👋🏾 it’s SUNDAY!!! Pause with @simone.butterfly
On Saturday, I found myself in the conservatory of the Ivy, a historic bespoke hotel located in downtown Baltimore.
After breakfast, I wandered into a sun soaked room anchored by enormous potted plants that reached all the way to the ceiling. The grand piano in the corner was silent but the air was alive with the smell of teak wood and earth. I could live here, I thought. After 20 minutes, my eyes became more accustomed to the opulence and my attention turned inward.
No surprise, my anxiety returned as soon as my mind focused back on me and all my projects. How would I get it all done? Should I pick up the pace? Did I miss my window of opportunity?
As the questions began to crescendo, he appeared, a dandy of a man with a full beard- more pepper than salt.. He was not terribly old but very distinguished. I never caught his name. Though I know he led with it. I sat and he stood in a quiet purple striped grey three piece suit, starched white shirt, and black bow tie. I never looked down but I imagine his shoes were freshly shined.
We talked for an hour. He tested the edges of the conversation by interjecting quotes from Paul. When I was able to finish the scriptures he shared, he pushed a bit further. Soon he was openly sharing his story of triumph in the face of illness, of peace even as death loomed all around. He was recovering from a life saving surgery.
I mentioned my fear of running out of time.
He was ready with a response. You must replace your watch with a compass, he said kindly.
If you are a believer, you know that although time is relentless in its march forward, it should never be the motivating factor. Your quest is to be guided by God’s compass. If you are always facing the right direction, you are always in the right place at the right time. Your actions in this moment and in every moment dictate how and where you will progress.
Be present and be yourself- the version of yourself that is striving to be like Christ. Radiate that energy where you are right now. You do not need to agitate and plan and forge a path. God is the path. Just BE in the place where you are.
I was stunned into silence. I have been asking the wrong question all along. Instead of asking, "Where do I go next?" Ask, "How can I help while I am here?" The next destination or phase will come without your help.
Enjoy your present situation. Enjoy your current iteration. Do your best where you are with what you have. God will take care of the rest, it is a promise, darling.
Thanks, Mr. Roarke. (not his real name…but my name for him)
👋🏾 it’s SUNDAY!!! Pause with S1m0ne @simone.butterfly
Remember those grants I applied for a few months ago? It took a herculean effort to submit them. I faced computer issues, an expired business license, an unexpected road trip to NYC. Despite it all, I was able to submit both of them on time, with all relevant attachments. And, though I was exhausted, I praised God for the capacity to do the impossible.
But then, guess what? I was not awarded either grant. What a profound disappointment. How did I get it so wrong?
There is a blessing in each disappointment. Each time I write a grant, I refine my “ask”, I meet new funders, I learn more about the grant writing processes. When I am ready and in God’s time, I will meet the perfect funder and I will know exactly what to say.
If God has not answered your request in the way you expected, do not give up. Continue to prepare for the blessing so that when it is presented, you will be ready to receive it.
God is faithful, it is a promise, darling.