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Tag Archives: Gardening

Root Rot

Root Rot… Have you ever heard of it? It’s somewhat of a strange phenomena to amateur gardeners like myself. You get a hanging flower basket. You hang it. You water it. But still the plant starts dying. You think maybe I am not watering enough. So you water more. And now the plant looks worse. Practically the whole thing is shriveled. So you do a little researching and come to find out that a hanging plant won’t only die from lack of water, but it will develop “root rot” if the hanging pot doesn’t drain sufficiently. Essentially- a plant has to be poured into- and it has to pour out. If it doesn’t pour out its roots begin to rot and it dies. I had to bust bigger holes in the bottom of the planters, remove a plate that was blocking proper drainage… All so more of what was poured in could flow out.

And you know, You and I… We too need to be poured into and we also need to pour out if we are going to thrive. We risk rotting away if all we do is receive, receive, receive… And then sit.

What we have been so blessed to receive, we should in turn pour out.

We weren’t created to simply sit and receive.

So if your passion for life lately has been feeling shriveled; If your life feels more like surviving as opposed to thriving; I want to challenge you tonight to consider how you can start pouring out.

May we bust some holes in our jam packed schedules. May we remove the fear and excuses that have been holding us back. May we not be a rotting people, but a thriving people- A people who pour out our lives in the same way that Christ poured out his.

Titus 3:6
He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior.

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There is Hope

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So this? This is a plant in our yard- one that I haven’t really tended to in the two years we have lived in our home as it is kind of in a tucked away place along our side yard- somewhat out of view.

As I took on the task of tending the plant a few things became very obvious. First, the plant is beautiful. Perhaps even the most beautiful plant in our yard except for one major thing. It is wounded, horribly wounded.

As I took a close look it became obvious that a very large and long vine with sharp thorns had grown to cover the beautiful plant. As storms came and winds blew the beautiful leaves would be torn by the covering vine.

All I could do to try and restore the plant was to first remove the vine and then remove the damaged leaves. And there were many damaged leaves. So many that from a distance the entire plant looked damaged. But deep down new leaves were growing that can now grow fully in the place of what was so badly hurt.

What thorns are covering you? What torn areas in your heart need to be removed for new life and love to grow? Is there bitterness? Is there worry? Is there an ongoing offender in your life that continues to leave you damaged? Are you slowly becoming plagued by thoughts and attitudes that are hiding your true beauty?

There is hope. Because God sees you. You aren’t off and out of sight. You are in plain view and his hands are reaching.

I pray today for anyone who may need it: that the thorns be lifted and the damage miracously removed from your heart. I pray your heart finds comfort knowing that God can see past the damage. He sees the beautiful you hiding and trying to grow. You have been hurt. But there is healing, and no need to hold on to the hurt. May you shed all that is dead and begin to grow with new, beautiful life.

 

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Two Little Honey Suckles

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This sweet face came rushing into the house last night with these two little honey suckle flowers in hand. “Mama! I have a surprise for you!”

Precious, truly.

I told her to put them in a vase.

The vase she picked was so big compared to the little flowers. And from a distance, the vase looked quite empty- hardly full.

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But late last night I picked up that vase and was truly surprised at how the entire, seemingly empty, space of that glass vase was filled with a beautiful fragrance. The vase was FULL.

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Her face came back to mind.
Her voice.
The smell of those flowers in her hands.
Incredibly, somehow, SHE was filling the vase.

But I would not have really seen her or sensed her had I not leaned in close. Had I shook my head, poured out the seemingly empty vase and found a better “fit” for the tiny flowers. I would have never received the “surprise” that I truly believe that God wanted me to experience.

The surprise: That nothing in this life is truly “empty.” No space is “too big” for Jesus to fill. Lean in. Look close. Inhale deeply. He is there, in that seemingly empty space. And many times He is seen in an all too familiar face.

 

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Created to Care

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This? This is a broken piece of concrete that I found back behind over grown bushes and ground cover today. I’ll get to that in a minute. Let’s start with this:

Woke up to the sound of my mama singing, “It’s Saturday! It’s Saturday! I get to play! I get to play!” (She usually works on Saturdays). Her song just put a smile on my face.

So mama spent the day playing and fishing and watching our little ones while I got to some serious yard work.

I really, really enjoy working in the yard and garden. God is felt and heard so strongly when you work a garden. And it only makes sense that he is.

In the Bible it all started with a man and a woman in a garden. They were told to multiply, to tend the ground, to have dominion over the animals… And we know that wasn’t intended to be an oppressive dominion but a loving care for the animals. Man was even given the responsibility to name the animals. Man and woman walked and talked with God in the garden.

I thought about these things as I clipped away vines and cleared out areas overtaken by nature. Little by little I was uncovering and shaking the dead leaves out of bushes that had been overtaken by those vines. Slowly I was getting to see the plant for the beautiful thing it was. And it dawned on me.

We were created to care. We were created to multiply. We were created to grow our families, to take in and care for others often weaker than us. We were created to care for nature and animals. Created to pull weeds and comb out fleas. Name animals. Why?

Because there is something about caring for something else that ties our heart to our caring Creator. (Ever name an animal?… It makes you care. I hesitate to name fish anymore…)

Anyhow, the point is this: God cares. He pulls away those sins that try to overtake you. He reveals you for the beautiful creation he sees. When we care, we reflect our Creator who cares. And who is that Creator? What is his name? Where is he found?

As I turned over that piece of concrete, my heart was so incredibly reassured. That this God of mine, he is found in the brokenness. He was found on a cross, a cross that I deserved. His word was and is and will always be solid as a rock. And his name? His name is Jesus.

I am so thankful for today. For my mama playing and caring for our kids. For my husband who continues to faithfully work and provide and serve. (He was gone today working. I miss him when he has to work but for his work and his faithfulness in caring for me and our kids, I am thankful.) And above all I am thankful today for Jesus and the way he gently shows that he is still walking and talking with us.

All around you are things that need care.

Care.

You will find as you do, God opens your eyes to how much he cares for you.

 

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All is Well Here

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This little girl melts my heart. Our potted plant was not looking well. In an attempt to help it, our daughter and I planted it here in a patch of dirt by our back door. Sweet baby girl watched me planting it. As I kneeled there, gently folding new dirt around the fragile roots, leaning a rock against the stem that wanted to bend… she randomly took back off into the house. She returned with this little “Get Well” balloon in hand. The same balloon that was given to me when I needed to get well. She insisted we place the balloon by our little plant. Moved by the gesture, I agreed. I planted a balloon in our garden… Once again motivated by a child to do the seeming ridiculous. I watched her today as she whispered “Get well,” to the little plant, touching its flowers so gently.

I don’t know whether or not the little plant will get well. I hope it will… I hope it will live longer, grow stronger… But even should it not… This little, sickly plant, has caused compassion and hope to bloom in our little girl. Love has grown here- in our daughter and in me. Incredible purpose is felt here, flooding over all that is not well.

How is that God can do that? He can take all that is not well to birth all that is: Compassion, love, hope and a faith that leans on the Solid Rock.

All is well here.

All is so very well.

 

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The Bushes that Remain Burning

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“A burning bush is not that uncommon… But a bush that stays burning… Now that is uncommon.”

A guest minister elaborated today on the sight of a burning bush as described in the Bible. Familiar with the region where Moses saw the famous burning bush described in Exodus, the minister shared this little bit of insight. He shared how a burning bush would not necessarily catch ones attention in that region, but a bush that remained burning would. I heard it, but didn’t think much more about it until tonight.

I lit a fire in our backyard to burn some branches and shrubs from our yard. They wouldn’t catch at first and so I added pine straw. Pine straw catches quick. It burns so hot, so fast but it will quickly burn out. And so there I was walking, back and forth from our big pine tree, grabbing handfuls of pine straw to keep the fire going and his words came back to me:

“A burning bush is not that uncommon… But a bush that stays burning… Now that is uncommon.”

A burning bush…

It reminds me of a blog I follow by Ann Voskamp. When I first started reading her blog I noticed how on her home page was the logo of a burning bush with words something like “where every bush is ablaze.”

I got it then for the first time. That you and I, we are the bushes. We are here and gone.

But like the burning bush in the story of Moses, God can light us up. His presence can be felt all about us. His voice can be heard coming from us. Yes, I believe that is possible.

And I have seen it. I have seen many, many burning bushes.

But the ones that remain burning- those are not nearly as common. Those are the ones that catch my attention.

And often their fire is not some huge, dramatic, stand-back, bonfire type of fire. But instead a constant beautiful burn. Their burn is slow and steady. Their burn is lasting. Their burn catches many, many new branches ablaze over time.

Little by little. Step by step. They fill their hands and heart to empty them over and over gain. Their feet keep stepping. Their hands keep reaching. Their heart is determined to keep the fire ablaze.

Those are the burning bushes that remain burning.

May we be bushes that remain ablaze, bushes that are not consumed.

Exodus 3:3
And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.”

 

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Protect Your Assets

Spent the later part of the day moving our outdoor plants into our garage and indoors due to the threat of a freeze. What assets do you have that you can move into a “warmer place”? What relationships in your life are growing cold? Why not take a step out, dig through the dirt and get things in a better position?

Protect your assets.
Move to a warmer place.

It all starts in your heart.

 

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