Tag Archives: spirituality

Do not worry

Our cucumber vines have dried up. The tomato bushes are yellowing, the zucchini plants may still be green but there are no more blossoms. The yield from the garden has just about ended. Yet there are still a few vegetables I am hoping will ripen. It’s time to take out the summer garden and bring in the fall plantings but I hate to give up on those last few plants. Come on tomatoes, I rooting for you.

God, it’s hard to look at the things that need to change in my life, I seem to want to want to hang on, hope for, or struggle with things just a little longer. Clothes that no longer fit, but maybe someday will again,books I long ago read that maybe someday I will get to again, files, papers, projects I long ago forgot about. And then there are the things I should leave alone, my habits of over committing and pushing myself to exhaustion.

I do not like to give up. I don’t easily let go. Give me just a little more time with it – I can figure it out.    I know God…this is a control issue, a trust issue. You know the saying, I memorized in my childhood – if it’s to be it’s up to me.

Our son started college this past month. I thought I was ready for years to have him out on his own. But when the day came it was tough to let go. I wanted to share a bit more advice. I wanted to hug him a little longer. I wanted to hold on. Somedays its a challenge not to call, to ask “how are you doing?, Everything ok?”

I don’t trust that You are up to something even greater in my life and that I need to let go. I need to make room for something new.

Jesus gave us these words in Matthew 6, 25-34.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 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. (Matthew 6:25-34 NIV)

My life story has been one of change, living in 5 different states, many different jobs, different careers. I have been divorced and remarried. I have walked close with God and at other times wandered away. I have worried many times, felt lost, broken. Yet looking back, my life has been blessed. I adore my wife of 23 years and our two kids who are finding their way as young adults. I have a job I really enjoy. Though there have been trials, God is continually good. There have been rocks in my garden soil and days without rain, but those are expereinces that have taught me to be a better farmer.

cultivating 4

You have blessed me Father. So why do I struggle with trust? I know who it is that whispers doubts in my ear. I am wise to this script. So why do I still struggle. I dont have all the answers, I am thankful for the feeling that reminds me to continually turn back to You. Maybe it’s the discomfort that reminds me I am not complete on my own. I cannot turn it off or wish it away, but I can surrender to You. I can continually turn to you, cry out to you, submit to you.

And when I do I hear the words “Do not worry…”

 

 

chicken behavior

I was out in the yard recently trying to repair a few broken rafters in one of the out buildings. An ice storm last spring dropped a pine tree on the roof and I was finally getting around to replacing the broken wood and damaged metal. Our outbuilding is home to our chicken coop with 6 barred rocks and 5 australorps. As I worked among them I noticed that these chickens were never still. They were constantly scratching the ground , pecking at the disturbed earth. They chased each other, competing for bugs and other treasures. One australorp seemed to have a beef with me, following me everywhere, constantly cackling, yet she never wandered too far from her friends-her family. I realize my chickens can be like me.

What is it God that makes it hard to be alone? What causes me to want to be so busy? What is the discontent that leads me to chase things? Is this so I don’t feel the emptiness in my stomach?

Its the feeling of being incomplete, not being whole, judging there might be something or someone missing?

These are the feelings that remind me I yearn for You God. These times call me to connect with You. But it can be a struggle. I have to restrain the uncomfortable boy, the incomplete man who wants to find something to do. I have come to recognize there is within me a desire that yearns suppose just by observing them I’m giving credence to the latter. I am not surrendering to the busys.

When I am still I can sit and dream about being in Your throne room. There, God I find the true peace that soothes my heart. I find wholeness. How I long to just sit in the corner of Your throne room, my back up against the wall and enjoy the splendor of being in your presence.

chicken 1

Don’t let me be chicken.

One Yellow Leaf

leaf

One single yellow leaf hangs in a sweet gum tree amidst a forest of green in our yard. It’s a sure sign that autumn is not far off. I don’t want summer to be over. After all, it’s only mid August. I like the growing season, the long days, the sun waking me up before 6:30 am. I remember feeling this way back in elementary school, wishing summer would go on and on.

Yet one yellow leaf reminds me that nature is already preparing for change. And as I look around the yard there are other signs. The spiders have been active, there are webs everywhere. A couple of the chickens have started to moult, losing their feathers before growing newer ones for winter. God created life with the ability to adapt and accommodate change. His creatures announce change even before it occurs.

Sometimes I don’t like change, I dislike the shorter days of winter, I liked Windows version 7, not version 8. I dislike a separate app for Facebook messenger, I like eating, I dislike gaining weight. I like staying alive but dislike the impact of age on my stamina, my eyesight, my balance and my digestive system.

Yet as a child of God, I too am equipped to walk through the seasons, the changes in life and prosper. I remind myself again – I am already equipped by God to handle change. What I have noticed about nature, about plants and animals is that they do not try to deny that change is coming, they don’t hide from it. They prepare and they embrace. The spiders are catching more food, the dogwood trees are developing berries to scatter seeds.  And the sweet gum tree is preparing to let go of things it no longer needs.

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God, you who know all things knew that man would encounter many changes in life. You who created the birds of the air and the flowers of the field and equipped them for change, have also equipped me for change. As I walk through these seasons I want to embrace the changes that life brings. I want to prosper. And I want to watch and celebrate the beauty around me that You created as it changes.

Cultivate

cultivating 3

Cultivate

  1. a. To improve and prepare (land), as by plowing or fertilizing, for raising crops;till.       b. to loosen or dig soil around (growing plants)
  2. To grow or tend (a plant or crop).
  3. To promote the growth of (a biological culture).
  4. To nurture; foster.
  5. To form and refine, as by education.
  6. To seek the acquaintance or goodwill of; make friends with.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


 I’ve been challenged for a few months to begin blogging about journeying with God.  I’ve delayed because of fear – “who will read this”, “how will they react”, “what if I am no good “. And the answers I continue to get are “Do not worry, you are doing this to honor Me, no one else”.  I recall Moses telling God he was not a gifted speaker, and God replying  “I will go with you…I will teach you what to say”.  I am not comparing myself to Moses. I am no Moses, but humbly reminding myself that scripture has provided an answer.
I love to grow things flowers, plants, vegetables and chickens. I enjoy seeing people grow.  I am excited to see what God does in people’s lives when we invite Him in.  Plants can grow without care, but the outcome and the harvest are so much better when the soil is cultivated. They thrive when we loosen the clods, water the dirt, and add nutrients.
Seeing this,  I want God to cultivate me.  That is what this space is about; cultivating  plants, cultivating people, watching and interacting with God as He cultivates me.

 

God I invite You to:

  •  improve and prepare me and this space, to plow or fertilize us, use us for raising Your crops
  • loosen or dig soil around me and around this space
  • grow or tend me and this space
  • promote our growth
I ask you, my heavenly Father to  nurture and foster me; to form and refine me; to seek my acquaintance and to make me Your friend.