I have not published for a little while because of family fun times. Last week we attended a family reunion with most of my brothers and sisters and their families. It was great. We got to spend time with family members we have not seen in a while and build our relationships. This time we had fewer events planned and spent more time just hanging around at the lodge and swimming and fishing etc… It was great. Although I could not walk as far as I wanted I was able to get around a bit and enjoy myself with family.
When we got home Bob went to the garden and there was an abundant harvest. I decided this morning that I would cook up the tomatoes and peppers along with onions, celery and some broccoli that I had in the fridge to make some tomato juice. We ended up with some juice and some tasty tomato paste. I think we can use it all. (I hate throwing anything out that tastes good.)
I love that we plant seeds and nurture the plants and can leave them for a while and when we return they have done well with producing. Bob found a very large cucumber that we enjoyed some of for lunch today. We weren’t sure if it would be good because it was so big, but it turned out great.
Over the years as a Christian we have all planted faith seeds in different places among different people. It is not up to us to cause these seeds to grow it is up to us to plant and water and trust God to help them grow and mature. We have to trust God that any good we plant will reap something good, but we can’t get frustrated and try to take this into our own hands and force fruit. Fruit must grow naturally or it does not grow.
Sometimes we allow ourselves to believe we are in charge of the salvation and walk of those around us. We are not. Truthfully, we are only servants of God who spread good news, the results are out of our hands. I am happy with that because I don’t want to be in charge of what other people do and what they think or how they live. I struggle enough taking care of my walk with God.
Mark 4:26-28 (NASB)
26 And He was saying, “The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; 27 and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows—how, he himself does not know. 28 The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head.
God is in control. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.
I feel so blessed today. I was able to walk outside into my garden and see all the wonders that have grown up. I have been unable to get to the garden much since surgery and today since I am without the cast or boot I was able to walk and see for myself without fear of falling on uneven ground due to rocks.
My first stop was the compost pile that has a very prolific spaghetti squash blooming and producing large and small squash. As you can see from the pictures of the flowers I was able to catch a bee actively working in the middle of one of them. There is also a weed that this intertwined with a beautiful white flower on it.
Next I looked and was amazed by the size of okra and the two beautiful flowers that you see above. I loved the one that shows down in the center of the flower. Right next to the okra are pepper plants and you can see one nice looking green one in the picture. Then I turned my attention to the back of the garden where Bob has built a teepee pole thing for the beans. The beans grew so tall that he had to put more boards across toward the fence to keep them off the ground.
I left the garden and headed over to the other side of the yard where Bob planted the yellow squash. And as you can see I found a ripe one, a little small but edible none the less. We also have tomatoes but my picture did not come out so good so I left it off.
It amazes me how small things like the fruit from a garden can make me feel so blessed and loved by God. I am blessed to have a husband who has taken care of this garden mostly by himself because I have been unable to help and blessed to have a God who cares enough to help the plants like the spaghetti squash show up without being planted.
I am on the road to recovery from surgery. Slowly getting back to walking and hopefully my endurance will increase over a short period of time so I can do things that used to be normal for me soon. I forgot what my old normal was but I am about to know what my new normal will be. And for that I am excited.
Enjoy everything around you, notice the things you have missed and be thankful. I will be back next week with more.
Sorry I did not post last week. Two of my grandsons were over on Saturday for a while and then on Sunday afternoon just as I was sitting down to write this blog Chris, my middle son showed up for a surprise visit. It was wonderful to have him show up out of the blue and a bit surprising because he lives at least a ten hour drive away from us. He was on his way somewhere else and dropped off to see us on the way.
Bob and I had great visits with family last weekend. It is wonderful to have family come by. This weekend my two youngest grandsons got to spend the night on Friday. That was fun. Life gets so hectic you have to just take time to enjoy family when the opportunity arises. I am trying to learn how to relax and take every opportunity that comes my way with family. Life is too short to miss golden opportunities that only come once.
I am growing in my understanding of how important it is to cultivate relationships with God, family and friends in order to have a well rounded life and mindset. Just like in gardening you need to cultivate the ground and add the nutrients and water needed to help the plants grow, we must also take time to cultivate our relationships by adding time, compliments, fun and other stuff to build them strong. Remember life is all about how we relate to each other. Join me this week in fine tuning relationships in a positive manner.
On this father’s day I would like to recognize a special man who I have watched over the years grow into an awesome dad, my husband Bob. The caring in his heart for his children and grandchildren helps me to understand how blessed I am to have spent so many years married to him. Happy Father’s Day Mr. Bob, I love you.
Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.
There are amazing creatures that live under our feet every day that we never notice. I was sitting in my front yard enjoying the weather and I looked down at the grass. It was alive with ants and bugs. I saw one particular area that had constant movement of ants going up and down. It is fascinating how God created such small beings and that they have their part in maintaining this life that we have. A quick search on the internet showed me that ants take care of other insects, spread some seeds, cultivate the soil and are food.
Usually the only time I notice ants is when they bite me and then I am ready to do whatever it takes to remove them. During Easter some of my grandchildren hunted Easter eggs in my front lawn. We soon realized that we would have to check every plastic egg for little black ants because they had infiltrated the eggs through the small holes in the short time between them being placed in the yard and the children finding them.
They are a nuisance but I am not going to put a lot of chemicals on my front lawn to kill them off. They also deserve a place to live but maybe not in my front yard. I want to find natural solutions to this problem. And once again the internet does provide several suggestions. I am amazed how much information is on the internet for easy access to help with just about any problem.
I am also amazed that when I have a problem or need encouragement there is a place that I can go to understand how to solve the problem or get my encouragement. I am not talking about the internet now but rather the Word of God. Inside the pages of those 66 books lies all that anyone would ever need to live a fulfilling life. And yet so many people do not take advantage of this wonderful life giving item that God has given us. That makes me sad because I know that God’s Word brings life and life abundantly.
The ants may scramble around in my front yard until I find a way to remove them but I will do all I can to keep the Word of God circulating through my mind. I pray that I never reach the point where His word has left my mind, because on that day life will not be worth living.
We may not enjoy the pests in our lawn but we can enjoy our week and the Word of God. I will be back next week with more.
Have you ever tried to pull grass out of your garden? Some grass can be easy to pull but some is deeply rooted and impossible to pull with your hands only. Yesterday I managed to get my lawn chair close enough to our garden to be able to help my husband pull some grass. I am still being very cautious since surgery and trying to not hurt myself while I heal. The grass I could reach was deeply rooted and sends out runners which made it very hard to pull with bare hands. Needless to say I had a difficult time and could not get all the roots. I know some of this grass will come back.
This experience made me think about “grassroots” efforts and how strong they can be. I understand now the reference to grassroots as something that is very fundamental and strong. Grass does not have a hierarchy it is basic and down to earth, literally. 🙂
The early church was a grassroots effort. And it is still going strong today. Jesus even spoke of roots in Matthew 13 where He tells us the parable of the sower. In His explanation He talks about the seed from rocky places that is easily uprooted because it has no strong root. And then there is a seed in good soil that gets good roots and cannot be pulled out and it bears fruit.
I strive to be like that strong rooted grass, not giving up what I believe in and bearing fruit. I know to do that I need to never compromise or back down when it comes to my faith. God planted me in the good soil of His word I can take those nutrients and thrive while I let my roots grow deep in Him.
Keep your roots growing strong in God. And since it is the Memorial Day weekend won’t you also join me in remembering those who stood strong and gave their lives for our country so we could have the freedom to grow in our faith. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.
Have you ever had weeds in your lawn and gone to the store to get something to kill or remove them? You go down the aisles and find that there are many dangerous chemicals that can promise those weeds will never come back. You might read the labels and chose the one that seems like it has the most potent effect on the problem or the one that seems it has the most natural ingredients.
In your mind you believe the weed to be the problem and you seek a solution. Did you know the weed may not be the problem? The problem could be that the soil is missing something. That so called “weed” could be God’s solution to the weakness in the soil. Our wonderful, all knowing God had a plan for sick soil. He caused certain plants to grow when the soil is missing something to replenish and heal it. However when we kill some of the plants that seem to be weeds we destroy the life giving healing that God set out for the ground.
So you see, a weed is in the eye of the beholder. Some so-called weeds have pretty flowers and some are prickly and cause pain, but they all have a purpose or God would not have created them. On a spiritual level we see weeds growing in our lives and maybe we spew poison on them trying to kill them off. We may try to hide them from others by suppressing them but they are still there. Until we take a deeper look to see what is causing this weed to grow we will not be able to remove them from our lives.
What could a weed be in my life? It could be suppressed anger or disappointment or many other things. No matter what the weed is if we don’t try to figure out where it started and learn what we are missing that caused it to grow we will never be healed. The weed can turn into a blessing, because it is a cry for help but left unchecked it can cause more problems.
For example maybe the weed grows when there is pride. A proud person does not want to be seen with a weed. It causes embarrassment of not being perfect which smacks pride in the face if the weed is allowed to be seen by the people around us. It causes humility, which softens our hearts and can cause us to grow into a more compassionate person. A real problem happens if the proud person hides the weed, which only causes the weed to grow bigger and bigger until it becomes a major embarrassment.
So next time you see a weed, don’t look at the weed, look deeper and try to figure out what caused it. Have compassion and mercy on people whose weeds are showing. Help them work through and grow and learn from the experience. I hope you enjoy the coming week and praise God for the weeds that help us heal and grow.
I love the fruit of the garden. I know it is early but we are experiencing the growth of squash and can’t resist eating immediately. Wednesday night for supper we had our first taste of squash from the garden. This was yellow squash that my husband planted in mounds in our back yard. It was tasty.
I really enjoy the spring and summer with a garden because we get to eat the bounty of what we planted. We do a bit of nurture preparing the ground, planting the seeds, transplanting the seedlings, watering, weeding and protecting from pests and disease and then we get to eat the fruit of all that labor. It is amazing.
Genesis 2:15 (NASB)
Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.
That nurture comes naturally for most mothers. We have children, we feed them, clothe them and give them all they need to grow into young adults and then let them go out on their own and hope that we may someday reap the benefits of all that effort by being able to say without reservation “That is my child”. We enjoy the fruit that comes from our children and hope the rest of the world has opportunity to experience it also.
As a mother and grandmother I can tell you that I am very satisfied with the way my children have turned out so far. They have all gone different directions in life but all still love and respect their parents and siblings. They have kept the core values that were instilled in them as children and to me that is very important. Just like their parents they are a work in progress.
Proverbs 23:25 (NASB)
Let your father and your mother be glad, And let her rejoice who gave birth to you.
I believe God sees all of us as a work in progress and applauds our efforts to seek Him and His kingdom in our daily lives. He enjoys the fruit of His Spirit that comes from His children. He watches us bloom and enjoys the sweet aroma of our efforts, because he has nurtured us with His eye upon us and directs our steps.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.
On this Mother’s day take some time to remember all those who have nurtured you especially your mother, and those whom you have nurtured. Remember that God gave us the ability to nurture. Happy Mother’s day, I’ll be back next week with more.