Saturday, August 27, 2016

This Blank Canvas

I’m praising God for another day. I opened my eyes this morning and stepped into another blank page open and waiting for words, for decisions and choices, for challenges and frustrations, for love and smiles. What a precious gift!

I never want to take my days for granted. Never want to expect another tomorrow. I’m simply here living it all out as God instructs. All the praising and the praying and the lifting up of His name. May it all be to His glory.

And there hanging on a wall in a darkened museum corner, my thoughts in action. A rendering of an artist’s studio awash in chaotic disarray with its slashed canvasses, spilled paint, smears of anger, rejection and resentment yet somehow making perfect sense to the artist himself.

Though I sometimes make an absolute mess of things, and this world and this society in which we live can often become distorted beyond recognition…only God can bring a measure of beauty from the chaos.

He takes the dark and broken soul, the perfect picture of chaos and torment and restores the bright colors. He brings order and purpose to the remnants of our past that cause us to stumble and fall, and He strengthens the weak to move forward and away from the mess….only God!

He’s the Giver of our days. He provides the open, empty canvas and allows us to fill it with the colors of our heart. To pour out all that is within us; the lovely and the unlovely. To wrestle through the weeds of this life and bloom brightly for Him.

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.(Ephesians 2:10)

He brings beauty from our messes. Faith in our despair and brings forth His light on the hard days.

“and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” (Isaiah 61:3)

Go brightly into this day, my friend. May your canvas be awash in the love of our living, loving God and the many blessings He so freely bestows. 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

God Hasn’t Forgotten About Blessing You

Our vegetable garden is producing baskets full of blessings daily! My husband and I got a late start in planting, but we’re both amazed at how well it’s doing.
He worked for several days transforming my neglected, weed-filled flower garden into a sun-loving, vegetable-producing haven. He tilled and tilled and tilled once more adding several wheel barrows full of composted chicken manure from the coop until finally…he was satisfied that the soil was ready to go.

We planted zucchini, crook-neck squash, watermelon, green onions, English cucumbers, several rows of various peppers and chilies, sweet corn now 10-feet tall and a pot full of culinary herbs. It’s amazing and a lot of fun.

One of the things I’ve learned over many years of gardening is, whether growing a space overflowing with vegetables or a flower-filled paradise for butterflies and hummingbirds, the garden forces us to be patient. It forces us to watch and wait and during all that watching and waiting, the garden doesn’t forget to grow. It doesn’t forget to produce or bloom. It just takes time…precious, necessary time.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time 
we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)

When we’re waiting for the blessings to emerge, it’s easy to believe that nothing is happening, when in fact there’s so much happening beneath the soil that we never see. The root structure forms gaining in size and strength to support the weight of the blessing; each little component reaching, searching through the soil undeterred by every obstacle because that which is planted in fertile soil will, in fact, produce and bless.

But if we hope for what we do not yet have, 
we wait for it patiently. (Romans 8:25)

The enemy wants you to believe that your prayers, your hopes and dreams have gone stagnant and now lie on deaf ears, but God hasn’t forgotten to bless youHe IS blessing you. Sometimes, the blessings aren’t out in the open…yet. Maybe they’re a little hidden, growing the necessary root structure and waiting to be revealed at just the right time. And when God sheds His perfect, beautiful light on your blessings, you’ll see that they are bigger and more amazing than your dreams allowed you to imagine.

Blessings come in all shapes and sizes, my friend. But all require time spent in fertile soil and, of course…a bit of SONshine.

Don’t. Give. Up.

Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop,
 some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times." (Mark 4:8)


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