It’s been awhile since I’ve been on the blog because I’ve been in Fantasyland. Literally. Sadly, the Disney vacation is over and it’s time to dig back into reality.
Sometimes you don’t know just how much you need a break because your crazy normal is all you know.
It was soooo nice to escape the every day stuff here at home. You know–laundry, home-cooked meals, homework, jobs, bills, dogs, sports, etc… I was in way over my head with all of the things that make for a full life, maybe a little too full, and needed a break.
Perhaps you can relate to being so stressed out by getting ready for your vacation that when you finally do get in the car to leave town you have a mini-nervous breakdown?
As hard as I might try to put on my brave face, I cannot deny that this has been a HARD season. It’s like being pregnant without having a due date. I anticipate and dream and get fat and uncomfortable never knowing when it will be over. When will I have something to show for all of this? It’s a question that remains unanswered.
While we were on our vacation I had an unexpected encounter with the Lord at of all places–a wine tasting event. I know drinking alcohol of any kind is often controversial amongst Jesus-loving people, so please hear my heart instead of being tempted to judge. My brother and his wife have visited several wineries in the Napa Valley and were kind enough to make reservations for the four us at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival.
I know very little about wine other than whether I think it tastes good or not. When wine connoisseurs use words like round, buttery, oak, balanced, vibrant…my eyes tend to glaze over. What made this event bearable is that the winery representative used some of those words along with words that someone inexperienced like me could understand.
This particular brand of wine is called Las Rocas and comes from Spain.
It was when our host began to talk about where the grapes are grown that she really caught my attention. She showed us pictures of a landscape that looked more like an Arizona desert than a Spanish vineyard. Then she began to talk about the extreme climate where the grapes are grown. Hot summers and very cold winters. She showed us close-up photographs of the soil. These vines are surrounded by slate and red dirt. NOTHING SHOULD GROW IN THOSE CONDITIONS. Except maybe cactus. But I don’t think cactus even grows there.
She went on to explain why the grapes flourish in their extreme environment:
“Rocky, nutrient-poor soils are the key to Calatayud’s phenomenal terroir. As the vines struggle to survive, they concentrate their energy into fewer berry clusters, yielding Garnacha grapes with rich, robust flavors. The porous rocks retain rainwater and heat, delivering enough water to the vines, while protecting them from harsh winter conditions. The rocks here give Las Rocas Garnacha its signature spiciness and minerality.“– excerpt taken from lasrocaswine.com
Just when I thought my brain would shut down due to information overload and a vacation science lesson, the Holy Spirit began to stir in me. He whispered:
I know you don’t see how anything good can come from the conditions you find yourself in right now.
You see rocks everywhere and feel exposed to every wind that blows your way, threatening to knock you over and take everything away from you.
You feel alone.
You long for deeper things than you dare to even admit.
You don’t know how you’re going to make it.
But I can grow something rich and beautiful in you because of these conditions. You need Me more than ever. Your roots are growing deeper and deeper because the deeper soil is full of the nutrients you need to thrive. You cannot produce anything good without Me. Trust Me to make something beautiful out of this. TRUST ME.
Friend, I have wrestled with writing this post for days. I thought that maybe it would go away and I could just journal about it and keep it for myself and a few of my closest friends. It’s safer that way.
But that’s not why I write.
Today I pray that whatever you needed to read from this post will encourage you. The One who turns water into wine is able to do far more than we’ve ever dared to ask. He is making something beautiful out of your HARD place right now. It’s difficult to see, but rest assured…it will be stunning because it will be HIM.
To HIM be the glory for ever and ever.