LOVE My Garden!

0721181019a.jpgThis has been the perfect growing year—good amount of rain and hot days. As you can see, I pack A LOT in my little garden. It’s enough to give us fresh cucumbers, beans, tomatoes, lettuce and snap peas for our dinner. I’ll purchase tomatoes to make into sauce, tomato soup (new “original” recipe last year and delicious! If you want it, just ask), and salsa—another tried and true recipe.

I find myself looking out my kitchen window, admiring the straight weed-free rows and healthy plants. It brings me such joy! I guess the saying is true: you can take the girl off the farm but not the farm out of the girl! I must admit a bit of pride in my heart as well, which is really dumb because…

  • God makes the seeds grow
  • God allowed me to grow up in a farming/gardening family to gain gardening knowledge
  • God gives me the strength to weed the garden
  • God even allowed someone to invent the Liquid Fence that keeps the critters out!

So, my pride needs to be all about Him—my gracious, glorious heavenly Father! As I am writing, I’m watching the yellow finch at the feeder which makes me think of the children’s song:

God sees the little sparrow fall it meets His tender view

If God so loved the little sparrow, I know He loves me too!

What a thought! He sees me, but even more than that, His heart is tender towards me. He protects me, leads me, strengthens me, and feeds me with His Holy Manna—the Word of God. He cares for ME! WOW!

When I look at my garden and experience the joy and satisfaction of a job well done, I think as well of God’s view of me.  Is He pleased? Am I growing straight and tall? Does He see that the little seeds of conviction are sprouting and bringing forth fruit in my heart? Am I “weed-free?” Am I tilled up and pliable in His hands? Am I bringing forth fruit for His kingdom and glory?

My husband loves to see a tree in the middle of a field where it can grow freely, not all trimmed and chopped because of power lines.  He will say, “That tree is doing exactly what God intended it to do.” That is what I want God to see as well when He looks at my outward life and my inward heart-garden! Oh, the joy to think that I can bring such joy to my Master Gardener!

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. {ungodly: or, wicked} But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Psalm 1:1-3

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Beach Bodies

ID-100224331It’s pretty hard to sit at the beach and not notice people.  It’s probably the only time when I wish I had my husband’s bad eyesight. He takes off his glasses and only sees blurred images.  For the most part, I avert my eyes.  (This is also the reason we head for the ocean in September or October.  The smaller crowd is definitely different–mostly oldies, like us!)  But one incident caught my attention, probably because it reminded me of me–a person tugging on his trousers to cover his rather expanded girth!

I’m sure there are a few people on the face of this earth who are one hundred percent satisfied with their bodies.  For me, it’s always the same desire–if only I was ten pounds less, even though the doctor would most likely suggest more!

So, we come to the beach, a bit embarrassed about our pudginess, wishing we would have taken off a few extra pounds.  But the other side of the coin is this: Nobody knows me, so who cares! 🙂  Do I really want to do all that effort and sacrifice of losing weight just for just one week out of the year!

By now, some of you are screaming at my faulty reasoning. Goodie!

And so, we apply it spiritually:  What is it in my life that I never resolve and yet feel “uncomfortable” about when “exposed?”  What is it that I ignore or refuse to face?  What part of my life do I excuse or make excuses for, and yet down deep I realize that my thinking, my reasoning, is faulty? God has even sent convicting messages my way through people, circumstances and His Word, but I won’t “pick up the phone.”

Sadly, some of us will not change our eating habits, or add a simple morning walk to our routine, until our bodies begin to react to our carelessness: high blood pressure or cholesterol, etc.  (Yes, children, I’m listening as I’m writing!) But how much more heartbreaking when we will not change our eating habits of the Word, or walk with the Lord, until tragedy strikes our lives: a wayward child, who is simply magnifying our own faults, or a ruined relationship–simply because we would not forgive–we would not yield.

Spirit of the living God,
Fall afresh on me.
Spirit of the living God,
Fall afresh on me.
Break me, melt me,
Mold me, fill me,
Spirit of the living God,
Fall afresh on me
.

What a wonderful prayer!  I hope that you will take a moment to think through what I’ve said and act upon it.  Reading posts is wonderful, but acting upon them is life changing!

And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.

For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

1 John 3:19,20

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Weeding 101

Well, this had been an interesting week.  The foot is not broken, but is sporting some very lovely colors!  I’m still hobbling around, but was able to get into the garden two mornings.  Oh, what we can learn from those weeds.!

  1. Timing: The best time to weed is when the ground is wet – no problem there!  However, too wet is just as much a problem as dry. Thursday and Friday were the days to do it, sore foot or no sore foot.  The Lord gave me beautiful cool, low humidity weather – perfect! LESSON: when God has sent the rain of conviction and softened the ground of your heart, and then sends the Son to shine upon you through His Word: that is the time to work on the weeds in your heart.  We often don’t want to deal with the issues at hand – waiting for a better day, or warding off God’s prodding.  Nothing is more deadly.
  2. If you don’t get the root, you may as well not weed.  I use a long and short handled claw to dig them up, hoeing deep into the soil to accomplish the task. LESSON: dig deep!  I think I’ve said that before, but it is good advice, worth repeating! J  The only way for the Lord to “plant my feet on higher ground” is for me to take the time to go deeper into God’s word!
  3. There are all sorts of weeds.  Some have long roots that go toChina; some just crawl along the surface.  Some stand alone; others join forces, spreading their roots underground, like grass.  I HATE grass in my garden. Mint is lovely to smell, but unless you want it all over your garden, don’t plant it – mint also spreads like wildfire!  LESSON: Know your weeds and handle them correctly.  Some take a lifetime to root out and may have to be fought as long as we have this clay!  Some are chain reactions connected to other weeds.  You might be working on the weed of anger, only to unearth the weed of bitterness or rebellion.  They’re all weeds cluttering up our gardens of life and stunting the growth of the fruit we want to bear for the Savior.
  4. As I was furiously clawing the dirt around my onions, I pulled up some tiny onions that must have sprouted later.  Once they’re uprooted, their growing is done.  This was a hard lesson for me, but very necessary; AND this lesson is especially for you older Christians.  (Older in your Christian walk, not necessarily older in age!)  Be careful with the young plants – those folks around you that are young or newer or not as far down the road of Christian experience as you are.  Sometimes we try to press them into the mold that God has fashioned for us, but they are not ready for it.  We can do great damage, perhaps even wounding them for life!

Here’s another before and after picture. (plus some prints of our local bear’s visit – a little too close to the house for my liking!) It’s work dear reader, but it is SO worth it, physically and even more so spiritually!