Saturday, October 31, 2009

Enough

As has become our custom each Saturday, today Tiger and I spent some time in the back yard enjoying the stillness of the morning. I breathed in deeply the sweet morning air as I gathered my arms closer in, trying to avoid the chill of this new Fall day.

While standing there debating about whether to go in after a jacket, something caught my eye. I noticed that the yard was completely saturated with the morning dew. It was so laden that I could actually see droplets of water falling to the ground from single blades of grass. Immediately a scripture came to mind from Genesis.

"...but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the earth." Genesis 2:6

Long before rain ever touched the earth the Lord watered it through the mist or dew as we often call it, and that was enough to sustain it. Well with all the dew in my back yard, I could see how that would be possible.

While pondering this thought, the word "enough" began to resonate in my heart and I knew I was not being captivated by this generous watering of my back yard for no reason. The Lord was speaking to me of something more. He is enough. In everything I encounter, He is enough.

Whatever it is you need, He is enough. We sometimes forget that or fail to recognize that it is true in every circumstance, even for ourselves. I know all too well how much easier it is to tell someone else that He is enough to sustain them through their current situation, while all the while struggling to believe the same truth for my own. It is however, the truth for all of us.

Where in your life do you need for God to be enough? What crisis has you weary? What trial has stolen your peace? Perhaps it's none of these. Maybe you have just become bogged down with the everyday maintenance of life and have simply forgotten you were not meant to go it alone. If this is you, there is hope. If your life fits any or all of these descriptions I have good news for you.

"Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:28-31

In other words, He is enough.







Monday, October 26, 2009

The Blessing Called Friends

Let's talk about friends! I have been told by some very observant people that I have great friends. They are so right!

I have a friend who loans me her car when mine is in the shop, and whenever I do something new to the house, I can't tell which of us is more excited. It's good to have a friend who shares in your joys.

I have a friend that can make me laugh like no other. We have stories that few believe and no one would ever publish because they are simply unbelievably hysterical. She totally gets me and I get her. It's good to have a friend who knows who you really are and can make you laugh without even trying.

I have a friend that loves me no matter what. She caters to my flights of fancy which may not necessarily always be a good thing. Never the less, it makes me feel like a princess! She cooks for me, too. Actually, she'll cook for just about anyone but she saves her special dishes for me. If I am having a gathering at my home, she doesn't ask "if". She tells me what she's bringing! It's good to have a friend you can count on and one who always makes you feel special.

I have a friend that gave me a memory I will never forget. During her engagement, we were running around doing fun wedding stuff when all of a sudden she turned to me and said, "I can't wait until we're doing this for your wedding!" No one had ever said that to me before and I have done the "wedding thing" with LOTS of friends. During one of the most exciting times of a girl's life when it really is mostly all about you, the bride, my friend saw that there was someone else there. It's good to have a friend who "sees" you and considers your heart in the matter.

I have many other amazing friends as well. One who mothers me and makes sure I'm eating. Ha! She's still getting to know me!

A friend who knows my favorite songs - the ones that touch me so deeply that I scarcely want to breath. When the ocassion arises, she chooses them just for me.

A friend who does stuff around the house for me simply because he realizes that someone should.

A friend who I talk with regularly on the phone - the ONLY friend I talk with regularly on the phone. She keeps a close eye on me and always wants to know what's going on in my life even though it's been less than a week since we've last spoken.

I could go on and on and on, but the point is this. My life is rich with the blessing of friends. They've held me through my darkest hours and stood watch when I could not. They have caused my sides to ache and my breathing to stop with their hilarious antics. They have lended a hand when I needed it most and even when I didn't realize I did. Without asking they've pitched in, packed up, taken me away, humored me and given me the royal treatment. Above all, they've stood in the gap for me on more occasions than I will ever know.

How does one get through life without friends?

I have mixed emotions when people say things to me like, "Wow! You have such great friends!" I feel both gratitude and sorrow for while I know their words are more than accurate, I realize their experience may be considerably less than what they see before them.

I've come to appreciate my friends much more over the years. I now value in greater measure the quality of our time together than over the volume of personalities gathered together in one place. Each one is a treasure, carefully uncovered over the years. I would not trade a single one although they may not say the same! ;D

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Here We Go Again!

I am finding that with the new home, comes the fulfillment of many dreams and desires, one of which I began this month.

I am leading a bible study in my home every other week. It's nothing fancy and certainly not written by anyone of note. It's just some thoughts and revelations passed down from the Father's heart to mine and shared with a few friends who evidently have nowhere else to be on a Tuesday evening.

This study is fulfilling a need - a need to talk more than I already do. Hopefully, something of lasting importance will be passed on to someone who needs to hear it.

However, I must confess. I am a thinker, a planner, the creative mind behind countless ideas that have never materialized beyond that point. It's what I do best - create. Now following through... Isn't that supposed to be someone else's job?

Please don't get me wrong, when I think about teaching my lessons, my heart skips a beat and I can think of nothing I would rather be doing for the moment. In fact, when I first sat down to write out some notes, I knew what I would share each time we met as well as the personal stories and many of the scriptures we would discuss.

The problem lies in the preparing. That is where I get hung up. In the past I've failed to complete this stage of the process in various areas of my life. Preparation. Isn't that the most imporatant step? It has happened so much that I have begun to see a pattern.

I am not a good finisher. Oh, I do well enough when it is a requirement or something I am doing for someone else. However, when it comes to personal things, if I donot have a strong support system or a team to motivate and encourage me, I fall short almost every time. I now realize that this has got to change.

So I made a list. I call it my Finishing List. It is a list of things I have begun but not finished. Projects around the house, crafting ideas, studies, personal goals, etc. Everything on this list will eventually have an end date for when I plan on completing these tasks.

Being one who shows others how to better organize their homes, work spaces and lives, you would think I would be better at this myself. I struggle like everyone else. Being extremely organized just helps me conceal it better.

Notice that earlier I said eventually all these tasks would have an end date. Truth is, I do not have every project on the list yet. I know how my mind works. If everything I have begun but not finished was on my list today, I would become overwhelmed just by looking at it! That would be one long list!

That is why each month, I write down several projects (2 - 3 total, and all ongoing) I would like to complete by month's end. What I have found so far, is that along the way I end up completing a few more tasks that were never on the original list. Nice!

So, what's any of this got to do with the bible study I'm leading? Well, haven't you been listening? Someone has to write this thing! That means starting and finishing a lesson before it is even taught. Although I have lived them already, it is the recording of these truths that give me a bit of trouble. My love for writing helps me very little in this area.

I want to sit down with these women each time we meet and simply share with them the message in my heart. But it is in the preparing of those lessons that my words have added value and weight. Winging it, as I have been known to do in the past, will not fly here.

Thankfully, I serve a merciful and all-knowing God who long before this study was even a thought in my mind, prompted me to begin writing another study. I found it this past week as I was searching for some notes I had written earlier which pertained to my next lesson.

At first glance, I thought they were the notes I was looking for, but as I read on I realized these were written over three years ago. Yet it was the exact theme as the lesson I am currently working on. How did that happen?

That lead me to wonder. Is this current study the soon to be completed version of the one I began three years ago? Not only that but the one I am working on now was birthed from revelations I gained through my journey over the past three or so years. I began writing the other one about that long ago. They are not even remotely related through titles although they do have some underlying themes.

While pondering all of this and looking through those notes, I bet you can imagine what began to happen. I was motivated! I no longer dreaded the task before me of finishing this week's study! Here in my hands were the words in my heart, penned long before I ever knew I needed a finishing list.

Knowing my propensity for weakness in the area of completion, the Lord lead me to something He began through me years ago, in hopes that at this point in my life I would finally finish it.

Well if He's not willing to let it go, then why should I!

"...Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

"Perseverance must finish it's work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:4

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Foreign Thoughts

I was asked the saddest question today. It caught me so off guard that I forgot about what we were discussing and began to wonder what would cause this person to ask such a thing.
It's not often that someone renders me almost speechless. So when it does, I take note.

In speaking with someone about my upcoming Open House and describing the event, another vendor asked, "Why would you invite other people to sell their products as well, and not keep the benefits (bookings, profits) all to yourself?"

HUH? What? I was so bewildered by her question. I'm sure I must have yelled into the phone, "Well, why wouldn't I?"

Her idea was so foreign to me. To not share? I'm not patting myself on the back or tooting my own horn at all. I hope this is not how I sound. I was just so shocked to hear someone actually say something like that out loud and mean it! I felt so sad for her.

I went on to say that I enjoy helping others succeed and that I get great joy from being a part of that process. Plus, let's face it. I am a networking guru! I know a little of everybody and I will gladly tell you so if I think it might help you find what you need. She agreed to enjoying networking as much as I. I somehow doubt it given her initial response to my invite.

...but back to my original point.

Here lately, I am encountering the same sort of thing at work. I am assisting three separate individuals who all have a specific list of duties they want me to complete each day, or as time permits.

At times, when one of them is out or seriously behind in her work, she gets first dibs on me and gets me all to herself. She is the only one with this privilege and she DOES NOT LIKE TO SHARE! I won't go into details but suffice it to say that if I don't stop what I am doing at the very moment she needs me, she lets me know she is not pleased. Fortunately, I don't typically let other people's stress issues become mine. She doesn't like that either. Oh well!

Just how do you get to the point where YOU are all that matters? How do you get to the point where no one else does?

There is more joy in helping another to accomplish something than in succeeding all alone. That is what I am persistently trying to teach my coworker as I assist her. I try to do so always with a willing heart, a smile on my face and all while humming loudly with my earphones on. Even she can't help but laugh at how seemingly unmoved I am by the enormous workload and her increasingly elevated stress level. I just keep humming!

Now as for today's conversation, I pray this vendor is blessed next week when she comes to my home. I pray she experiences a brand new way of networking. Not one that is out to get as much as it can but one that is determined to give even more, looking to meet the needs of others and receiving a much bigger blessing in the process. Perhaps then she will understand.



Friday, July 3, 2009

Old Friends

I was at a friend's house for a party not long ago, when the host came up to me and said she had something she wanted to send home with me. When she told me what it was I felt a sudden urge to gather my things and go right then, even though I was having such a great time.

During one of my many moves several years ago, this sweet friend had offered to store this item in her home for safe keeping. Treasures like these should never see the inside of a storage unit or someone else's garage for extended periods of time, and they were far too precious to be in the care of just anyone. She recognized their priceless nature and so in her care they have been for almost three years.

As I started to make my exit from the celebration, my friend went into her bedroom and brought out a dusty old suitcase -- my suitcase. Being that it was rather heavy, her husband carried it out and placed it in my car for me. I drove home excitedly pondering which forgotten treasures may laid inside.

When I arrived home, I could not wait. I immediately laid the suitcase carefully unzipped the bulging bag. Instantly a familiar, almost forgotten smell was released as I opened it up - the smell of old friends. Roberts, Oake, Moore, Goll, Frangipane, Murray and Moses were all there as well as many others. What a delight it was to finally have them all home with me!

As I looked through and removed each one, memories of seasons past flooded my mind. Many of these friends were instrumental in guiding me through those times - times of sadness, joy, sacrifice and triumph. Many bore tear stained pages whether from heartache and sorrow or from sheer unbridled laughter, but all had shared in my maturing over the years. How good it was to see them again!

Being not at all biased, I began to wonder which I would spend time with first. I love them each dearly, so that decision proved to be a bit too difficult. Therefore, three of these friends are in my night stand awaiting their turn.

It is amazing how refreshing their presence has been to me these past few weeks - like a breath of fresh air. I believe there is truth in that old saying, "old friends are the best friends."

However, I believe there is an even greater truth about such friends. They are treasures that never lose their value or purpose, destined to be shared and revisited for as long as they exist.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Quiet Places

Quiet places. Peaceful places. My favorite places.

Tiger resting at my feet while bird's songs find their way into my bedroom through the open door - the curtains swaying to their melodies.

The stillness of the morning sneaking in the new day as the sun peaks through the top of the big oak in my backyard. Beauty unseen by most on this beautiful weekend morning.

My internal clock, pushing me to get a move on is steadily being silenced by the spirit within me, yearning to linger in these peaceful moments. Even Tiger seems to sense the disruption.


Peaceful places. My favorite places.


They call me to view what the world tries to hide - those things or real importance. The pleasure of the company of a friend, sitting and visiting simply because.

Times to reflect on inward treasures and perhaps even traps and snares in need of removal.

A life filled with good things, all gifts from a generous Father not at all selective in the dispersal of His love.


My favorite places.


Anywhere beauty abounds. Some place nature is.

The moment I come home and walk through my door after a long day - one of my most favorites.

The turtle park, as I have come to call it, where Tiger and I gleefully greet the creatures who dwell there with awe and chow mein noodles.

The place my "other" family greets me with smiles and hugs, every Sunday morning, and where my heart feels most at home.



My quiet place. My peaceful place. My favorite place.


Resting in the presence of the One who sees to it, that I am at peace wherever He is.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Addicted to Laughter - from the journey of tears...

I share this story because I am frequently confronted with people desparately in need of joy. I am often asked why I am so happy. What most people don't know is that my current state is the result of a journey through tears.

Hardly a day goes by when someone does not make a comment about my laugh. I can't help it! I laugh hard and I laugh loud. I once had a co-worker who worked in a different room away from mine. He would tell me that he could hear me when I laughed and that it would make him laugh even though he couldn't see me. He just couldn't help it. He would start to laugh as well. He didn't have to know what I was laughing about. He would just start laughing.

Where I currently work, there is a girl down the hall who recently told me something similar. I love spreading this gift! I guess it's better to have an infectious laugh than to be infectious! LOL Sorry. I even make myself laugh!

I know it annoys some people but, oh well. Get over it! Sound harsh? Maybe, but I can remember a time not so long ago, when I was so low for so long that all I could do each morning was look up and cry out to God for strength enough just to make it through that day. What joy I had was hidden beneath layers of deep saddness brought on by circumstances out of my control.

After almost two years of living in that miserable state, something in me began to surface - a memory. It was a memory of a girl who used to laugh, and I began to want to do so again.

So I started asking the Lord to restore my joy. I knew I hadn't lost it. It was still there somewhere. I just needed to rediscover it.

That wasn't all I did. I knew if I was going to get out of my dour disposition, I also needed to surround myself with the things that brought me joy. Luckily, I am friends with some of the funniest people on the planet. I made it a priority to connect with them regularly which helped to bring back the funny in me. I purposefully began to watch funnier TV shows and more of the type of programs that I truly enjoyed. I also chose to watch less dramas and movies which only exaserbated my mood at the time.

Before long, I was laughing again. This may sound trite to you but to those around me at the time, it was a relief to see me smile.

I can remember the day I knew I would be okay. A co-worker I had very little contact with came up to me and said, "I am so glad to see you smile again." Funny thing was, I didn't even realize I had been smiling! It just happened. In fact, I was still in the place of wondering when the fog of misery would lift. Until that moment, I did not see that it was already beginning to clear.

People ask me all the time why I am so happy. Others who know me well, probably wonder how I could be? My life is not one anyone would chose, but it's mine.

In spite of whatever circumstances I may endure, I have a deep abiding joy that comes from within. I may not be rich or have all the things that others think signify success, but I have what matters most - the joy of the Lord which gives me strength, even when I may think I have none left.


Oh, and by the way. I just recently had a get-together at my home with some of those funny people I mentioned earlier. I was sore the next morning from laughing so hard! It's now a regular gathering we all calendar because no one wants to miss out on a good laugh.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

While It's Still Called Today

I like to take the road less traveled - literally! I love lonely roads where few cars tend to travel. Earlier this week I was driving home from a friend's house pretty late at night.

I have a regular route I take home from this particular part of town. Even during peak hours, it's fairly light as far as traffic goes. I like roads like this because I tend to think best when I'm driving. I don't know why that is but as you can imagine, it helps greatly if there are no other vehicles around while I'm not concentrating on the road!

As I was driving home that night, I began to think about leap year. Trust me. The thoughts I think just come to me. I don't get in the car and say to myself, "Okay. Think about leap year." That would be crazy!

Specifically, I started to remember a devotional I shared last leap year at the job I had at that time. That morning as I realized the significance of the day, it occurred to me that leap day is kind of a freebie. It's an extra day we get every four years. How was I going to spend it?

It's really a question we should be asking ourselves everyday. "What am I going to do with this gift called today?

So now I ask you. If you were given one extra day not scheduled on your calendar, what would you do with it? Would you go back and redo something you did wrong the day before? Would you tackle that project you've put off for way too long? Would you mend a fence between you and a friend that has gone untouched for longer than it should? Perhaps you would finally make that phone call you've been saying you would.

I can go on and on with the questions but you know what your list of somedays and eventuallys consist of but the point I was trying to make to those ladies was this. Everyday is a gift. Those people that make us cringe, those things we keep putting off, those issues we refuse to deal with all deserve a second chance TODAY. What are those things for you?

Can I ask you something else? Why not today?

"You've got to live every moment as though it was your last
Before the thief of always steals tomorrow from your past.
Before the chance to know His love has somehow passed you by
Let you heart reach out, right here, right now, before tomorrow passes by."

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Walking Through It

I woke up this morning with a heavy heart. I must multi-task in my sleep, because even though I rested long enough, I was mentally exhausted before I ever left the house!

I experienced some disappointments this weekend that left me feeling somewhat less than cheerful. On top of all that, I have so many friends and family who are suffering in their bodies and also their finances. Some have been without work for months with no real prospects, yet there is a family to feed. Others are dealing with relationships that have all but fallen apart. Even my own dad faces a surgery tomorrow that I am not at all convinced will save his leg from amputation. I guess it's safe to say that with all that on my mind, I woke up feeling a bit overwhelmed.

Earlier in the week, I was sharing with a friend about how she could regain a joyful spirit. She'd expressed a concern over her own lack of joy and how she could get it back. I knew all too well what that was like and shared with her my own journey of reclaiming my lost joy after a far too long absence.

It's funny. Amidst the whirlwind of all these trials and heartache I found myself wondering this weekend, "What kind of a fraud are you? How can you counsel anyone about rediscovering their joy when you can't even muster some up when you need it?" (It is safe to say that I am more than just a little hard on myself, but that's for another blog.) As if I didn't have enough problems staring me in the face already, this one would not be easily overlooked.

Today I started contemplating my own words I had spoken to my friend earlier in the week. I began to listen to some my advice I had given her and began doing those things that typically bring me joy. Hmmmmm... Not much concentration needed in those tasks. So my mind was still a whirl.

Then as I sat down to my computer, I clicked onto my home page. One of the gadgets I have on it is Bible Verse of The Day, sponsored by
BibleGateway.com. I highly encourage you to add it to your own apps. if you can. I believe I literally did a double take as read through the verse - one I'm sure I've read dozens of times.

Romans 12:12
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

As I meditated on that verse what caught my eye was obviously the joyful part. But did you see what it said to be joyful in? Hope. It did not say to be joyful in affliction but patient, or to be joyful in prayer but faithful. Sure, you can go through trials and also be joyful in those things but that is not the command of this scripture. Joy is not something you are all the time but something you have deep inside that remains even when your feelings and emotions may dictate otherwise.

It is okay for me to not always be joyful especially when things are going wrong, way wrong. However, my joy should be in the hope that I serve a God who knows the outcome of this situation, who hears my cries and has promised to never leave nor forsake me. That's where the joy lies! Even now while jotting down these thoughts, I can feel hope stirring within me. Hope for dear friends and family whom I know have so little left. Hope that is empowering me to remain faithful in prayer and patient in my afflictions.

Suddenly, I don't feel so overwhelmed anymore. Just compelled to pray.

Father, there are people reading this who understand exactly what I'm talking about. They have issues so huge that they are dealing with that no one else could clearly understand. They are walking through pain they never knew existed, no matter how insignificant it my seem to others. I ask you to begin stirring up faith within their hearts to believe that you are a bigger God than the overwhelming shadow of their circumstances. Cause hope to take root as they begin to see that they are not alone and most certainly not forgotten, by the One who holds them tightly in His loving arms. Help us to remain joyful in hope, for indeed the joy of the Lord is our strength. I pray that we would be patient in our afflictions for Christ, himself was afflicted for us. Above all Father, cause us to remain faithful in prayer. For we know that the prayers of a righteous man avails much!

All this we ask in whom our only hope lies - none but Jesus
.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Stories

I have been thinking quite a bit lately about our stories – our lives. Do you know someone with a great story? I do. It’s you!

I watched a movie the other night that I have seen several times before. The part I love most about this film, is a theme that is actually in the monologue of one of the characters. It is the theme of story telling. He urges another to find out the story behind the case he is trying so that he may win the hearts of those seated in judgment.

We all have a story to tell. Some read like a great mystery or perhaps a tragedy. Mine is sometimes an epic saga and often a comedy. But to those who know me best my story is a never ending adventure.

Not long ago, I was in a situation where I was constantly being told someone else’s story – someone I was sitting in for while on an assignment. It was not a very good story and I imagined that it was not really their true story, but instead it the result of what their life’s circumstances had brought placed in their lap. I later found out I was correct.

I never will forget my first initial encounter with this individual. It seemed that most of what I’d heard was possibly true. In fact, not willing to be persuaded by another’s opinions, I decided early on to let this person tell their own story through the process of living their life where I could see it. Now, with it unfolding before my eyes I was becoming somewhat annoyed by their behavior.

Then, it happened. I began to hear their story. It was not so much in the words they shared but in the revelation I received while listening. Annoyance began to give way to pity, and pity to compassion. The story everyone else saw was different from the one I was encountering at that moment, and I quickly became ashamed of my shrouded view.

What’s your story? Have you ever thought about that? Have you ever shared it? I think about my friends that shared some difficult scenes from their past just a few weekends ago and how proud I was of them for being that vulnerable before so many. Have you ever allowed yourself to be truly vulnerable, even with just one or two dear friends?

Have you ever considered how closely you walk with those you count as true friends? How well do they really know you? Has your story touched their lives in some way ? I hope so! Otherwise, what’s the point of the journey? My dearest friends are such because of their stories – our stories and because they are well acquainted with mine!

I have a different view of the person I met whose story was been tainted in the sight of so many others. I am nothing special and not any better than the others in that environment who knew her story. I just simply listened, not only to what was said but also to the unspoken things that resounded louder than any words that could have been expressed.

Again, I ask you. What is your story? Let me ask it another way. Who knows your story? It is a need we all have to be truly known others who will share in our joys, our sorrows and in our adventures and to be loved and valued throughout the journey.

We must also consider who’s story we have not heard? Who’s life we may have missed out on because their genre was perhaps not to our liking? You never know. That person clamoring for our attention may have a best seller for a life with even a twist somewhere there in the middle. However, we may never find out if we will not determine to turn the page in our offended mind, so that we may simply listen.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Deep Roots

I've been working in my back yard, trying to uproot a very hearty and unsightly plant. I've been told it's hard to uproot, completely. My friends who warned me about this were right, but they obviously knew very little about my resolve.

I have not been at all discouraged by the continual emergence I have seen from this very hearty "weed". In fact, I have been very encouraged because what was growing all alongside one area of the fence is now all but gone completely. I check it frequently to see if any remaining remnants are still struggling to make a go of it. If so, out they go!

Coincidentally, I find myself in the same place spiritually. I've been dealing with some deep roots - things I thought had been dealt with and some I never realized were buried underneath years of ground cover. Suddenly, or perhaps gradually, those things began to surface in such a way that I could no longer ignore them. It was time to dig up some roots.

The first time I started digging around in my garden, as any novice would do, I not only dug up what I could see, I also dug around looking for roots that I could not see but assumed were there lying in wait. I did find some, but not the majority of the ones that would soon surface.

Lesson #1 - Don't go digging around for something you can't see! Deal with it when it surfaces. Only then can you be sure of it's source and certain of whether or not you've uprooted all of it.

Sure enough, those roots I found that I went searching for had other branches I could not see. Because the weed had not yet shown itself above ground, I wasn't sure of where it started. I had only extracted a fraction of it.

Although spiritual house cleaning is a good thing, if God is not dealing with it, don't go looking for it! By all means, keep a clean slate as best you can but do not go in search of every imperfection. He will bring those things to light when the time is right.

Everyday I search that patch of earth, looking for any new growth that I may need to pluck up. Everyday I am finding less and less.

When I began this quest, I was out there everyday pulling and digging. At that time most of this plant's roots were barely below the surface. The ones I encounter now, have deep roots and are only appearing every few days - not everyday. I would not have found those at first because of all the other little ones I had to remove in order for these to sprout.

Now you can go with this wherever you choose but I'm just saying this. We must be consistent in tending our spiritual garden. If we let things grow up under our feet and fail to remove those weeds in our lives that will eventually become unsightly, we will find ourselves down the road dealing with deep roots.

Over the past few years, I have become much better about dealing with issues right away. I cannot stand for things to linger - especially issues in my own heart. This was not always the case. Therefore, I now find myself dealing with deep roots. It's okay though. Tending to the smaller weeds that surface on a regular basis, has made way for those things that were once hidden to come into the light.

It's actually quite freeing in the midst of the process, to know that this thing is not really a part of who you are. It is merely a weed left untended - something that does not belong where it has taken root and can therefore be discarded, making way for something more beautiful.

I am excited about the possibilities for this area of my garden. Once the weeds are all gone, I can do with it whatever I like and that makes me smile.