Grandma was a gardener. My earliest memories of she and my Grandpa are of us in the dirt together thinning carrots, me making sure those tiny roots did not lay in waste. . . .and of my sister and I demolishing a years crop of Strawberries together.
She spent hours in the garden, not through hard toil, but through the walking of it, in the morning and throughout the day. I have found my most pleasant times have been walking the property with a pair of clippers and a little hoe, clipping here and there, uprooting this or that, mending and fixing.
Here on the coast we have been re-introduced to the over exuberance of plants to grow – especially in areas that you would prefer order – and of blackberries, ivy and holly that would like to take over an entire yard. My neighbor came over to show me how to clip the blackberries, below the ground level, pulling back the top layer of skin of the root shoot, spraying it once or twice with a root killer, telling me that I might need to do it again in September.
Weeds and their direct thought to life and self control and discipline and training have always been a pondering thought as I walk the isles of the garden. Knowing that sometimes a well known offender, easy to spot, like the blackberry, must be dealt with immediately. Other new crops of flowers need to cultivate just a bit to see if they are a “flower growing where you want, or where you don’t want” to know if they are a flower or a weed. Pulling them before they go to seed.
I turned on Facebook again yesterday. I have prayed with my Lord and shared with my friends, the seeds of flesh that have produced soft little cute shoots – of pride, fleshly emotions, laziness, discontent, covetousness, competitive spirit, apathy, tolerance of sin in others – and the list goes on. The little crop was not in the state of a vacant field completely amassed with over grown briars in need a a bulldozer, but of little blackberry shoots, long underground, peeking out among the Lavender, Roses and Forget-Me-Nots.
After a couple of months of learning to use FB to best be a tool for me, and not a vehicle for the flesh – and taking a 3 week break of deleting my account – I feel that it is time to jump back in.
One thing I have found is that the society as a whole, for those who live next to a computer, has shifted in the mode of communication. People really seem to have no way to communicate save the Facebook Status Update. Phone calls, time to write, individual emails – seem to be an forced intrusion more than intentional conversation. After weeks of reading in the word and on line and in books confirmation that my FaceBook hiatus has been what the Lord’s will for me at this time – This morning I read a passage in Romans – specifically in Chapter 12 -
6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
9 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection,[e] and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.[f] 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!
17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
And I am reminded that in my gifting of writing, teaching, encouraging – that it needs to be my focus – no matter what the persecution is – to stay focused on the growth – the encouragement – and the teaching – the hospitality – and not on the spewing of those not living a life in sacrifice for my Lord.
Pray for me? Especially if you are a friend – still reading this long drawn out post – interrupted by dogs, and children, and husbands going to work – if you can make sense of anything that I have poured out in the typed keyboard – if you can sense my heart -
Pray that I will continue to cut down the roots of the sin of my fleshly responses – that my garden of fruit and flowers will grow abundantly, that there will not be room in the soil of my heart for sprouts that need not grow there. That the Holy Spirit will speak to me, gently and kindly, helping me to know what He wants me to share of our lives, and what might be iddle chatter or prideful delights.
I have enjoyed this journey of transformation in my own heart, this spring pruning time. Thank you for hanging in there with me and my prattling ponderings. :)
Pics from my garden as a reward for reading this much junk?