“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
Matthew 6:25-34, NLT
Why “a snapdragon of the field”? Well, snapdragons may not exactly be wildflowers, but they are my favorite flowers. Dimension, vivid color, textural interest. And the name! It’s got some life, some bite to it. I love it.*
But most importantly, like a snapdragon (or a lily or wildflower or what have you), I’m learning how to grow and live today in the bounteous grace and provision of my Lord.
I value and place importance on frugality and moderation, as well as taking care of the resources and lives God has given into my care. I believe that Christ modeled these virtues and calls us to practice them in our own lives. But they are not an end in of themselves.
As a stay-at-home wife and mom, I could spend all my time and energy researching, organizing, budgeting, buying, preparing, cleaning—all necessary and important tasks in our life—but also not what I want consuming and defining me. I try to work and enjoy the good things of life each day without letting those gifts or the pursuit of good things become an idol.
What is of primary importance? I am called to “put God’s kingdom first” and do what he wants me to do—to stay in communion and connection with my Lord today, to listen and obey, and see His Kingdom here. And yes—most days, my work is changing diapers, preparing meals, doing laundry, and kissing grubby little faces. But this is the work He has set before me now, not what gives my life it’s meaning. As amazing and difficult as it is for me to grasp sometimes, I am, first and foremost, a dearly beloved child of God.
So, please join me while I strive to feed and clothe my family, all while remembering that our Father in Heaven knows (even better than I do) what we need and that I can trust Him.
*As a side note: I also really like sweet peas, but to be honest, I’m no sweet pea—no lily or prim little rosebud here. I tend to snap now and again with a fiery burst of temper or a flare of strong emotion, so…snapdragon it is. Thanks be to God, His grace meets me right where I am.
So, this is me—Bethany (aka “A Snapdragon of the Field”).
I’m a Midwestern transplant living in Upstate New York, but I did a stint in Texas in between, so I might throw you off by slipping in an occasion “y’all.” As a wife and mom, currently at home with our two little girls, I mostly try to keep my family clothed, fed, clean, safe, and active in their world.
In the midst of these “real world” demands of life, though, my main goal remains keeping Jesus Christ and his Kingdom first. Each day I’m learning how to hear His voice in the chaos, do the work He sets before me, and allow Him to shape me into the person He created me to be.
A little bit more:
- I grew up in a very rural setting in the Midwestern United States; the nearest four-lane highway is 20 miles away and there’s one grocery store in town. I traveled and experienced lots of different places growing up, but my expectations of “home” are still pretty quiet and low key.
- My husband is a professional philosopher. (Seriously.) He’s working on his dissertation to finish his PhD right now. I’m immensely proud of him; what’s not to love about a man who thinks that someone should be contemplating life’s deepest, most important questions and sets himself to the task? However, The Philosopher* is also a great Daddy to our girls, a patient and forbearing husband who will fix the car, mow the lawn, scrub the kitchen floor and wash the dishes without being asked or complaining, and an all-around good guy.
- The Philosopher and I grew up in the same hometown. Although we didn’t date in high school, we did attend a Sadie Hawkins dance together (yes, I asked him). We started dating while attending different colleges and dated long distance until we got married. We both love having the shared experience of place and home. No matter where we end up, our hometown will always hold a huge piece of our hearts and who we are.
- Our eldest daughter, Peanut*, was born in 2013. I went into labor with her while home alone, The Philosopher was a six-hour drive away, our second car was in the auto shop (because I’d wrecked it four days earlier), and I couldn’t reach our local friends on the phone. I took a taxi to the hospital (I don’t live in NYC—this is not typical). But everything worked out fine: my friend found my voicemail just as I got to the hospital and came and waited with me, The Philosopher made it in time to be there for the delivery, and our Peanut was healthy and has been a lively joy in our lives ever since.
- My second daughter, Pipsqueak*, was born in 2015. She’s a tiny little ball of fire— a sweet and beautiful little girl, but she knows how to make herself heard. She loves puppies, baby dolls, music, lift-the-flap books, and making silly faces.
- I love to crochet but I don’t get to as often as I’d like. My grandma crocheted blankets and doll clothes for me when I was a child and she tried multiple times to teach me but it never stuck. Several years after she died, I found some of her old crochet hooks and finally taught myself how to crochet. Since then, I’ve started a bajillion little projects that I’m still hoping to finish, as well as a few that I actually completed (such as hats, and doll and dress up clothes).
- I despise following a recipe or a pattern. The situation sometimes dictates that I must, but I do so only under protest. If I’m creating, I want to use my creativity. So, even if I use a recipe once, chances are I’ll change it a little the next time. And I sew a little, but sewing clothes is pretty much out of the question; you have to be exact. Blah. Also why I’m a terrible baker. Precision.
- My favorite books are by L.M. Montgomery, author of the Anne of Green Gables series. I could read The Blue Castle every year for the next 30 years and love it every time. The insight into human quirks and foibles, the wit, and the simple portrayal of love and life and nature just speak to my soul. (I went through a phase of childhood going around naming the trees in my yard, Pat of Silverbush-style. I still wish we named our houses; Peanut calls our house “Our Old Broken Green House,” but that’s a bit lacking.)
*Note: Obviously, those aren’t their real names.
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Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.