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Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

I love Anne Voskamp’s book titled One Thousand Gifts (http://onethousandgifts.com)  because it beautifully reminds us not to take for granted the small things of life that give us golden moments and carry us through every hour of every day.  She speaks of things like rainbows reflected in soap bubbles and a child’s unexpected laughter, things that happen quickly and are just as quickly missed if we aren’t careful.

God calls us to a life of continual thankfulness.  Yet the world throws so many negatives our way it is difficult to stay in the grateful ring.  We are so busy we never pause to see the minute by minute abundance of God’s goodness.  Or we are so programmed to look for big things we bypass small things.

Giving thanks for small things is really telling God we are satisfied.  We aren’t asking for more. We are accepting that each tiny gladness is more than we deserve and therefore enough. 

I believe God may have given us zucchini as the perfect illustration of this concept.

Hold one single zucchini seed in your hand.  Lift it up to God and declare it to be enough.  Plant the seed and what happens?  Abundance.  A harvest large enough to feed your family with plenty left over to share.  Have you ever known anyone to grow “just enough” zucchini?  It’s impossible.  Zucchini produces more product from a single seed than any other vegetable I know.

I still remember the first time my mom planted a garden when I was about ten years old.  She put in a few tomato bushes, a few radishes, a few carrots and a row of zucchini not realizing a row of zucchini could feed the world.

She harvested and harvested and harvested zucchini.  She cooked it, baked with it, and froze it.  She gave it away to our friends and relatives until they refused to take any more.  She found an old wheelbarrow, filled it and parked it at the end of the driveway with a sign that said “Help Yourself”.  People did but the wheelbarrow never emptied.

That row of zucchini was like the never ending pot of porridge.  Every day mom picked it clean and everyday there was more to pick.  It wasn’t until we got our first hard frost that we were finally able to store the wheelbarrow for the winter.

God’s blessings are like the zucchini seed.  If we will take the time to see them and thank him for them, they will multiply until we have to share them with others.  Every time we pick the blessing bush clean, more blessings appear.  That’s how God planned it.  That’s how God likes it.  And that’s why God instructed His children in the way of thankfulness.

 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

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If it’s true a watched pot never boils, then it’s a miracle my roses have bloomed.  From the first tiny sign of a green leaf following my spring pruning I have checked and rechecked daily, measuring progress. I’ve watered and fertilized, weeded and sprayed.  I felt personally attacked the day I found aphids trying to take up residence and I rushed to the garden shed to grab the proper insecticide. I have been over-diligent.

When the first tightly coiled buds began to form I announced it to my friends and family like a prospective mom announces her pregnancy.  When those green buds grew to bursting and I saw the first traces of color, I danced among the bushes. The first delicate pink rose began to open, exposing sweetness and velvet layers.  I wanted to park myself right there in the garden and watch it finish unfolding into breathtaking beauty.

Now my bushes are loaded with yellow and peach and red and white tributes to the rose horticulturists who painstaking developed each strain. 

I’ve poured a lot of time and effort into my roses and they have paid me back tenfold. I will enjoy them, take pride in them, share them and glory over them until they once again withdraw into their time of dormancy and dryness only to be coaxed into full bloom again once they’ve survived another winter.

My life has been a rose garden of winter trials and summer blooms. God has been the dedicated Gardner.  He cares for me gently and with great attentiveness, pruning, coaxing, watching for attack, nurturing, and hovering over each sign of new growth. He encourages small green buds of hope and ministry, beauty and song into promises of great beauty and the scent of spiritual growth.  My heart is overwhelmed when I think of Him, the Great God of the Universe, hovering over me with expectation and pride, waiting for me to fully open to the beauty of my current season.

I recently read Wildflowers from Winter, a debut novel by Katie Ganshert (http://katieganshert.com/blog/).  She so beautifully showed her main character emerging from a season of cold and dark to the beauty of one who fully lets God hold her heart.  It is a lesson we learn over and over in the ebb and flow of life.

Dark times will come, must come.  But God promises newness and beauty will follow.  Have you allowed Him to tend the garden of your heart?  Have you seen beauty bloom when you thought nothing could ever come from your brittle branches?  I’d love your comments on how the great Gardner brought you to life again.

But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out.  “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people all about this new life.” Acts 5:19-20

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