Sometimes God Speaks Through Hard Work, Sweat and Tears

Feeling quite frustrated after playing tennis this morning, I decided to tackle my overgrown garden. I didn’t even change out of my cute tennis outfit. I guess I’m over tired, over scheduled and overwhelmed. It wasn’t about the missed shots on the court, but the accumulation of looking at myself through a distorted lens that had me down. I was about to throw myself the biggest, throw down, hootenanny of a pity party you’ve ever seen. But first I needed to do something about my vegetable garden. If you’re going to host a pity party, who cares if you muddy up one of your adorable pink tennis outfits?

20130812-133432.jpgThis is what the garden looks like today. Overgrown, leggy and brown.

20130812-133652.jpgThis is what it looked like a month ago. Lush, healthy and green.

20130813-152653.jpgSpiraling down the self-hate vortex, I even wanted to rip out these diseased knock-out roses- thorns ripping my skin and dirtying up my very cute tennis outfit. Did I mention that my outfit is pink with ruffles? Now who rips bushes out of the ground in such a thing? I do. I’m getting ready for my pity party, remember?

THEN….

20130813-153104.jpgGod had something to say to me. And like He usually does, he speaks through some activity that I am in, like pulling plants out of the garden, sweat pouring off of me and tears streaming down my face….in my cute little tennis outfit.

20130813-153338.jpgGod said something like this…”Mary, you are like your garden. Some days you are blooming with color, brightening the lives of people around you.”

20130813-153550.jpg“Some days your soul is sick with sin and self loathing. This makes me sad.”, said God.

20130813-153714.jpg“So, since there will always be days of messing up and being not so perfect, maybe even being quite terrible, horrible, no good, and very bad, here’s what I want you to do…Come to Me and give me all, and I mean all of your misgivings, faults, mishaps, cross words, unkind thoughts, mistakes and under achievements and put them here in my wheelbarrow that I call forgiveness.Then I will throw it all in the ditch, never to be seen again.”

20130813-154537.jpg“Now accept this gift that I call grace. Begin anew with solid structure or as I like to call it, scripture.”

20130813-154846.jpgGod continued,”Mary, don’t look to the world’s flimsy notions of who you should be. The cheap, easy ideas that society says that will make you happy will only disappoint you in the end. Lean on My sturdy, fail proof and true knowledge of who I know you are.”

20130813-155914.jpg“Remember, sweet daughter of mine, you will go through seasons. Right now, you are on the cusp of sending two of your children off to college and your baby is starting high school. Things look a little ragged right now, but that doesn’t mean it always has been or will be.”

20130813-160317.jpg“Take ownership of the fruit you grew. Embrace the fact that you’ve raised two college bound young adults who live, laugh and love to the fullest. All three of your children love Me, express peace, patience, kindness, joy, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control. Ok, maybe not all at once, but they do have these traits in them. And for that I am pleased.”

20130813-161524.jpg“Take time to reflect on what is going right in your life amidst all the chaos. Who cares that you aren’t at some ideal weight! Are you working on running a 5k? Do you lace up your shoes and get on the court? Do you make a conscience effort to eat healthy most of the time? Girl, you are off that couch and living!” (I know God called me Girl!)

20130813-162059.jpg“Sometimes you fill your life up with too much stuff. Like this carrot patch, now is the time to thin out your days.”

20130813-162306.jpg“Shake off the dirt. Get rid of the stuff that really doesn’t matter.”

20130813-162359.jpg“I bet you’ll find some gems in there that will nourish your soul and make you feel alive again.”

20130813-162728.jpg“Finally, take some time to put some order to your day. The season of tomatoes, cucumbers and beans are over. It’s time to look forward to the season of carrots. Give it time. You have good soil, sun and rain. Just have some patience and wait on my timing. I really do know what’s best. I’ve been doing this for…oh, I don’t know, maybe since the beginning of time.”

So, that was what God had to say to me as I was getting ready for my grand pity party. As always, He’s right. I am so much more than what I was thinking. (He’s such a party pooper!)

And yes, I am sure those were His exact words to me! Well…maybe not exact, but pretty darn close!

20130813-164336.jpgI know we all have moments, days, weeks or even months of feeling the way I did. Hopefully I will remember to take off the dirty clothes of sin; hand them to God to wash clean; then get ready to go out in a cute little tennis outfit with JOY!
Thanks for dropping by! You were created wonderful, talented and loved! Be a Joy-Spreader today!

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