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Cultivating Gardens... & Thankfulness

So this year the girls and I planted a garden.  A very small, raised garden.  Not because I have a green thumb, but because two of my littles told me it was their New Year’s resolution.  I can't go around shattering babies' dreams just because I hate to sweat- and I do hate to sweat.  I’m not really good at growing things (except kids I hope!), but I am very good at shopping!  And so once I got in the mode of buying plants, I’ve had a hard time stopping.  Now my tiny little slab of concrete that we call our back patio is covered in green!  Strawberry plants, herbs, and a few blooming things.  To my husband’s delight, even our beat up grill is covered in living things right now!                                           

A sweet friend gave me a beatuiful magazine called "Eden & Vine" whose tag line is cultivating beauty and truth.  I’ve been reading it out on my back porch with my coffee early before the day gets crazy, and an article about cultivating joy got my wheels turning.  Joy is intentional the author says.  So often I am caught in a cycle of thinking how I can improve things or situations or the little people in my life.  I am a task oriented person and my mind is always swirling with what needs to be done.  I was born a “Martha” through and through.

And sometimes all of this brings anxiety and stress, but mostly it creates in me a general feeling of discontent.  Because in this world the things around us can always be improved.  My parents had a guest this past weekend from across the ocean, and they said he spoke of being content.  It grabbed me, and I’ve been pondering that word… turning it over and over in my mind.  And while I was on a little walk (carrying my coffee and being careful not to sweat early this a.m.), I heard the gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit in my heart highlighting to me the remedy for my angst- thankfulness.  Thankfulness.  Not just at Thanksgiving, but day in and day out.  Grabbing those thoughts that lend themselves to discontent and replacng them with a breath prayer of thankfulness for what I have been given.

As I wrapped up my walk and decided to come write, I headed back towards the front door.  And there on the front porch was something I had missed earlier.  The most precious note left in chalk by tiny, little fingers.  She didn’t tell me it was there.  And the timing was perfect.  It was a note of thankfulness. For. Me.  The mom who also sees so clearly all of my own pitfalls…  there was one of my littles practicing the very thing that God had just told me I needed.  And the second part of her note really hammered it home.  “This is the happy place!”  Wow!  Don’t tell me God doesn’t speak to us through little children!

The place of thankfulness is the happy place.  Will we find it today?  Will we stand back and look at all the growth that needs to happen and all the gaps that need to be filled in or will we look closely, carefully at the tiny petals of flowering beauty all around us?  We can choose thankfulness!  And Joy!

This little butterfly bush- like our lives-  leaves a lot to be desired...

But if we are intentional about looking closer, it's such a different perspective!

And thank you to my friend who gifted me
this pot of joy for Makiah's 13th birthday!


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