To Weed or Not To Weed

“The only way we can create and maintain a hunger for God is to protect our soul by choosing what we fill it with.” – John Bevere

Healthy Soil

As I was mopping my floors, I paused to look out my dining room window. While looking down from the second story of my home, I let out a sigh of both frustration and relief. My frustration was for the fact that I am the only one to blame for the mess my lawn is in, and my relief is for the amazing Cutting Crew who did such a great job aerating and seeding my yard a few weeks ago.

This house is a lot of work. With the help of a few friends and a few emotional meltdowns, I’ve done okay with keeping up with it (for the most part). Unfortunately, the time needed and the absence of man-muscles on this feminine body caused me to shrug my shoulders when it came to caring for the soil on which my house is built. I reasoned away my neglect by becoming content with the weeds and with the image that all was being cultivated properly. As long the yard looked tidy and green for the neighbors, it was easier to live with the weeds than to deal with them. They just take so much time and energy.

I stood peering out my window and thought about how much easier it would have been had I dealt with the few weeds when I moved into this house. Now those few weeds have grown and overtaken my entire yard. At the time it seemed okay and logical to not be so concerned with a few small issues. It didn’t seem to be such a big deal. After all, my yard was trimmed and looked colorful and well-kept on its surface, but underneath the facade the life was slowly being sucked from the soil–the very foundation on which my house is built. Thankfully there’s a thread of healthy grass that remains, though not easily seen. It too would have been choked to death had I not begun the process of healing my lawn this past fall.

The lessons from my lawn are a great example of how quickly one small compromise can grown into a massive life-saving renovation. I could continue to ignore my yard and hope the weeds will stay and remain a nice green color to appease myself and trick my neighbors, but then who would be the fooled? That green color soon turns to a yard washed away by erosion and my neighbors are not fools, so that would leave only me wearing that title.

Sin does the same thing in our minds and hearts. First we reason away our choice to compromise, then that compromise leads to a softening of the soil of our heart. Each compromise to follow becomes easier and our hearts become less and less concerned or aware of the erosion taking place. The facade gets harder to keep up, if possible at all. A heart that was once so passionate for righteousness becomes desensitized to God and all He asked of us when we first placed our trust in Him.

Have you ever wondered to yourself, “How did I ever end up here?” Have you ever questioned where the zeal went that you had when you first trusted Christ as Savior? I’m not referring to just the emotions you had. Emotions ebb and flow, but what happened to the sold out commitment that burned in your innermost part of your heart and soul?

dandelions-66719_640

The weeds trick us with their outward beauty, making it appear easier to live with them than to deal with them. They can be painful and really hard to uproot, but if we continue to ignore them we will only be left dried up and thirsty in the soil of our soul. Choosing to be content with only the appearance of a healthy heart will rob us of the abundant life God has for us. We fool no one but ourselves. Sure it seems easier at the moment, but there’s always a high price in the end and a whole lot more energy exhausted fixing a bigger problem than what we first started with.

Though the weeds try to fool us, we have no one to blame but ourselves when we choose to turn a blind eye to something that needs to be uprooted in our lives, or if we compromise and let something in that never should have been allowed in the first place.

So much can be learned from my experience with my yard. God’s immeasurable love for us causes Him to relentlessly pursue us. He’s so rich in grace that He will even have His creation speak His truth to us. Our job is to listen, to respond, and then to continue cultivating the soil of our heart by filling it with His life-giving Word.

Thankfully there’s a thread of healthy grass that remains, so it’s not too late to begin caring for the soil on which your house is built.

~ Shannan

Have Courage To Cultivate

Have Courage To Cultivate

Take It Back By Letting It Go

Dig It Up!

Take back what the enemy has stolen from you.  Deal with your pain.  Face it.  Allow God to uproot the weeds of sorrow and disappointments.  Yes it’s painful at first, but learning to live in the light of God’s truth about you, and allowing Him to worry about the wrongs done, leaves you free to live.  Some seasons in life are not always full of happy feelings but Joy knows no boundaries of seasons.

Joy comes from a well that never runs dry.  You cannot will Joy into your heart.  Will is a feeling.  It has no power on its own, but you can accept Joy.  He’s ready and waiting to relieve you of sorrow’s grip.

“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you.  Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” – Matt. 11:28-30

“Trust is the courage to accept acceptance.” – Paul Tillich

What, or who, has held you captive?

Held Captive

Dig It Up – I just liked this picture 🙂

May this be the day that you find the courage to trade your sorrow for God’s Joy.  Take it back, all that the enemy has stolen, by choosing to let go and live.

~Shannan

You are beautiful/handsome – fashioned in God’s image.  He called all of His creation good but He only stamped mankind with His image.  You may not be feeling it right now but know that you are one that is priceless. ~ Shannan, Facebook post 7/8/2013

An Entry From October’s Journal

In my last blog post, “How Quickly It Can Be Stolen” I told you I was going to share with you something I had written back in October 2010.  So that I hold to my word and remain faithful, here it is…

Entered October 17 ‘2010:

Today I wrestle inside.  I find my fears creeping in, curling up alongside me as if they are welcome to be my companion.  My old-self wants to run and hide from what “she” is telling me is true.  There’s nothing but pain ahead and further loss, nothing good ever last.  After all, isn’t this the way it’s always been? But my new-self is screaming back.  “NO!”  I refuse to believe this lie.  I refuse to believe God cares so little for me.  God owes me absolutely nothing but He promises me so many wonders that my mind cannot fathom them all.  Today, as I face these feelings of fearfulness, I will choose to hope for just five more minutes.  I will choose to believe for five more minutes that God sees me and has created me for a purpose greater than this moment.

When situations seem to be covered in death, I hold on!  When dreams seem to have been ripped from my hands and heart, I won’t give up!  I must take every thought captive.  Through this I am learning to recognize the voice of the enemy.  I turn my ears away from him and listen to the voice of truth.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”  – 2 Tim. 1:7

I hear God whispering, “The second half of your life does NOT have to carry the same struggles as the first half.  This is a lie!”

“And the LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.”  – Job 42:10

God makes streams in the desert.  He makes a way where there seems to be no way. (Isaiah 35:5-7)

Dear God, help me to guard my heart without rebuilding old unhealthy walls…

In my last letter to you, I talked about the disciples needing to remember what  Jesus said as they got into the boat to cross the lake.  Often we remember what God has spoken, but the enemy relentlessly screams at us in hopes that we will water the seeds of doubt he’s trying to plant.  They are nothing more than weeds ready to grow and choke out every life-giving fruit God has promised.  If in an emotional moment we nurture the weed we may just forfeit or delay our harvest.

There’s a lot of hard work from the time a farmer tills his land and sows his seed.  There’s also a time of waiting and watching over all his rigorous effort before he ever sees the first sprout break through the soil.  Even after that  young bud reaches daylight the farmer must continue to be watchful and protect his crop.  If he is faithful in his labor he will reap well for all he as sown, then his season of rest will come carrying peace and fullness.

Even though some of my fears from last October seem to have been justified, I know from past experience that those “loses” are just another prayer being answered; I just cannot fully see it yet.  I am declaring. I will hope through my pain and I will have joy through my toiling tears.  Harvest time is near.

~Shannan

2011, Keeping It Real!

It’s not about what I don’t know, it’s about what I do know and Who I know. Jesus!  There’s Just Something About That Name. Ooo, I miss harmony 🙂