Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Last night, I could not get this word out of my head: consistency. For my Birthday last year my mom bought me a gardenia bush. It was a $50 plant. When I received it, white fragrant flowers covered the entire bush. A gardenia takes partial shade/partial sun and Ryan built the perfect place in our front yard for it to call home. Out of my bedroom window I can see whether or not it has any blooms and try to enjoy them before Masie Kate gets her little fingers on them.

Throughout the summer and fall we regularly and consistently watered this plant...not that it was on my calendar to do so but because we were outside all the time and other plants showed symptoms of thirst. If one got a drink they all got a drink. However, winter disguised the drought that was taking place outside my bedroom window. Everything in our yard was brown, we stayed inside more and we used our sprinklers to water. On occasions I would notice a yellow leaf or two on the gardenia bush and be reminded to give this plant a dose of water. When I watered it I would leave to hose on it for a long time and give it a "good drink" but then I would walk away and not come back until a "yellow" leaf got my attention. A plant may survive with this "shock and awe" way of watering but it certainly will not thrive. Needless to say my care lacked consistency and this gardenia died. One yellow leaf unnoticed turned to the whole bush. It is not that I didn't love and enjoy this flower I just wasn't consistent in my care.

God has entrusted two precious flowers to me. Their petals are soft and blonde, their eyes are deep and brown and their limbs are constantly moving in the breeze of childhood. It is my job to nurture to the best of my ability...CONSISTENTLY modeling humility, gratefulness, joy, repentance and prayer. Daily I notice a little "yellowing" of character in one or both of these girls. My prayer is that I wouldn't drown them in correction then leave them in dry and thirsty until the next yellow leaf. I cry out for these little blooms...I am not perfect. My mom says that even the best of gardeners loose (she really said kill but loose sounds a little kinder) a crop. The crop that I call my children can not afford to be left unattended to...the world offers nothing that will satisfy their thirst. It is my job as their gardener to CONSISTENTLY water them, CONSISTENTLY prune away the dead leaves of yesterday's mistakes and CONSISTENTLY work the soil of their hearts - weeding out the seeds of selfishness and disrespect.

God heard my cry for help
He whispered to me that I am free to make mistakes
but do not give up
Water a little each day
and I will walk with you along the way.
These little blooms you tuck in at night
are never out of MY site.
They may wonder, they may stray
but they will not grow thirsty
for you brought them to me each day.
Keep calling out to Me, I will guide you
'cause your work one day will be through
These little flowers will fill their world with fragrance
for their Gardener walked along side you.

After writing the above portion, I had to ask myself "When is the last time your soul had a good long drink"? I so easily try and live off of last month's soul soaking. If I am honest, I've tried to make a "Ladies Retreat" soaking last until the next retreat. Before long I have a "yellowing" in all areas of my character and I wonder what happened. I opened my Bible this morning and I felt the wilting of my soul perk up, peace went ahead of my day and I have had more than enough to give to my husband and children. Water your soul a little everyday - you might be surprised by what a little time in the refreshing word of God will do.

If you haven't read lately try James or 1 & 2 Timothy. I am always encouraged by both of these books. Blessings and my your life be a little greener for stopping by!

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.