What We Don’t See

third anniversary 132I’ve spent a bit of time gardening.

I’m not a pro, by any stretch, but I love being outdoors, basking in sunlight, tidying up my yard and giving plants a new home. And yes, I talk to God, plants and animals while I’m at it.

But mostly I listen.

God speaks to me outside in the garden. Maybe like he did with Adam and Eve in the beginning? Or the way Jesus spoke to his disciples as they traveled through the countryside, breaking off heads of wheat to eat along the way.

I’ve learned some solid truths in the garden. Here are a few:

  1. There are seasons or cycles of growth.
  2. Seeds are “dead” when you plant them, but they hold life.
  3. We can’t see a root system, only the plant the roots support.

When we’re taking our life forward, we can apply these truths to our journey as well.

  1. Each season has its purpose even if it looks like nothing is happening. When we plant a seed, we see dirt for a number of weeks. We keep watering, having faith the the seed will eventually push a little green shoot out from under the dirt. If we stopped watering then, that tiny seedling would die, but with care, the plant becomes larger until it grows enough to support flowers or fruit in the next season. Usually, as is the case with fruit, we may have to wait years while the plant develops before it is ready to produce fruit. In fall and then winter, many plants die or go dormant. We see dead branches, but new seeds drop to the ground in preparation for spring. Plants store up nutrients and rest for the coming growing season. What season is your life in right now?
  2. We planted some lemon seeds from lemons we used. I didn’t expect them to grown, but I have two thriving plants now after a couple of years. What seemed dead to me, has brought forth life and I expect, eventually, good fruit. The Bible tells us that unless a grain of wheat dies, it can’t produce life. Maybe you have a dream that has died, or a relationship. Is it possible that God is still going to bring life from something that seems dead to you?
  3. When I lived on the coast in California, I learned that the redwood forest has one huge root system all connected to each other. Who knew? Unless you study trees, how would you? We see the massive trees, but we don’t see the roots. Underneath the dark ground, a crucial part of the tree (or any plant) develops to sustain the growth above it. I recently read an amazing book, Rooted by Banning Liebscher, that gave me this new perspective on the behind-the-scenes work that God orchestrates in our lives. When we can’t understand why his promises or the visions he’s given us aren’t coming to life, perhaps it’s because he’s creating a root system to support them. Where do you see areas in your life that seem halted?

Moving ahead in life isn’t without detours, long waits in road construction lines or tragic accidents along the way.

Life happens.

But I choose to believe that God is at work even when I don’t see or understand. Even when dreams look dead to me or fruit hasn’t shown up yet. He promises that he has good for us, a future for us and that EVERYTHING will be used to bring us good.

How is your garden growing my friend?


Deposits for Life

Regardless of whether the first, second, third (or…) person we meet online is Mr. or Miss Right, the experience of putting ourselves out there constitutes a journey of personal growth and awareness. Relationships teach us about ourselves and equip us to love others; to discern what fruit we observe both in their lives and ours; and to uncover what type of person fits with us.

Each person I met online left me with something. I hope the same proved true for people who came in contact with me. What did I deposit into their lives? Hope, beauty, encouragement, my love for Jesus, and a prodding to seek Him more deeply for themselves? I pray so.

I came away with a deeper conviction that I am smart, beautiful, fun, intelligent and great company. I learned about different states, countries and cultures. My mind swims with the information I gleaned about truck driving, snow, fine wine, old barns, photography, and moonlight. And that was even before I met my brilliant husband!

One important hind-sight lesson I can confess to is this: each man that I found interesting appealed to me because of just one or two characteristics. One guy had a great sense of humor, another wrote beautiful emails, one man showed wise business sense, and still another was well-read and intelligent. I liked each one initially because of a particular trait that drew me to him. Yet, within a short time, I felt an overall lack of interest – probably on both sides. But when God revealed Brendan (my husband), I felt as if I were opening a never-ending stack of Christmas presents! He possesses ALL of the great qualities that I had admired, and then some.

Obviously, I can pass that on now, after the miraculous meeting and marriage, but if someone had told me that my Mr. Right would be all that and more, maybe I would have waited more patiently while wading though internet suitors…or maybe not.