Thursday, October 12, 2017

#write31days: Cultivating Gratitude

The flowers above are from my garden. During the spring, I set out to start a garden and was very ambitious. I love flowers and was so excited about the possibility of eating my own produce! So I followed a plan from my favorite master gardener, the one and only Lara Casey. Rory dug the beds for me in our backyard, and I got to work, planting several types of herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, zucchini, and zinnias. Lots of zinnias. Well, friends, I got three big zucchini from my garden and had tears of joy in my eyes when I pulled my first harvest. But the tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers? Nada. Zip. Goose egg. Nothing. Right now, my basil is going strong, and I was able to get a good amount of cilantro during the summer as well. But the zinnias got super tall and were kind of taking over everything, and in an effort to "prune," I think I killed the majority of them. :( 

When I first sowed the seeds, I was faithful to go out and water every morning when I took Bailey out. But as the summer went on, I found that some of my plants weren't doing well because I was over-watering. Oops. So in the midst of travel, lots of crazy rain storms, and a lack of discipline, I kind of let the garden go. In other words, I gave up. But you know what? I've walked out there and pulled up the dead roots. I've cut back some more flowers. And the crazy thing is that there are still things blooming. It's beyond anything I've really done and can't have much to do with any of my lackadaisical efforts. 

Isn't gratitude the same way? Maybe for a whole week you do great with sowing seeds of gratitude- you make lists of the things you're thankful for and your heart is full of songs of praise. But then maybe your heart gets distracted. You get tired and weary. And suddenly gratitude, the thing you need to practice the most, just doesn't come as easily. Or you just plain don't want to do it. 

I've been there, friends. Actually, I'm there right now. I'm tired. Weary. But I know my God is good. And I know that the best thing for me is Him. And I want to know Him in all things. I want to be made more like Him. So I take ten looks to Christ and I put on the praise music and I cultivate the gratitude so that my heart is lighter and I can rest in Him. 

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