Tag: spiritual

Spring! Planting and Weeding

gardenThere are lots of gardening plans out there for your garden – you can find them in magazines and How To books at libraries. 

Even Home Improvement stores have Do It Yourself guides for wherever you live organized by climate, growing season, water and sunlight needs, how much space you have, or what kind of plants you want – vegetable, blooming or ornamental.

I just came across one of the many Spiritual Garden Guides – perhaps this looks familiar:

Consider planting:

three rows of peas

. . . Peace of mind

. . . Peace of heart

. . . Peace of soul

close-up-cultivation-dig-169523four rows of squash

. . . Squash gossip

. . . Squash criticism

. . . Squash grumbling

. . . .Squash selfishness

three rows of lettuce

. . . Let us be faithful

. . . Let us be thankful

. . . Let us love one another

and no garden is complete without turnips

. . . Turn up for church

. . . Turn up with a smile

. . . Turn up ready to serve

It reminded me that we need to be planting purposefully in our lives as well as our gardens.  That we need to be weeding intentionally and regularly to avoid our beautiful blossoms being choked out by the weeds of the world.  So here are some fun weeds and seeds to consider!

You reap what you sow, so sow acts of kindness, encouraging words, and supportive attitudes.

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Recognize that when you smile at someone, you are planting kindness and acceptance.  When you play with them, you are cultivating fun and joy.  When you give them a hug, you are fertilizing with love and security.

 

When you help a friend or child learn a task, you are planting patience and success into their future.   When you give them encouragement, you are growing confidence.  When you share, you are seeding goodness and selflessness.

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When you pray with someone, or let them see you pray, you are sowing faithful fellowship with God.

Everything you do is a seed of some kind.  Be intentional about what you plant.

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And weeding!  There are many things that will choke the joy out of your life like weeds do to a garden.

If they’re not forcibly removed these weeds will use up all your resources – time, energy, enthusiasm.

So roll up your sleeves and get to work.

Start with something simple: weed out your family’s wardrobe.  Children grow, so every year box up clothes that don’t fit to store if you have younger children who will wear them later.  Or sell them, donate, or give them away.  Maybe you know a friend who has a younger child to pass them to.  Then pass them back if you can use them again!

That goes for your personal wardrobe too.  Box up nostalgic items you want to keep but clear out the rest that are out of style or no longer fit well.  And while you’re at it, get rid of any guilt or stress too, over bygone sizes.  Find the style and size you feel most comfortable in.  You will look more confident and attractive when you feel comfortable in your clothes.

Thistle

 

Weed out parenting strategies you think you should be doing, but that don’t work for you.  Parent from your strengths!  Know who you are and what things energize you so your children can see you parenting from joy, not guilt, fear or obligation.

 

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Same for relationships.  Examine the ones that are thriving, then check the conditions of the others.  Some may be in need of TLC to keep them growing and others may need to be weeded out.

 

Weed out negative talk and self-condemnation.  We all make mistakes from time to time.  Some of us tend to dwell on those; constantly reminding ourselves of past failures and possible future ones.  Stop those inner voices with a “You wouldn’t talk to a friend that way!”

Instead, plant kindness to yourself – say positive things to yourself every day.  Rephrase “Well, you blew that!” to ”From what I just learned, I’ll do better next time.”

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Ask God to show you where weeds of sin, rebellion, or unforgiveness may be hiding.  Sometimes the roots grow deep before the leaves can be seen above ground. Confess those routinely to keep your soil healthy.

Planting and weeding.  It’s a process we go thru every year.  And not just in the garden!

Every day, by your actions and choices, you are planting things into and weeding things out of your life and the lives your family and friends.

The key is to recognize it and be intentional.

Happy Gardening!  Happy Spring!

 

 

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Light of the World

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Father, without You we are in complete and utter darkness.

Our world is dark.  This time of year the nights are longer so there is more physical darkness to the day.  Without artificial light we would not be able to see to get around in the dark.

There is also a kind of emotional darkness that comes from worry, stress, anxiety and fear.  These can be due to a lack of direction or encouragement.  Or a lack of truth in relationships.  Or from hardships, difficulties and tragedies we endure.

And there is also a spiritual darkness that seems to pervade our world.   At times it appears that evil is prospering.  And it has an upper hand so many places where there is persecution, hatred, and violence.

Lord Jesus Christ, thank You for being the Light of the World.  You are Light in our lives in so many different ways.

Three in particular come to mind.

Soft light.

background-boy-christmas-713148 (1).jpgYou can be the soft light that allows us to feel relaxed, comfortable and safe; like the light from a campfire, or Christmas lights, or early morning just before the sun rises.

That kind of warmth or glow is gentle.  And You can be gentle with us.  You can wrap us in a radiance that calms us and brings a sense of peace no matter the circumstances.

In allowing You to envelope us in a blanket of soft light there is a sense of security.

Bright light.

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Daylight allows us to see things as they are.  We can see traps, holes, dangers.  We can navigate safely.  We can perceive more clearly.  And the bright light that You provide also lets us see the truth in ourselves and our relationships.  It allows us to see the reality of our true identity and our circumstances.

Your bright light provides us with direction and clarity.  And that brings confidence.

 

Laser light.

laser-858309_640Light can be so strong that it burns.  Lasers can be weapons of destruction.  Or they can be so focused that they can be treatments for cutting out dead or diseased tissue.

As such, Your laser light can seek out and target our worries, fears, bitterness.  And can be a healing light burning out cancer and disease.

I praise You that You are Light.  That there is no darkness in You.

And that by Your light I can walk and live and prosper as my soul is prospering in the salvation You brought to the world.  Amen

Smart as trees?

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In Colorado, the trees are bursting forth! Some have pods opening to reveal the tiny green beginnings of what will be big beautiful leaves.

 

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Some have burst into blossoms in white and many shades of pink – from light pastel to deep maroon. Beauty is all around, and the signs of life reawakening.

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It didn’t happen two months ago, when the trees in Arizona popped out. It didn’t happen on the first day of Spring, according to the calendar. No, trees seem to have a God-ordained wisdom of the earth and time.

 

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They respond when the temperature of the earth gets warmer, and the hours of light get longer. They know when the time is right for them to bud, leaf out, blossom and produce fruit.

 

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And they recognize when the days get shorter and the temperatures colder, to prepare for winter. That’s the time they change the color of their pigment, let go and let the wind take their leaves. And then in winter they go dormant and store up energy for the coming season of growth.

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We, on the other hand, seem to have no understanding or even awareness of the spiritual climate we live in. We try to produce fruit out of season. We try to hold on to our stuff and be showy when we should be letting go.

 

We don’t take time to draw on our resources. We often want to run ahead on our own timetable, then keep all we have forever.

tree streamWe could be listening to God’s voice as He speaks in our ear – “this is the way, walk in it”. Yet, we don’t often listen for it. Or if we hear, we don’t obey.

There will come a time, when what is not productive in God’s heavenly economy, will be uprooted and burned. All that is “fruitless” will be stripped away.

To everything, there is a season. It’s time to ask God to show you where you are – what season you are in with regard to specific issues in your life.

Ask God to prune you where things have gotten out of control, or where you are not being productive. Ask Him to speak to you about new projects, ministries, opportunities to see if it’s the right time to move forward. Let Him show you if it’s time to let go of some things. Or simply rest. And be willing to listen.

With His help, we can be as smart as trees.

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