Thursday, June 25, 2015

Sowing into it.

Last night we put the last round of carrots in this year's garden.  This section of garden you're looking at has about 1200 carrots planted.  So yes, you'll be seeing carrots at this year's potlucks - don't complain, it will give you a break from all the green bean dishes I usually bring. 

The boys and I like to work barefoot, feeling that soft, freshly tilled soil under our feet.  They've helped us in the garden for years.  When they were younger, we'd put them in charge of simple tasks like making the holes with a stick or just pushing dirt over the seeds.  Now that they're older, they actually help us work together by pairing up with Mom or Dad and having a race to see who can plant their row the fastest (John & I are the current team to beat). 

Each year, we plant the seeds.  We make sure the ground is tilled and fertilized.  We put up the electric fence to protect those delicate plants from deer and rabbits.  We pull the weeds that threaten to choke out the good plants that we want to grow.  We prune the suckers off that are diverting the nutrients from making good strong plants.  And we pray for a good harvest. 

You see, plants aren't the only thing in this picture that we're growing. 

Every day, I'm planting seeds in my boy's hearts.  And as the electric fence keeps out the garden's predators, it's mine and Ronnie's job to protect them from predators - not only people, but things they shouldn't be listening or watching.  It's our job to recognize those weeds of anger or to prune off those suckers like selfishness so that their hearts can remain a fertile ground for the Holy Spirit to work in their lives. 

But mostly, we pray.   And just like we've prayed for these seeds to become plants that produce vegetables that we can use, we pray that these boys will become Godly men that will be used by the Lord for His purpose.

Gardening isn't necessarily a lot of skill.  It's diligence.  It's patience.  It's hard work.  It's staying the course and doing your part, knowing that the seeds are doing theirs.

Parenting is diligence.  It's truckloads of patience.  It's definitely hard work.  It's staying the course and doing your part, knowing that God is doing His.
       Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
                                                                                                                       Galations 6:9               

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Whatcha Reading?

Is there anything better than lounging in the sun on a hot day with a good book? 

OK, maybe curled up in front of the fireplace on a cold day is pretty great too.

The point I'm trying to make is that I love a good book!

Fiction, non-fiction, something to help me grow, something that's total fluff - I just love a good book.

Here's my Summer reading list:

Nobody's Cuter than You: A Memoir about the Beauty of Friendship by Melanie Shankle
You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity by Francis & Lisa Chan
Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Parenting the Wholehearted Child: Captivating Your Child's Heart with God's Extravagant Grace by Jeannie Cunnion

So what are you reading this Summer?

Monday, June 15, 2015

When you just don't understand.

John & I were working a puzzle a while ago. 

And not just any puzzle.  A yard sale puzzle - you know, the kind with no box so you're not really that sure where everything goes.  Trust me, it's a great challenge for a nickel. 

As were separating pieces - insides from outsides from corners - I'm looking at these little puzzle pieces and we're talking about what the puzzle might be. 

It's at that point that it hits me.

There's no way I can look at one tiny piece of a puzzle and know what the puzzle will look like in the end.  I don't have a box to see the final picture. 

There have been so many times in my life when things have come out of the blue and caused such hurt and loss.  And so many times my response is "God, why are you letting this happen?"

You see, when I wasn't living for Christ and I made bad decisions, it was kinda easier to accept.  Bad choice, bad consequence.  That just makes sense, right?

And not that I'm a champ at making great choices now, but I try.  I try to live a life that's authentic and pleasing to God and that's also filled with bucket's full of grace.  So when hardships come against me, I'm frequently left with "Why?".

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways, my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways,
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
Just like my yard sale puzzle, I can't look at one little piece of my life and always see where it fits into God's overall plan.  I can't see how it's going to turn out or recognize the blessings to others that may come of the results of what I'm going through. 
So I keep my head up.  I keep breathing.  And I trust that the one who made me, who loves me despite all that is me at times - I trust that He is in control. 
And He's working the puzzle so that my randomly shaped piece fits in to make the completed picture that He has for my life.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Seeing Something New.

Here's something you might not know about me: 

I love, love, love those crazy remodeling shows on TV. 

Fixer Upper, Rehab Addict, my girl Jen Hatmaker and her show My Big Family Renovation.  Heck,  Ronnie's even caught me sucked into an episode of The Vanilla Ice Project (Ice, Ice, Baby). 

They find these houses that are just eye sores - neglected, sagging, no where near serving their purpose.

And while I'm sure the rest of the neighborhood just wants them torn down, these designers are able to look past the water damage, the broken windows, and the 70's shag carpet to see the vision of what this home could be.  To restore it not always just to it's former glory, but to an even better state.  To make it a real show piece.

I don't know about you but a lot of times I too feel neglected, like I don't have a purpose and, well, now that I'm 44, a little saggy also. 

But I have a God who loves me.  And He looks at my mess and see's my potential.  He want's to restore me not only to my former glory, but to what He has designed me to be. 

You see, just like these homes, there's beauty in the restoration.  We don't have to wait for the "big reveal" for everything to be finished and perfect.  If you will allow Him, He will chip away at those broken walls.  He will make your foundation solid.  He will remove all that ugliness that is holding you back from fulfilling the purpose that He has for you.  He can use you, even as the "work in progress" that you are.

Is it any wonder that I love a good restoration story?