Monday 3-2-1: Keep Planting

Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands be not idle, for you do know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.
(Ecclesiastes 11:6)

I’ve never had a green thumb when it comes to any kind of gardening. Let’s be honest, when it comes to keeping anything plant related alive! Two years ago when I went to choose some plants for Mother’s Day at the local greenhouse I remember specifically asking one of the workers, “Which of these is the most durable? Which one can survive me not remembering to water it for awhile?” He pointed me in the right direction and his words proved true that summer. That beautifully flowered plant not only survived the heat of the summer, but the sun and the shade, the days I forgot to water it and the days my toddlers gave it too much water. It seemed whatever weather or circumstances came its way, it managed to not only survive but also keep its beautiful red blooms. With very little effort, I reaped a colorful harvest on my front porch.

But let’s not be confused. That’s exactly the message the world wants you to believe about your life. It wants you to believe life should revolve around the methods that are the easiest, most convenient, timesaving, and painless. The world will tell you it will be fine in your life and in your relationships if you live the way I treated my plant. Do whatever you want, don’t worry about the weeds growing, the weather coming, or most of all, the time it will take to produce anything worthwhile.
But friend we know that’s not God’s way or how God’s garden works. Every day we are reaping something we chose to harvest a long time ago. Our thoughts, our words, our actions, our habits, our character, and finally our very own destinies are very much determined by the seeds we choose to plant in our gardens.

Sow a thought, reap an action. Sow an action, reap a habit.
Sow a habit, reap a character.
Sow a character, reap a destiny.
(John Stott)

But what if I don’t like my garden? What if I didn’t get to choose the soil I’ve been dealt? What if mine is hard and rocky? What if I HAVE been sowing good seeds now for a long time and it doesn’t seem to be making any difference? Why does it seem everyone else is blooming in their gifts and talents and I’m over here barely surviving?
What if…

You look over the fence and see the array of color and beauty in your neighbor’s garden while your hand is to the plow, working to break through the soil of your own.”
(Ruth Chou Simmons)

Then you’ve come to the right place. This note is meant to be a breath of fresh air for your weary heart after a long winter (or two).
A place to remind you that….

“Blooms are not the only way to see God’s faithfulness. He is actively growing you, friend, while you sow within the hard soils of affliction.”
(Ruth Chou Simmons)

One of my favorite prayers to pray when I am struggling to tend to the garden God has given me is from Hebrews 13. It says…

 “May God equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.”

This spring God wants to work on the soil of your garden. He wants to plant some seeds, and He wants you to plant as well. Your garden might not look the same as your neighbors, but be assured He active, He is working, He is equipping, and He is the ultimate producer of all good things.

We welcomed spring with some outdoor gardening projects!

2 Things I’m Loving (+ A Few Extras)

1.) This podcast by Focus on the Family Parenting. After listening I wrote down, “Am I teaching my kids to be a contributor to our family and the world?” It reminded me of the article I read this week by Chip Gaines, Make Kindness Loud

But real kindness is built with grace and grit, and I don’t think one works without the other; they are wisely intertwined. Because life-changing kindness is hard. Sometimes so hard it hurts. It’s sweat and effort. It actually requires something of you. That’s kindness that inspires, kindness that makes a difference.” -Chip Gaines

2.) This healthy crack chicken recipe. This is a great one to double and freeze!  I made mine in my slow cooker and gave the second half to my neighbor.

3 Questions To Ask Yourself Today

1.) Am I being faithful to tending the garden and place God has given me to work or am I trying to be somewhere He has not placed me?
2.) What is one small seed I can plant today in my home and my relationships? A seed of kindness, seed of gratefulness, seed of compassion, seed of gentleness, seed of forgiveness? How can I “make kindness loud?” in my neighborhood?
3.) Are there any weeds that need pulled from my garden?  Any behaviors, any thought processes, any activities that are keeping me from walking closer to God?

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