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KISS THE DIRT AND GROW

IMG_1214As I watered the hanging plants, I couldn’t help but notice some of the hardy perennial flowers were hugging the ground. The recent hard rains had beaten the stems into the earth. The once pretty flowers were nothing more than petals scattered around the flower garden and those flowers that survived the rain pellets were no longer cut-flower, vase quality stems.

With clippers in hand, I began to cut-back all the plants that had been crushed and beaten during the storm. It was heartbreaking to see the affected plants reduced to stubble; but it was necessary for new growth.

The fallen and broken stems would eventually extract the life out of the new buds that longed to bring restoration and growth.

Mankind is no different than our garden plants. When we become broken by the storms of life and find ourselves kissing the dirt beneath us, we look up to find the Master Gardener standing over us with pruning shears. He cuts back the dead weight and prepares us for new growth so we can once again be cut-flower, vase quality stems.

This morning, I walked outside to survey the outcome of the plants I had pruned a few weeks ago. Sure enough, healthy new growth had pushed through the earth anxious to unfold new blooms.

Nature truly represents the heart of our Heavenly Father. With pruning shears in hand he snips, cuts and resurrects our brokenness. He will dig up and transplant our roots in more fertile soil if we fail to show new growth. Like a true Master Gardener, God never gives up on us.

There are plants and shrubs in my flower garden I have moved every year to find the perfect location to promote growth. God has done the same with me. He continues to transplant my spiritual roots until he finds the perfect place for me to grow.

If your life is currently kissing dirt, maybe it’s time for God to use His pruning shears and bring you back to life.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” John 15: 1-2

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BETWEEN THE COVERS

oldbooks

Never judge the contents of a book by its cover. 

“It is only when we open the frumpy book covers of those around us, and sift through the pages of their life, that we are able to see the beauty that lies within.” –Denise Lobbs Marks–

In our lifetime, we will walk past countless books with exterior covers in every condition imaginable; all with a story to share. You may be the type that befriends only the trendy books on the best-seller list with exteriors dressed in colorful jacket covers.  I tend to seek out books with frayed edges, broken bindings and clearly in need of restoration.

Battered covers often have a main character with an incredible story to share, and as the story unfolds, unscripted and transparent truths about the character are revealed. With every page turn, something new is uncovered about their life and I begin to see the fictional character as a living, breathing person.  

I find myself thinking, I never knew that about you; I had no idea how much you suffered, you should have asked for help.

What is your story, what is the condition of your book cover?

 If your cover shows signs of abuse, wear and tear and is unraveling at the seams; then it’s time open the cover of your life, and with the help of others, faces the reality of your situation. Don’t wait until your cover has a broken binding before you rewrite your life story.

God stands ready to restore and publish your amazing ‘saved by grace’ story. He refurbishes the cover, gives us a new story to tell and places us next to another book with a broken binding, and says, “Share your story.”

Like Jesus, we should seek out those individuals with less desirable book covers and lead them to the Master of restoration.

“The numbered pages of our life are scripted daily and new chapters added yearly. Our life story is a never ending process until the last page of our story reads: THE END.” –Denise Lobbs Marks–