God’s glory echoes each morning as the birds sing beautiful songs. I Soak in every living word He breathes in scripture. As I meditate on His words all day, I see Him more clearly as I walk hand in hand with Jesus. Gardening cultivates new habits like getting up earlier in the morning to water the garden. Sometimes we need physical reminders of our need spiritually as we thirst for a glass of water first thing in the morning. Just like it’s so important to water the plants each day. Before you begin your day, it’s so valuable to start praying, listening and reading the Bible. It’s so necessary for your spiritual walk with Jesus! He is our very best friend who will be with you no matter what circumstance you’re in. We have a loving father who we can talk to about everything. Real relationships means sharing from your heart.
As I soak the garden early in the morning, I watch the thirsty plants take in every drop! The hummingbird comes swooping in like little helicopters taking drinks in mid air! Everything comes alive all at once! We need a good soaking from God to handle the heart and pressures of the day. Summer can get scorching hot with a snap of my fingers! Mud will turn to dust in the air before you know it. I love how we can see what God means when you seek Him first and His righteousness, because He has what is best for your life in His plan since the beginning. (Psalm 139) When I pray first before doing something, even through the struggles, things will go into place! It might not be what I expected or in the time frame I had in mind, but it will always work out for my good! It will be for you too. Romans 8:28 (NIV), “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” The struggles may come but peace and joy remain in you while waiting on the Lord. If you don’t start the day with God by praying and reading the Bible, you will feel weary and burdened when hard situations come your way. You will chase your own way leaving God out. You might be quick to be angry instead of quick to listen. James 1:19 (NIV), “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,”
When you lean on God, He will support you and lead you down the right path! Psalms 23:3 (KJV) He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” As I water the garden, It’s evident how all of us need Him. We need to be surrounded by the right support systems in our life! Romans 15:30 (NIV), “I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.” When we are tender hearted by sitting with someone and listen to their struggles, without judgement or guessing, you are pouring kindness into them! In the garden, I noticed how desperate the peas reached up to grab and to cling onto anything near them after the rain storm. They were desperate for anything that would hold them up. Jesus says my burdens are light and my yoke it easy. Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV), “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Jesus is tender hearted full of love, compassion and Mercy for everyone. He will bring sisters and brothers in your life to strengthen and support you.
The cares of the world cause people to reach and grab for anything they can for support when hard times come. Just like the little pea plants clinging to a weed, in time of trouble, people can cling to the wrong influences. The peas fell to the ground with the weeds and were trampled in the storm! It’s important where we get our help, because the world’s definition of wisdom is different from Godly wisdom. James 3:17-18 (NIV), “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” When you put your hope and faith in God, you will be filled with joy and peace. You will be carried, held, comforted, supported, and strengthened under God’s mighty right hand. You will be surrounded by sisters and brothers who will encourage and support you along the way. Romans 15:13 (NIV), “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
It reminds me of David’s prayer in Psalm 23:4 (KJV), “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” When I was pregnant,I was driving with six of my children on an extremely hot summer day. The only air conditioning we had was rolling down our windows. It would let in enough hot air to fill a hot air balloon that would lift us up into the sky! Our drinking water was hot, so I looked for a way to escape the heat! I went to visit my mother-in-law but found no relief there from the extreme heat! It was over 100 degrees outside that day and hotter in the van. I called my sister to let her know I wasn’t feeling well, and that I was on my way.
However, while I was driving, I started feeling very weird! I know I had been praying the whole time before I found myself parked on the side of the road! I got out to find help, but I fell to the ground! All my kids were in the van, and I couldn’t get up! I refused to pass out! I could see people driving their cars and even riding their bikes right passed me and the kids. Finally, a few people came up to me and asked if I was alright! I said, “No, I’m pregnant and can’t get up.” They called 911! I found out I was in danger and so was my unborn son! My sister ended up picking up my children, and I was taken to the hospital by ambulance. I was extremely dehydrated and my blood pressure was dangerously high! Both of us were ok, because of God’s protection over all of us! I later found out I parked in front of the Union Gospel Mission in Spokane! The people living at the mission took the time to see if I was ok when everyone else drove or rode by! Psalms 94:18-19 (NIV), “When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.
The overflow of God’s kindness and goodness is how I handle the heat of each day and when life gets hard. He gives us everything we need! 2 Peter 1:3 (NIV), “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” It’s His strength in me that keeps me going knowing that even in the toughest situations, he will rescue me. I will keep living for God and move toward the goal instead of depending on my own strength! As I water my garden early in the morning before the scorching sun reaches its peak of the day, I’m reminded of my desperate need of God’s cool refreshing words to wash over me, as He encourages and supports me during the heat of the day. Matthew 5:6-7 (NIV), “Blessed are who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” I’m thankful for His overflow of love, Mercy and Grace over me and my family! We were not alone that day! My children were covered and safe and both me and my unborn son got the help we needed! I never had the chance to thank the people who came to help us! God knows who they are because he sent them to help!
No matter where you are in life you don’t have to be stuck and you can trust God cares for you more than we can ever know! God wants you to grow in him where you are as he walks with us and even carries us through the storms in life. Jesus is your best friend because he will never leave you or forsake you! God deeply loves you! John 7:38 (NIV) “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
Summer can shine in winter!
“Knitting in Faith, Hope, and Love! 💗
Gardening is peaceful and amazing because everything works together for one purpose! All of creation is dependent on the sun! Patience and gardening go hand in hand while we wait on the Lord! Psalm 27:13-14, “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. It’s in the waiting that God prepares us and does the most inside us! It takes a lot of time preparing as we abide. You never know if the seeds will sprout or not or if the birds will come and snatch the seeds away. Even though we can’t see what is happening, we need to keep planting seeds by sharing God’s love everywhere we go with love and respect. Sometimes we might not get to see the results of the seeds we plant, but we need to keep sharing and living out love. As we stay humble and allow God to teach you, he will open your eyes to more of what God has in store for you. We’ve been looking for new ways to grow tomatoes because not all of the seeds grow or make it. So, we’ve been practicing cloning and one of our clones from last year is still growing strong in the window. All winter long We have been patiently watching for a tomato to grow! We love the beautiful green plant!
When I was a kid, we grew up right next to a Christian family who loved the Lord. Our friends were as close like family. They went to a Christian school and shared everything with us! We sang songs, played and talked about Jesus! We never know how much God does through relationship, and I can see how God prepared our hearts through loving relationships when I was young. I always wanted to go to church camp but could never go! One summer, someone blessed our family and I finally got to go and experience a day camp! I jumped in head first and my heart has high expectations that God is going to do something awesome! Yes, he did exactly that! My life is forever changed! I desperately went seeking God with all my heart and I found him! (Jeremiah 29:13) God brought so many people who loves the Lord around our family, and it’s amazing to look back and see how God places everyone including children exactly where he needs them to be to accomplish his purpose and plan! My friends probably didn’t know the impact they made in our lives as they shared everything they learned each day from school! God worked through them by sharing the good news to us about Jesus when we were just kids. This impact is like a domino effect! They probably don’t even know how much it helped them grow in understanding of what they were learning! As they shared they grew too because they looked forward to sharing more with us! Today, they are my brother and sister in Christ! My brother in Christ grew up to be a Pastor! Proverbs 20:11, “Even small children are known by their actions, so is their conduct really pure and upright?”God knows everything you do when adults aren’t looking!
I often think about the fig tree parable as this tomato plant never seems to produce any fruit (Luke 13:1-9) God loves us so much that he is patient with everyone not wanting anyone to perish! The fig tree can’t produce any fruit on its own! Just like we cannot produce fruit without God! He is the gardener who prepares our hearts to receive him, but we need to make a choice to accept or reject Jesus’ free gift of salvation! It’s when you become God’s child that you become rooted in Him! Jeremiah 17:7-8, “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. 8They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” The amazing endless flow of love changes us from the inside! It’s constant care over us is special and unique for each person. We need to feed the spirit God’s living word and be in relationship with others so fruit will grow! When we are rooted in God it’s like a water hose forever turned on always flowing living water in us! This will draw all kinds of beautiful relationships to flourish together in the church like honey bees and butterflies in the garden.
God has designed everything to be in relationship! It’s hard to pollinate each flower on the tomato plant on your own! Yes, you will get one tomato or a few, but not much! When you follow Jesus and allow him in your heart, your mind and heart will start to change. You once were living for your kingdom, (me and myself and I) but now you will be doing everything For God’s kingdom! His kingdom comes and his will be done on earth as it is in heaven (love God and love others). God draws us through his creation! The honey bees are a part of God’s design through relationship and will help produce a mass production of fruit! I’m thankful for the honey bees God brings through fellowship in the garden and the body of Christ (Church)! Everyone is so very valuable as we each do the purpose God called us to do! We are dependent on God and not ourselves! Depending on God brings him maximum glory! Ephesians 2:8-9, “8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast.” It takes a lot of patience to pollinate each flower by hand because the flowers open and close at particular times of the day and die so quickly! This is because we are not meant to do things all on our own! The fig tree was all alone and could not produce fruit! Instead of cutting it down, he was patient! Jesus says his grace is sufficient and I’m so thankful for his grace! As we live out grace and patience with everyone including the people who purposely splash you in the pool! The soil around their heart will soften but it takes time and patience! Only God knows the day and hour of Jesus’ return and he doesn’t want any person to perish! It is only God who can change hearts! We are to love others deeply, through an overflow of endless love that God pours in us and onto other people!
We might think the small things in our life produce nothing, and what we do for others are small, but our thoughts are not His thoughts, our ways are not God’s ways. (Isaiah 55:6-7) I’m so thankful his thoughts are Not our thoughts. This is why we are secure in him and not dependent on our own ways! He knows each person and loves them deeply! That’s why Jesus rebuked the disciples when they asked if he wanted them to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them (Luke 9:51-54). Jesus knows everything and we don’t! He is very patient with not only us but all people who don’t know the love of God yet! When we live out the patience Jesus has for us, they will want that too! Jesus came here to physically to seek and reach those who are lost! He came to bring us back to himself to be in relationship with Our Heavenly Father through Him! We need to set out hearts on things above where Christ is seated, God’s one and only Son! He did this because he loves us so much! The work we do that seems small, like a mustard seed, but is the largest tree! The smallest of seeds (details in life and unseen things) most likely are the ones that produces the most fruit which brings God glory! He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches” (Matthew 13:31–32). His kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven!
Learning is like watching a beautiful garden filled with a variety of different plants flourish together during each season! The beauty grows each year as you cultivate, add, move or take away from your garden. Learning starts in the womb as your beautiful baby listens to your heart beat while he/she grows. Before they take their first breath, he is experiencing the world through you with every breath you take! Right after birth your child knows the sound of your heart and voice along with everyone closest to you. Then like a rocket, learning takes off! The love to learn is so beautiful and valuable because it must continue as you become an adult! We must stay open and humble! I enjoy watching my children get excited when they create or learn something new! I know God must enjoys us too! I imagine he loves it when we do things that give him glory because we are created in His image! We are his children and he is our father! The best part is every one of my children learn in a different way! They have their individual garden of learning that is unique to them. One of my older sons created a practice area for him to learn how to pedal fast while in place. I watched my sweet little son practice petaling in the water puddles as he turned to see the water splash behind him. He was in his own world of fun! He was getting really good at riding fast in place! The water splashed behind him was exciting to watch. They put soap in the water to make bubbles for fun.
One day, he decided he wanted his training wheels off! He was more than ready for this adventure because everyone zipped around up and down the driveway much faster than he did! He wanted to go fast too! In his mind, he thought if I just took off those training wheels, I could be as fast as them! It reminded me of what scripture says, drop everything that hinders, the sin that entangles us or holds us back (Hebrews 12:1) For my son, it was the training wheels that held him back. The big adventure has begun and we were excited to remove the training wheels. My older son ran to get the tools. They eagerly watched him remove each bolt and screw! He loves taking things apart! Right when the training wheels were off, guess what happened? He darted like a bullet, but didn’t get very far before he fell over! He lost his balance! He didn’t realize how much the training wheel supported him until they were off! A lot of times we don’t know how much we depend on something until it’s removed! Life can be hard and when we take on new challenges like riding your bike without training wheels, you are being developed for a purpose God has for you later in life. A life of faith doesn’t depend on what you can see or hold on to! (2 Corinthians 5:6-7) Through David’s life, God chose him as a shepherd boy working in the fields for his father while taking care of the sheep! (1 Samuel 16:11-13, and 1 Samuel 17:34:36). If you take care of little, you will take care of much! He did everything he was asked to do with a heart for God. So in what seems small is big for God! He develops our character with the small things in life like helping your little brother or sister learn balance, or being there if they fall to encourage him to get back up! When my son fell, he looked at me in shock because he thought he would just ride like everyone else! I explained about how we need to learn a few things first before you go and ride with your brothers! One of my older sons came alongside him and helped him learn balance. As I watched my sons, it reminded me of how I learned from my dad! It also reminded me of how important it is to keep getting up no matter how many times you fall! Don’t give up and go back to the old ways by putting the training wheels back on! Instead, keep looking forward! It is hard to wait patiently but through struggles you develop Godly character as you grow not only on the outside but inside too! He was determined to keep trying and jumped right up and tried again and again! He had a support system encouraging him to keep going!
Balance was hard at first just like it was for me. However, we had a really rough driveway! It was like a rollercoaster ride! Our driveway is unstable filled with pond size pot holes and dramatic dips leading even our van off course! Life is the same way! Knowing how to ride your bike isn’t the same as actually riding your bike! Only Knowing how to do something and never doing it is like being stuck in “idle” . He was riding in idle when he practiced pedaling in the water! Now he is in motion.He is putting into action everything he had learned because we are meant to run the race not run the race in place! Even when he rode along the road, and slipped in a crater size hole, he got back up. He kept practicing by leaning to the left and the right while he went around the holes!
I was a little older when my dad took off my training wheels! It sounded easy! I saw my friends ride their bikes up and down the street with such grace and confidence. I thought to myself, “I want to do that too!” However, I couldn’t push the pedals! I would always try to push them at the same time, or I would try to pedal backwards because that seemed to always work better! I wouldn’t get far before I would lose my balance and fall! I just sat there motionless! Sometimes in life we think we have to do everything all at once because we see everyone else having fun! You might feel like you’re missing out on something amazing! However, looking back I was given a valuable gift, special time with my dad! He isn’t here anymore, but I can remember the time my dad set aside for me! So, even if I wanted to already know how to ride my bike, like pushing both pedals at the same time, God had set aside something better for me! Just like it’s easier to pedal backwards by staying stuck in your thoughts or living out memories in the past, God wants you to keep moving forward! We need to be patient with each step we take in life because there is so much peace at Jesus’ feet! You can still be at Jesus’ feet on a busy day! We can stay connected all day to Jesus! Everyone has to start at the beginning, like starting a new job or learning something new in a job you have for twenty years! But, when we allow God to balance our life through him, we can struggle with peace and joy! I struggled with balance and without it I didn’t go far on my bike! Just like in life, we won’t go far without Jesus balancing our day! It must be a priority to seek him first and his righteousness!
The important lesson was boring and took the most time, but today I would love to do that again! The best part is, I do get to do this again as I teach my own children! He had me sit on my bike, as he let go without warning! He had me lean to the left or right, so I could experience what it felt like! He taught me to feel the pull of gravity, so I would know what to do! I learned so much more than balance! Life can pull you and weigh you down, will you let the troubles of the world take you with it? Or will you lean on God as he leads you down the right path? Trusting God takes off the weight of the world as you cast your cares on him! You will experience God’s Peace in the most muddy situations in your life! (Proverbs 3:5-6) Through a lesson my dad taught me as a kid, I learned more than how to balance my bike! I didn’t know it yet! Just like God says train your children which way to go and they will not depart from it! My dad’s loving kindness overflowed onto me which carried on for many generations!
I learn to adjust by listening to my father’s voice and follow his instruction! He said to me, if you force it, you will break it! If we go your own way in life, you will break! If you force your ways, you will break relationships and more! If I take off soon, it will be harder for me because I wasn’t ready! My foundation is secure in the waiting! Because in the waiting there are many blessings like a special time with my father! God never forces us to love him or to learn from him! Love is patient and my dad was so very patient with me! He held my bike in place on the soft grass which made me feel safe, and then he let go! We do have to let our children go one day, we only get them for a short time! We need to stay confident that God loves them even more than we do! The plans for them are much better than we could ever imagine! Each time he did this, I grew more confident each time! It was time for my Dad to give me a push so I could pedal on my own! However, I had a struggle with pedaling my bike using one foot at a time!
My next struggle was learning how to pedal! My dad was so very creative, he found a way to teach me! The desire to learn really does matter! I needed to “want” to learn first! My father wanted to help guide me, with my struggle with my right and my left, but I also had to be open to receive instruction. I was more than eager! God works in our weakness and makes us strong. Using two different slippers, my dad taught me how to pedal using my left and my right feet. My left foot was Burt from Sesame Street and my right foot was Ernie! He would push me on the bike saying, Push Burt and Ernie over and over, until I was in full motion! Deuteronomy 32:47, “They are not just idle words for you they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”God said these words are not idle words for you! Knowing God’s word without doing or living it out is like being “idle”! Knowing my left and right was necessary for everything in life! Being “idle” is like sitting on the fence watching your friends ride their bikes, or living in the past! Everyone has a choice, follow Jesus or Not to follow Jesus! There are only two choices because the one in the middle called “idle, maybe, or no means the same thing!! (Joshua 24:14-15) Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love me, keep my commands” All of what you know from scripture must be put into your life each day “in action” by first praying, picking up the Bible and fellowship with other believers! Just like getting on the bike, balance, and putting your feet on the pedals then go! We will fall and get hurt but our Heavenly Father is right there! Through Physical life lessons like teaching your children to ride a bike, leads to spiritual lessons that lead to eternity with our Heavenly Father through his son Jesus! When we honor our father and mother! We give glory to God when we teach our children about God and his love for us in scripture, and carry on to each generation (Deuteronomy 11:18-21).
God wants to teach us and guide us and he does this with our family and friends! Yes, you will fall but God will help you and send help through brothers and sisters in Christ. Psalm 121:8, “the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” However if you wait for everything to be perfect, like a perfect time by checking your schedule, perfect roads, house, yard, garden, computer, or van, you will never start! Sitting or watching is being “idle” and you will not go anywhere! You will miss out! It’s like being Lukewarm! Revelation 3:15-16, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm neither hot nor cold I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” You must make a choice! Isaiah 55:6-8, “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” You don’t have to be stuck in idle! We all have to start at the beginning and need to learn balance! We need God to show us which path to take! I wanted to get on my bike and go with my friends, and so did my son! God shows himself in a mighty and beautiful way when we trust Him completely and hand over our fears and uncertainty of perfection to him. When we allow Him to do His work in us for his glorious plan, our view of the world changes! Matthew 6:33,”But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Today, step out in faith because Jesus’ arms are open! Revelation 3:19-22,”Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. If we don’t accept his rebuke and discipline it would be like turning our backs on God while closing our eyes and ears!
I’m on an adventure learning how to knit! This is an amazing skill and an art! Each knitted “creation” is made with an imprint of the one who made it! They pour themselves into each blankets, hats, gloves and more! I’ve wanted to learn ever since I was young! I image my grandma knitting as she thought about each one of her grandchildren! Im always so amazed when my sister-in-law makesthe most beautiful quilted blankets that I have ever seen! She used her beautiful talent touching the hearts of my children and more! She takes the time to individualize each blanket! She not only blesses me with her love but each one of my children! As we think about the same love God has for each of us, we can see how he created us all in his image for his glory! We are his masterpiece! In the body of Christ we are to be woven together in faith, hope, and love as we bring him glory each day! My grandma knitted or crocheted everything including dolls, stuffed animals and blankets! As I hold my newborn baby, she is in heaven now, but I have the blank she made for me! I value everything she ever made for me when I was younger because she did it with love! My other grandmas embroidered something beautifully using only thread and a needle and made me a beautiful blanket! This is a beautiful art that is really hard to learn! Not only does it take a lot of patience to learn, but even more time for someone to teach, because I’m sure not all students learn in the same way! I’m usually a visual learner and hands on! However when it comes to knitting, I seem to struggle with the visual part! God knows all our struggles and weaknesses! He knew about Moses’ struggles in speech! He sent help through his brother Aaron! Moses’ struggles didn’t change what God had planned for him to do! God worked with Moses! God gives you all you need to do the purpose God called you to do! Nothing stops His plans! So, this has been an amazing challenge for me!
God brought me the right teacher because I needed someone to take me by the hand and willingly repeat each lesson, as I try again and again! It takes a lot more time and patience to teach someone how to knit, especially when you have to literally take them by the hand in each row like me! I’m thankful for God’s love, who takes us by the hand each day! Through my friend, a sister in Christ, I’m finally learning how to knit! I almost felt like it was too late for me to start because it takes so much time to learn each step. However, God reminds me it’s not too late! She is teaching me and encouraging me to keep practicing even when it’s hard! It’s not to late for you to have a relationship with Jesus!
While I think about how God brings opportunity for us to grow, we have to choose to take the steps to learn! We can think about everything we would like to do or look for perfect conditions to start. What we think about is being in idle, going nowhere except thoughts dancing around in your mind. Taking the first steps forward is hard for sure but as you keep moving you begin to grow. As I fumble through each stitch, I think about 1 Corinthians 13:13, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” It is through faith, hope, and love that leave an imprint on our future generations! We need to live out God’s love to pass on to each generation! My kids watch me struggle, they start asking why do you keep going? But, even in My mistakes along the way, God is leading my kids through my struggles as an adult! We need to be open to learn in all stages of life, especially to what God has for us to learn! We can’t learn something new if we’re not humble or stay idle! I’ve got a long way to go, especially when I made something that looked like a seahorse, when I tried to make a row! Even in the mistakes, we get stronger because you work through them! And the best part is the relationships that develop on the way! I’m now doing a practice knitting “creation” at home, and I sent a picture to my friend who is teaching me! I said, “I made mistakes” She responded, “Not a problem. Design elements” how encouraging can she get? Design elements! God has put his imprint on each and everyone of us! He lovingly places something unique in each of you! Your purpose is for His glory and he loves to see his children doing beautiful and special things for him that bring him glory! We are his masterpiece and our purpose can’t be filled by someone else because it is unique to only you!
Being a mom is a blessing and As I live out being open to learn more about God with my children at my side. We can learn so much from each other! I pray for Him to reveal himself and lead the way, because I make plans, but God is the one who establishes them! As I ask for him to keep me humble because pride can sneak into us all! If we don’t stay at Jesus’ feet we can get of course, we need Him to know which was to go! God gets our attention in so many ways, but we need to listen! God gets my attention through my children! So, they ask me why do you keep doing it if it’s so hard? So I thought for a while and wondered… I explain that through this life lesson, God is showing me it’s never too late to start something new that you have always wanted to do. The best part is through relationships with God and you sisters and brothers in Christ, we can experience God’s endless goodness! We are knitting in faith, hope and love in the body of Christ! As we bind them together, it makes a strong cord, a beautiful creation! We are not designed to be a single string wrapped up in a ball in idle! We are meant to woven together in unity in Christ! Because we are His beautiful creation! Hebrews 12:2-3, “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” It was the joy set before him that endured the cross! We are His! We get to understand in a deeper way about what Jesus has done for you and me, and what he continues to do for everyone. When he Knits us together, he knows ever part of you! He was thinking of all of us on the cross! Because of His unwavering love for us, he continues to work with us through our mistakes in life. Just like the mistakes I made in my knitting “creation”, I continued to carefully knit forward as I made a design element! He will continually take us by our right hand to show us as we abide in a loving relationship with him, leading us to which path to take for his purpose while bringing him glory with each step we take! We are his masterpiece and he cares for us! He knows the numbers of hair on our head and the thoughts he has for us are as numerous as the sand.
Today, I see God’s love through his creation in the flowers blooming before my eyes like I never had the chance to see all at once before like this! Because of our cleansing spring rain brought up beauty overnight and no goats to devour everything in sight! So, we decided today is the perfect day to set the butterflies free. So many beautiful flowers to choose from! My children were so excited to let them go! They ran outside near the woods and said, “mom there are more flowers then we ever have seen!” We waited so patiently for the butterflies to emerge from their cocoon, so it made sense to wait for the perfect time to release them into the big beautiful world! While we were waiting for the weather to change, they flew in the window. The weather dramatically went from warm spring to summer, and then to freezing cold going into winter! Frost even touched the garden and the plants barley escaped with their lives, because I couldn’t cover them all. Also, there were hungry birds desperately trying to get them through the window! So, as they lived a carefree life in our garden window, we fed them strawberries and flowers that grew in our indoor garden. We carefully picked the right time and place to set them free and far away from danger!
We can trust God cares for us as we continue living out our lives for Him! He will give you everything you need! It might not feel like God is carefully watching and caring for us, but we need to remember, God keeps all his promises and they are surrounded by his Son, Jesus! Psalm 121:8, “The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in From this time forth and forever.” God has perfect timing because all the days of our life have been written! He knows every step we will take, and has Constant loving thoughts for all of you! The thoughts he has for you are as numerous as the sand (Psalm 139:17-18)! I’m so thankful to hear these words! I need to hear them all day long! I write them on the tablet of my heart! Have you looked closely at the grands of sand? I really have tried to count the sand and noticed you can’t even see some of the grains of sand with your eyes! We can’t even begin to understand our own human understanding on how that is even possible! But we are not supposed to trust in our own understanding! Just as we search for God through our circumstance, we can see his outstretched arms stretch like a rainbow across the sky, giving all of us a hug! Sometimes we might be even in the rainbow and that’s why you can’t see it! His love and compassion for us exceeds anything we can even fathom! We can suddenly be lifted up and out of our situation or circumstance, just like how we took the butterflies to a safe place before the dangerous birds snatched them out of the window! Thankfully, the window was there to protect them and the butterflies were safe! Sometimes God might keep you in your situation to grow you as you trust him with your life! You are His child and he loves all of us deeply! (1 John 3:1-3)
We are light seekers in the storm, and as We prepared for the storm to come, we finally had to go inside! We saw the deep dark clouds brewing from a distance and knew it was a matter of time before we would hear the crack sound of the deep thunder with flashing lighting as bright as the sun! When we finally went inside, we heard the bang we had been waiting for this whole time! Hail and rain came down like a waterfall! I said “the storm is here” and all the kids ran to the window to see! When you build your life on the rock and have an abiding relationship with Jesus, we can have joy in the storm! As I abide in Jesus by holding onto his every promise, standing firm in faith even in the storm! I can trust in his perfect timing for my life because he loves me! He also loves you too! He loves us all the same! He gives you strength and peace as we work through our struggles in life, like a butterfly coming out of a cocoon or a chick pecking to get out of an egg! Alway hold onto hope in God because Hope in him is solid and it cannot be shaken! “Hebrew 12:28-29,”Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire”
1 Timothy 4:9-11 “This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.” The treasure only comes from pressure as we run the race. When you rely on God’s strength that has no measures you will grow to become more like Jesus! There are no limits with God!
Spring is here even in the midst of the cold morning! I’m making coffee and preparing for the day and looking outside to see what’s going on through the foggy window! Spring has arrived inside my house as flowers bloom and vegetables grow! The birds are flying in front of my window looking for an opportunity to snatch one of those beautiful butterflies right out of the air! But, even though they can see them through the window, they cannot touch them! With all the craziness going on outside, the butterflies live peacefully flying to one tomato plant to another without a care or worry in the world! God draws us in so many wonderful ways and when you truly seek him with your whole heart, you will see his outstretched arms working everywhere for good! We can have faith in the same way because we are rooted in Jesus as we abide in him and not the ways of the world world! We stand firm in faith because we are confident that God will never leave us or forsake us! The beauty all around us shows his endless goodness for us each day but you have to choose to look for it. He carefully watches over us and will not let His children be snatched out of his hands! We can live in the same peace and have the same joy that God gives us through the Holy Spirit as we drink in His every word like honey! Psalm 119:103-105, “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Drinking in every word God breathes Allows us to be consumed by his goodness that will overflow into others! We are aware of the birds of prey knowing the enemy prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour! The enemy is lurking around looking for dust like fear, anxiety, business, worry and others. But, you can’t be consumed because of who lives inside of you! We need to seek first that kingdom of God and his righteousness and allow him to lead us each day! You are safe in his protection and constant care! You are washed clean with no dust! You can live carefree and have faith knowing Jesus loves you more than any person in this entire world! God bless all of you this morning! 💗 😊
We woke up this morning freezing cold and wondered if it might snow! It felt like winter was on the way! ❄️ I huddled in the blanket with my daughter determined to stay warm! 🥶 I finally got out of my comfy chair and made coffee and it seemed to take forever! ☕️ As I waited impatiently for it to brew, I decided to look out the window hoping frost didn’t touch the ground! I didn’t get the garden completely covered and I had to replant the garden a couple of times because of naughty chickens! To my surprise, the sunflower that grew side by side with the tomato and basil plant bloomed into a beautiful sunflower! 🌻 I was so amazed that even on a freezing spring morning, God reminded us, Spring is near and we just need to trust God’s perfect timing! We need to be thankful in praising God without stopping! When we seek God’s in all circumstances and keep our hearts and minds fixed on him, we experience an overflow of joy that can’t be taken from us! I would have missed out on the sunflower this morning if I chose to look at things differently! I finally got my cup of coffee and as I slowed down, before the day began, God unfolds the day and even with spilling my coffee in my van on the way to a well child exam, I still drank half a cup!
This afternoon I sat down holding my daughter after her appointment and noticed a butterfly flying around the window! A bird that made its nest near the house, dove for the window trying to eat the butterfly! I’m thankful the butterfly was not only safe from the cold, but the hungry bird outside wondering if winter is near! It has been cold and so we were waiting patiently for the weather to warm up to set them free! 🦋 🌻
Stepping out by taking action to your faith in what God has for you, will change your life! 1 Peter 2:21, “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.” When you choose to follow in Jesus’ foot steps by allowing God’s word to flood into your life, it will expose lies from the world and reveal truth from the Spirit that you couldn’t see on your own! Instead of depending on what the world has for you, which is seen and temporary, you will lean/hold onto/depend on by focusing on what is eternal “unseen” instead of what is temporary! 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
1 Peter 2:9-10,”But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” We need to not only live this out in our own life but how we see and react to each other! We need to view people through God’s eyes! He loves All people and gave His life once and for All because He wants no one to perish! So, how we love God, is how we love each other! We need to see through only how God views love and not the ways of the world! Not on our own human standards or when it’s convenient to your lifestyle or expectations! But at all times! This is hard because most people truly desire to love everyone! It is a battle and this is why we need Jesus! I know most people know 1 Corinthians 13 about what Love is! However, when you really break down each part, and meditate on it! love is patient? Love is kind? It does not envy? it does not boast? it is not proud? It does not dishonor others? it is not self-seeking? it is not easily angered? it keeps no record of wrongs? Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth? Does it always protects? always trusts? always hopes? always perseveres? Love never fails and without love you are nothing Because it’s not that you love God but that he loved you first! 1 John:4:10,”This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” So, if you break down love! I think about what Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Also, what 1 Timothy 4:12, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” We need to follow Jesus’ footsteps, so we can live without conforming or joining in the patterns of this world! This world has so many things pulling us to the left and to the right and then your minds are full! Proverbs 4:25-27, “Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” It really does matter what we listen to, yes the beat is awesome, but the words are far from God or against him! Also, be on guard to what you watch on your phone, YouTube, movies ect.! God says to guard your heart above all else because everything flows from it! We need every word God breathes to literally filter everything we see or hear, to lead us to know exactly what is good! It’s a battle that we can’t win on our own! Philippians 4:8,”Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” So, our influences affect our thoughts, attitudes, moods, and reactions to each other! We need to be on guard because the mind and heart go hand in hand! It’s literally not when you feel like it, we need to love at All times! If we love God, we will love other people (All) as we love ourselves! We need to love ourselves by taking care of ourselves by what we allow in our lives!
Romans 15:5,”May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had.” God exposed lies with his radiant light! The Holy Spirit lives in you and will lead you in Truth! The twisted weeds that once tangled up inside you were rooted deep and took you to the ground! These held you down by embedded rock, strongholds. These strongholds made you feel weighted and held down like there was no hope! You pull each weed one by one all on your own, and everything just gets worse! Until the day you chose to believe in Jesus and accept his free gift for you that he paid for with his precious blood! You took action by taking a step out in faith because you believe in Jesus who died and rose again, trusting God who sent His one and only son because He loves you, who is not seen but everywhere all at once! You saturate your heart and mind with every word of God, your heart soaks in every living word, as it filters out the poison that once filled your veins! As the ground of your heart softens to receive this free gift that you could never earn on your own! Soon you will grow good seed that will sprout up and take root in your heart! The rooted weeds that fed you poison had lost its grip on you! The lie that was fed to you that God only helps those who help themselves have been exposed! You are are now rooted in God, His child! Colossians 2:6-7, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”
People who fed you lies saw love through what Jesus is doing inside you, as they reach up for the light too! The fear of failure that once snuck into your mind has been replaced with confidence from God! Failure is only when you give up!
Our family moved to North Dakota and found out we were expecting our beautiful ninth baby. I was away from everyone I knew and living in an unfamiliar place! We lived far away from the city and my husband worked far-away from home too! God opened the door for us to have a wonderful farm, and we loved our new place. However, I wanted to go back home where everything and everyone was familiar! All my children were born at the same hospital with the same doctor, so I felt insecure of the unknown! Anxiety and fear tried to get a hold of me! We ended up choosing a doctor right away. We chose one in Montana because it was a lot closer. I was uncomfortable and my new doctor wasn’t very nice to me because of his point of view on having children near their forties! My husband worked so far away too, so if I needed him it would take almost an hour and a half to get home. It was hard for me not knowing anyone, and he was gone for fourteen or more hours in a day with his new job!
God led me on an unforgettable journey where we experienced God moving mountains right in front of our eyes! One morning we loaded up the van to take me to my first doctors appointment! When we got there, we quickly filled up the waiting room. They explained that our family needed to wait outside because we were to many people. So I ended up sitting in the waiting room alone. When they called my name, I entered the room and like a flood, almost like a river, of endless peace consumed me, as I walked into office! There was so many nurses in the room! It almost felt like a room full of wolves ready to devour me! I appeared to be alone but I really was Not! When I look back, I can see how God guided me and gave me courage during this hard time! As I defended my reasons to trust God in my pregnancy, he gave me the words to say. I would not be able to say what I said without help! I felt like I was watching myself speak while I listened to the words I was saying! I would love to repeat them, but I can’t! The doctor and nurses were challenged in their belief systems, as I stood firm in mine! God has a plan for every child born! Jesus is the foundation I will not move from! I was in a pursuit for another doctor. But it was easier said then done! We lived so far away!
North Dakota was like a desert challenge as I experienced God’s overflow of his deep love and care for me and my family. 1 Peter 5:6-7, Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” They experienced God’s mighty hand taking care of us right in front of their eyes too! Being in North Dakota was like experiencing a quarantine away from everyone we knew! Our world was upside down and completely out of our comfort zone! The enemy was looking to devour. We seemed alone but we absolutely were Not alone! God revealed to me during this time about where do I put my trust? Psalm 20:6, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” I put my trust in God!
The garden is a familiar place for me and my family! I love to teach, explore and learn with my children. God reveals so much in the garden as we work together for one common goal! As we practice unity when we work together, I prayed deeply for God to show me what his plans are for us today? I prayed for God to search my heart, as I seek His will over my own! (Psalm 139) God would rewrite my lesson plans or added onto my day, as we follow our to do list! We experienced real joy and peace that cannot be taken from us. God’s goodness overflows throughout the day even in the struggles!
I thought about what Jesus often did when he went to pray! We did so many things while living there. We went exploring and fishing! Fishing was a big one for us! The kids chased toads and caught fish by hand. While exploring this new land we experienced struggles in our day. I called these obstacles learning opportunities! These are hands-on life lessons designed to build character through our walk with God! I taught my children that just because you have hard moments in your day, or even if part of your day is one challenge after another, it doesn’t mean the whole day is ruined! The feelings we feel in the moment cause us to think our day is ruined but it’s not true! We need to stop, breathe and pray so God can show us which way to go! If we don’t slow down and listen to the warning sounds our body tells us when we feel mad, sad, or angry, we will look to the left or right! Those are the ways of the world!Proverbs 4:25-27, “Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” If we ignore the warning signs and chose not to slow down, we might turn to the left or right which is the world’s way of handling what’s going on! As I talk to God through my feelings through the day, my kids see me working out my struggles with God! They see that I have feelings like them too but it doesn’t have to control you! We keep our eyes on the straight and narrow path looking toward the author and perfector of our faith! (Hebrews 12:2)! We are building endurance and perseverance through our trials and struggles, and to chose to keep going even when you feel like giving up! So, we work through each emotion like fear, anxiety and my hope is my children can recognize the warning signs as they practice good habits. I struggled through each feeling like fear and anxiety that sneaks in regularly on me! I watch a sermon from Real life ministries! I was flooded with comfort! It was a sermon about the Lord prayer! I deeply prayed!
There is always something God is trying to reveal to us during the day, we just need to humble ourselves and chose to slow down, pray and listen! Jesus’ disciples weren’t far away when He prayed! Jesus was only a stone throw away Luke 22:39-41, “Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed,” I’ve been told many times that every mom needs “me time” and thought “why”? I’m not saying it not true, it’s just I see it a little differently! Yes, we need “quiet time” but for me, it’s “Quiet time with Jesus”! But, more often as a mom of 8 with one on the way, quiet time is while I’m at play with my kids or watching them explore! I won’t want to change this because time is so short and they grow so quickly! Jesus said, a stone throw away! When we model this for our kids, they will see us praying no matter where we are! Jesus said, let the little children come and do not hinder them! It models exactly what we are teaching to them and that even adults need to slow down, pray, and listen to God! My kids will get excited when I ask them to pray after they asked me what I was doing! As I work in the garden with my children, or cleaning the house while praying at the same time! God will show you when you seek Him! You will find him because he is always near! As we cultivate our garden, he cultivates my heart while sowing good seeds in me and in my children!
God led me and my family on a spiritual journey. While working in the garden, stories I have read many times before in the Bible came alive right before our eyes! This is why no one can know all of the Bible even if you read it a thousand times, because the Bible is alive and active sharper than a double edged sword! Hebrews 4:12-13, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” We all are growing and need to continually soak in our hearts and minds scripture as he transforms our minds and hearts to be more like him!
The weather was so different, but we worked through the temperature ups and downs and even enjoyed a few blizzards and a couple of tornado’s! I never knew you could have dehydrated snow. It literally felt like you would get frostbite within five minutes of being outside. Our dog could not move when he ran off in the middle of a storm! We went on a search and rescue mission, because we knew he wouldn’t make it home! We found him not too long after he ran off, and he was frozen stiff! He could not move an inch! Then the next morning, it was sunny and warm like spring! Here’s a poem I wrote, “Bizarre blanket of beautiful dehydrated snow blowing bountifully in this unusual spring day, my children look forward to sinking there feet in the deep snow! The blizzard confines them but snowsuits, hats, boots, and gloves bind them so they can play! While chasing snowflakes with their tongue!The compactless snow leaves snow balls helpless because it’s packless! Each flake seemed like dust in the wind! With God’s outstretched arms his plan unfolds!” It was a snowy desert!
We were living in a rural area far away from all the convenience we were used to! We couldn’t get Starbucks or go to the store anytime we wanted something. Habits we once hand were gone! We didn’t have the convenience of purchasing soil to start our garden seeds because everything cost a lot of money! The dirt was like clay, and no trees were in sight except one, an awesome climbing tree that someone grafted many trees into one! God put this awesome tree in our yard for my kids to play in! My husband built our kids a treehouse where they spent a lot of their time!
We found some raised beds with workable soil to start our seeds. As we worked the ground with a pick axe and a hand held plow, the kids eagerly picked up each stone that we dug up. We love collecting rocks and most of them were regular rocks! However, we soon found petrified wood! I love rock lessons and this one was new! It was once wood but with time and pressure of life, it became stone! We are being built into a spiritual house, God molds us, we become living stones building up the church in unity together (1 Peter 2:1-2)! In Ezekiel 36:26-28, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God.” It was awesome! We eagerly worked in the garden for many weeks looking for treasure! My husband even got them a metal detector. They found so many things. We even found coal at different stages.
After the seeds grew indoors for awhile, and the plants were big enough, we slowly acclimated each plant to the garden! This process took a lot of patience because we had to bring them back inside! During this time, God showed me how our children are vulnerable to the elements (influences of the world), and we need to protect and guide them at different stages in life! Not hiding them or keeping them away from experiencing life, but helping them navigate by making wise choices! Yes, we watch movies and playing video games! They go to friends houses to play! Luke 2:52, “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” So, We need to train them up in confidence in their identity in Christ! We need to live out what good spiritual choices looks like and what we allow in our minds can hurt you! Philippians 4:8,”Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” They can grow strong, able to handle the elements of the world while enjoying all the blessings! Their strong foundation in Christ will be their launching pad in life! Proverbs 22:6, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Staring off in love is the best way to start! That God loves us all equally my sending his son for them too! John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” I hope they will truly grow knowing and believing God’s deep love for them! I desperately hope they grow not only knowing about God’s love but believing their identity in Christ, and how deeply loved they are! I pray for them as they grow and learn! As we live out our Love for God and each other not only in our families but our church family, they will see something the world cannot give! As they grow up, I pray for discernment over all the influences that seem to be getting louder and louder! I pray for them to have wisdom and understanding that only can come from God! I let them know that even though I’m an adult, I don’t know everything! As a mom, I pray for God to guide me because each beautiful child of mine in unique and different! So we break down the meaning of words written in the Bible and I ask them to ask questions! What does it mean, don’t let anyone look down on you because you’re young, and to set an example!!! 1 Timothy 4:12,Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” What does that look like for kids today? To set an example in speech, conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity? Also, what does it mean to guard you heart above all else? Because everything flows from your heart! It’s hard, and we need to love them through this, as we show them the right way to go! Life for our kids is not what it was like for us, so we need to step in their world without conforming to the patterns set up from the world! Romans 12:2, Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” We can’t stand over them looking down, we need to sit down on the floor with them so we can see! Through our journey as a family with our children, we hope they will see that Jesus is the cornerstone and the only sure foundations! That Jesus is the way, John 14:6, “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Who never changes like shifting shadows! If you put them out into the world to soon, the world will get a hold of them as it has no solid foundation! It will be harder to recover! They will make their decision one day, as parents we can’t choose for them on which path to take! But, it’s up to us to show them what way they should go! We are to love them by teach truth in love! It’s only God who does the work inside their heart! James 1:16-18, “Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.”
When the plants were ready, we kept the weeding up pretty good at first! Until one day, I fell and got hurt! I no longer could work in the garden like I did before and in a blink of an eye, the weeds took over! I went to the doctor and he was so hard like a stone and cold! He said you look fine and you know what your doing! I said, I’m here because there is something wrong! I’m doing my part by explaining to my doctor what’s going on, now it your job to find out what’s going on! He said, fine, I’ll check you blood! I really needed to find another doctor, but I didn’t have enough time! I could hardly had any energy and felt weak! I forced myself out and played while my kids as my body screamed No! My kids helped me and I taught them how to cook and more! Then suddenly, I get a call from my brother! He needs us to pick him up from the bus stop tomorrow! Wow! What perfect timing!
So, went back out in the garden! Our school projects was growing out there! We planted one hundred potato’s and sweet potatoes! They worked hard to till the ground for each potato! My boys tried to clear as much of the weeds as they could by hand, but as they pulled each one, two or three would pop up in its place! My girls tried to rescue their strawberries! So, we did our best to keep the weeds back! Each year God reaches down deep in my heart in the garden! This was where we experienced weeds in a deeper spiritual understanding! Gophers appeared to be near and little did we know, they never touched the veggie roots! Wow! These pests are worse then deer or rabbit! Jesus taught us many important lessons using the physical things in this world to teach us spiritually! The roots in weeds grow deeper in the ground then vegetables! So the gophers fed of the weed roots instead of our garden! If you want to remove weeds you need to go to the root which is deep! This takes a lot of work and usually big rocks are in the way while you dig! The sad part is, if you leave one piece of root from the weed, it will come back even stronger than before! Our best effort to remove them by pulling them out ourselves is useless because you would accidentally pull up good vegetables too! It might look good on the outside for a while, but in a blink the weeds are out of control! The sneaky little gophers did minimal damage compared to what I experienced with them in the past! The thought was poison, but we would poison ourselves too! If we poisoned them, it would destroy more than the weeds! So, what do we do when the plants are struggling to survive, and were being choked out by the weeds right in front of us? I couldn’t do anything physical so we came up with a plan! My boys were determined to figure it out! I loved watching them problem solve and even argue which idea is better!
My boys took several hoses running them like wires throughout the garden and left them running! I didn’t think about checking the water because my husband got the well up and running! We hoped watering the vegetables really good will help them grow, so we might get a harvest. The next day, we picked up my brother from the bus station! God will send you help in unexpected ways! He knows exactly what you need! It was close to the Fourth of July! My brother has a long time friend of my dad that he worked with for years! He recently move to North Dakota! He called my brother and he decided to come to our house to celebrate the Fourth of July! He bought fireworks that were “Downtown Spokane worthy!”The whole neighborhood was all around our home, as we lite up the sky with one explosion of color after another! What a blessing! I made so much food for everyone as my kids helped me serve and play! God showed up in amazing way, and we are truly surrounded by a cloud of witnesses to help encourage us to keep pressing on! Darkness can’t overcome when we come together as illuminating lights! My kids needed this just as much or maybe even more then we did! As the unplanned big block party ended, everyone cleaned up!
One day, my boys remembered the water running in the garden! They forgot about the water running because of our big surprise! God planned the big party and everyone is invited! All we have to say is yes! So, I got up early in the morning by myself to talk with God! I wanted to see how everything was doing. I slowly walked toward the garden and noticed every step was like stepping on a squishy sponge! My feet got stuck in the orange sticky mud! So, when I saw the snakes swimming in the lake of water, it scared me right out of my shoes! I was running barefoot in the orange mud. It was like clay you would use to sculpt! It reminded me of how we are the clay and God is the potter! Isaiah 64:8, “Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” As God molds me, I see how water is so important to flush out all the impurities and make the clay soft and mold able. The roots were able to seep deep down even if the weeds were there trying to entangle them and hinder their growth! Like the gophers in the garden looking for food underground, the enemy looks for someone to devour! We need to put on the full armor of God to withstand the devil tricks and lies of deseption With an overflow of water, the weeds lost their grip and could not take hold of the vegetable plants! The gophers were flooded out of their underground homes! Jesus washed his disciples feet from all the dust in the world, cleaning everything off that hinders them! The enemy slithers around and even tries to go underground only to eat dust! So when you put on the full armor of God and flood yourself with God’s living word, his overflow will flush our fear, anxiety anything that try’s to take hold of you like a weight! Jesus washes us clean with Jesus precious blood! I hungered and thirst for God’s living words and it’s like every step I took, His words unfolded for all of us to see! We realized the water had been running the whole time. Just like God’s love for us never stops flowing! His love will endure forever! Even if I turned off the water, God’s love never stopped! My boys rescued my shoes that were stuck in the mud! This touched my heart as how God cares for us deeply and will send help in unexpected ways. When I let go of control and allow God to work through my children, I had peace! Letting them take responsibility and trusting them to do it! There is freedom in letting go and letting God have the wheel! Even if the water was left on to long, God used it to reach and teach us. It took awhile for the water to completely absorb in the ground, and when it did, we eagerly went out wondering what we might find. We were treasure hunting! Just like how when we open God’s word eagerly searching and expecting for treasure to be found! All of what God says is true, when you seek Him you will find him, if you seek him with all of your heart!
The garden had grown a lot, and you no longer could see the vegetable plants in all the weeds. So, we tried weeding again! To our surprise, the weed roots slipped right off the veggies! The weeds lost their grip! The more we flood God’s living words in our life, sin and all that entangle us loses it’s grip! Then another blessing happened: the tall unusual grass turned out to be dill and garlic grew everywhere! When we wait on God’s perfect time, blessings will overflow! We had a beautiful spring harvest! Paul wrote an awesome illustration about the kingdom of heaven is like mustard seed. “God is preparing a huge mustard seed house for us in heaven and it took Jesus coming to earth to plant the seed.” (Matthew 13:31-33) I’m so thankful for what Jesus did for all of us, so we can go home to him!
God reveals so much to us in the garden! He is the gardener of my life. I just need to continue to allow him to completely search me as I trust his ways for my life! He causes the plants to grow, and if we recklessly removed everything out our way, we would’ve missed out on the blessing of garlic and dill! God’s living water will uproot the deepest roots of the heart that we cannot do ourselves! We may not be aware of the weeds that took root in our heart or the unseen gopher eating away at our life! Sometimes we might even grow to accept the weeds in our life, because we spent so much time working with and around them! We are unaware of what it’s going on inside of us! Some weeds are even beautiful and smell good, even when we know they can be poisonous! The poison twists truth and tells lies! It’s during the uncomfortable, fear and anxiety crept in! But, all I need to do is cast all my cares to God because his yoke is easy! I wasn’t strong enough on my own because I was hurt from the fall in my pregnancy! I surrendered my understanding and my ways and asked God to replace it with His! When I did this, he revealed the condition of my heart! The uncomfortable exposes lies and reveals truth! The lies were flushed away and truth came in like a flood! Through this flood, I saw everything differently! I knew I wasn’t physically doing good and that Jesus was carrying me! The doctor that once spoke unkind words to me, explained if I fall one more time it could be fatal for both of us! The doctors office couldn’t see me anymore because of my condition! There were no blood banks close enough! Instead of focusing on the storm, I kept my eyes on Jesus! Taking each thought captive and making it obedient to him! Even when day got harder, I chose to seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness! God’s Will be done in my life and my family! I kept my sight on everything ahead of me, while the less important things dissolved! He will lead me and all my family to safety! Letting go of everything and not looking back! Loving And Truly trusting God with All of my heart and all of my soul and all my mind and of my strength, and love my neighbor as yourself! Choosing to pick up my cross daily as I live out love and teaching my children which is such a blessing! Deuteronomy6:5-9, “5Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 and Luke 10:27, and Matthew 22:37-39)
As God picked our family up and moved us, music like Choir, Jars of Clay, David Meece, Twila Paris, Sixpence None the Richer, Choir, Michael W. Smith, Plum, Amy Grant, Petra and more, poured scripture in my mind and heart through song! This revealed how truly important it is to hide God’s word in your heart! These songs that I had listened to so many times were filled with scripture, and God spoke to me as I curled up in a ball, sitting in the passenger seat while my husband drove us back home! We never got to see the fruit of the largest garden we ever grew! Thankfully we have a beautiful spring harvest! But the spiritual fruit can never be taken away from us! God blessed us with our beautiful baby! It was more than enough reason to go back home! There is so much more to share! These unique life stories can go one way or another! I chose to follow Jesus and keep running the race and press on through the struggles! We are living stones! We are to share our stories with each other because we grow! We are God’s workmanship made in Christ Jesus to do good work set up for us in advance! When we really believe this is true, your world changes! We all are a work in progress as God molds! We are not finished until we are home with Jesus! I just need to keep holding on to Jesus and never let go! He carried us through and our beautiful baby was born early, he is healthy strong! We are so thankful for God’s love, mercy and grace! My oldest Son wrote a poem, “
Life on the Fence
Life on a fence
Is not living for God,
Is it living for you?
Is it living for others?
Life on the fence is no way to live,
Even though you can see both sides,
You have never choose to take any side,
Erynn sits on the fence,
I chose to side with God,
Walk away from the fence.
We are getting ready to make new calming jars using water, glitter, and water beads (orbies). You can add hard beads too for another added lesson. I use these to teach my kids about emotions! They will make their own jar to make it personal! The reason I find this idea so fascinating is because our children can learn from the stories they read and relate more to the people in the stories! It helps them learn more about their emotions through play! They can begin to understand more about compassion for other people and how other people feel too!
Let’s get started! It’s time to fill our kiddy pool with water beads for fun! I love bubbles and water beads because it makes learning exciting and fun! The love for learning is so very important! This is an amazing time to have brothers and sisters learn new things in play! I also like blowing Bubbles too! It’s a great regulation tool used to help my kids see a physical example of what’s going on inside them. When they feel frustrated, have them take a deep breath and blow lots of bubbles in the air. Every time they take a deep breath and blow out to make a bubble, helps them calm down. This fun exercise will help them feel better! My daughter likes to do this with gum, because she can’t take bubbles everywhere she goes.
I love using calming jars while reading stories to my children! They will use their calming jar for each character in the story! It’s especially awesome when reading bible stories to my children. It helps them see how each person in the Bible is real and had feelings like you and me! As they watch the glitter slowly settle to the bottom of the jar, have them talk or draw about what happened and why the person in the story felt sad, mad, frustrated, happy or excited! Letting them know asking questions are good! We talk about how in our life it’s better to talk about what’s going on instead of holding on to them!
Then, I brought in water beads in the story! You can touch and hold water beads, and all kids love them because they’re awesome! I love this tangible part of the story because they can see each color bead and touch them too! It’s a visual and physical way to help kids see and feel with their fingers what emotions look like while talking about what they feel like! They can use different colored water beads to name what happened to cause them to feel sad or mad in the story! Then I relate what’s going on to how they might feel in their shoes! When they feel sad, hurt, angry, confused, frustrated and more, they can easily see them by holding the water beads in their bands in hopes to talk about what happened. After shaking the calming jar, I remind them that emotions aren’t bad and getting angry isn’t wrong! It’s the action we choose to do with how we feel that can lead to consequence! When the glitter clouds the water, it’s harder to see (not sober minder or clear). The water beads dancing around in the jar but you can identify what happened yet! It’s because you need to be calm, so you can hear, see, and understand what happened. This is a good time for them to practice what to do when they struggle with their feelings by using their calming jars at home. For example, if your sister lost all your LEGO pieces after it took you a week to build a castle, or your brother took your turn when you waited for an hour to play! Another problem would be you got in trouble for something you didn’t do! What action you choose to do with your feelings can either be good or not! It’s an opportunity to practice good habits when you’re young, stop what you’re doing, breathe, and pray! I love to challenge my kids by blowing bubbles without popping a single bubble! They can’t even blow them away from the floor, which is a hard thing for kids to do. It’s an awesome exercise practicing love, self-control and patience which is a few of the fruit of the spirit! Galatians 5:23-24, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”This exercise is about not putting action to your anger! 1. Stop 2. Breathe 3. Pray, which means 1. Quick to listen 2. Slow to speak 3. Slow be angry! Most of the bubbles pop on their own, because they exercised listening to each other, and slow to speak! James 1:19, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” If they popped the bubbles that means they were quick to be angry or speak, which means they listened last! Anger is not a sin, but what you do with your anger can lead to sin! When we listen, we are being patient with each other! We love God and others by living out what God says! Luke 10:27, “He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.
As the glitter settles to the bottom choose to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to be angry! Most situations melt away as we become good listeners, and looking at each other as important as ourselves! Philippians 2:3,”Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,” Matthew 7:12,”So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” They can sit there and watch the glitter slowly settle down to the bottom of the jar! It gives them something to manage (holding jar) as they process their emotions. The water beads are a reminder that they need to pray and talk to God, their parents or trusted adults about what is going on to help you through things their struggling with, because we don’t have to do this alone! 1 Peter 5:7-8, If Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 8Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” It’s important you don’t ignore what’s going on, it could cause you to be quick to get angry and use words to hurt or hit and even punch! If it builds up over time, then it starts to get buried deep inside! It would become like the hard beads in the calm jar, if you chose to add them in!
It’s important to not ignore your feelings and to practice praying and talking about it! My kids love to draw and write out how they feel too! Ephesians 4:26-27, “In your anger do not sin” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” With my older kids, we talk about how we need to pray when hurtful words or thoughts try to invade the mind! Each water bead would be a thought or word that you line up to what God says about you. I read Psalm 139 and remind them how deeply God loves them! When you’re older it will be harder to work through unexpected things if you practice holding them in or ignore your hurt! It builds up inside of you and clouds your thinking over time! When the jar is cloudy, wait until you are calm to talk things out because it’s hard to see, hear or understand clearly when your feelings are cloudy like the jar! During this time, praying, thinking and talking about everything that happened while the glitter slowly settles to the bottom! This is a hands-on learning example on how our emotions can cause even adults to react either good or bad. Our reaction needs to come from a sound and clear mind when the glitter has settled to the bottom of the jar.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”
Does anyone feel in the waiting a sense/since of urgency to share what grounds you in your faith? It’s like a fire within that sets you in a constant forward motion! Jeremiah 20:9, “But if I say, “I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.” John 2:17,” His disciples remembered that the scripture says, “My devotion to your house, O God, burns in me like a fire.” My heart’s desire is for everyone to know and experience God’s love! We don’t know the time or the hour, so we shouldn’t live like we have enough time! We shouldn’t live like I can tell them tomorrow! We shouldn’t wait because tomorrow might be too late. No one predicted that the whole world would be shut down! God said. He will come like a thief in the night. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3, “Now brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.”
All the different perspectives when Jesus is coming, but truly what does God say? I read in Acts 17:11, “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” The Berean Jews were open and humble to Receiving God’s word and they were eagerly searching in scripture. We need to be like this eagerly open and searching in bible, so we can examine what we see and hear and learn from others and match up with what God’s word says! The more we ask questions and seek in God’s word, the more we grow and have an answer for the faith we have! 1 Peter 3:15, But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” No one will know exactly when Jesus is coming back except God himself. We need to be alert and sober minded and open! In Acts 17:11, The Berean Jews knew and were taught what was written! They were humble! We need to be humble too! 1 Peter 3:8, “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.God teaches us through sisters and brothers because no one knows everything.”
We need to remind our younger generation to hide God’s word in their heart so they might keep away from sin (Psalm 119:11) and to remember what the Bible says, 1 Timothy 4:12, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” God shows us everything we need to know because he loves us and draws us to him! How we live our lives as Christians says more than we can say! We need to have the same urgently to share the Good News in love, and stay united in him especially with our family and church family! Our loving father is pursuing the lost as we live out what we have been called to do by sharing the gospel!
We are missing five pieces to the puzzle but we are on a search and rescue mission to find each one! God has a mission for us! Luke 18:10, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” He is moving rapidly because he’s after every single person that he intricately wove together in your mother womb and made in his image! His deep love longs for none to perish! 2 Peter 3:8-10,”But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But, the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.”
He will keep urgently pursuing you until the last breath you take! He already loves you before the foundation of the world! Isaiah 55:6, “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.” He loved you already before the foundation of the world! Ephesians 1:4, For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love.” How awesome is that? He gives us a choice, because real deep love does not force love! He wants us to love him too! He carefully planted each of us where we are and wants us to be rooted in Him! Every person has divine appointments or meetings set up by God because he surrounds us with people who will love you and tell you the truth, so it will flush out all the lies that creep in, and replace it with your true identity in Christ!
You are His! “Masterpiece” Ephesians 2:10. “ For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Like a puzzle I bought for my kids! I was so excited to put it together! Not only did we have the front of the box picture, but it came with a poster too! Then In a blink of an eye. One of my little ones opened it too soon! The cover is missing and the poster was used for an art project! Several pieces were missing too! The kids said, we can’t do the puzzle now, it’s ruined!” They decided to throw it away! I said, God didn’t throw the world away because of all the people who are lost and in need of Jesus! John 3:16, “ For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Remember God’s promise, God will Never flood the world again! The rainbow is a reminder of the promise! Genesis 9:12-15,”I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.”
Yes, we can and we will find another way to put the puzzle together. Let’s try! We started organizing the pieces without the cover or poster to follow directions!” They worked together to put the boarder together first! Then we found other piece to a puzzle that didn’t match and seemed like it didn’t belong! It started to get frustrating! We knew we might have missing pieces but still hoped that the lost pieces could be found! Just like in the body of Christ, we work together in unity so everyone can know how much God loves them, God has a unique plan for each of us for a specific purpose only you can fulfil. No one can be your puzzle piece or live your life. God carefully planned your life already and it’s only for you and no one else. We can try to force pieces in place, but it will never work because love does not force it’s way on people like that! We need to love the way God does! (1 Corinthians 13) We can’t see God’s plan or the three dimensional puzzles like the direction on the box or poster! After, working to put the puzzle together without a picture, my husband got another puzzle with directions and said to us, we need God to led us in the right direction through the Bible and in relationships with each other, because on our own we will mix everything up and get off course. God gave us the Bible and the Holy Spirit to teach and guide us! John 14:26, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” We trust God with all of our heart and don’t depend on our own understanding! Every person we come in contact with, we are to love, live out truth, and share the good news. All of us are part of his plan, and he will do all he can to reach you, but it is up to you to open the door and accept free gift. Revelation 3:20,”Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”
The quarantine reminded me of a time our family moved to another state, I knew absolutely no one! It was hard for us! We desperately wanted to be a part of a church family again because we left ours behind! The only way we could go to church,as a family, was to watch church online! So many awesome sermons feed our family during this delicate transition in our life! Today, online services have blessed so many people!
We have a little garden in the window that showed us something new to think about. The plants in the window revealed what could happen if you’re stuck inside to long. My children continue to learn new things every year with me as we explore and watch each plant grow! It’s amazing how new things come to light each time we read God’s word! We grew tomatoes, basil and sometimes potatoes. This year we started with about forty tomatoes and only about ten made it! We’ve done so many learning projects as we discover new ways to grow food. In one of our observations, we noticed that something does happen to the plants when you keep them too long in their pot with lowlights in the window! They never grew to their full potential! Yes, you can get artificial lights and bigger pots, but as we dig in God’s word we learned you can’t grow and experience God fully unless you step out and establish relationships with your sisters and brothers in Christ. It’s God’s plan for us and it’s his design from the beginning!
We learn more of what Jesus taught in John 15! As we dig deeper in this story, it comes to light as we experience God’s word together in the garden! By talking about what we read and what we learned! We learn even more when we share our experience with our sisters and brothers! God is the gardener in our life and takes special care of each of us! Jesus is the vine! We need to stay connected to the vine and be rooted in God’s love through faith in Jesus! When we see and experience God’s goodness, like a plant desperately reaching for the sun! It looks like what God says, if you seek me you will find me, when you seek me with all your heart! Once we are rooted in God’s love for us, like healthy soil rich in nutrients for a plant, we are established as we grow deeper stronger roots in God’s love! It’s through faith in Jesus that we are established! So when storms come, we will not be moved! We can rest in Him as he works in us and around us!
During the process of transitioning out of quarantine, We have an opportunity to pray for each other like Paul did in Ephesians1 and 3! He prayed for All believers throughout all generations! That includes us! This is so powerful and deeply needed in the body of Christ! We need prayer and like Paul prayed for all believers to be strengthened through the power of the Holy Spirit! We need to pray for each other as we gradually step out of quarantine! Also, we need to pray for enlightenment in Ephesians 1:18-20, “8 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms” Like the plants in the window, we have been waiting as each stepping stone is presented to us! Keep praying! 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” As we pray continually through this, be patient with each other! Some people are jumping back in with both feet, while others are testing the water with their toes! Each step is a process, so we need to be sensitive to each other’s feelings and insecurities because a lot of fear swept over the news and social media! We need to remember in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” We need to make it personal to what is going on in our lives and our sisters and brothers! We need to remember the same power that raised Christ From the dead lives in you too!
Ephesians 3:16-21,”I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen!”
The most perfect gift we could give to someone is praying for them! We desperately need to be rooted and established in love, so we can experience God’s fullness that cannot be measured! As my son mesures each room of our house for new flooring, there is a stopping point with an exact measurement! With God, there is no limit, it goes on and on! His deep love for us has no limit! When we walk close with Jesus in our life, we grow closer to each other too! When I was reading this to my children! I asked them to hold out their right hand in front of them, that represents Jesus. Next, I asked them to hold out their left hand, that represents them. Finally, I asked them to clasp their hands together! I asked them, what does this look like to you? They answered, praying! As we spend time in prayer listening and reading God’s word, we grow closer in relationship with him! Colossians 3:1-4, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” They used their right hand for Jesus because he is seated at the right hand of God. We live our new life in Jesus, because he loves us and is our friend! John 15:14-15, “You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” Alway keep our hearts and mind on things above, then you will overflow with the fruit of the spirit! The Holy Spirit produces fruit and changes our heart as we are led by the spirit! Galatians 5:22-23, But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness and self control!” Through the power of the Holy Spirit that flows within us will strengthen our inner being! We will experience His deep love for us as we dig into his living word! The deeper we dig the more we discover as our lives reflect what God reveals in the Bible! Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. “ When you are alive in Christ, God’s plan unfolds inside your heart and mind as you step out in faith! When you step away from your old way of doing things by moving away from the window, and step into the light, you will see things differently! You will be rooted and established in God’s love! The power that comes from the Holy Spirit will strengthen you as you come together with your sisters and brothers!
The garden window is in need of constant care because it’s inner well being is weak! Our inner being can grow weak like the plants in the window if we’re not careful. 1 Thessalonians 5:13-14, “And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” We need to support each other by being the salt and light during this difficult process. Just like we noticed each vegetable plant needed something extra to keep them growing, because it’s roots were in smaller pots in shallow dirt, and they couldn’t grow any deeper! They were idle and not going anywhere! They were weak because they didn’t have enough sun! They adjusted to the shallow pot and growing weaker instead of stronger! No matter what, they were not able to grow deeper roots in the ground or reaching higher up to the sun! We fed them plants food, and they started to grow taller and green! Then beautiful yellow flowers grew on each branch but right when I thought fruit would grow, the flowers wither and die! They didn’t produce any fruit in the window. They didn’t have enough inner strength to keep going all by themselves. They didn’t have a relationship growing with other plants experiencing life in the sun where honey bees Swarm! Their life was drained! We need each other to pray, encourage and support each other, so no one is left stuck or idle. If we wait for perfection to start, it might not ever happen. Ecclesiastes 11:4-6, “Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap. As you do not know the path of the wind or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things. Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.” Also, we don’t want to get comfortable with the convenience by depending on online! It will be like getting a bigger pot for your plant! The soil is full of everything that is temporary and the nutrients will run out! It’s tempting to turn on the phone or Tv to watch church, however we need real relationships with each other! If we just sit and do nothing, we can’t grow. If we wait for perfect timing or for the conditions to be just right, we will never do anything at all!
Slowly, we acclimate each plant outdoors where they grew deeper roots strong enough to hold themselves up! It was rough at first because the plants might look worse than before. Yesterday, We put our tomatoes outside to harden them for the garden, and we accidentally left them out all night! The weather hit them hard and they lost most of their green color and were limp! We quickly brought them indoors and hoped they would slowly come back. When we transitioned our plants carefully outside, we usually add support as they develop strong branches to support fruit. We need to do the same each other as we take each step out of quarantine, we have masks, six feet apart, take temperatures, wear gloves and follow all the protocols to ensure everyone is safe! 1 Thessalonians 5:11, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” For us to experience God’s overflow that can’t be measured, we need to be rooted and established in love as we walk in relationship with Jesus! Talking out our struggle and praying for each other along the way! Ephesians 3:18, “may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,” we need to take hold of all God gives us through relationships! We will experience how wide and how long and high and deep through sisters and brothers in the body of Christ! It is more than we can imagine. Just like how we Gradually take each plant outside, and with love and patience, you will begin to see the beauty from within and grow beautiful yellow flowers again that will produce a harvest!