Monday, March 17, 2008


Spring is my favorite season! Don't get me wrong, I love a cozy fire, my husband's tortilla soup and my killer boots I got for Christmas. However, brown grass, an empty garden and layers of frumpy clothes just do not do it for me.

As long as I can remember, as spring begins to peek it's head around the last freeze my mom will say to me, "Let's go check the crop". We usually do this at daybreak, a blanket around our shoulders and a steaming cup of coffee. We would walk around her garden and inspect her flowers. We are looking for Spring...where the empty stalks and limbs throw off the covers from their winter sleep and awake with signs of new growth. This time with my mom is a favorite.

With my two little blondies, we have been checking our own crop. My Masie Kate has an eye for anything beautiful. She was the first to spot "Spring" at our house. We have a pear tree in our front yard. All winter, it was a tower of skinny gray sticks greeting our visitors. She came running into the house, yelling "Mommy Daddy, Spring is here!" My little flock fluttered to the pear tree and on the long skinny slick sticks were tiny green buds. Hope. In just a few days, stretching out of the bud came soft pear colored leaves. As the leaves said hello to my brood a day later the tree had beautiful white blooms. I smile at the thought of these blooms because it reminds me of Easter dresses...white, soft, and fresh. I have to bargain with Masie, "you can pick the pansies but not the pear blossoms." These dainty white flowers will become delicious pears one day.

Spiritually I am coming out of winter. The outlook from my heart has been colorless, lacking in joy. Deep beneath the surface of my smile lay deeply rooted weeds...fear, insecurity, jealousy, hurt. As winter comes to an end there is much work a gardener must do. Just today, I spent hours in our garden pulling weeds. The last six weeks, through counseling, I have been pulling weeds from my heart. In a garden you pull weeds for many reasons. First, you pull weeds to make room. Weeds are invasive. We have "Texas Verbena" growing like crazy in our garden. It produces a beautiful purple flower with darling finger-like leaves. However, a weed is a weed. Weeds in a garden compete for space in fertile soil, compete for water and nutrients. The same is true for our hearts. Hurt left undealt with gives root to bitterness - the more the hurt is neglected and rehearsed the more fervent bitterness grows. Bitterness, unforgiveness, and jealousy are invasive the compete for room in the fertile soil of our hearts. God wants to plant seeds of goodness, forgiveness, gentleness, peace, security but you have to make room. I can't tell you how many wheelbarrows full of "Texas Verbena" I pulled from the precious space we call our garden. I had to make room...Spring is coming. With every row removed of weeds I felt something growing inside me...HOPE.

My hope began to grow because I no longer was focused and tangled in the weeds. With the rows free the deep, rich soil was waiting for me. The soil was saying any seed you place within me I will bring out life. As Masie and I planted "Razzmatazz" sunflower seeds we talked about the outcome we expected. We dreamed about the color of "Razzmatazz" and envisioned what our fence would look like towering with "Mammoth" sunflowers. We sowed sunflowers and we expect sunflowers. To my surprise, I sowed jealousy and was shocked that I reaped the consequence of jealousy...insecurity. To my surprise, I nurtured seeds of hurt and was shocked that I reaped the consequence...bitterness.

In the garden today I prepared my rows. I cleaned them up - freed them of weeds and rocks. Ryan and Masie came behind me and planted. They planted corn, squash, cucumbers, pole beans, watermelon, cantaloupe and a few tomatoes.

As I walked from our garden
the day's work had been done.
The rows now looked empty,
but the gardener knows that deep within the soil
something new has begun.
God whispered to me as I dusted my knees -
you've pulled some tough weeds and made room for more of ME.
Your winter, Stacy, is coming to an end -
keep pulling and digging up the roots.
I will pour Myself into you and you will bare delicious fruit.
Don't let the soil of your heart harden,
keep it loose with the turning of every page of My Word
for there is so much you have not heard.
My Gardener knows that winter is not the end
but winter introduces Jesus' gardening hand.

1 Peter 5:10 After you have suffered a little while(Winter), he will restore, support, and strengthen you(Spring), and he will place you on a firm foundation(Hope).

1 Peter 4:19 If you are suffering according to God's will(Winter), keep on doing what is right (prepare for Spring) and trust (HOPE) yourself to the God who made you, for he will NEVER fail you.


Staci said...

awesome job stace!!!! You didnt even need my assistance. Not only did you do a great job on the page layout, your words are VERY encouraging!! Thank you