It’s been a while

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I know we have not been very communicative since I started school. I am being pressed on every side it seems. This is a good thing. I am not sure what season with the Lord you are in, but I believe I am in winter. The life has gone to the roots to prepare them for more growth in my life. Every once in a while, I see glimpses of what God is doing. Just like when the snow covers the ground, it is hard to know what is happening deep in the earth. Whatever happens we see it when spring comes. The earth seems to know just when to release the seeds that need to be birthed forth for our enjoyment. I am not discouraged nor am I encouraged. I am experiencing Him in a new way. A way I have not been before. The struggles are real, but here is what I know: 1. God is good 2. God is good no matter the circumstance. I hope this encourages you. The bed and breakfast is just about ready for YOU: those who need a place to get away. Let us know when you would like to make reservations. Blessings to you.

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Soil – What have you planted?

It has been a while since I have kept my goal of writing every month. So much has happened.

We went to New Jersey to visit our daughter and son-in-law for her graduation from college. We are very proud of her. On the way home we took the train. While on the train as I was just relaxing and hoping to catch a cat-nap, I thought about our garden and the work it takes to tend to it.

I have not had a garden for at least 14 or so years. We went from the country to the city back to the country. We live in a great place. We also have a very large community garden. I have been amazed at the soil. Red, rocky, brown, rich – I think the best type of soil. There is much to do to get the right type of soil to get plants to grow. Whether flowers or vegetables – there is a lot to consider.

Near the end of the plot is where we decided to plant the herbs. It is very rocky there. It has been tilled countless times. Rocks/stones removed and yet there still seems to be more.

There is a parable about soil in the Bible. Four types actually. It even talks about stony soil. Seeds thrown in among them. Not sure why I thought about this except for the work I and others have been doing to get it ready to receive the seeds.

So here is a conclusion, not “THE” conclusion, but “A” conclusion I have come to: with love and care even the “worst” or “toughest” soil can receive seed and even produce.

There can be a change in the soil’s reception of the seed. It takes work. Constant tending. Cultivating a willingness to become something other than what it has been.

So I guess the question is: What type of soil are you? Who has been tending your garden? Are you willing to allow someone with more skill to come and help you tend your garden? What type of produce do you desire to see in your life? What have you planted? Will it yield good or negative in your life?

Rock in the Garden Story

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Finding a large rock in one’s garden is always an experience. You are doing what needs to be done in the garden. You are tilling or in my case you are finding potatoes. You are faithfully turning over the soil when all of a sudden, you hit something hard. I guess I could let my imagination run away with me. For instance what if it was buried treasure left from the Civil War or the Revolutionary War? Wouldn’t that just conjure a myriad of images and sounds! The gun and cannon fire! The marching of the soldiers! The soldiers coming home! What if someone in the past left a time capsule that they were intending on digging up? What information would we find? What would it tell us of those who once lived here. The Native Americans, the pioneers, the robbers, the moonshiners! Oh, the history that would be uncovered!

Back to reality. Stina and I were turning over the dirt to look for potatoes when I hit something hard and it sounded like a rock. We had been finding small ones in the garden and tossing them into the bushes and thought it was just another small rock. I put the shovel in under what I thought would be the whole stone. However, when I went to lift, it did not move.

My mom started collecting rocks for a rock garden when I was younger. I happen to love collecting nice sized rocks for the flower beds I have had. I especially like collecting rocks from river beds. To remind me of the good times our family has had there.

Stina put her hand in the hole and went to lift it out. She couldn’t do it; so I removed some more dirt from the area. It appeared bigger than what even she expected. We worked that rock right out of the ground! I was amazed at the size! It was the size I would normally get from the river and here was one in the garden!

When I was a young girl, we were at my aunt’s house. She wanted to plant a garden in a specific spot. So while we were there, we helped clear the area. There was a stone showing in the ground where she wanted to plant. My father started to remove the dirt around it. The more he removed the more this stone was turning into a rock and not just any rock. Through the use of a series of instruments – shovel, hoe, chain, truck and tractor – we finally removed the boulder that was in her back yard!

I shouted for my husband to come and see this rock we had found in the garden. He came and lifted it up and off he went to dust it off and put it in the flower bed. I believe every one should have a “rock in the garden” story. My rock is a lot like what we experience in life. We keep looking for things that may or may not be there. We found the potatoes. Some were still in great condition, some were small and some were rotten. Some of the potatoes were in areas that we didn’t expect because that is not where they were planted. Our journey has twists and turns in it. We hit those “rocks” in the garden.

The question is what will we do when we find those “rocks”? Some will be ones that we cast aside. Some will be ones that we will want to keep as a remembrance of a memory or some will be so big that we just can’t or shouldn’t do anything with them. Or should we? My aunt made that boulder part of her garden.

Jesus tells a parable about a man who found a treasure in a field and went to purchase that field. In deciding how to tell my story, I thought about this passage. My heart is the field that He purchased on the cross. His love is the shovel that continues to till the soil of my heart. The rocks He finds are the areas of my heart that do not align with His love or character. Yet He continues to work the soil of my heart. He is making something beautiful in me.

The Choice

As I have been trying to keep up with many things…writing being one of them…I enlisted the help of my Facebook friends and gleaned some great topics. Here is what I came up with. It is unfinished. The reason is because I want to see what type of endings YOU would write. That’s right, I am asking for you to give me your ending to this story. I do have an ending though not written down yet, but I thought it would be great fun to see how creative YOU can be…..So here is the beginning:

 

The wind blew outside. The storm was just beginning. The whistling sound swept across the door. The branches bent under the weight of the unseen wind. Leaves relented their hold on the stems and branches.

This was nothing compared to the storm that raged within Tara’s bosom. Thoughts of the past continued to haunt her. Was there no relief? How had she gotten here? How did everything get so out of control? Her thoughts drifted back to that time….

What was she thinking? If her parents found out, her boyfriend, neighbors, co-workers, grandparents, on and on it went, the list was endless of who would be hurt, devastated with what had happened. “Where was God in all of this?” Where had that thought come in. She hadn’t thought of God. Didn’t even believe He existed. As she sat huddled in the corner with her arms wrapped around her legs, she rocked. Tears streamed down her face. Stupid! That’s what she was! How could she have been so stupid! Her hand shook as she tried to wipe the tears. “What will I do now?” she thought. “I can’t disgrace my family. I can’t tell anyone. Who would believe me?” As the turmoil continued, a slow hatred began to snake its way into her heart. “Where was her father? Wasn’t he supposed to protect her? How could he, he didn’t even know where I was?” A shame and guilt mingled with a resolve to hide this away. Tara knew she would have to act as though nothing happened. She couldn’t let anyone in. Everything was gone. Innocence would no longer have a part of her. 

Now here she was living her life. Then Peter came into her life. He was different. He wasn’t like the others. His parents were a bit weird. They were “Jesus” people. Only they didn’t say the name like it was a cuss word. It was like they were best friends with him, but that wasn’t possible, was it? 

“Tara?” Peter whispered. Tara looked up. Peter knelt in front of her ready to gather her to him. “Sweet heart, will you tell me what has gotten you so upset?” Tara was tired. Tired of trying to control everything, tired of holding every dark hound at bay. He deserved her heart. But what would he think? She looked up into his handsome face. His eyes always held something she couldn’t quite put her finger on but it was comforting. He searched her eyes with his. How could she not tell her secret?
She was so tired of being the only one held captive. With a deep sigh, she looked at him and began to tell her story. When she was done she held her breath, she dared not breath because she was afraid he would walk away. He said nothing for what seemed an eternity. Did she dare speak his name? Would he… “I’m sorry” Peter whispered. Was that tears in his eyes? Had he felt her pain? “Tara? Would you mind if I pray for you, for us?” Tara looked at him. She didn’t know what to say. Was this a lifeline he was throwing to her? He saw the slightest nod of her head. Not knowing really how to begin Peter prayed, “Father, help Tara and I to forgive this man. Forgive us for not trusting you. Jesus, Tara needs to know of your love. I ask you to comfort her heart. Restore what’s been lost. Be her comfort, Holy Spirit and help me love her. Thank you for hearing and answering, in Jesus’ name. Amen.” 

For the first time, Tara felt light. As she looked at Peter, a dawning was forming in her heart. Love was replacing the bitterness that had taken residence there. Was it possible that God’s love was real for someone to take?

 

 

What can I say….needed to “rant”

So, I just thought I would “rant”. I just looked up the word and I think this is what I want to do….bear with me.

So the first one I want to “rant” about is vocabulary. My daughter gets the books where you can do many different kinds of crosswords, puzzles, search words, etc. You know the types. Well, I have a confession to make. I need your forgiveness to start. I cheat! Yep, for those of you who know me this may come as a surprise. I have no excuses. I have been analyzing my motive for this defect. I have come to the realization that I do not have a wide range of vocabulary. There are these long words (50 cent words) that if I had learned them, I have not used them so I feel inadequate to understand them. Many of them I have to look up to see what they mean. Several times I have begun to relearn the meanings of words. The reason I am even bringing this up is because good friends of mine have opened a deli in our area. They are a couple of integrity. There were a group of people who sat outside one evening. As I was serving them, I commented on the fact that they had great weather to sit outside! One person commented on the fact that they couldn’t “cuss” inside. I was surprised by the response. I was speechless. As I thought about the person (whom I did not know) and the comment, I made a few observations. 1. This person was dressed business casual (why would he want to use ignorant language?) 2. Asian decent (nothing about this, just observation.) 3. Aren’t there better words in the vocabulary to describe what one feels than cussing?

Next “rant”. Children. I love mine. I would do almost anything for them. However, here lately, I have another confession. I had made them an idol. I know no one else has done that. As I have repented of my sin, the Lord reminded me that I needed to lay all down and follow Him. I have to trust Him with them and their decisions/choices. I have to move forward so that I can do as He has asked. It is very exciting to see what He will do in me. But I also know that as I lay them down, He will lift them up. He will accomplish His plans and purposes in me and them.

Third, technology. It’s great, sort of. Some have a concern about losing the “personal” part of life. A friend of mine has a radio spot called “The Microwave Moment”. That is what we have now. It seems that the younger generation is being trained to not think for themselves or develop fully because of what is available. (Again, I do know that technology is great for what it is.)

Fourth, the weather. Who really believes that complaining will make it either better or worse? This winter season has been long for our area and even longer for the north. Spring hasn’t even been normal. However, as I have tried to pay attention to this (yes, one should pay attention when things happen.) I can see the benefit of the change in weather.

Finally, (thought it was long enough…) Love! God’s love is for everyone. As I have sought forgiveness from the One in whom my heart desires above all else, His love has overwhelmed me. Because of what He did on the cross, He did for you. He loves you! And I love you. He is calling you to Himself. It will be a commitment of faith. If you are looking for a miracle, salvation is the greatest miracle you could have.