Monday, September 3, 2012

a garden overrun and the Soli Deo Gloria Party

It's time to pull up your chair.  Do you know you have one here in this space we call Soli Deo Gloria?  You do.  It's reserved every week only for you.  This place would be different if you weren't here and we miss you when you are gone.  This is a place filled with women who seek to honor your words, you heart, your tears, and your laughter.  Scooch in close.  You won't want to miss a word.
To read more about the Soli Deo Gloria community, please click here.

Also, SDG retreat registration is still open!!  Click here to find out more information and learn how to register.  Hotel reservations must be made by September 7th.  Registration for conference closes on September 23rd.
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Last week was all about my fun Summer Snapshots.  This week, there is another side, one that is filled with neglect.  Frankly, I'm embarrassed to even show you this picture because in one particular way, it resembles the state of my heart.


Just a few months ago, this very same garden produced such fruit.  But the hot Texas sun made its debut in full force and withered the tomato plants and the sweet basil.  The pesky nutgrass, however, thrived and instead of delicious fruit, my garden had become overrun with weeds.

The rosemary, the cinnamon basil, and the mint survived, but because I had turned a blind eye to my garden, I hardly realized the wasps that made their home, burying themselves in the shade of the dead vines and the scent of the herbs.  The nests grew too large and too active for me to simply knock them down without powerful poison.  And so, because we do not wish to ingest toxins, everything had to come out.  It had all become tainted.

How does this garden mirror my heart?  I simply let worry and anxiety choke out my joy.  I neglect God's promises and I put out of my memory all the times that He has provided for me.  I turn often toward the problems and cares that intrude often upon my world, instead of recognizing the God whom I serve.  I forget that i am not, but that i know I AM.  I get busy to tending to my duties and my jobs and my little ones and my heart gets out of control.  I become overrun with the world instead of overflowing with His Word.  Stinging words contaminate my thought processes.  Harmful toxins invade my heart and I wither.
Today, I pulled weeds and lamented loss, both literally and figuratively.  I wondered in my heart how to tangibly be joyful in the face of affliction.  How do we not let our joy be choked out?

It takes being intentional.  It takes remembering.  It takes cultivating - weeding, sowing, and reaping.

We must weed out the voices of this world.
We must plant His Word in our hearts.
We must reap all the benefits of passion for us.

There is always much our God wants to give us, but we must turn to Him in order to receive it.

"So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting
His glorious miracles and obeying His commands."
Psalm 78: 7
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I am so happy to see your face here at Soli Deo Gloria.  Did you know we have small groups?  As SDG has grown, it started to lose a bit of the small community feel.  As such, we have groups that visit each other and leave comments for each other on SDG days so that you don't feel lost in this big blog world.  Would you like to be a part?  If so, please email me at jenfergie2000@me.com.  Also, if you are new here, please put "I am new" as your caption so that we might give you a proper welcome.



26 comments :

  1. Yes, I agree that we must be intentional, listening and planting His word. And maybe gratitude is one of the ways we stop our joy from being choked out. Hope your long weekend was lovely... Blessings on a new week!

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  2. I have the same weeds in my heart! It's true, we need God's Word to defeat lies. Only He can bear fruit. Great post!

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  3. oh, this is a great piece, jen. we learn so much from our gardens, don't we....

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  4. Jen...true words here...i love how God speaks to us through all this world...gardening always speak to me...and we do need all the seasons to bear fruit in our hearts. blessings~

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  5. Oh, Jen- your garden looks like my landscaping. And my heart? I wish it were as easy to "see" as those weeds- seems my heart weeds are sneakier and quieter. Glad we know One who pulls weeds to make room for fruit! Love your honesty, as always.

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  6. Jen - I've been pondering this very thing. The need to cultivate and nourish my heart. Too often, I let the cares of this world overtake the truth of God's word.

    Great post!

    Blessings,
    Joan

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  7. We must weed out the voices of this world.
    We must plant His Word in our hearts.

    Now those are sweet words of wisdom to live by. With you in the weeding. With you desiring purity instead of toxicity! ;) In His Grace, Dawn

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  8. Jen, absolutely LOVED this post. I'm right here with you. Especially with the weeding out the world stuff.

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  9. Yes we must weed out the voices of this world. There are too many voices clamoring for our attention, and some are really enticing! But planting God's Word in our heart makes sure we are able to separate the voices that we need to listen to (Holy Spirit!!!) from the ones we need to rebuke! Patsy from
    HeARTworks and
    papemelroti

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  10. Incredible words of truth, conviction, and encouragement, Jen. Thanks so much for the powerful reminder!

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  11. Thank you, Jen, for this meaningful post! I'm new here and now I'm following you with Google+. I've linked up my post "Working Moms - Part 1" on link number 31. Have a blessed week!

    Tina - mom of 4 and author of 5 blogs
    http://happymomshappyhomes.blogspot.com

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  12. I tried to comment last night, but my phone wouldn't let me log in. Sigh. Anyway, as I was reading your post and looking at the photos, I kept thinking about my dead, shriveled window box flowers. I start each summer with high hopes of maintaining them and enjoying their beauty, but sooner or later my attention is drawn to other things--things that are simply more important. I realize that where I devote my time and energy is where my priorities are. Right now, my priority is in dwelling in God's goodness. If I have to sacrifice a few petunias to make that happen, then okay.

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  13. Great wisdom in this post. Thank you.

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  14. Jen, this post spoke to right where I am right now. Thank you.

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  15. "There is always much our God wants to give us, but we must turn to Him in order to receive it."

    So true. I spend so much time worrying and stewing over myself, when I should just be focusing on Christ. It's almost ridiculous how much I complain about the harvest, when I neglect to cultivate. I have a feeling that quite a few things would just disappear if my eyes were fixed properly. Love your heart, friend.

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  16. Great words, as usual. I found a huge ugly green worm on my tomato plants yesterday. YUCK! Picked up right off and squashed him flat. /Then thought this morning, God created him too. LOL, I feel guilty for killing a worm????

    Posted on Summer Snapshots this morning! Great theme idea.

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  17. Hi Jen,
    Sometimes the weeds take over faster than I expect or realize, both literally and figuratively. I think you're right...being intentional is key.

    It's my first time linking up here. :) Thanks for hosting! I added your button on my blog.
    God bless,
    Laura

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  18. Wow! This really sums up exactly what God has been working with me on. I love how He continues to speak to us through our gardens and giving us sermons from the ground.

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  19. Hi Jen,

    dang, those pesky weeds...Love your three points:We must weed out the voices of this world.
    We must plant His Word in our hearts.
    We must reap all the benefits of passion for us.

    Thanks, and blessings,
    Dolly

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  20. Love this analogy Jen, it speaks to me today. Overrun with the world. I'm seeping in the truth, its the best weed killer.

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  21. What a terrific analogy, Jen! Thanks for the great reminder that our hearts need cultivating and weeding too. Thanks also for hosting the linkup, & God bless!
    Laurie
    http://savedbygracebiblestudy.blogspot.com/

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  22. I love gardening and God speaks volumes to me when I am doing it, but sadly my gardens are so very neglected this summer. I am sure my neighbors are less than thrilled.;) I am Praising God though, because my spiritual garden is not neglected! His truth is the best! Such a great analogy. Thank you for sharing this. :)

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  23. Spot on girl...I could have written the same post, though have yet to settle on how & what to {literally} garden here;} Sending you prayers, love & hugs!!!

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  24. Right here in the garden with you, Jen! Just as Lisa-Jo wrote about all of us women having our own plot in the Kingdom garden, so we shall help one another keep the weeds at bay with hope and encouragement!

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  25. Thanks, Jen - such a great application of Psalm 78:7
    Hugs from VA,
    Susan

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  26. It's a constant battle, isn't it? Thanks for this reminder to stay alert and vigilant, Jen. There is so much fruit there.

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