Fruit. Results. We want it but how do we get it? Sometimes we do all the right things and we are excited! Then, an unexpected setback occurs and we lose a little bit of our zeal. It’s just not the same. Things get a bit real. We realize this is actually a lot of work and it’s starting to take a bit too long. How long, oh Lord?!?
What if we kept going and kept doing the best that we can do? What if we invited others into our life and situation that they may encourage us (as we encourage them) in our journey? I’ve found that when I share bits about my life, God uses that to show others (and me) that we are not alone. Indeed ‘there is nothing new under the sun’ as Ecclesiastes says.
“What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecc 1:9 NRSV
I love that fellowship that comes with knowing others have walked this path before and there is indeed hope and joy in the morning. Can we wait for it? I find my time here outside in my backyard relaxing. I have to make myself slow down and be quiet. That’s just my personality as I’m always thinking, always on the go. But I’ve been finding peace in being quiet before the Lord and this is a space where I can do that while also marveling at the beauty of nature.
Maybe all you see is uncut grass or weeds- but I see and know that there is lots of life in there, in that grass. Caterpillars, bees, flowers of various shapes and colors, and creepy crawlies can have a place here in our yard (well as long as they stay outside the 🏠 that is 😜). I call it “the Refuge.” It’s a space for those those big and small who need a place to be. To exist. I need this space too. I’m thankful I have an area here in my backyard, in the middle of Central Texas. I appreciate what I have. What about you? Do you have a space? Is there a ‘refuge’ or sanctuary for you where you can go daily (or regularly) to have that time of quiet and reflection with God? Or even just a break from all the noise from our digital connections and media? I know I need that and crave that. It’s not a place you will see in any glossy magazines or on #hgtv but it’s safe and it’s mine.
Back to those plants in our small garden.
What about the fruit? We planted the seeds because we wanted to see the results, the fruit and vegetables or the flowers. But also, I planted them because I wanted to enjoy this journey and experience with my daughter. I’ve learned I have to be creative and flexible (to moods) when dealing with my teenage children. If you are in this season or have been in this season- you know exactly what I mean. We started off planting these seeds together. Taking time to choose the right seeds for this time frame (late March in Texas) and labeling them as we put them in the seed starter. I drew the process out as long as I could, cherishing this time together of doing something as mother and daughter. I know it’s not the grandest thing but it was my hope that in time she would also see the work it took and the TIME it takes to get the results we hope for. This is life.
Is there fruit in your life? Are there results showing up over time in various places and relationships in your life because you have stayed consistent in doing the things you needed to do? Those daily actions and moments do add up to who we are. Good and bad. I ask myself, what kind of person am I becoming? I realize we are being shaped every day from our choices and our actions. Even the little ones. Especially the little ones. They add up over time and shape us. I want this shaping to reflect the me I know I’m called to be. I want that for you too. ❤️
After a few days after planting the seeds in the seed starter, we saw some begin to sprout! And then a few days after that, we saw some kind of mold all over the dirt. About 60% was covered in this mold. Ugh!! We lost a bit of the excitement when we saw that. Later, after some were transplanted into the dirt and actually began to thrive and grow, I saw holes in some of the leaves of our garden. They were having a feast on these tender leaves! I even spotted a culprit- some bug was still resting on the stem when I took a photo. What do I do about these insects? The question this brings up is when we face these unexpected setbacks, how will we respond? Sometimes things happen that we can expect (but hope it doesn’t happen) and other things just come out of nowhere and we are blind sighted. Either way, we have choices as to how we will respond. Will we reach out for help? Will we close our eyes and hope it will just somehow go away? When it starts to make us anxious and worried or even when it get to the point of being unbearable- what will we do? Will we go to God with our burdens? Over and over, will we lay them down at His feet? Nothing changes instantly (that is the common experience although there have been exceptions!). We hope for and wish for our problems to go away. But while we wait or even if they don’t go away, Lord would you help us to be faithful and rooted in You? That is my desire for myself and for the people of God.
This is not my first garden. My first one was when we lived in Washington State and we had a nice thing going on back then years ago. It was so beautiful and I probably have photos somewhere that I can add later. But then, in the middle of things, we went on vacation. When we returned, most of our garden had dried up and was all dead. I couldn’t believe it; we weren’t even gone that long! 😩 One watermelon plant survived somehow and over time I watched as it actually started to grow a melon!!! Every day I would go to check on it (this one was in the front of our home) and look at it marveling at how round it was and so cute. (It was one of those “personal sized” watermelons.) But then, there was an early cold snap and everything was covered in a thin layer of ice. After the ice melted, I hoped for the best for that watermelon, but it never recovered and it died.
What a bummer!
But I know that that happens. I could say that I can never be a gardener from that point on but really, I know things were going well with things until it wasn’t. I can try again bringing with me the experience I gained from the time it didn’t work out the way I expected. Even now, it may not work out AGAIN this time as well. In fact, we are – once again – going on a short vacation very soon. I keep thinking about what happened in the past and wondering if it will happen again. Will all that time and effort be wasted? I don’t know but I know no matter what happens, this time wasn’t wasted. I have enjoyed this experience so far. But this time I’m checking the weather here and I realize I’ll likely have to reach out and ask for help. But I hesitate asking for help. Is that just me or….??? I don’t want to put anybody out to ask them to come over to our home and water these little plants that my daughter and I planted and that I’ve been watching grow in our backyard. … but I have so enjoyed them. I don’t want them to die. 😩 What do I do?
Thank you Lord for loving us. You sent your Son here to take our place, paying the price for our wrongs when we chose everything else over You- our Maker and a holy, righteous God. Thank you for making a way for us when we were already disqualified. You saved us because you loved us. You also sent to us who have trusted in You as our Lord and Savior the Holy Spirit as a helper to help us live our every day life. You prompt, lead, and guide us as we make choices and actions that add up in our life drawing us somehow back to You. Thank you Lord. Help us, help ME to become more responsive to Your Presence in my life. Help me to draw back to You. Thank you for your peace. Thank you for being with us not just in the beginning and the end but every day you are right here with us, you don’t leave us. Thank you Lord. We can’t live well without you.
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