Deeply Rooted

It’s getting to be that beautiful time of the year. The hard work of the spring planting is giving way to beautiful blooms and green gardens. I enjoy watching the buds on the rose bushes and seeing the blossoms on the tomatoes and squash in the garden. It’s time to sit back and enjoy.

Or it would be, except for the weeds.

Yes, just about everything we do and have requires maintenance. From our cars to our bodies and everything in between, we can’t expect anything to run at its full potential without maintenance. Even our smart phones aren’t smart enough to charge themselves!

Gardens and flower beds are no exception. While the blooms burst forth with color, weeds sprout up anywhere they can find a little place to grow. And boy do they grow! Have you ever noticed how weeds seem to grow faster, and their roots seem to grow deeper than any plant that we actually want in our garden?

Last summer I was clearing out an old foundation from a barn or shed that used to be on our property. Over the years this foundation has been used for many things from a goat yard to a peacock pen and most recently a bed of hollyhocks. We had let it go for a few years and decided last year to plant some sunflowers there. As I started pulling weeds I realized it was going to be a bigger job than I originally thought. There was some sort of plant/tree that had embedded itself in that foundation over the years and it did NOT want to give up its home. I pulled and dug and yanked…finally getting the weed out, with its whole root.

I couldn’t believe the size of that root. The plant had been supported by an enormous root system that dug down deep and held the plant safely and securely where it was supposed to be.

As I was weeding yesterday I was reminded of all the weeds I get in my own life. Weeds of deception and self-doubt. Weeds of discontent and jealousy…the list could go on and on. At different times in our lives we have to fight different types of weeds. Some of them pull up easily, especially if we catch them quickly and get rid of them before they spread and deepen. Some don’t come up so easily.

Sometimes we allow weeds to grow and establish roots without even realizing it. Lies we have told ourselves for years about not being good enough or being unsuccessful can, if left to their own bidding root themselves so deeply inside of us that they seem impossible to get rid of. And it’s easy to give in and stop trying. This is satan’s ploy and desire for us to live in doubt and never allow ourselves to reach our full potential. But that’s not God’s plan.

As I weed I often listen to a baseball game, or think about things that are coming, or even pray for others. Weeding can be monotonous and having something to occupy your mind makes it go easier and faster. In our lives we need to be filling our mind with the repetitiveness of God’s word to replace the untruths of those who are  planting doubt and holding us back. Repeating scriptures such as these below can plant God’s truth in your heart and mind:

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” Philippians 4:13 NIV

“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

When weeds start to take over a garden or flower bed it cans seem an impossible task to clear them, and you wonder if there’s going to be anything of value left when the weeds are gone. It CAN  be done with hard work, consistency and never giving up. The beauty of what is left and the value of the fruit that will grow when the weeds are gone is worth the work.

 

The same can be said for the weeds in our own lives. It can seem impossible but we CAN conquer them and squelch the lies that try to root themselves deeply. It may take some time, but in the end we will see the beautiful results of God shining through our lives in the way He always saw us from the moment He created us.

Where are you rooted and how deep do your roots go? These are important questions that help determine the direction and quality of your life, and your peace along the way. I encourage you to plant God’s Word and His Truth in your life and let those roots grow deep. You will find blessings and peace as you move forward in Him.

If you need help finding these truths, please comment here, or e-mail me at pauladavispeace@gmail.com. I would be honored to pray with you and encourage you on your journey to be all you can be in God.

blessings and peace on your day…

Paula

Sorry Dad…

My dad’s been living in Heaven for 5 years now, but I sometimes find myself apologizing to him. There were things he taught me to do that he was very specific about and when I find myself not doing them “his” way I often blurt out an apology to him.

For example, Dad had a thing for mowing lawn. There was a specific way it had to be done, always blow the grass toward the grass you’ve already mowed, go past the end before turning down the other side in order to keep the lines straight, and never, never drive horizontally through a vertical line you’ve just mowed. He was VERY picky and it didn’t matter how many years of experience I had, if I didn’t do it his way (the “right” way) he was out there telling me how to correct what I had done wrong. The other day I was backing up on a section of lawn I’d just mowed and went really, really crooked & wavy. As I looked at where I had been I found myself saying, “sorry Dad” and then chuckled to myself. I’ve come to appreciate how Dad felt about mowing lawn, but even more than that how he never gave up on believing that eventually I’d get it right.

I have been very blessed to have two parents who always believed in me and never let my failures and mistakes keep them from loving me. I’m not saying they never got angry with me. Sometimes it was scary to admit my wrongs to them and wonder what the repercussions would be, but their anger or disappointment never made me question whether or not they loved me. Through the childish fights with my sister in our emotional teenage years and through countless times of messing up (even putting a Bobcat bucket through the wall of the barn) they always forgave me and helped me move on to make a situation right or find success in spite of my failures. I realize this is a blessing many people don’t experience.

This sense of security and unconditional love didn’t always carry over to my relationship with the Lord. When I gave my life to Him as a young child I worried that He would stop loving me if I messed up. Every sin I committed made me drop to my knees, not only asking His forgiveness but asking again for His salvation. I was afraid that if I messed up enough I would not be allowed into Heaven.

The Lord is gracious and compassionate, 
    slow to anger and rich in love.

The Lord is good to all;
    he has compassion on all he has made.

Psalm 145: 8-9

The bible speaks of God being slow to anger at least nine times – three of them in the Psalms. God is compassionate to us. It’s hard sometimes to believe that no matter how may times we mess up He is still waiting to forgive us. He never stops loving us and will not sever His relationship with us because of something we’ve done. However, it is up to us to go to Him and ask forgiveness, accept that forgiveness and draw close to Him once again.

Do you feel far from God? Does it seem right now that you can’t do anything right and your failures are bigger than your successes? 

I encourage you to set aside your feelings and look for the truth of God’s word.

Here are some examples:

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3

It seems almost too simple. To believe that every time we mess up – no matter how big or small we believe the sin is, all it takes is for us to say, “sorry Dad” to God. Through the incredible love He has for us he will forgive us every time.

He promises.

Take this promise to heart today. Let the truth of it bring joy to your heart and peace to the puzzle of your life today.

Blessings and peace to you today…

Paula