Germinating.

Sometimes, the Farmer chooses to plant seeds a little deeper in the ground.  It takes work for them to pop through the ground and breathe in the deep refreshing air and sunlight with newly formed and growing leaves.  It takes time to see any results.  It’s really dark down there, under that rich soil. 
But the soil is full of nutrients that the seed needs in order to grow.  The Farmer also knows that the depth of the seed’s roots can determine its long term strength.   During the seed’s darkest days underground, a lot of beautiful work happens that no one can see.  The seed is germinating.  It’s growing its roots, so that it can remain strong when it emerges from the soil and faces the wind and the rain.   The beautiful flowers that will bloom in sunlight are the result of its time first spent in darkness.  A great work is being done in that tiny seed while no one can see the beauty of what’s really happening. 
Like children waiting to see flowers, we grow impatient as we wait for the seeds of our dreams to grow.  Our futures… they can look so bleak and confusing.    What is happening?  When will things change?  But the miracle of growth is just that – a miracle.  It’s not something we can always have a system and a plan for.  Different seeds – like different dreams – take different amounts of time to produce fruit.  And when you factor in what kind of soil, how often they are watered, and how much sun shines on them – the process is often out of our control. 
The next time you see a watermelon, consider with amazement that it started as just a tiny seed, growing up to 200,000 times its weight.  Now that takes some time, but the results are great.  Worth it.  And incredibly amazing.  A true miracle.
I need the patience of the Farmer.  I need His long term perspective, His faith, and His loving watch care over His seeds.  
So the next time someone asks me what I’m up to, maybe I’ll respond with, “I’m germinating.”  
And it will be the honest truth. 🙂
“Faith is what keeps those dreams alive, even when it seems as though they are dead and buried.  But that is the very nature of seeds.  They go underground.  They disappear.  And while it may seem like they are dead, they are not.  They are just germinating beneath the surface.”
–Mark Batterson, Draw the Circle

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On Father’s Day…

Last week, I found myself sick and waiting for a half hour to see the PA at the CVS clinic near me… and this is what I had to look at.  It was hard.  Really hard.  I felt as bad emotionally after that as I felt physically, and maybe even worse.   It’s that time of the year that we used to love that we now dread… Father’s Day is nearing. 
We used to love Father’s Day.  It used to be a time when we gathered pictures, I created scrapbooks, and the kids made up tickets for back rubs and hugs that we couldn’t wait to shower on B on that special Sunday.   Some of the best pictures I have of him and the kids are in those scrapbooks that we will always keep and cherish. 
But now… I repeatedly find myself cringing as it approaches.  Every commercial or store sign that flaunts the commercialism of this holiday that now painfully and constantly reminds us of our loss.  I enter Mama Bear protective mode as I analyze how my kids will handle all the reminders that circle around them.   I look for ways to try to have a little family fun to just try to survive the day.  And I most of all pray earnestly for their little hearts, that their Heavenly Father will continue to fill the void their earthly father’s death left in their lives. 
And, of course, that’s the “churchy” answer to this whole thing.  That pat spiritual answer that is supposed to make those without a father feel better.  And down deep, I do believe it.  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my Heavenly Father is all powerful and full of love for His children, and cares deeply about those growing up without a father.  His love can fill that void. 
But how does He usually show His love?  Through others.  Through those who have experienced His love and want to pass it on.  Through those who are burdened to care for those who may not be experiencing the life they dreamed of living.   Through those whose own difficult stories have changed their outlooks on life, choosing to live their days with purpose and impact on those with whom they come into contact. 

So this Father’s Day weekend, that’s my request.  Not just for my own fatherless children, but for the thousands of children in this country alone who are growing up without the blessing of a father.  Be that blessing.  Don’t just tell them of their Heavenly Father, but show them.   You can give a family a gift card to go have some fun together – or better yet, you can take out some kids you know, who need a positive and loving male role model in their lives, for some fun they won’t soon forget.    Show them that they are loved, they are special, and they are not forgotten.  Perhaps, when those children see that love demonstrated in a physical and tangible way, they will see a beautiful portrayal of their Heavenly Father’s love in a better way than they ever will without your presence in their lives.  
Just because you took a little time to truly care.  
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!   -Matthew 7:11

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So they’ll always know…

One thing that has helped me tremendously in my grief over losing B, is all of the cards and letters he has written me throughout the years.  This man was a writer through and through, and from the time we first started dating, he charmed me pretty quickly with his way with words.  Compliments, encouragement, love letters… he wrote them all.    Of course now, all of those written words are even more treasured.  They … {…Read More}