Your heart is doing better than you think!
Last weekend we Oregonians enjoyed a brief recession
from the barrage of rain. While answering the beckoning call of gardening. I discovered 4 tidbits that encouraged me. Rest, Rhythm, Removal, Reward. Thought I would share my winters table with you. With over 60 inches of rain a year, almost double the national average you can understand why we rush outdoors. That means a halt to indoor projects, load up the outdoor gear and or if you're a farmer/gardener, your heading outside "weather" your ready or not. A missed chance at yard work not wearing your rain gear, is a missed opportunity to dance with a little vitamin D, surrounded by the beauty of nature.
See the blue sky!
My flower pots need trimming back, clean out leaf debris in my KOI pond and tidy up the frozen remains in my raised beds. Water is literally standing several feet deep in the ditches, winters growth in the farmer's fields struggling for a breath of air underneath the wash of seasonal storms. Your muck boots squish going across a moss-choked lawn, yet my soul is rejoicing at the touch of the sun once more. I hear the call of my dormant fruit trees and roses with visions bursting in my head of a fragrant harvest.
Lush Moss growing under my pergola! Argh!
There are many unique ways the God talks to me, talks to you, as vast and different as the shapes of mouths and ears we see in our family portraits. Overall, I'd say that nature has a voice of her own echoing her creator's heart. It took me years to figure out that I was able to have an audience with Him where ever my day took me, it was my awareness and attention span that changed. God could use any creative "medium" to talk to me. He created my senses to know, celebrate and commune with Him. Nature, TV, music, crazy drivers on the freeway, during quite a time, my daydreams,
everything is an expression spoken from what an individual has previously harvested.
As a quote says: "It's all in there". What do you mean Kristen when you say it's all in there? Your heart has a memory system, you harvest life going on around you. God has a recording system, Heaven is full of libraries. They have scrolls, mandates and records containing eternity and all that is written in it. And being written. Jeremiah 29:11 I know the plans I have for you...Even the enemy, our accuser, has a sick video recorder that captures our weaknesses and loss. Redemption has been paid for by the blood of Jesus but not necessarily employed. The word of God testifies like this;
Matthew 15:18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these things defile a person.
Let me see, say you stepped on my toe, I yell because it's very painful. Well if we were family or friend and there were unresolved issues between us, more might come out of my mouth than just, rackem,shakem, fooy fooy fooy! The pain would springboard off the unresolved issues that were left inside of me. I might cop an attitude, give you the silent treatment, rolling around my thoughts would be "he meant to do that". What happens if my toe was broken? Whew now, finances are involved. Could get scandalous. Simple example. Another example. Well, this one was real for me at one point in my life. Romance novels. I read them like candy. One day the Lord called me on it. They were polluting my thought life and damaging my marriage. They were going into my heart via my eye "gate" and then coming out as dissatisfaction between my husband and me. Wow, we have discussed a lot already. Back to this lovely day.
This February day was singing an unrestrained, "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine". And I'm seeking; You make me Happy when skies are grey.
The importance of Rest
"Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us." -Maya Angelou
Rest should refresh you just as much a night of sleep engages a different consciousness. The Lords rest is grace infused, grace always leads to mercy. I didn't do anything to deserve it, but I choose to step into what He has offered. Rest, play, enjoy.
Rhythm; Part of a plant organism's average annual rhythm is dormancy,
Life hushes its self preparing for a Winter's rest, it is only following the cadence of life, the rhythm of life to recede, rest, slow down. For the months stepping into winter I fed my KOI a high wheat germ food to build up there fat level in there body preparing for a season of dormancy. The time we spend with God establishes buttery fat level, a supernatural nourishment in our hearts. Communion strengthens. What we do on a day to day basis is a rhythm that feeds our soul. Life's supernaturally rhythm re-trenches when you spend time with Him.
Your heart is doing better than you think!
For years Don and I have been fortunate to have the muscles of 4 vibrant boys around the house. They are adults now, 3 of them out on there own, 1 married, the youngest still at home with a full-time job. You get used to their brawn being around when it comes to pruning and yard clean up. I didn't realize until I pruned my large King apple tree, weighty nippers extended out, standing on the top of the ladder, I did it in a little under 2 hours, wow, my commitment to working out 3 times a week, (aerobic step & weights)has paid off. Just a little (info-mmercial). That is a benefit I use with my Amazon prime membership. They have awesome workout videos included in the service. I enjoy Jenny Ford Step and weights. A very inexpensive exercise plan.
I share with you often about the gift of repentance. I hold it dear and close to my heart as a high priority in my relationship with Jesus. It is a gift that removes guilt, condemnation, pain that my soul many times will try to hold on to. I have brief hands of video that shares a bit of my communion time with you.
Pruning, removal, clean up, forgiveness, all take part in bringing forth fruit. If I didn't prune my roses, last years branches would not support this springs blossoms.
See, the heart is doing better than we think!
Look my sweet pink tipped dwarf tulips are popping up!
While I was enjoying this glorious day. Dragging the wheelbarrow here and there, trimming, cleaning, picking up the wind-swept branches, I clipped back my pots to discover life is already bursting its reward.
Hosta's in my outdoor pot's poking up!
Succulents forming in the wet cool days of February!
Follow thru, patience and the natural rhythm of life push onto the scene. My heart, your heart and the concerns that we give to Him are moving.
Rest, Rhythm, Removal and now Reward His plan's are at work for our good. Concern you can move out of "Dodge". He is well pleased with my heart. Every time we look to Him, every time we focus on things above, every time we surrender. He is a loving, good God, my heart is blessed more than I know.
A true REWARD, with the last light of the day. Finished!
When Life is hard, holding onto hope
As firmly as I am transitioning, prioritizing my goals for the year, I noticed that old patterns, emotional triggers, even relationship boundaries are feeling pressed towards me making significant headway on my plans. If forces could be measured clearly, I'd say they, spiritual forces, were doing their best to distract me. Hope can feel pressed, even challenged. For me, keeping a perspective on the size of my accomplishment is evaluated within the scale of my heart. Only God has an accurate weight and measurement. I'm often off balance and sell myself short.
We all have gifts given to us that carry immeasurable personal value, even if the treasure has no monetary worth outside of our company.
Judy came into my life a little over twelve years ago. A bitty thing, feisty and a little confused. Sadly, we have lost track of each other for about three years. Even the distraught phone calls brought an odd kind of peace that Judy and life still had much to say. She is tough to love if she allowed you to get close. Judy's life is a life of misunderstandings, taken advantage of's and unfathomable tragedies that she has hidden in many personalities, compartmentalizes within the depth of her mind. During our season, I wrestled with the responsibility of her wellness and freedom in my path of faith. Jesus so gracious to remind me that she was His, His alone, that love is free even tho costly. I must press in for freedom for my life, family & neighbors but not be "PRESSED" in the implementation of the revelation of Christ.
Sit on and from the seat of rest.
Love with the lover of my soul.
Beauty does have a way of being beheld in treasures. It makes the gift irreplaceable especially when your season of friendship has seemed to have passed. Her life, Judy's life was filled with constant transitions and to think that she had managed to hang onto this valuable little pitcher touches my heart every time. Judy's pitcher walked a very rough road before finding its place on my coffee table. That immense challenge and that she responded by sacrificial giving is what has filled her pitcher in my eyes again and again.
I would prefer to see January as a potent seed that will multiply spreading its harvest throughout my year. I had to repent and look at it with a fresh perspective. The distractions may try to take the focus, seem overwhelming but goals have taken shape. My friend Judy struggled with voices; I admit I've heard "distractions" much in the same way. Another moment to repent.
See, when one pours from a pitcher, it empty's itself to make room for a fresh filling. Judy's Pitcher is filled with hope that continues to pour out over my life.
Shall we share its continual flow together, today!