capture it? How to keep it? Back on my couch. Firing up the old laptop for another day of work. When my people are scattered and my location is decidedly un-picturesque and the expectations pile back on, how do I sustain the fire? How do I move these experiences from revelation to inspired routine?

Truthfully, I’m not sure.  I can’t stay at Coosaw. I can’t keep my friends next to me. We have a Great Commission.

So for now, I hold tight to the memories and pray fervently that the Lord would keep my heart open—in spite of the discontentment and pride and fear—to the still small voice that reminds me, “I am the Lord your God, who created this world and called it very good. I am not done working in you, so be strong and courageous in my love. I am with you.” (Genesis 1:31; Joshua 1:9; Isaiah 43:1-4; Philippians 1:6)

Dedicated in love to my friends.

17 thoughts on “A Dusted Clay

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  1. Beautifully expressed, Sara! Yes, my soul also longs for the freedom and joy that fills me when in God’s natural creation with like-minded friends.
    Thank you.
    Paula

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  2. Certainly a beautiful reflection and a searching for her place and purpose . As a great grandmother I was impressed with her trying to find her rightful and God given purpose in life. I too , even at my stage in life, wonder what my purpose will be for tomorrow and the tomorrows to come. Do not be discouraged to the point of not searching and doing. There is always a purpose and reason for being who you are and who you will become and where you will be needed. Yesterday my purpose was a telephone call to a 99 year old friend and my concern to see if she was feeling okay and not being down with the flu. Then it was checking on a 3 and 4 year old to see if they had a good and exciting day .We all have a purpose every day. May God Bless You with His love and patience. . Norma A.Curtis

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  3. First, I was struck, Sara, by how privileged you are to have a job, a couch, a TV, and an invitation to spend an extraordinary weekend doing things out of range for most of us at a private coastal SC farm with a beach upon which a bonfire was built. And, you didn’t really express gratitude and a burning desire to help those who are less fortunate than you. It’s not your fault, you were born into it. I just ask you to think about gratitude and about what you can do for others today and tomorrow and the next day, because helping others will help you to find yourself.
    Next, I was amazed that Mark Sanford would consciously choose to share your blog with his SC constituents, so many of whom live pay check to pay check if they are fortunate enough to have a job or three, send their kids to inferior SC schools, and perhaps worry about being illegal. Then, to hear him complain about the boredom of his job on our behalf as an elected official and how he will look to his boys and his coastal farm for relief in 2018. Give me a break. It is one thing to think these things, we all do at times, but quite inappropriate to make them public. Mark Saford needs a reality check. He will not get my vote.

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  4. In a world that seems consumed with “busy-ness”, it it always to your advantage to find a quiet place, a peaceful place, a reflective place, to replenish and renew yourself. It doesn’t take very long, but the results are magnificent.

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  5. I am an atheist so I will substitute “Nature” as the ‘Mother’ of all of us and the keeper of all of us. As her ‘children’ it is our responsibility to protect ‘she’ who gave all living things life and all of the ‘children’ that come after us. While we may not agree on our creation, I think we do agree on what is truly important…our role as caretakers of our home, Earth.

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  6. I enjoyed reading your blog. It reminded me of how I felt when I was your age. As you continue your path in life, two words of advice I can offer are: Balance and Moderation. Find that balance in your life between work and pleasure, family and friends, adventure and rest. No one has a crystal ball and you must live one day at time. However, that doesn’t prevent you from dreaming and planning for what the future might hold. Think big, but at the same time be realistic in setting your goals. Stay patient and positive and life will be good. Best of luck to you in all of your goals and ambitions. I know I sound trite, but life does go by quickly, so enjoy every minute that you are given.

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  7. Your closed minded assumption that both Representative Sandford and Sarah are not grateful and do not give back and help others is pathetic and sad. Sarah’s beautifully written thoughts and desires are are eloquently expressed from the heart of a young women. I for one appreciate Representative Sanford sharing Sarahs blog and am certain they both work hard to give to those less fortunate. We all do our best to deal with our daily personal struggles as we help others along the way. Thank you Mr. Sanford and Sarah.

    Pam Patrick

    Liked by 1 person

  8. And thank YOU Pamela for your reply. I am so encouraged and delighted that we have young people who can write and feel and express such beautiful emotion. I love the fact that she sat down and shared how she felt with all her friends….having no idea it would be shared with so many. This is not about politics…this is feeling and appreciating the beauty around us and friendships we are so most fortunate to have. Thank you Sarah!

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