Slow Picking

This past week has been a sad one.

Amy's son Luke's Daddy was in an awful car wreck and after struggling for life for 72 hours, he passed away yesterday afternoon.

He was 25 years old.

Luke is still so young that I'm sure he doesn't grasp what just happened, but my heart is broken in to a million pieces for him.

I have been very fortunate in that, other then my Uncle John, I have never lost anyone I'm close with. I have not had to come face to face with the finality of death.

But every time I think of little 5 year old Luke and how his entire world has just been altered forever, I'm scared to no end of how final and unexpected death can be.

And I fully believe in Heaven and I know that Luke's Daddy is rejoicing in a new world where there are no tears. That he is fully aware of how short his separation from Luke really is in comparison to eternity.

What bothers me is the sadness of the people left behind.

Luke growing up without his Daddy seems so very, very unfair.

This morning I went to the farm to pick blackberries and peaches. Originally I was going to bring Josie and Amber was going to come with me. After a long night, Amber decided to pass and I decided to drop Josie off at her Nana's.

While I was out there walking the rows, I began to talk to God. I thanked him for Andrew's life and asked for comfort for those he left behind.

And I felt an overwhelming sense of the need to slow down. To quit expecting everyday to be followed by another. To appreciate and be present in each moment.

As I looked around the farm, I noticed nobody rushing around.

You go to the farm and pick your own berries with no agenda in your head. You take your time. You smile at people across the rows and make small talk with old ladies about canning.

I am a list maker. A planner by nature. I tend to schedule my days down to the minute. I know where I need to be and I make sure I get there even if it means neglecting the actual people around me.

I'm a rusher. I don't like to wait. I am not good at sitting still or taking my time.

But God is calling me to be a fruit picker. A slow paced woman who has time for unexpected conversations and is available to love on people.

I spent an hour walking up and down the rows talking to an old man who obviously needed someone to talk to. He shared about his children and grandchildren and the dog he rescued from the side of the road 6 years ago. We talked about motorcycles and how to freeze over ripe peaches.

And as I walked back to my car I thought about how peaceful I felt.

Just one hour of slowing down had worked wonders on my soul.

Life is unpredictable, scary, unsure, and often times much much too short.

So I'm going to strive to keep this Slow Down Mentality. I'm going to talk to strangers who look lonely. I'm going to push Josie on the swing, even though it's 100 degrees outside. I will stay up way past my bedtime to listen to Andrew's latest business plan. And I will appreciate the fact that I was given a few more hours on this Earth.


Jessie Podany said...


What an amazing day and what a way to turn a tragic incident in to a learning lesson. I am also a rusher, planner and I cannot ever sit still. You have reminded me how important things like taking a deep breath and spending an hour picking berries can be. Thank you for your story.
Jessie Podany

Ashley said...

Thank you. I needed to read this.
I need to slow down.

Elizabeth said...

Nicole...what an amazing post that brought tears to my eyes. Meeting sweet Amy the last time I was in Georgia, my heart breaks for her and her whole family, especially Luke. You made such a huge point about not expecting there to be another day. We really, truly do not know that another day is certain. I will also make it a goal to slow down and take what precious moments God has given me to live, love, and laugh! :) Please send our thoughts and prayers to her from Mike and I.

Meghan said...

I actually knew little Luke's daddy, was in the youth group with him when we were both in high school. He was indeed a great guy and will be sorely missed.

Kameron said...

I lost my mom at 23 and my heart aches for that little boy. He will not get to know his father the way every child should. I will pray for his family.

kimmer said...

Such wonderful words and so true...each and every day are a treasure!!!

kimmer said...

What good and true words you have written here. I am so sad, too, for little Luke. And for Andrews' family. It just doesn't seem fair somehow that Andrew died so young. But you are right..we all need to slow down and appreciate the time we do have with each other and treasure each day. You have learned at such a young age yourself something that took me a long, long time to realize. Thank you for these words....