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  • Writer's pictureJen Henry

A Bountiful Harvest

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

Hello Friends and Family,

I am thrilled to be here and connecting with you today. I hope your week has been a good one and you are finding time to enjoy some of the things you love, that bring you joy. I hope you have been coming along with growth in your life and pushing yourself out of the comfort areas that might be keeping you from moving into your best life. I am talking about areas in our lives that could use some attention, some change, modification, or some cleaning up. As I am at my computer writing this post, looking out through the back sliding glass doors, I can see our planter area that is filled full of an array of flowers, veggies, trees, and shrubs, but if I look closer, a little longer, and hard enough, I also see leaves that have blown off the trees and are scattered about and piling up. I also notice some not so friendly weeds that are popping up sporadically. Why are these leaves and weeds there I ask? I worked in the garden weeks ago and it looked great then, but it is starting to look unattended and messy again. Why is it that my garden doesn't still look like it did, weeks ago?





As I started to ponder these questions, I came up with a realistic answer as reality set in. The obvious answer is, I haven't spent much time in the garden for weeks now, and I realize that one thing is sure, life happens. Reality clearly shows me that life goes on and my attention has been elsewhere. I have chosen to spend time doing other things, then attend to my garden. If I don't pause or look hard enough, my garden looks ok, but if I stop and take a more thorough assessment, I see it is getting messy. There are objects and insects that are invading the flower beds like weeds, annoying ants, and the beginning of whitefly attaching itself to our fruit trees. If I take a minute to look even further, I might notice that the fence is starting to break down in certain areas and the paint need some touchup. Reality begins to set in, and I realize that if I choose to leave it this way for any amount of time, the colorful fruit on the trees and the beautiful flowers in the garden, will be overshadowed by the quickly spreading weeds, the invasion of pests, and the disintegration of the fence.


Distractions are everywhere and can take over our lives as fast as a weed pops up in a garden. When we de-weed, the garden looks great and is so satisfying to gaze upon, but when we turn our backs on what we have neglected to see attacking our gardens, the problem areas will grow and multiply into bigger issues. Those issues can start to get so out of control, we don't even know where to begin tackling the problems and achieving order again. Before you know it, our once beautiful garden we were so proud of, has been taken over by weeds, that are now choking out the growth, pests that are eating up our gardens, and a compromised fence that is no longer functioning as a form of protection to the garden. What we never intended to be in the beginning, is now a reality. I don't think we ever start our flower or vegetable garden with the intension that it would someday turn into a bed of weeds or a breeding ground for pests or critters.


So, where do we go from here, if you can relate to this? I think beginning with a pause and a few deep breaths is a good start. It is important to not live our lives in condemnation and park ourselves in the question of, how this could have happened, because that is not going to get us too far. But action is a must. After that pause and a few deep breaths are paired with a moment of reflection and assessment, we can prepare for the next step. I think this is a great time to pray and ask God to help us with a plan of action. Ask Him for knowledge covered by wisdom to know where we should begin, to help us on your journey. Asking God for direction and praying for His wisdom will help us make wise choices leading to the path he wants us to take to begin repair and clean up.


I do think our lives can be compared to a garden. We first try and come up with a good plan. We put in time researching a design to decide what we want our gardens / lives to look like before we invest. After that, we then make a choice to put in the effort to move forward or not. If we choose to move forward, we begin to buy in by purchasing the items we need to build our garden such as wood to make the planters, gardening tools, and quality soil to plant our seeds in. We then put in effort to prepare the area and choose a nutritious soil that will give us our best chance to reap a bountiful harvest. We then sow our seeds and follow it up with watering and frequent attending to our garden. But gardens don't grow overnight, they take time, so we put in efforts to check on our garden, make sure it is watered and fed frequently, making it a priority to manage and protect our garden, so nothing can come in to harm it in any way. If we do what it takes to have an amazing and prosperous garden, by putting in the effort and making it a priority, we will be filled with a bountiful harvest of flowers, fruits and vegetables to enjoy. The rewards will be plentiful.



(Here is a picture of the garden my friend and I planted at her home on July 24,2023.

Some of the items planted were bell peppers, cilantro, jalapeno, basil, cucumbers, onion, and tomato)





(After attending her garden well, and giving it much attention, here is a picture of my dear friends bountiful garden 45 days later on Sept 8, 2023 )






(A picture she proudly sent me a few days from her last harvest. She gleans rewards daily because of the love and care she has given to her garden. It has brought her such joy :)




Many times at the start, our intensions are right, but we can easily get sidetracked and begin to neglect our lives or our gardens. They begin to get messy like the first picture I added in the beginning of this post. As this process accelerates, we may be able to catch our neglect or mistakes, and make the choice to get back on track again. If we stay close enough to the situation and don't separate ourselves too long, we can put in the effort to get our lives and gardens back on track. This choice "does" require effort. If we do our part, God is by our side to help clean up the mess and get things straightened out, when we don't feel like we can go a step further. Praying and having faith activates the process. It is like Miracle Grow to our lives :)


I think it is ok to reflect on where and how our garden or lives started to go sideways, so we can learn from our choices, but it is important to "not" get stuck in living in condemnation. That is "not" where God wants us to be. He is a God of forgiveness and second chances, but we do need to change our intensions and make a choice to get back on track. If we make a genuine decision of the heart to move forward and choose the right path, we will reap a bountiful harvest and settle into a rewarding situation filled with God's blessings. God almighty is a God of increase and provision, not a god of force. He gives us a choice to choose whether we want what He has for us and His greatest plan for our lives, or we can make the decision to be the leader of our lives and make the choices we want. Choosing to go solo will bring about some kind of outcome, but it most likely will not bring about the beautiful and fulfilling garden / life, Jesus has for you. There is an enemy that is looking to find a way to destroy our garden's and our anticipated reward. If allowed to infiltrate our garden and lives, the enemy will eventually produce a result filled full of weeds and critters which can bring about an empty harvest that has been devoured, and not enjoyed by you. What is stopping us from allowing the creator of the universe, to be The Master Gardener of Our Lives?


(Here is a picture now that my garden has once again been given some love)





Here is a picturesque scripture that pairs beautifully with this post:

John 15:1-12

15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.


After praying first, then writing this post, I remembered I hadn't read my devotional for the day so I stopped and read it, before I finalized. I am actually on July 28th even though it is now September. I know in my heart I am right where I am supposed to be :)

Below is a paragraph taken out of my devotional, from The God Of Your Story by Brian Hardin July 28, 2023

If you are facing difficulties, get honest about it. Identify what is truly happening. See if for what it is, and bring it to God--as David modeled in today's Psalm, Chapter 22. God wants your honesty a lot more than your distractions. The distractions do not fix anything; they only defer it. If you're feeling overwhelmed and helpless, then name those feelings. Turn them into worship as King David did. Worship is not just for high times....It is for the lowest of low times when only God understands. You will find God in your honesty. And you may find profound relief in confessing what is really going on in your heart.


Thank you for reading my new post. I have enjoyed every minute of our time together today. Please know I am thinking of you and holding you up in my prayers. Please feel free to click around my website after reading my post to discover other BONUS item's I have added under the "FOOD FOR THOUGHT" section or other categories you can find under the three horizontal lines / Menu button on the top of this post or on www.intoyourgrowth.com

I love your thoughts as well. You can add them to the COMMENTS section or you can always private message me as some of you do. Thank you for spending your precious time with me today. Please feel free to pass on my site or posts if you have someone in mind to send them to. Have an enjoyable and blessed week.


Big hugs,


Jen Henry

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Convidado:
08 de nov. de 2023
Avaliado com 5 de 5 estrelas.

Reading this made me feel blessed and full of God's JOY!!!!!

Curtir

ingridshealinghands
04 de out. de 2023
Avaliado com 5 de 5 estrelas.

Thanks for your beautiful stories on change my sweet friend Jen. I love you and miss you 😘

Curtir
Convidado:
10 de out. de 2023
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Thank you for your precious comment 😍 I so appreciate, miss and love you right back🦋

Curtir
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