Hand Picked

Our garden is quite small this year, but it has still been very fruitful. With relocating this past May and welcoming our 4th child a month later, a garden wasn’t high on our to dos. Despite this, I’ve enjoyed several servings of fresh green beans, baked squash, juicy watermelon, and crunchy cucumbers to top my salads.

It brings me so much joy to go out early with my cup of coffee in hand to see the growth that has taken place in just a nights sleep.

Our little patch of dirt we tend to is a daily reminder of how blessed we still are to live in a country with access to fresh produce and having the adequate means to purchase it. Not to mention the fact that we can even legally grow our food at all. In the mist of the chaos that surrounds us today, God still provides all of our daily needs.

If all goes as expected, we are to close on our new home in just 11 short days. Moving our belongings, this time just five miles down the road and no longer 35 weeks pregnant, I’m almost certain it will be a much simpler process.

In preparation for our upcoming move, I spent some time in the garden today. Ironically we have just enough pumpkins for each member of our family. Six. These pumpkins don’t know it yet, but they will soon be picked regardless of their size. Along with my family, our dog Maisie, and hens, these pumpkins plan to be the first thing we move! It will be such a delight to see them on our new porch steps as we begin to make this place our home.

To help them along with growing as big as they can, I decided to prune the pumpkins vines today.

Pumpkin vines are prickly and they also end up in a giant mess once they all have grown together, making it a difficult task following the vine to the root. With a little sweat on my brow, I managed to prune the vines, worked the dirt to cover some of the exposed roots, and watered each of them with some plant food.

As I was doing this, I couldn’t help but relate these pumpkins and their vines to my own growth in Christ.

The vines attached to the root that weren’t producing any fruit were just depriving the vine that was. The vine following the fruit was just wasted vine being fed that didn’t need to be.

How true this is to our own lives. Often times we are guilty of holding on to material possessions, relationships, addictions, and anything that’s restricting our spiritual growth with God. Just as with the fruitless vines, these things we worship are robbing us from experiencing life to the fullest on earth with Jesus.

As I was pruning away, I took great caution to know where I was cutting. Knowing all well if I were to cut the vine in the wrong place, it would no longer allow the pumpkin to receive the nutrients it needs to continue to grow.

Jesus tells us, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
‭‭John‬ ‭15:5‬

What an amazing promise. If we are in Christ Jesus, we will bear MUCH fruit! We will find our joy in Him. We can have hope for what lies ahead knowing Jesus has defeated darkness forever more.

With this awesome reminder also comes a tragic reality. Apart from Him, we can do NOTHING. If we don’t live a life acknowledging Jesus is who holds our eternities, then what hope do we have? Apart from Him, we are spiritually Dead. Broken. Nothing.

So although we are still in the world for this short time, we can press forward if we have faithfully proclaimed Jesus as our Savior.

My friends my hope is you will prune those vines in your own lives that are keeping you from growing with Christ. The process can be painful, but we can take heart knowing Jesus promises there will be indescribable joy for His children who persevere to the end.

Prune the vines. Walk with Jesus. There is joy and hope to be found in Him and Him alone.



Foggy Mom Brain

Children have a way of stealing our hearts. It’s true. The pains of childbirth are quickly replaced with overflowing joy once we nuzzle our faces against that soft baby skin and watch them nurse so calmly at our breast.

Although motherhood is full of many beautiful moments, the cries of an impatient baby can begin to sound like a high pitched ringing in my ears after a while. The brain fog takes a toll due to lack of uninterrupted sleep. Toddler talk can seem like learning a foreign language. It can make my brain very very tired.

Always surrounded, yet often times feeling so alone.

Despite how many times I was awake throughout the night, I rise early. This uninterrupted time with God is true bliss and essential to help me plunge into the battlefield called “Today”.

As each child makes their way to the kitchen, it seems that my brain is being thrown around like a hot potato. It’s trying to keep up with the needs and wants of my children, but I find that the faster I try to process all that’s happening around me the less likely it is to process anything at all.

My husband and I took the kids to get their school supplies Sunday after church. Walmart was busy as ever. I told myself I wouldn’t wait until last minute to school shop.

Did it anyways.

I also told myself I would take my mother up on her offer to watch our youngest two to make the trip less chaotic.

Took them anyways.

You could say I had it coming. I wouldn’t deny this in an argument.

When in large places like Walmart where there is so much to look at and so many people surrounding me, I tend to get overstimulated. I can’t focus on anything aside from the noise and the movement around me. I begin to get irritated with my kids, sometimes I will even begin to excessively sweat if I get too worked up. Why is it so hard to find pink erasers anyways?

I try to tell myself to calm down, but it seems the more I sense myself getting worked up the more my focus is lost. Why am I this way? Why can’t I just go to Walmart and not feel panic?

I’ll add going hungry makes it ten times worse.

I need to start packing an emergency ham sandwich to have available before I bust through those doors to the war zone that lies ahead.

The panic I experience is a reminder that things are not as they should be. I ask God’s Spirit to calm my nerves and as I cling to Him my invisible fear begins to fade.

Later that evening, my husband called in reinforcement. My mom shows up to babysit the kids so I can have a few hours away from my motherhood duties.

What do we decide to do for our first night away?

Buy socks for our kids. Exciting date night.

Trying to make the best of our alone time, it seemed that all we wanted to do was talk about our kids. How strange to crave moments of peace and then once we get what we asked for we still aren’t happy. Typical human flesh behavior I must say.

What I learn from each “Today” being a mom and a wife brings me so much joy. Although this is joy from God’s view and not ours as humans. Caring for my children is molding me day by day and I can only thank my Savior Jesus for that.

He came to serve us. He took on the form of man and showed us how to sacrifice our own needs to find true joy in carrying for the needs of others. I thank him for even the moments of panic I experience, knowing He is using this discomfort to carve me into the image that He calls me to be.

So if you are overwhelmed by the day, may I encourage you to look to Jesus. He is always with you. He will never leave you or forsake you. He knows your struggles, even your secrete fear of Walmart my friends. He knows it all.

We as mother don’t have to take on “Today” alone. Lay your burdens on Him and He will give you rest that can’t be found on earth. It definitely can’t be found from the Walmart shelves friends.