Tilling the Soil of My Heart

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Today while my children and soon-to-depart husband napped, I spent time weeding an old flower bed in my yard.  Two years ago we planted this bed full of tulip bulbs to bloom about the time our daughter would be born.

Anna’s Tulips

Once those beautiful and memorial blooms faded and died this bed became home to overgrown weeds and bugs.  The following year only 5 or 6 of 60 untended tulips pressed up through the earth.  With my new found success in the pot garden, I got inspired to tackle this weed filled beast and plant food producing plants.  Cantaloupes (and maybe another zucchini) are in our future!

Weeding in Progress!
In Progress

As I turned the soil, removed the weeds and discovered what insects were living there I was reminded of a passage.  In Matthew 13 Jesus tells the parable of the sower in which the heart of man is illustrated as soil.  In the parable some of the soil was beaten down, some was shallow, some was riddled with thorns and some was good – ready to receive seed and be fruitful.

I learned from my father who has gardened his whole life that even good soil needs to be turned and crops rotated in order to remain fruitful.  For example, you wouldn’t want to plant tomatoes year after year in the same spot, in the same soil.  The nutrients of the soil would eventually be depleted and the crop would dwindle or worse.  Also time, water and pressure makes the ground hard and difficult for roots to grow in.  Therefore, each season the soil needs to be turned up or tilled.

There are times in our life where the soil of our heart needs to be examined and turned over.

“How do you till the soil of the heart?”  I asked as my spade dug a clod of dirt and clay.  I clenched it with my gloved hand and crushed it.  It fell to pieces. The roots of weeds were exposed and easily removed.


“The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.  A broken and repentant heart you will not reject, O God.”  Psalm 51:7 NLT

Tomorrow my husband will board a plane for a job in a foreign land.  It will keep him away for a year.  I am taking time at the dawn of this season to till my heart.  Brokenness is easily found on the the horizon as I grieve his leaving.  Taking the interpretation of repentance referring to direction rather than a word for apology, I pause to re-focus on the truths that hold my course on this journey. (Blog tip: Each highlighted line is a link to a related article.)

God is still God – And always is no matter what happens.

God is Trustworthy

He created and knows EVERYTHING and still knows me, loves me and wants me.

He has great plans!  I need not worry or fear.

And He’s here for me.

Worshipping this morning I listened to this song.  It would be the link to the one point above that doesn’t have one. “You Know Me” Bethel Music with Steffany Frizzell

I embark on this new season, to be honest, with a little anxiety…but a lot of hope too.  Much is unknown and unfamiliar but I have anticipation for great surprises and a fulfilling adventure!  If you think of it – please keep my family in prayer.



Copyright ©2012


The Greenhouse Effect

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Growing up my dad always had a garden.  I had no interest in vegetables in those days but, since, have grown a deep appreciation.  I have never been good at keeping plants alive.  Give me a houseplant and within months it will have drowned or died of dehydration.  But my father and brother have inspired me!

Last Fall I spent 6 weeks in California on my family’s property.  My dad was recovering from surgery and my husband was working in Europe so I went to enjoy the company and support of family as well as assist, in anyway I could, with my dad.

He has a large garden he plants each season.

My mom and dad behind the artichoke section of his garden. Asparagus going to seed on the right.

This past year my brother planted his own garden so that he wouldn’t have to walk so far from the kitchen (he lives next door to my dad) to get fresh picks.  While there I was spoiled with organic tomatoes.  I couldn’t believe how red they were and how much flavor they had.

The start of my brother’s summer garden.

Once home, eating the cardboard-tasting store bought tomatoes, I dreamed of planting my own garden.  I got excited about picking and eating from a plant outside my kitchen door.  I couldn’t wait for warm Spring weather.  As soon as plants were for sale in the stores I planted these lovelies.

Tomatoes, red peppers and sweet basil.  Later, I would add a zucchini plant.

After a few short weeks I had to go back to the nursery to get something and saw a hanging basket of tomatoes.  I was amazed how many little yellow blossoms it had.  In fact, it already had small fruit growing! I thought my plants were doing great!  I was so proud of my ONE yellow blossom.  I couldn’t help but wonder what I was doing wrong.  How could this basket have so many flowers and be the same age as my little plant?!

The woman who tends the plants at the nursery was walking by and I asked her.  She said, “Greenhouse,” and pointed up with a smile, “Tomatoes don’t like the cold.”   The warmth and protection of the greenhouse, along with the care of the gardner, allowed the tomato plant to flourish, full of fruitful growth. Sometimes we take something like growing a plant, that grows naturally, and think,  “It’s easy – it just grows.  That’s what it’s designed to do.”  And yet things don’t happen quite as we think they should.

As another one of God’s creations, you might think that we just grow up into what we are to become – naturally, with little attention or guidance.  Like the tomatoes, how well we grow and how fruitful we are is determined by many factors.  But, one thing is for sure, growing up and being fruitful doesn’t “just happen.”

…like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”  Jeremiah 17:8

My hope is to be like that tree.  I want to create a greenhouse for my spirit, providing an environment that causes me to flourish in all I am designed to be and do.  I know it won’t just happen.  Like my paint bucket garden, I must protect and tend to it, making sure it gets all it needs.  I’m hoping for a great harvest!

Jesus often taught his followers about the Kingdom of Heaven using the example of agriculture. Like in Matthew 13:24.  As I watch my plants grow I am constantly reminded of His truths.  I look forward to sharing them as I continue to tend my little garden and apply its lessons to my life.

Copyright ©2012