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Gardener Needed - Part 2

Planting in Good Soil

Waiting to plant flowers each Spring requires so much self-control for me.


I have to avoid garden centers at all costs.


Because, there's a time for everything - a time for pulling and a time for planting.


After pruning the roses in March, I was eager to start planting. But in Oklahoma, you have to be patient. Spring means new life but it also means storms and maybe even a late freeze. Planting too early would be detrimental.



Living It Out

That wasn't the only reason for I had to be patient this year.


The first weekend of March, I was given the opportunity to spend time with a great story teller and encourager. His name is Bob Goff. If you haven't read his books, put that on your summer bucket list. Shoot, even if you have, they're worthy of round two or three!


Having finished writing my third book a month before, I knew God was leading me to my next but still unsure what it would be. I kept asking and listening for guidance, pressing God for insight. I didn't want to show up to The Oaks and not have a solid book idea in hand.


The Type-A in me wants to be prepared! Correction - NEEDS to be prepared.


But, each time I asked, I kept feeling God say, "Trust me."


And y'all, He's faithful.


During the retreat, He gave me a small glimpse of the message He wants to share through me and continued teaching my heart in the days that followed.


I've spent the last few months studying God's Word with a new perspective and writing down what He is teaching me.


With each book I've written, I'm come to learn it's not me writing. It's Him. I'm just the one putting pen to paper or pressing the keys on the keyboard. He is the source of all wisdom, insight and creativity.


Each day is a new day to trust. I open my hands to Him and say, "Okay, God, what do you want to teach me today?"


The hardest part about writing a book (I'm beginning to realize this will be the story of my life) is He doesn't just want to give me a message and say, "Go tell everyone!" No, He wants me to experience it. I can share truth and trust this is His truth because He has given me the opportunities to live it out.


It's incredibly humbling to get to glorify Him in this way, but it's also requiring me to die to self ...a lot.


Life would probably be a lot easier if I said no, but where's the fun in that?


I'm so excited for what He has planned with this book in particular. I'm working through the beginning steps of the publishing process and would be so thankful for your prayers. I know God initiated this message and He will open the doors that need to be opened so those who need to hear it will.


The Position of Our Hearts

What does this have to do with planting?


Well, I'm glad you asked. You see, I've been so eager to start planting but I have had to prioritize writing.


I firmly believe in celebrating milestones, so I decided my celebration for this book would be planting flowers.


Wouldn't you know the day I finish the first draft of the manuscript is the day the weather proves to be clear from unexpected freezes? God is too good!


So here I am thrilled to be planting my flowers.


I had a neighbor growing up named Bud. With a name like that, he was destined to be a gardener. And he was top-notch at it, too! He had the most beautiful landscaping probably in the whole town but for sure my neighborhood. It was immaculate. My favorite were his red, white and blue flower beds.


This year, I decided Bud would be my inspiration.


I lay my bargain store pool boogie-board on the ground as my knee pad and start tilling the soil. Within a few moments it hits me.


This position I'm in - on my hands and knees, digging into the soil - is the position of my heart right now.


My heart, too, is planting.


Not too long ago, a sweet friend named Sara shared her story with us of losing her sight and learning how to walk by faith. That message was as much meant for me as it was for anyone else. I am getting to learn what it means to walk and live by faith.


It's really hard when circumstances do not match what my heart so certainly believes.


God has placed beautiful people in my life to remind me to look up. I'm learning faith is living with our eyes upward.


We have to be intentional and fight for this. Our eyes naturally focus on what we see. And, friend, we only see such a small piece of what is going on.


As a dear friend told me, we see straight ahead but God has an aerial view. It looks like we're losing this battle, but from God's view, He can see the reinforcements are coming and the war is won.


Habakkuk talks about how God makes us sure-footed like the deer, able to tread upon the heights.


"...yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights." - Habakkuk 3:18-19

What an incredible visual of what living by faith looks like!



Watching this video, I realize I am that deer. Maybe you see yourself in this, too.


We're on the edge of this vertical cliff. Yes, our feet are made for this, but it's still terrifying! Look at his eyes! He is living life on the edge. It's much safer down below, but the rock has calcium his body desperately needs to survive. He must climb to get a taste.


Living in faith is not the safest way to live. It's downright scary sometimes. Even painful. Our feet may tremble and our legs shake, but we are made to tread upon these heights. We need this to live.


If we're fully comfortable in our lives and not feeling the adrenaline and uncertainty before us, maybe we're not really living. Maybe we're playing it safe.


Living by faith is the scariest and hardest thing we will ever do, but it's the richest way to live.



By God's grace, I'm living this out. My mind can run away with cares and worries. I'm learning to hand these over to God in prayer and not pick them back up. I have to trust He is my good Shepherd. I hear His voice, He knows me, and I follow where He leads.


"...He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice." - John 10:3-4


This season has been a season of planting. I'm on my hands and knees. I till the soil. I can't place this flower on the surface of the ground and be done. I have to get my hands dirty. I need the roots to take hold and find anchor.


Our souls need an anchor. This season has purpose. We're digging deep roots.


This red Begonia I'm planting is just a baby. It's small enough to fit in the palm of my hand. I place it in the ground and commit to watering it. Soon, it will become so big and beautiful two hands cannot hold the blooms!


Same for our prayers. They start out so small. A baby prayer. Maybe a few words. We place it in our Father's hand and commit to watering it. We read truth, we speak truth, we sing truth, we pray truth.


Over and over again until our hearts believe it.


A sweet friend shared these words with me. They're simple, but when they're repeated, they ground us in truth. We say it over and over and over again until it takes root in our hearts and our eyes are lifted upward out of the thick of our circumstances.


He is good.


He is God.


He is good at being God.


Again...


He is good.


He is God.


He is good at being God.


Again...


He is good.


He is God.


He is good at being God.


Again, again, again...


The righteous will live by faith - that's us. We don't live by what our eyes see. We live by what our hearts see.


Let's remind our hearts of truth and find our strength renewed when we are down on our hands and knees in prayer. Let's find our joy build in seeing these seeds of prayer begin to bloom. Let's find our peace restored as we grow strong roots and trust in the Gardener of our souls. Let's find our rest in the good soil, where it produces a crop—thirty, sixty or a hundred times what was sown.


The good life, well it starts with a good day. Then another. Then another. Let's choose to live #TheGoodDay one day at a time.


Had so much fun planting, I wanted to share it with all of you. Add a comment and let me know what you're planting this year!



I love hearing from you, so go ahead. Leave a comment. Be brave. Maybe your comment will speak life into someone else!


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