Harvest

When I was a preteen, I stayed a few days at my aunt’s house and she had a bookshelf of books.

There was one book I picked up by Barbara Johnson.  The way she wrote kept me interested and the topic was joy. At the time I read this book I was not depressed, I simply read the book because I was enjoying it. I put it back on the shelf when it was finished and this began my love of reading.  

I was reflecting back on the influences in my life and recollected how reading that book years ago  had planted seeds in my life. When going through the darkest depression ever more than 20 years later, I believe those seeds that were planted and rooted long ago, had developed and began to shoot forth in my spirit at the time I needed them most. 

I began Writing For Joy, in pursuit of fullness of joy, and forgot that I had been feeding myself teachings on joy, little by little over the years. Joyce Meyers authored a few of some integral seed planting books, that I had read as well.  Those books too, were seeds that had been planted in my early years of marriage and through the season of  a harried homeschooling mama. 

Now all those seeds planted, have grown and I have been spending my days harvesting them. Wrapping my mind around joy and how it applies to me today.

It is so important that we are aware of what we are planting in our Spirit. What sort of harvest do we want to be able to gather when we are hungriest?  Do we want to gather things of this world that promote death, or do we want to be able to gather life? 

There is a reason the scriptures use sowing, reaping, planting, gathering, and harvest. There are many ways that you can see these concepts coming into fruition even in these days. It still applies even with all the technology, all the running after ourselves and craziness of these times. It is still the same today; that if I plant an apple seed, I will get an apple tree. I will not get an apple tree if I plant weeds.  Just as I will not gain life from planting garbage.

Now it wasn’t me, that made these seeds grow. It was the Lord doing a work in me. Yet if I plant the wrong things in my time, there is no good seed for the Lord to grow. There is work required from us to reap a good harvest and a trusting that the Lord will cultivate it! 

I did not see the results of the planting when I thought I would, it came as a surprise when the Lord was finished with His care of it. Even when it had grown and was ready for harvest it took awhile for my slow mind to comprehend what He had done. But now I see His hand, I see His work and it is encouragement to keep going forth planting life, so that He may have His way.

Spring is getting close and I can just now imagine all the great seeds to plant and prepare for harvest, may I also be thinking about what I plant in my spirit. 

Galatians 6:7-8

 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

 

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The lesson that was shown, not told

On my glorious girl time away, my friend and I had a late night dinner at Famous Dave’s. The food was SO amazingly tasty. We could not get over how fabulous it was. That is until the next morning, my friend got food poisoning. She was so sick, that she could barely lift her head. But she absolutely insisted she was fine, not wanting to miss the conference. Now I do not skim over this lightly, but I wish to spare you details….she was SICK.

When we made it to the conference and found our seats she looked so horrible, I suggested she go lay in the car. I learned by now that suggesting we leave would not be an option. But it wasn’t until we were at the conference and the worship began while she was still in the car, that I realized she wasn’t pushing through for herself. She had pushed to get there for me, she would NEVER settle for me missing out on what the Lord may have for me. My heart was overwhelmingly blessed, and humbled.

Thankfully after a couple hours of napping my friend came back in and heard Joyce Meyers speak.

After the session we came back and took a good nap in the hotel room, and my friend woke feeling like herself.

Throughout the whole time I saw so many  ways that my friend was always thinking of me. She brought me breakfast on a tray one morning and had coffee made, she was always trying to let me sleep extra, she took my bags to the car, and she always wanted to make sure I was taken care of.

My friend taught me in many ways, more than the conference ever could. She taught me how to love and serve another without selfish ambition. The conference was wonderful and I learned many things I could apply to my life, but these were things told, the lessons learned from my friend, were things shown.

I am so very thankful for these real life experiences and an opportunity to sow seed of my own. I pray that her harvest is GREAT and that others will learn from her soft gentle ways and not keep looking her over because she tends to be a quiet soul.

I have been challenged myself with this time away and it is a challenge that I will take seriously: How can I express unselfish love and motivations in the way that was shown to me? Am I making sure that others are put above myself? Am I being Christ in the most tangible way to others on this earth, by putting them first? Thank you sweet friend for the example.

Titus 3:14

Our people must learn to do good by meeting the urgent needs of others; then they will not be unproductive.

( New Living Translation )

Lights, Camera , Action!

My good friend and I are at the Joyce Meyers conference this weekend. It has been a great joy to be involved with wonderful praise and worship with others and to hear a speaker that has blessed my walk greatly over the years. MUCH word has been shared, along with the grace of Jesus. The title this week was ” I am okay, and I am on my way. This sums up my life over the last year, regardless, of each situation, I AM okay, and I am on my way to the greatness in store for me.

Well, I did not put two and two together, but at Joyce Meyers conferences, there is a BIG camera on a boom that looks over the audience, because her conferences are then televised. I did not mind the big camera too much, even though there are rumors that cameras add ten pounds. For the most part I forgot the camera all together, but I would look at that camera if I wanted to itch my nose or shift in my seat or something completely embarrassing to make sure it wasn’t pointed at me, and forgot it the rest of the time.

Then at the end of the evening after shifting, scratching my nose and making ‘modest’ lady like adjustments, I look over and right on me is a small camera that the whole time was moving all over the audience and I didn’t see it! It was right on me as I was making some adjustments….So let me say right now, Joyce Meyers, if you find this awkward looking dark haired thirty something year old, looking down to make sure I was covered and  adjusting my shirt, yah, well, it could have been me! 

This moment made me laugh at myself, as embarrassing moments often do, and I realized, I had my eye on the ‘big’ camera, often like I do in life, I have my eye on the ‘big’ picture.

So much so that when I have a vision or a dream and I want to succeed, I may get discouraged, looking at that BIG picture and it not happening as quickly as I want it to. Or when the BIG problems mount up for a moment they are all I see. So focused am I on the big thing, that I miss all the little spectacular things going on around me day by day. There are many good things that I should be thinking on. 

I must take time to see ALL the work about me that He has done. All the moments that I CAN rejoice. Even if I have not reached my destination and obstacles come in my way over and over, He is always at work and doing great things in my life.

Sometimes those ‘little’ things turn out to be even more significant in reaching the dream He placed in us anyway. That ‘little’ camera may be the one that captures my laughter and joy in the teaching rather than the BIG camera. It is important we do not get so focused on our obtaining that which is in our heart, that we ‘miss’ the other good stuff. In this case I am not quite sure if the cameras captured my smiles and pure joy or my awkward moments, but it doesn’t matter, He is GOOD no matter what the focus was 🙂

 

Challenge this day my friends: Don’t get lost in your moments with tunnel vision only seeing the dream, the good or the bad, but instead be observant seeing ALL that He has done. For HE IS GOOD!!!

 

Philippians 4:8-

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.