I love to garden. I love the fresh fruit and vegetables, the smell of the growing plants and I even enjoy pulling the weeds out. There is something healing about working your hands in the dirt and in the end having a bounty of food to enjoy the whole winter through. We still have mounds of peppers in our freezer just waiting for us to enjoy!

Last year we started out with seeds, most of which were not successful, so we wound up spending a fortune in plants. Of course that small fortune saved us money in the long run, but still, it was a bit pricey all at once. So, this year we decided to grow our own in one of those Jiffy professional greenhouse kits. Really, it’s just a plastic box with a plastic lid and a ton of dirt pellets inside, but it seriously works good! We couldn’t believe when we planted a seed and a week later, this is what we saw…

So how this works is that you plant several seeds in each pod and they just begin to grow. When they are big enough you widdle them down so there is only one plant in each pod. Clearly so they don’t kill each other trying to get the nutrients and water they need.

Well, it did not take long before we had to start weeding out the weakest links. Problem was, it was hard to tell the weakest from the strongest, they all looked the same! It was so hard for me to choose and difficult to say who gets to stay and who gets forever removed.
As I began doing the work of separation I started pondering how God does this in my life. Only, instead of the shared soil of greenhouse pods, it’s the shared soil of life. So many people and things that stand next to me look and seem healthy, they seem to be growing right along side of me, happily going about life together, and suddenly they are pulled right out. How sad it is as a shared life is suddenly removed and abruptly everything is different. So many people who I walked with in ministry and life, that I believed truly healthy, were not healthy at all. So surprising to me. But, of course, God is never surprised. Never has an A-HA moment.

So, I return to God’s promise in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” As I look out over the soil of my life, I see how much healthier I am because certain things were removed, how much stronger I am because I was allowed to gain water and nutrients I wouldn’t have if others were taking from the same pod, and how grateful I am to be standing so much stronger as a result of God’s pruning and development in my life.
And so, my prayer today is: Lord, thank you for being so loving to me to care enough to weed out the bad things. Help me to be willing to let things go, to be obedient to your lead and to only bask in the light of your presence, as you are all I need today.



For as long as Lilla can remember I have been quoting the verse, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit but in humility consider others better than yourself.” (Phil 2:3) Even before she could walk, I have tried to press it into her that when we think of others before ourselves, we are choosing the Godly path. Even more recently I’ve been quoting the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” (Luke 6:31)

So, it was no surprise the other night at the dinner table when I pulled some bacon off of my burger and handed it to her, she said, “Thank you mommy. You were thinking of me before yourself.”

Of course it was a bit of a proud moment as I thought, “Wow, she is really ‘getting’ it!” And, maybe a bit of a pat on the back as I thought, “Yeah, I sure was.”

But then, as I thought it over, I was almost embaressed at all the times I don’t think of others before myself. I gobble up all the Samoa cookies before anyone else can get them, I complain that my husband left the lights on so I have to turn them off, or worse, I don’t talk to others about Christ because it is inconvenient or time consuming.

Then I thought about how Lilla sees this too. How she sees me get frustrated over teaching her to ride a bicycle, watches as I leave dishes in the sink for days or tell her impatiently that she needs to wait while I finish writing my blog post. In all of those things, does she see me walking the path of sacrifice and real love? No, of course not. I’m not thinking of others before myself at all. And, a little bacon off my burger doesn’t make up for all those other “moments”.

So, my prayer today is…Lord, thank you for being the most perfect example of thinking of others before yourself for my children and I. You gave us your everything when you gave us Calvary Love. Help me to show Calvary Love today too.

A Thing

Yesterday was St. Patrick’s DayWe went downtown, to the paradeWith friendsWe acted silly and mischievous
We walked, A LOT
We smiled, even more
SOME people yelled for more candy (oh no, not my child! LOL)
Someone also got a little bit of Colts Mascot love
And I got teary
Because, although it was just a simple day, it was precious.
And, I don’t want to miss a thing.

10 Smile Tuesday

“Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.” Doug Larson

I love that quote! It’s just so true that it doesn’t even matter that the rain is coming, all we can see is that the snow is melting, warmer air is all around us, we can no longer see our breath when we breathe and we don’t have to look like we’re headed to the North Pole every time we walk out the door! All that to say, here in Indiana, it’s beginning to feel more and more like Spring every day. Yesterday it was in the 50’s and sunny and to us it felt like the middle of the summer, it was just so nice. Ahhhhh! I am truly not a fan of winter, but, I must say, it sure does make me appreciate the spring a lot more than if I lived in a warm climate all year long.So, onto my smiles…

1. Dress up. Lilla has never been a child to do dress up. We have had hoards of dress up clothes for her since like birth, but unless friends were over, they never got touched. Well, in the last few months, this has changed drastically. Now it is just about every day that we play “princess” and she just must have the princess clothes on to go with it. She actually went out in public like this yesterday. Cracks me up!2. Ballet. And, for anyone who knows about being a princess, they know you just must be a ballerina too. So, she has been doing all her dance moves to prove that yes, she does deserve the title of princess, after all. 3. With the warmer temps comes one of my very favorite things…the grill! Yesterday we uncovered it for the very first time and had about the best burgers ever…only because it had been so long I’m sure. They were just yummy!4. Cuddlebug. Anna loves to hug stuffed animals. I mean, this is serious in her life. She feels very strongly about cuddling with them, holding two of them and having them “talk”, having one in each hand. The child just loves the plush!5. The Zoo. We had not been to the zoo in so long, it’s just been too cold. But last week the temps were warming a bit so we decided to head on down that way. We have an inside garden that we enjoyed, which in the summer houses butterflies. That exhibit does not start for weeks, but they had already started hatching so we got the fortunate experience of enjoying them that day. We also spent time in the Oceans, petting sharks and watching sea lions, watching polar bears, seeing the dolphin show and enjoying the meerkats and snakes in the desert. So much fun!6. So close. Anna is getting closer and closer to walking every day. She has been able to stand for long periods unaided for quite some time, but then she just plunges toward me. Lilla didn’t walk until 18 months so both were late walkers, but I’m holding my breath any day now for Anna. She took two steps yesterday, oh, I can’t wait!7. State Museum. At the homeschoolers convention I went to a week ago I found out that our state museum is only a buck for students and free for educators the first Tuesday of every month. So, I so took advantage of that as we have a Lincoln exhibit from the Library of congress going on that I really wanted to see. I really want to go see it again though because I didn’t realize you can’t take strollers in and having to carry Anna, who is THICK, was not too easy throughout it. Next time I’ll take the backpack and carry her that way!
8. IMAX. I haven’t been to an IMAX movie in years, but we went to one last week and it was so fun to see the Oceans in 3-D! A little unnerving as it looked like these huge beasts were coming at you at time, but so fun to watch Lilla and her friends reach out for the screen as they enjoyed it for the first time!

9. MOPS. Every year we have a wiser older women (WOW) panel where women who have been through the trenches and made it out to tell about it come and talk to us and answer our questions. It is always just great fun and conversation. Loved it this year too!

10. Blueberries. We eat a lot of blueberries in our house. They are so full of great things and they taste great too so we do carve a little out of our budget to buy them every week. I’ve always wanted blueberry plants but have never found them before, but that all changed at Sam’s Club last week. I was able to purchase 8 plants, which I now can’t wait to plant! I know I probably won’t get anything this year, but it’s the years to come that I am looking forward to enjoying them, along with the raspberries and blackberries we’ve already planted!

What are smiling about today?