Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Garden of My Own!

To put together all these analogies of seeds, cultivating, Sonlight and watering, I had to do some research on gardening. As long as I can remember my mom had a garden, in Pennsylvania the garden was always big with rows and rows of all varieties of vegetables. Most of my family have began gardens in their backyards. So I felt it was time for me to have one of my own.

Now, I know better than to do anything too big, as I am not what I would consider to be a "gardener" but I have always loved the thought of having an herb garden. So as I contemplated this very serious endeavor I realized I must call an expert. My local expert is my friend Cindy, also known as Meems at www.hoeandshovel.blogspot. Cindy has the most beautiful garden in Florida, it is Better Homes and Garden quality. So I called my expert and asked for help with putting together a little herb garden. She was very gracious and did not laugh at the thought of my doing any kind of garden and suggested we meet at Lowes to get what we needed.
I have to say I was having a bit of a hard time keeping my expert focused on my little project with so much "garden" stuff to look at, but she really did try. :) So I followed my expert around the aisles of Lowes "garden center" gathering the supplies....A big pot, potting soil, and then the big decision....which herbs to buy. Now keep in mind I am starting small. I must make sure this little herb garden lives before doing more.
My expert suggested a few of the better herbs I may consider, for the pot space I had and that I use the most. We then loaded up the cart to buy our supplies.
At this point I am really getting excited about my garden. I'm serious! We then went to my car and put the garden together....I told you it was small. :)

We (I say we but my expert demostrated this for me to show me the proper way to do it so I could do another if this one lived) started with putting newspaper on the bottom then potting soil over the paper, next we took our herbs and gently opened up spaces for them, finishing with a covering of soil. My expert brought some special potting soil to mix in.
As you can see the finished product is beautiful. I have had my little garden now for 4 days now and it is thriving. I made lasagna today and told my hubby, " I am going out to the garden to get some parsley for my lasagna!"
I think I heard him laugh but chose to ignore it. I was beyond excited to snip my own homegrown parsley for my dinner.

All the gardeners in my family were very encouraging when they saw my herb garden. It really looks so pretty in my porch. Not only was this just alot of fun to do but it again reminded me how much what we do in the natural has so much of a spiritual application. I am becoming disciplined in keeping my soil free from weeds, providing full sonlight everyday, watering everyday and keeping the pests out both in my natural garden and my spiritual garden.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Water Everyday and Keep the Pests Out!

As I was journaling my experience with my little plant and applying the principles to growing a "seed of hope" in your heart.  I realized that after cultivating the soil of your heart and exposing your seed to full Sonlight, there was another discipline that had to happen for the seed to grow.   I had to remember and discipline myself to water my seed everyday.  

Ephesians 5:26 says, "they were washed with water by God's Word"  The Word of God washed and purifies our mind and our heart.  I keeps our seed of Hope growing.  This water is needed everyday for our seed to grow into a strong, deep rooted plant, for our hope to be strong and weather the storms of life.

The last discipline every good gardener knows has to happen to protect our seed we must keep the pests out.   In a natural garden, these are the various bugs that will attach to the leaves and eat them, destroying and harming the plant.  In the garden of heart where our seed of Hope is growing the pests are the Negative thought and attitudes that can show up overnight and begin to destroy our Hope.  We must be constantly on guard against these pests.

Our Hope will many time be a place of waiting, sometimes the waiting is for a long time.  Here are a few principles to think about as you are keeping your Seed of Hope growing in a time of waiting:
  • Hope comes first, then builds our Faith.  Hebrews 11:1
  • The enemy can never take away your Hope unless you let him.
  • As we are waiting God will renew our strength.  Isaiah 30:41
  • Hope is having a positive attitude no matter what is happening because...Romans 5:5
  • Be happy while you are going to wait anyway.
So in Conclusion, while you are growing a Seed of Hope in your heart, whatever your circumstances may be:
  1. Make sure the soil of your heart is soft, free of weeds and rocks and sprinkles with the Fruit of the Spirit.Galatians 5:22,23
  2. Provide Full Sonlight everyday by spending time in fellowship with God. Psalm 63: 1-8
  3. Water everyday!  Everyday spend time in the Word of God.  Joshua 1:8
  4. Keep the Pests OUT!  Negative thought and attitudes will destroy your Seed of Hope. Keep positive in your words, attitudes and behavior no matter what circumstances surround you.  Romans 5:3
BECAUSE........Romans 11:33

Monday, March 23, 2009

Must Have Full Sonlight

After we have "Cultivated Our Soil" we now must continue to add good elements to the seed for our "Seed of HOPE" to grow. The next and one of the most important elements is the "SON" . Many plants like sunflowers need FULL Sonlight, and I believe to really create a healthy "Seed of HOPE" in our heart, especially during difficult times, we must have "FULL Sonlight" everyday. Sonlight for our Seed of HOPE is, of course, time spent in the presence of God and sitting at the feet of Jesus.

Day 2 of Journal - Looking for growth of my seed but only seeing dirt. For my seed to grow I now must be consistant and disciplined in provided Full Sunlight to my little seed. I wish I could see something but I know underneath the soil my seed is growing - I just have to be patient and have faith. Hebrews 11:1

There are many ways to Provide Full Sonlight to our Seed of Hope:
  • Prayer - Thanking Him, telling Him what is on your heart, praying God's Word
  • Reflection - Journaling, taking a walk while praying and meditating on the Word
  • Listening - Just being quite or listening to worshipful music
  • Examining - With great honesty and humility to ask God to reveal to us of any weeds, rocks or hardness in our hearts that we have missed or have grown up without our realizing it.
Do you have any ways of keeping your Seed of Hope in Full Sonlight (spending time with God) that I did not mention?

In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait in expectation. Psalm 5:3

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Growing Your Seed of HOPE

As I was preparing the teaching for the Extreme Makeover Conference we did last week I knew God had put on my heart to use the analogy of a seed growing to explain and illustrate how God grows the Seed of Hope in our heart. This is especially important during time of extreme hardship and trials. To continue in those difficult times in life to add the elements into our life and spirit that is needed to grow the hope that comes from God and His Word.

So as I was preparing my teaching, I called a dear friend that has a gift of creating illustrations and as always she gave me some amazing ideas. Thank you Jayne for your help and creativity that I know comes from God.

She suggested that I get little $1 grow kits that I could pass out for all the ladies to have their own little seed to grow and for me to grow mine ahead of time to experience the process of waiting for a seed to grow. I have many good friends and family members who do gardens and I know they are all cringing at the thought that I - the most ungarderner person in the world is being used to use a planting illustration. :)

Well, it has been an amazing experience and has so connected me to the thought of growth in all areas of our lives. So I want to share some of my journaling as I waited for my seed to grow and compared it to the growing the Seed of Hope in our lives:

Day 1 - I prepared the soil for the seed.. the soil is our heart and the seeds are given to us from God. But we must prepare the soil of our hearts for the seeds to grow. The preparation of soil is up to us to do. How do we cultivate and prepare the soil of our hearts?
  • We break up the hard ground - this could be Anger, unforgiveness or bitterness. Our soil must be soft for the seeds to grow
  • We remove the weeds and the rocks - this could be discontent, complaining and Pride. These weeds and rocks will keep our seeds from growing.
  • We add fertilizer - some of the best fertilizer is in God's Word -The Fruit of the Spirit - we need to add into the soil, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, self-control.
Our soil is now ready for our seed to begin to grow. As I planted my seeds (8 of them) (God gives us lot's of seeds) in the good soil I had to cover them with more soil. I could no longer see them but I knew they were there and now the waiting would begin.

Now if all I did was plant my seeds in the ground and did nothing else they would not grow. Next post we will talk about the elements that are needed for our SEED OF HOPE to grow into a strong, deep rooted plant.

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:22-23 (New Living Translation)

To see more pictures of the Extreme Makeover Conference go to my website at and click on Extreme Makeover Box then click the album.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

And HOPE does not disappoint us......

because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom He has given us." Romans 5:5

My heart is filled to overflowing!  My HOPE was not disappointed this weekend....our Extreme Makeover Conference was yesterday and although not surprised but always amazed God did great things.  I only have a few minutes this morning but I had to just give praise to God for being the awesome, faithful God of provision that He is!

As always when I do something that God is part of - I was given more than I gave.  I had the opportunity to teach on "Growing Your Seeds of Hope".  I have spoken at other conferences and ladies meetings throughout the years but this time was different.  The message God gave me was straight from His heart to mine born out of my own personal experience.  God has taught me to keep my HOPE alive when all my circumstance are telling me to give up and He gave me a very clear message to give to encourage and build HOPE in others.  

I am not a great speaker in my opinion but when God takes over it doesn't matter what you are or are not it will be good and effective because it is Him that is doing it and that is what He did at this conference. 

All the speaker were such a blessing, as Carolyn spoke on Softening your Heart, Charlyn taught us how to create a beautiful image both inside and out, Cathy encouraged us to have courage in taking new steps in our life and Kathy gave her testimony of God's unending love and provision.

I will write more tomorrow and put a few other pictures up.  Again, I just want to thank my Father God and Savior and Lord Jesus Christ for all that was done in the natural realm and in the spiritual realm and continue to pray that He will touch, encourage and give HOPE to all who attended the conference.

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."
 I Thessalonians 5:11

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Computers and Relationships

So you may be wondering what do computers have to do with relationships?  Is it because we spend so much time on them we neglect relationships?  Well, yes that is true but that is not what we are going to talk about today in this post

I am actually writing this post in reference to an illustration my hubby gave me.  I really hate the fact that he came up with this and not me.  It's really good......but he is good at thinking about stuff like this as he has a very detailed, analytical mind. 

Well, here is his illustration and I think if you are struggling with a relationship in your life especially one you really care about it may give you some hope.  

Relationships are like computers that over time, even the best of them, can get a little corrupted - too many programs being dumped in, not enough space left, sometimes a few viruses sneaking in without us knowing and after awhile the system just freezes.

In relationships the programs may be boundaries that have gotten blurred, the space problems could be busyness that has broken down communication and quality time spent together.  The viruses may be the little resentments, offenses that begin to accumulate over time that are never dealt with.

In these situations it is not obvious problems, but just like a computer after awhile they all begin to affect the functioning of the computer or the functioning of the relationship.  It really isn't any ones fault - it just is the natural progression of busy lives and people just being people, good people, people who love each other. 

Then the freeze happens.  The screen won't move, panic sets it.  What do we do?  Do we throw out the computer and get a new one?  Do we go to a repair shop and get advice on what to do next? Do we just ignore it and hope it starts to work on it's own????

Well, the best thing to try to do is to reboot the computer.  When we reboot sometimes the programs change slightly and work differently - sometimes a reboot will refresh programs.

In the same way, occasionally even the best of relationships need to be rebooted, to refresh and clean out any viruses, boundary problems or priority problems.  In many cases, a reboot can actually, over time, improve the functioning of a  relationship just as rebooting improves the functioning of a computer. 

That part is up to us and how we choice to react, forgive, let go and reengage into the relationship.   The end result can be better, healthier boundaries, letting go of past offenses and resetting of our priorities.   The end result can be a relationship that is even better and more enjoyable than before the corruption came in.  

Although his "Sanguine" wife embellished this a little I think my "Melancholy" hubby did a great job of coming up with this illustration.

Romans 12:18 (The Message)

 Don't hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you've got it in you, get along with everybody. Don't insist on getting even; that's not for you to do. "I'll do the judging," says God. "I'll take care of it."