From Manure, Comes Gold

I was having a converstaion with a young friend of mine who has been struggling emotionally, physically, and spiritually the last couple of years. He's an awesome kid, but he has just kinda gotten stuck with some "smelly stuff" that he, on his own, hasn't been able to shake from his heart and mind.

I shared a recent analogy with him that the Lord so sweetly shared with me:

We have a driveway that runs through the middle of our two fenced fields. One of the fields has cows grazing on it, the other does not. Interestingly, the field that the cows are calling home, now has a blanket of beautiful gold flowers on it, while the other field has only tall grass (eventual hay).

Now if I were a cowgirl, I could tell you in detail about this golden process: the kind of cows that are grazing, the kind of flowers that are blooming, etc; however, I'm a half-country, half-city girl, so I resorted to google. After much research, I found DairyCarrie: "Manure is smelly and kind of gross but it is also fertilizer that's full of nutrients that our soil needs. Gardeners like to fertilize their flowers and vegetables to make their plants grow larger and stronger and farmers do the same thing except our garden is a few hundred acres and we don't have to run to the garden center for bags of fertilizer. We have our own fertilizer producing machines, lounging around…" (dairycarrie.com 5/7/13). Ahh, so there you have it, the cows' manure helps produce radiant fields of gold.

Using this image, I urged my young struggling friend to allow God to work His wonders in the midst of his mess. If He can spin manure into "gold"for the cows, just think of what He can do with the stinky stuff in the lives of the children He loves so dearly. The question I had for him, and for myself, and now for you, is, "Will you let Him do His wonderful work?" Just know this, God is ready, willing, and able; and He will do it in His time and His way. The difference between the process of nature and dealing with humans is that God allows nature to take its course; but with us, He waits on our hearts to soften towards Him before He begins His work. The Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. (Is 30:18) He will never force His way on you, because that's not true love. He is however, always pursuing, and patiently waiting to bring beauty from ashes. (Is 61:3)

So the choice is there for each of us: let Him "fertilize our soul" with His truth and love, and then reap His radiant glory, or well, just continue on alone in our mess, which only exudes the stench of anger and bitterness. I urge you, let the Gardner in...

And instead of the thronbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. Is. 55:13
And instead of manure, the gold flowers will bloom… Yes, as a friend of mine reminded me this morning, God let's nothing go to waste.
Our neighbor's field. He had more manure, thus more gold.

A NEW BOOK: 25 Years, 25 Lessons: Letters to a Bride from a Seasoned Wife

I am pleased to announce my NEW BOOK:

25 Years, 25 Lessons: Letters to a Bride from a Seasoned Wife

This decorative coffee table book is for any married woman. It provides foundational insights to newly weds, and it offers basic reminders to those who have been married for decades. The pages are full of beautiful images accompanied with Scripture based letters concerning on-going lessons that I have learned in my own marriage. Some topics are: be an encourager, put on love, and laughter. I invite you to be blessed by God's directive word within the pages of this book.

25 Years, 25 Lessons can be purchased on-line: www.amazon.com or www.barnesandnoble.com

They are also in Hot Pink in Brentwood, TN and Oak&Willow in Nashville, TN.


God has put Me in a Box!

There is a familiar expression, "You can't put God in a box." Agreed. The God of the Universe can never fit in a man-made contraption comprised of mere ideas and speculations concerning His character. If you want to know God, read His word; there, you will find Him. And there, if your heart is humbly willing, He will never stop amazing you with His unbound grace and free flowing love.

BUT, God can "put us in a box." Listen to His words of truth:

For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is already laid, which is Jesus Christ.  I Cor. 3:11

You hem me in behind and before, and You lay Your hand upon me.  Psalm 139:5-6

So we, as Christians, stand on the solid rock of Jesus Christ. When we believe in Him, our footsteps become unshakebly firm because of His truths beneath us. And as we walk step by step, God Himself puts His protective hand behind, before, and over us. We are enclosed on all sides; not constrained as some might speculate, but enclosed with the marvelous mystery of who He is and what He does.

 Inside these borders are His wisdom and knowledge, His compassion and kindness, His security and peace, His faithfulness and steadfast love...and these attributes of His character are unending.  It doesn't matter what goes on around me, as long as I am hemmed in by His hand. When I dare to step outside of His boundry, the weight and the struggle and the pull this world hits me full in the face like a fierce wind in a winter storm.  So quickly, I step back inside to find His warmth once again.

You are a hiding place for me; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with shouts of deliverance. Psalm 32:7

Yes, God of the Universe, I want to thank You for grace-fully putting me in Your "box", now and forever.