More Lessons From the Garden

Every year we plant beans in our garden. Green beans and Yellow beans. Usually enough to can and eat through the winter. Last year the beans came up and were quickly eaten off by my nemesis the woodchuck. Not a stalk was left un-nibbled and no beans were to be found.

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This year we planted again. Two long rows of beans, one green, one yellow, stretching the length of the garden. They started to sprout and soon we had beautiful beans – 1/2 a row of green beans and 1/2 a row of yellow beans. Between the woodchucks (of course they multiplied over the winter), the bunnies and our deer friend the beans were once again nibbled. I’m not sure why they left half the rows untouched but I’m thankful they did. We had our first fresh beans for supper just last night.

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Tonight I was out weeding and I uncovered something remarkable. Partway down the devoured section of a row was a beanstalk peeking through the weeds. It’s leaves were gone and the top of the stalk had been nibbled.

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I weeded carefully and looked closer. This little stalk has a blossom on it and it will probably soon produce beans!

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The little beanstalk was a reminder to me of how God wants to use each of us, regardless of whether or not we feel beautiful, complete, or just like everyone else. To Him it does not matter how many times we’ve been nagged or ‘nibbled’ at, we are still productive people, loved and longed for by the God who created us.

I know too often I use excuses that I’m not enough this, or I’m too much that, or something’s not perfect with me so I can’t be useful to God like that other person over there who looks to me like they have it all together.

If we had it all together, we wouldn’t need God!!

I hope the next time I start making excuses for God not using me because everything doesn’t seem ‘just right’ I will remember this beanstalk and its little blossom. Perhaps it will inspire me to make the most of what I have right now and do something wonderful for God.

It might seem a little hokey, but perhaps you’ll remember this little bean too when you’re having a day when you don’t feel like God can use you the way you are. Hopefully you’ll see that you have more potential than you might think, and God is waiting to produce wonderful things if you’ll only allow Him.

blessings and peace to you in the garden of your life!
Paula

 

Pulling The Weeds of Life

I was weeding in the garden tonight. It’s amazing how quickly the weeds grow up and drown out the plants! It seems one day I look at it and think, “There’s a few weeds. I’ll have to get out here soon.” In just a day or two the weeds have taken over!

Sometimes when I go out to weed the ground is dry and hard. It takes a lot of work with the hoe and rake, working the ground and my muscles just to make a little progress. It can be frustrating and makes me want to quit.

Last night it rained. Not a big storm, but a nice, gentle, soaking rain. As I began my task the weeds pulled easily from the soft, moist ground. I found myself grabbing by the handful and yanking clumps of weeds at a time. I made so much progress in a short amount of time that I just wanted to keep going.

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The landscape of the garden changed quickly as the flowers and vegetables emerged from the mess surrounding them.

My thoughts wandered from the weeds in the garden to the weeds in my life. Bad habits or attitudes that aren’t Godly can creep in quietly then seem to take over what was once controlled by God’s will for my life. Neglecting time in God’s word or not turning my days over to Him can turn my thoughts to selfishness and away from the fruits of the Spirit.

Have you ever found that when you allow the weeds to grow up into your attitudes and behaviors that God sometimes has a difficult time weeding them away from you? I’ve seen that in my life. Looking back I can see where God has allowed rain to come in to my life in order to soften me. Not storms necessarily, but a steady rain that soaks in and makes me turn my thoughts away from my desires and own selfish will and back to His desires for me.

It’s not that the fruit God plants in me is gone, but the weeds have overtaken them and made them hard to see. When I allow the rains to fall and soften my will God is able to pluck away at those weeds. As He clears away my selfish actions and desires His fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control can again be seen.

And they can grow strong and beautiful.

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If you’re going through a time of rain in your life right now and you’re uncertain of why the ‘good’ things of life don’t seem to be coming your way, take some time to examine for weeds. Is God sending these gentle rains to soften you and turn you back to Him? If so, ask Him to work at pulling the weeds that are creeping into your life. As the way clears you will see the beauty of all God has planted in you and will continue to grow as you allow.

 

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blessings and peace on the garden of your life today!
Paula

Faith is Believing

It’s interesting how stepping out in faith in God can be so difficult for us and yet faith in earthly things so easy.

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We have faith that when we sit in a chair it will not break.

We have faith that when we turn the key in our car it will start.

We have faith that when we flip a switch light will flood the room.

So why is faith in God often so hard for so many of us?

Is it because we cannot see Him? All the things mentioned above are tangible things that we have proven time and again. But we cannot see God. Even those of us who have proven Him to be true and faithful over and over in our lives reach circumstances even sometimes simple ones – where it is hard to put our trust in what we cannot see or know.

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”  Hebrews 11:1

As children many of us believed in Santa and because of our faith that he would fill  our stockings on Christmas Eve we wrote him letters and left out cookies and mild for him, and carrots for his reindeer.

And that faith was rewarded.

How much more should our faith be in our Creator? The God who knows us better than we know ourselves asks us to put our faith in Him — believing that what He promises will come to pass.

I believe that faith will be rewarded as well.

We are humans who are independent and often want immediate results, and immediate reward. I am believing more and more that when we put our trust in God to bring good things into our lives, to resolve situations and to bring us peace BELIEVING it will come to pass, it will indeed.

No cookies are needed!

Is there something you’re struggling with believing right now? I hope you’ll put your faith in God and believe that He will bring blessings your way. That is His desire for His children as well.

blessings and peace on your day…
Paula

Freedom

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Today is the Fourth of July ~ Independence Day for Americans. It’s a day when we honor our country and celebrate the freedoms gained over 200 years ago. It’s also a time to spend with family and friends, celebrating with cookouts, picnics, festivals and fireworks.

As I reflect on the freedoms I have as an American my mind also wanders to the freedoms I have as a child of God.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then,
and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.    Galatians 5:1

We are born as slaves to sin. Our very nature is to question authority and want to do things our own way. But this sin separates us from God and keeps us from spending eternity with Him in Heaven. The immediate sense of satisfaction we have by exerting our   independence in doing things our own way keeps us from an even better reward after our time on earth is done.

Thankfully Jesus came from that incredible Heaven and lived a sinless life here on earth.  For anyone willing to submit to God’s will for our lives and trust in Jesus to lead us in His ways we receive freedom from our sinfulness and so much more.

We are free:

  • from guilt and shame 
  • from bad habits 
  • from believing the lies of the evil one!

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.  John 8:36

Wouldn’t it be something if we celebrated our freedom in Christ as jubilantly as we celebrate our country’s freedom?

Happy Independence Day from me to each of you!

blessings and peace…
Paula