Seeing God demonstrate his love for us in nature.

If we just look, God has object lessons of his grace and love all around for us to see and experience.

 

Joy Day!

Foxgloves & Iris

 

Almost exactly 3 years ago to the day, my husband and I were sitting in the office of our executive pastor. We were anticipating some new changes in the structure of the children’s ministry.  Tim was leading a thriving and growing ministry to children with excellence and grace, and we were anticipating a good meeting.  Several minutes later we were told that we (I was Tim’s ministry assistant) would no longer be leading the children’s ministry at that church.  It was a mind-numbing, gut wrenching blow.  The bottom had fallen out of our world.  “God…did you see this?”  “Are you allowing this?”  We were brokenhearted and cried out to HIM with all our being.

 

Astilbe Garden with Stone Flower Girl

Astilebes

 

As an avid gardener, I was spending more time in the garden.  Not necessarily doing.  But observing. Praying and thinking and being still.  We had no idea where or when the next ministry position would appear.

 

Late Spring Garden

 

One day as I was sitting in the garden I noticed a little Junco spending a lot of time around one of the large containers.  Upon closer inspection I discovered a tiny little nest midst the Heliotrope, the Diamond Dust Euphorbia, and the trailing purple Petunias.  I was overjoyed!

 

Heliotrope, the Diamond Dust Euphorbia, and trailing purple petunias.

Heliotrope, Diamond Dust Euphorbia, Trailing Purple Petunias.

 

Here I was, worrying about my future and a Junco chooses a small piece of paradise in my garden in which to make her nest, lay her four tiny eggs, and raise her young.   God gave me an object lesson, right in the middle of my garden.  Reminding me that even as he cares for the Sparrow (my Junco), even more he cares for me.

With that I returned to these verses in my Bible….

“Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? ” Matthew 6:26, The Bible, New Living Translation

“Are not two little sparrows sold for a penny?  And yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s leave (consent) and notice.  But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear not, then; you are of more value than many sparrows.”  Matthew 10:29-31, Amplified Bible

 

Lamium, Sedum, Johnson's Blue Geranium, Goat's Bear - Purple & White Garden

Lamium, Sedum, Johnson's Blue Geranium, Goat's Beard & moreFl

 

God has shown me over and over how much he cares for me these past 3 years.  I’d like to be able to tell you that Tim immediately took a new ministry position.  But, that wasn’t the case.  He interviewed at countless churches.  I had been recovering from illness and I got much sicker.  I made a bad business decision. We exhausted all our funds.  We painted houses, removed wallpaper, gardened, held garage sales, and sold many, many baskets to make ends meet.  God nudged friends to help us and keep food on our table.  It was hard, difficult, and trying.  Nearly two and one-half years after that fateful day, we moved to a new state and a quaint town. Tim returned to children’s ministry at a wonderful church, of another denomination.  A church where they live out, “Love God. Love each other. Love the world.”

 

Purple & white container featuring Cleome

 

It was a very difficult trying time.  Yet, I had peace. “Peace that passes understanding.”  (Philippians 4:7) God proved himself trustworthy…not that he needed to…but because he is.  He sustained us, daily.  And I continue to hold dear the memory of God’s live object lesson to me…the sparrow (Junco) who built her precious little nest in my container of flowers.  I count it all JOY.

What has God done to demonstrate his amazing love for you?

 

 

Today is JoyDay!

A day to count our blessings.  Please join me…share one for the week…or one for each day.  Please share yours in the section called “Speak Your Mind.”  I’ll start…

  • Watching tree tops filled with lightning bugs and horizontal orange lightning over the mountains
  • Creamy yellow paint = laundry room happiness
  • Cardboard trees + working with new friends
  • Threat of heavy rain & wind = excuse to pick armloads of peonies
  • Yummy grass fed Ox burgers
  • Friends who called to warn of the approaching tornado which later touched down close by
  • Being where God placed us

Now it’s your turn….

Count it ALL Joy!

Diane

 

Take the Joy Dare at: One Thousand Gifts.   Or find ONE THING to be thankful for each day and write it down.  Then, come back next week and share your joys here.

 

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Comments

  1. Good morning! Thank you for this beautiful post. I am sorry you went through this bad time, but I am thankful for you that things are better now. I can’t imagine how difficult it is sometimes to be in ministry. My husband is in leadership at our church and I do know now how hard that job can be. But blessings also abound! Have a wonderful day of worship. Your flowers are just gorgeous!

    Thank you so much for the comment you left on my blog. I can’t wait to hear your suggestions! It is obvious from your beautiful blog that you know what you are talking about, and I am anxious to hear your suggestions. I will be checking out the two bloggers you mentioned. Hugs!

    • Thank you Susan! God is good, all the time. We just need to keep our eyes on him.
      Oh…something I neglected to share in the post. I don’t have that garden any more. First, in hopes of having a few dollars to start a new garden where we thought we were moving, I sold the plants from that garden in my yard and grassed it over. We didn’t get the job…and those dollars bought groceries. Two years later we actually moved…and I’m starting from scratch, except for a few totes of plants that came with us. I look forward to what God will do to redeem it.
      Happy Sunday, friend!

  2. I’ve known the difficulty of losing a ministry you love. But, God is always teaching, always guiding, always good. Especially when we don’t understand.

    Blessings.

    • I’m sorry you too know that pain. Yes….God is good…always. Though that road was a difficult one. My life it rich, fuller, deeper because of it. And I am sooo very grateful for all God has taught us as he brought us through those deep waters.
      Thanks for coming by Eyvonne!

  3. Hannah Avery says:

    What a beautiful post! Love the name of your blog. I love peonies and fireflies too. They are two of the beautiful joys of summer!

    -Hannah

    http://blissfullyfeminine.blogspot.com

  4. Beautiful gardens Diane. You have a beautiful blog too with I see so much inspiration to share. Thanks for stopping over and commenting.

  5. Thank you for the very inspiring and REAL post! God does care for us and give us peace, but that does not mean everything gets worked out quickly and easily! and yet through it all He upholds us and blesses us and draws us closer to Him in His grace 🙂

    Blooming with you,
    Emily
    http://www.weakandloved.com/

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