Thursday, December 8, 2011

I'm back!

Well hello there again!  It's been awhile, hasn't it.  6 months, I believe.   Well, my summer happened to take off about that time and I found myself immersed in new activities I would have never dreamed I could do. I grew a garden for the first time in my life, (and was apparently quite successful according to other seasoned gardeners).  As a result, I also spent much time learning to can as well!  I actually have a pantry now stocked with home grown food!

I also spent an inordinate amount of time on my hands and knees plucking creeping charlie out of our lawn.  

 Yea, I know.  It probably began because we had one section of our yard relandscaped in order to shore up a side of our house that was vulnerable to rain water leaking in. Our yard always became a running river whenever it would rain and run right up against the house.

Well, after they relandscaped and reseeded with grass, I was amazed at the plush new carpet that grew where before it had just been scattered weeds and depleted soil.  But then I saw the remaining yard still in it's sickly looking state mostly overtaken by creeping charlie and thus began the plucking.

You may ask why I did not just napalm it all with various chemicals.  I considered it.  But after plopping down one budding warm day in June and gently prying my fingers underneath the vast network of shallow vines these ivy creepers propagate through and found how easy it was to pull them up in clumps, I decided that it was good therapy and made it a daily endeavor.  So each morning, I'd go out, attend to my garden, grapevine and other flowering beds, then I would load up my MP3 player with some inspiring sermons from pastors such as Ed Young,  Jack Graham, or Ravi Zacharius, grabbed my bucket and began plucking.

Thus ensued the BEST. SUMMER. EVER.

Prior to this, you could not find me outside doing "yardwork" for NOTHIN.  Never did a groove on my hand contain a stain of dirt nor a bead of sweat moisten my brow.   But by the end of this summer, I had permanent callouses on every pad of my palms, a tan to beat the band and muscles popping up where I didn't know I had any!   Once the plucking was complete, I realized that the soil itself (due to erosion from water runoff) was basically dead.  I needed a bunch of new dirt before I could reseed with grass.   Here again, I could have just called a contractor to haul out a bunch of it and spread it out for me. 
But instead, I found out that we had a compost place right in town (2 minute drive) where I could take all the black dirt I wanted, for free.  So pickup truck load by pickup truck load I hauled the dirt and spread it over my yard, one section at a time.  It took several weeks to complete.  I then reseeded it and spent then next 2 weeks or so after that perfecting a watering routine that allowed all areas to be covered every 36 hours.  (we had NO rain to speak of from about the 2nd week of Aug. until early Oct).  And by mid Sept. I had a lush green lawn where I had never had one before.   (sorry no pictures as I totally didn't even think about it!  And now there's snow covering it).

Depending on one's viewpoint, some may see this as just a yuppie homeowner with nothing better to do than to "Jonesy up" their property.  If you saw the state of other aspects of my home, you would definitely know this was NOT the case!  LOL!  No, this whole experience goes much deeper.  It was never about the grass, or the yard or the soil or even the weeds (although I do definitely enjoy the soft, green, weed-free blanket of plush that is now my yard).   No, what happend was from the moment I bent down to pluck that first chunk of charlie, I felt an immediate deeper connection to the Creator of those weeds than I had had up to that point.  And I wanted more of it.

The plucking became like a one long unending, joyous, intimate, very, very intimate conversation with God.  There were times when I would just stop and weep, tender tears of intimacy, as He would surround me with His presence. 
Then other times when I would be filled with awe as I pushed myself physically past where I thought I was capable, knowing that it was HIS strength that coursed through me.  He was both my cheerleader AND the adrenaline in my veins.  But mostly, it was simply an ongoing exchange where He taught me.  He would bring scripture to mind that I recently read and I would meditate on it while He revealed its meaning to me.  I learned to become oh so still inside as I asked questions and then waited for His response.  I would burst out verbally in amazement when a new revelation would come upon me. I experienced God as my Sovereign Creator and my Loving Father.  I experienced Jesus as my awesome Redeeming Savior and also my Best. Friend.  I experienced the Holy Spirit as my true Guide and source of unexplainable Joy.

And yet I know I have only begun to experience but a nano-fraction of a drop of who He really is.

What I do know is this:   He is REAL.  He is TRUE.  He is Alive!   He loves me.  He is faithful.  And He can be fully trusted.

The summer has ended, (frown) but my deepening relationship with Him has not.  And for one who usually grits her teeth through winter, this year, I'm excited to see what kinds of new things He will bring my way for us to connect through.  

Dear Father,  I pray fervently that others discover this kind of intimate relationship with You.  I pray that you illuminate their minds and hearts with the Truth of who You are.  That You would part the veil and give them even a glimpse of Your awesomeness, knowing that this one glimpse can change them for the rest of their lives and fill them with an aching desire to know You more and more.  I know so well how foreign these kinds of words felt to me before, they made no sense.  They sounded silly and cheesy when I would read or hear them.  I am still so amazed at your ability to completely awash someone with your Presence and open their eyes and ears to full understanding.  And I know it is ONLY by your revealing Presence, through the Holy Spirit, that this is accomplished.  So I pray for tender, open hearts, who may say that Your way is not theirs, but deep down, they ache for just this kind of Love.  The kind of Love only YOU can give.  The kind that says, "you do not have to do anything to earn this Love, and once you choose it, you can do NOTHING to lose it.  I give it to you freely, as a gift."   Father, I thank You deeply for Your son, Jesus, who died on the cross and made it possible for us to receive this gift.  Without this act of Love, our relationship would not be possible as you have said in Your word regarding Jesus:  I am the Way, the Truth and the Life and no one comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:6) and I pray that you touch the hearts of all who read these words with this Truth.

In Jesus's sweet, holy name,  Amen

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