In the Wake of Drought: What Remains

Spring speaks a different dialogue out here in the country. Its native tongue is the same: warmer days, sudden gusts of air like angels are breezing through, robes caught on branches then tugging free, chattersome birds competing for best lung and limb, dogs sunbathing and scratching their backs on the few stiff sprigs of dead grass leftover by winter. Though Spring bears such similarities every year, it still surprises and delights the delight-able. I want in the worst way to remain one of those.

 

Other things are new for me this year. New for me 6 miles from town. 17 miles from my small, man-scaped suburban yard of 27 years. The landscaping is mostly left to God out here and that makes it feel considerably riskier. Oh, I know it’s not. I know the right things to say. I’m just suggesting that it feels that way. For instance, He doesn’t appear all that adept at mowing and weed-eating and a bit more like Edward Scissorhands at limb trimming. His tools are mostly winds and rains.

 

Our area of the country experienced the worst drought in its history last Spring, Summer, and early Fall. Though we’ve had the enormous relief of winter rains, they tell us that this unwelcome desert-shroud has not lifted from us yet and will blanket us in our hot flashes for another half a year. We hope they are wrong. We so hope they are wrong.

 

My man was a servant of the land long before he had a single acre. He was formed by his Maker to be outside. He tends and frets and blesses and curses out there. He thinks and rethinks. He weaves and unravels. I don’t mean he’s a yardman. I can count the times I’ve seen him mow the yard on one hand. He’s an outdoorsman. He lives out there on the other side of the fence. He has paltry little taste for manicured gardens. He likes to fuss over things out there where only God can fuss with any consistent effectiveness.

 

Keith is a self-taught tree man who believes that earning your B.S. degree in anything of the least value begins with several years spent in nothing but pure appreciation. Melissa told me not long ago that he drove her up to a particular spot near here and gruffly said, “You see that sycamore over there?” She nodded because she did. “If that tree doesn’t move you…well, then, you’re an idiot.”

Vintage Keith Moore.

This is the top of the one he was talking about. It is a beautiful thing if you’re into trees. An iPhone is a pitiful way to capture it so don’t throw yourself into the idiot category too quickly. It may be a mood-thing.


Keith brought a bona fide, certified, countrified tree-man out here a few months ago to survey the damage of the drought. With his professional eagle eye, he pointed Keith toward a few trees that were clearly lifeless, bark splitting and branches as brittle as melba toast. “But for the most part you can’t really tell yet, Mr. Moore. Only Spring can say what survived.”

 

So, we’ve waited eight weeks to hear what Spring would say, hoping we’d understand its country twang.

 

Finally…

 

“I have good news and bad news,” Spring said. “Which do you want first?”

 

The bad news.

 

To vocalize its answer loud and clear, it borrowed the voices of four large chain saws this morning. I sat out on the front steps and listened but I wouldn’t have had to. I could have heard it just fine from inside the house but, then again, inside I might not have known which way to run in case a huge, dead oak came crashing down some unanticipated direction. I guess nobody really yells, “Timmmmm-berrrrrrr!” anymore because I haven’t heard it a single time and they’ve missed innumerable opportunities. What I have heard is a sound like the sudden cracking of lightening (only not quite so loud but quite more personal) followed by branches splitting and breaking and thuds so powerful, our pier and beam house jolts.

 

 

The carnage going on outside my house right now is so loud that I don’t know how you can hear me. I’ll try to talk louder.

SO, MR. SPRING, IS THERE ANY GOOD NEWS OUT THERE?

This time Spring didn’t use the sound of chain saws. This time it used a different kind of voice. At least I hope it did. And not with audible sounds but words of the heart. I’ll attempt to hang some vocabulary on it like miniature lights on long limbs but I don’t know if I’m getting it right. Here’s a meager shot at it:

 

1. The cutting away is painful but it can relieve considerable angst. Sometimes knowing for certain what is dead is better than wondering. “Well, now we at least know,” Keith, his parents, and I have said to one another. “If it’s dead and gone, let’s get it out of here,” I said to all three of them last night and they nodded. It is pointless to keep trying to resuscitate things God has killed…or permitted to die. I’m not talking about unspeakably sacred treasures like people. I’m talking about things. Like plans, works, efforts, castles, methods, accomplishments, goals, aspirations, positions, tenures, results. Sometimes God uses a fresh Spring to say, “That was a good thing. And it had some good life. But now it is dead. Let’s chop it down and use it for firewood. You’re wearing yourself out giving it CPR. It’s dead. Have a one-day memorial service and move on. You don’t have to understand why. I bring to life. I kill. I understand the cycle. You don’t. But, if it’s any encouragement, you will.”

 

There comes a time when it’s finally time to stop forcing things that don’t work. You know me better than to think I mean marriages. We’re talking things here. God alone can perform a resurrection and, notice, He usually chooses in His sovereign wisdom to keep dead things dead once they’re dead here on earth. That’s not so bad when you consider that we’re heading somewhere where nothing will die but death.

 

2. The cutting away of the dead is to make room for the living. “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine dresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit He takes away.” That thing we keep beating our bloody fists on is not bearing fruit. It’s taking up space where something else needs planting. Something that needs nurturing. Something that needs exposing to the sun. It’s in the way.

 

Crack. Break. Thud. Another one. Good grief. How many will there be?

 

Spring talks on…

 

3. Sometimes only a few limbs are dead. The tree is alive but it’s suffering, trying to hold onto dead weight. Let it go. Scoot out from under it and let it fall. And the rest of the tree will flourish again. You do not equal “it.” Stop defining yourself by what’s past. The Holy Spirit penned it this way in John 15: “Every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” The purpose for this massive cutting away of what is dead is to make room for what is alive. It is for our health. Not for our end.

 

“Abide in Me, and I in you,” He says.  

 

4. Some limbs are alive – barely – but they’re too strangled to sip from the tree. “As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” Catch the nuance in Galatians 3:3 – “Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?” I’ve tried that before. Have you? The limb is choking on a stubborn clot of flesh. Cough up the human means to a divine end, spit it as far as you can, and drink of the Tree of Life.

 

“Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit,” says the Lord of hosts. (Zech. 4:6)

 

5. Not every loss of something old is a crying shame. Just because it’s been there long and large doesn’t mean that it should stay. Keith’s parents lost a really big one. A painful one. A prime oak that loomed over their front yard like a giant flexing its muscles on twenty massive arms. In the tree-man’s own words, “That was a near perfect tree. Perfectly shaped.”

 

Crack. Break. Thud.

 

 

Sometimes things get to live a really long and wonderful life before they die. But perish the thought that, in their honor, we’d keep calling something alive that has long since breathed its last. If it is not cut down, it could tumble down and cause ten times the destruction. Traditional and eternal are not synonymous. Sometimes they coexist. Sometimes they conflict.

 

6. So much is alive. Sometimes only a cutting-away of what is dead can improve our view. In the words of Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (KJV) The tree man, a few days ago: “You were fortunate, Mr. Moore. You didn’t get hit nearly as hard as you could have. Look at all that made it.” It’s hard to tell right now with all the noise the dead is making, screeching and snapping it’s way to the ground but we know it’s true. And it’s obvious. By a long shot, most of the trees down the dirt road we share with our neighbors survived the drought. There is a birthing of every shade of green around us. Forest green, hunter green, apple green (minus the apple), sea green (minus the sea), lime green (minus the lime), shamrock green (do three-leaf clovers count?), and pine green (pines enough to count). But I’m partial. If I tilt my head the other way, it all just looks plain green.  But after the ugliest drought to ever hit the Gulf Coast, nothing is more gorgeous than green.

 

7. Not every dying thing is meant to be dead. If we are so distracted by what has died that we cannot see what is alive, we could risk losing the living. “Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die.” (Revelation 3:2) Hear that one more time: Strengthen what remains! It is still there on purpose. Nothing is haphazard here in the landscape of God. Nothing is as random as it seems. Though you thought less of it, look at its strength: it survived the worst drought in your history! Though you were parched, it stuck its tongue out at the drought and licked the dew. Thank God for it and tend to it before it dies from the quiet cancer of neglect.

 

8. Not everything that looks dead IS dead. Yesterday afternoon Keith and I stared at a big tree with bare limbs smack in the middle of our front yard, trying to figure out whether or not it had any hope. This morning as I sat on the front steps, listening to the discord of four chain saws, I looked up and saw tiny sprigs of life. It had budded overnight. While it was dark. Look closely now at the ends of those skinny branches.

 

 

9. Bare ground is not necessarily barren ground. Maybe it’s time to plant something brand new. Like a Redbud. The difference between growing a tad older and just plain getting-old can be the willingness to plant something brand new. Or be part of planting it anyway. Something almost from scratch. Like a Redbud, for instance. Or via the Holy Spirit through your son-in-law and daughter, maybe even a church. That sliver of sunlight isn’t a filter on my camera. It was natural light coming through the trees at the moment we walked by. It’s like God knew I was working on this post.

 

 

I know. It’s hard to see. Here’s the new plant closer up. And the shadow of yours truly next to it, just so you know this was personal.

 

As it turns out, I’ve spent this entire day with you at least in fits and starts. It’s evening now. Keith and I just got back from a stroll, down around his parents and back. It was the Chainsaw Massacre. But all that is sprouting around it seemed strangely oblivious. Just before we walked back into the house, Keith said, “What is that?” I stopped in my tracks. “Do you hear that chirping?” he said. I did and stood very still to listen. My man of 33 years grinned and said, “It’s baby birds. There’s a nest up there somewhere.” We held our hands over our eyes, squinted in the sunset, and tried to see sewn-together twigs in the shape of a bowl and the tiny fluttering feathers of happy hatchlings.

 

But we couldn’t see the birds for the leaves. Or the forest for the trees.

 

It’s Spring here in Houston. Spring after the worst drought in our history. Maybe you know how Houston feels. Lord, let this not be the mere middle of it. Make the forecasters false prophets but let them live all the same. Right or wrong, theirs is no final voice.

5   This is what the Lord says:

“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,

who depends on flesh for his strength

and whose heart turns away from the Lord.

6  He will be like a bush in the wastelands;

he will not see prosperity when it comes.

He will dwell in the parched places of the desert,

in a salt land where no one lives.

7   “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,

whose confidence is in him.

8    He will be like a tree planted by the water

that sends out its roots by the stream.

It does not fear when heat comes;

its leaves are always green.

It has no worries in a year of drought

and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiahs 17:5-8 NIV

 

No worries?? Seriously?

 

That’s what it says.  The question for people of faith is not “Will I experience drought?” It’s “When will I experience drought?” And, when we do, how we will respond. Will we, for all practical purposes, die a needless spiritual death or will we strengthen what remains, plant something new in Jesus’ Name, and dig our roots deeper toward the stream? Feeling a tad dry? Go deeper. Trust God. Do NOT fear. The drought will pass and, even though the mightiest trees around you may wither or fall, you may cease for a while to have fun, but you will not cease to bear fruit.  I don’t know about you but, if for a little while life’s not fun then, Lord help me, at least let there be fruit!

 

“They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.”  Isaiah 61:3 NIV

 

 

 

I love you guys so much.

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356 Responses to “In the Wake of Drought: What Remains”

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Comments:

  1. 101
    Michelle Baylerian says:

    Thank you Beth for painting a visual picture of how God prunes us. I have been doing a lot of pondering in my life on many accounts. I will be eager to figure out how that looks in my life? I am preparing my heart for Holy Week so that I can experience the sufferings of Christ. You are so loved!!!

  2. 102
    Twila Williams says:

    I would like to say first that two years ago I had no idea who you are but two Bible studies later with my women of destiny group I am much wiser and more knowledge. I have so enjoyed your studies, blogs, stories and tweets. You and your words from God have touch my life in more in more ways than you can imagine. I am strugglee with a calling to the ministry and I know it is my own insecurities and lack of falilial support the insecurity part I. Can deal with but the lack of support is much harder too get past. However your inpiring ministry has. Gone a long way in helping me me work through my way in answering Gods call in my life and I justt wanteed to say Thank You. To you for

  3. 103
    kendal says:

    we recently cut about 20 bigs trees to allow more light to our vegetable garden. and to make way to plant an orchard, an orchardette, really. those new leaves on those small, new trees almost made me cry when i walked through them this afternoon. spring is a blessing.

  4. 104
    jill says:

    whew. what a great post. sooooo glad you’re back!

  5. 105
    Carol Hulin says:

    Dear Beth: Your post gave me goose bumps….it’s almost too much to take in right now. But, thank you…!!!

    Carol

  6. 106

    Beautiful. Heart changing and challenging. I’ve walked through a spiritual drought and I’ve felt the pain of the pruning. I’ve cried over plans that were more mine than God’s. I’ve watched Him take this pruned soul and give it fresh life! I’ve lived through the drought, lost the branches, survived the pruning and am loving this SPRING in Jesus! He is the VINE!
    Thank you sweet Beth!

  7. 107
    Jill_in_al says:

    You jolted me with the comment “what are you trying to resuscitate that God killed?”. May it not be the case but I know full well that sometimes it is. Scares and sobers me.

    I can relate to your story on msny levels and literally. We lost a tree to death in the Alanama April 27th tornado. I hoped it would have spring life but it was not to be. Just last week we had it removed and the stump ground up. Sad but necessary. Life moves on and somewhere an acorn hits the dirt and hope lives.

  8. 108
    Tina says:

    I’m glad you made it back to Texas. Thank you for those words and insights. Lots to think about and chew on.

  9. 109
    Tracy Langford says:

    Welcome home and thank you for letting God use you to speak to so many of us who are in the midst of our pruning! Isn’t it so wonderful how God knew exactly what to say through you for so many at one time? Just the right words, just the right Scripture! How blessed we are – even through our pruning!

    Love you so much, Mama Beth!

  10. 110

    what a good thoughtful post. I’ve always thought a woman was like a tree.

    I look at an old tree with huge branches and all the birds and creatures that nest in its branches. It may be grey and full of knots and gnarled branches, but it is a thing of SUCH beauty. children play in its shade, daydreams are dreamed as someone swings back and forth on a swing tied to its branches.

    I see that as a woman who has lived her whole life digging her roots down deep into Gods love for her. Through all the seasons, storms, hot summers, droughts, snow and producing new growth spring after spring.

    I loved all your analogies Beth, especially the one about the little church. May God grow that little sappling to become a huge tree.

    Glad you are home safe,
    Heidi

  11. 111
    Punky Tolson says:

    Wow, Beth, I’m sitting here choking back tears. Only reason I’n not full on bawling is because my man is in the middle of Idol and I’ll surely wreck the show for him. I’m just stunned by your post. It’s as much a word from the Lord to me as I’ve had- from the tree illustrations…even down to the very Scriptures you referenced. I live in Big D and the Texas drought has been as much a spiritua experiencel as an ecological one for this woman. Likewise the spring.

    Each of the 9 points you made hit me hard and true. I’m in the midst of cutting away… but it’s hard and scary. More scary than hard. I know He’s asking me to cut some things off in order to bear more fruit, and to strengthen those things I’ve neglected to the point of barely breathing (here come the tears). It’s just that either way this cutting away will impact so many others- whether I do or whether I don’t. Maybe cutting away the “good” that has perhaps been choking out the “better thing”. Is it ever too late? Can we wait too long to cut away? Please pray for me if you think of it. Thank you for responding to the Lord and taking your day to write this post. It was a word in season… a now word in this very moment… for this dry soul.

    Love you so,
    xo – P

  12. 112
    Romona Smith says:

    Your words are like apples of gold in settings of silver.

  13. 113
    Cara says:

    Wow. This was amazing. Thanks SO much for sharing this wisdom He’s put in your heart. You’re a true treasure Beth.

    lots of love & God blessings,
    Cara

  14. 114
    Amy S. says:

    I’ve not posted before, but I certainly cannot hold back now. Ladies, I have been doing the “Breaking Free” study this spring and just TODAY I completed the first day of week 10, which was all about the display of God’s splendor, and captives set free called “oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord.” I’m overwhelmed by God’s love right now and truly blessed by your post, Beth. Thank you for being a living portrait of God’s beauty! He’s boasting to me about you and your blog 🙂

  15. 115

    Beth, welcome home. As a fellow outdoorsman who spent the last several weekends taking down a dozen trees (remnants of the October snow here) these same truths resonated in my soul. Thank you for writing them out so beautifully.

  16. 116
    Judy Thomason says:

    Wow, thank you. This is exactly what I needed. Not just for me, but for a friend of mine who is going through a rough time. Thank you. This was beautiful.

  17. 117
    Diane Archibald says:

    Timely! Thank you, Beth.

  18. 118
    Carol from Coopersburg says:

    Cool affirmations.

  19. 119
    Lisa says:

    Beth,
    This was such a sweet, poignant post — I started out laughing about Keith and the sycamore, then almost held my breath as the glorious truths you shared penetrated my heart.
    I, too, have been in a season of drought for the past two years. Without going into what could be a very long story, I will tell you that our precious third daughter Katie has been a prodigal since April 2010. But now it’s spring again, and the rains are starting, and what once seemed dead is coming back to life. Katie is talking about coming back home. Her heart, though not yet quite where it should be, is changing. God is wooing her back to Himself. The winds of change are blowing! Winter’s deathly grip is loosening, and all I can do is thank my faithful, mighty, wonderful God, who is Sovereign over all seasons.

    P.S. And, yes, MUCH fruit has come from this painful pruning — not only in my life, but in the life of my entire family!

  20. 120
    aunt Rhody says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for at least three years. Have left no comment for quite a long time. I think it’s because I anticipate the changes ahead in our lives, similar, or perhaps identical to your move and church change, and I don’t want to accept the immensity of my emotions. I live in the same town where I was born, where so many buildings, streets, people, and customs are as familiar as the lines in my own hands. During university and early marriage we lived away and loved our lives, but with the birth of our first child we craved the support of family. When she was two years old we moved back, completely following the will of the Holy Spirit who set it up as only He could do. My Daddy died almost four years ago and my Mom is 90. Our children are grown and three of them live in the Dallas area where my husband works, commuting on weekends to our home. We love our church. That is where the major part of our “family” resides now. Our children wrote on the walls of the youth building. Three of them were married in the sanctuary. Part of my business is housed in the educational building. But the time is growing short with my Mom, and when her residence moves from earth to heaven it will no longer be sensible to live here in the large family home away from the primary family–especially my husband. I needed to read your post about Spring and trees and God’s ongoing work in the earth. Thank you so much. You always bless me, soul and spirit. I love you!

  21. 121
    Lisa says:

    Welcome back Siesta Mama!
    This post was awe inspiring. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us.
    I can’t wait to read this again – so much to take it. Bless you dear one.

  22. 122
    Cindy says:

    Beth, I can’t begin to tell you how timely this was for me….it is one of my all time favorite posts/words from the Lord you’ve penned….last week in James study it was ‘between the rains’ and today the ‘drought’…..this too shall pass and He will rain down on me again. (what’s that I hear? Wait for it….yes, All My Fountains!) see you in KC….so looking forward to it!
    Grace & peace,
    Cindy
    Columbia, MO

    • 122.1
      Jennifer D. says:

      YEAH Kansas CITY! I am SO looking forward to the conference!! I am bringing my mom, grandma, and sister. We are meeting my best friend, her sister, mom, and mother-in-law. We are ready for a girl’s weekend and a WORD from God.

      Last summer, I went to the Living Proof Live in Lincoln, NE. What a blessing! I felt like I got a great big HUG from above.

  23. 123
    Denise says:

    Thanks for looking closely and listening to God’s voice. What a rich post on so many levels.

  24. 124
    ruth says:

    All Time Best. Brilliant. Half-way through I said to my husband, reading over my shoulder, “Oh, I know just the scriptures I want to share in response in a comment…” And wasn’t the Holy Spirit right on the mark: 2 for 2 at the end of your post.
    LOVE when He does that.
    Love to you, Sister Lady. Welcome back and thank you for your service to our Sisters DownUnder.

  25. 125
    Cindy says:

    Beth,
    This spoke to me on so many levels. We live in the Bastrop Texas area that was devastated by fires which were a large result of the drought. There are so many families here that are dealing with unbelievable loss of material possessions and personal memorabilia. Many are also mourning the loss of the beautiful woods that they chose to live near or in. But there is a resounding spirit that is in the people here that is helping them get past the horror of the fire and many have grow from it. Many are rebuilding in the same neighborhoods and it will definitely be a different landscape that they will view from their home but they seem to understand that it is time to move past the events of the past and cut out the old wood in their lives. One of my friends who lost everything did mourn the loss of her family’s personal memorabilia but she has said numerous times that her home is not here on this earth and she know that her eternal home is in heaven.

  26. 126
    Cathy K. says:

    Thank you, Beth, for taking the time to write and share with us! We are blessed so deeply by the gifts God has given you–that you use so faithfully to serve Him and build up His body!

    Lord, we praise You for Your wonderful ways. Thank you that life and death and life again are in Your hands. Please strengthen our hearts to trust You and give us the courage to yield ourselves to Your love for whatever cutting or pruning or digging or planting you desire. We long to be faithful and fruitful!

    Bless you Beth, and the Moores and Living Proof Ministries!

  27. 127
    Erin says:

    In the midst of drought. I remember what it felt like to be saturated and wonder when I’ll get to have that season again. Sometimes it feels the droughts last so much longer than the rain.

  28. 128
    Linda says:

    Hi, Beth! Welcome home!! I was just thinking about you yesterday and wondering when you would be back…Spring has definately “sprung” here in the midwest! And about 6 weeks ahead of time! Oh, how much rejoicing comes when those signs of life poke out of the dead of winter…praising God for the lessons learned. Thanks for your reflections today and the reminder of God’s promises in Jeremiah 17:8 🙂

  29. 129
    Beckie Thompson says:

    Hi Beth,
    Looking at that Sycamore on your first picture made me sense that Keith and my husband and I have a kindred bond. Last year the state took down our Granddaddy Sycamore of nearly 200 years. I live on the farm that my Great Grandfather lived on…it has been in our family since 1891. When the state took down our sycamore, we cried. The chain saw was a painful sound. It was not dead, only man felt that it was a hazard. Not sure how I could make an analogy with this, but I know that God allowed this. It was not a good thing, but He is still good. He is doing lots of good things with us on our little farm. We are about to start a ministry with horses….which is a real step for us. Just a little info on who I am, I am 51 years old, own a border collie, and I am currently doing Breaking free with our college girls. So, we have a few things in common. Wish we could chat in person. Thanks for staying the course, prayers that you will until we see Jesus. Lovingly, Beckie from Lancaster, PA.

  30. 130
    Christina says:

    ” you may cease for a while to have fun, but you will not cease to bear fruit”. Just shipped my soldier off to war. Again. Loved this phrase! My fun with my man may be gone for a time but my marriage need not be fruitless! And the preceding bit about mighty trees falling all around me, I will not fear! Though marriages crumbles around me, I wil not fear. May God prune away as I am being still and knowing Him. May intimacy increase in our marriage despite circumstances and distance. Love you Siesta Mama!

    • 130.1
      Beth says:

      Dearest Christina, your comment touched me deeply. You, too, are a soldier, young lady. A warrior. May God hold you and your man so close in the distances and restore you to one another with twice the love.

  31. 131
    sepik-meri katie says:

    missed you! so needed that… just did a once over and the Lord let me know He had some tending to do with me on it. so will sit with it longer in the morning and listen to my Vine Dresser. thank you siesta mama.

  32. 132
    colleen says:

    Dear Beth, straight from God to me. Thank you for being such a loving messenger. Love, Colleen.

  33. 133
    Anne F. says:

    Hi Beth- thank you so much for that timely word. I am sitting in my livingroom in Paris, France and just opened my morning email and there was this blog post. I am an American living here and as you can imagine that is not always easy. So for me this word was timely to remind me that in a foreign land when things are not familiar that my God is always there and wants me to continue to stretch my roots into the living water. The promise of yielding fruit is beautiful when you wonder day to day am I even making any difference at all. God is good and this reminder was just what I needed…so I am stretching toward that water and am praying that God will plant something new in my path today. I am so thankful for your ministry.

  34. 134
    Beckie Potterfield says:

    Thank you for speaking God’s Word to us. The ministry I am a part of in my church is going through some real growing pains. This post spoke to my heart of hearts. I have only read it once and know that I will be back to read and let this teaching soak into my heart.

  35. 135
    Amy in Italy says:

    Thank you for this. Thank you for spending your entire day pondering and sharing God’s amazing heart for us with us.

  36. 136

    Beth, thank you for sharing your day. I don’t know when I’ve enjoyed a post as much as I did this one. A perfect way to start my morning. Again, I say … “Thank you” 🙂

  37. 137
    Lyn says:

    I just love spring. After the northern winters of NH…they are a fresh breath of air. Thanks for sharing….cutting out some dead and replacing it with new life in Jesus. Pruning where needed.
    Love you all and looking forward to eternity with Jesus.

  38. 138
    Debbie Scherrer says:

    No truer words were ever spoken, food for my soul. God is amazing and so Faithful. Glad you are home!
    Thankful for you.

  39. 139
    maria says:

    Happy our Siesta Mama is back!! Goooood Word!!! Needed it today…exactly where I am at….admitting…kinda mad at God right now…but he knows I will love him forever…I’m trying to move forward, but its hard when you feel so let down…

  40. 140
    karen says:

    welcome back Beth!!!! Hey, awhile back there was a posting from Melissa with a song about *Just enough* and beautiful photos of a girl who lived that out…. does anyone there remember where that was? I would love to share that with the members of our personal prayer team at church… we were pondering what it means to pray for just enough…
    thanks!!!

  41. 141
    Hilda says:

    Ohhhh, I needed this one today!

  42. 142
    Michelle says:

    Oh Beth!
    Praise God this morning and I thank Him for a revalation in my spirit through your reflections and His word. I especially was moved by your comments of traditional is not eternal; sometimes they coexist and sometimes they conflict. My husband & I have been praying & fasting as we feel the Spirit’s nudging to have a replanting here in our community–away from something so steeped in tradtion so that His Grace & Love is felt anew and spread throughout our community. Do not fear I hear Him saying; now I have to trust and walk in faith and it is fearful if I rely on me . . . I am learning and leaning on Him more and more each day because it is His glory I want to reflect. Thanks again for your post – I feel God speaking right at me through it:) Blessings ~

  43. 143
    Denise says:

    I sit here in tears. This hits close – so very close. I know the angst that looms heavy and casts shadows. Want so desperately to cut the dead things away – so many – where do I start? Yet,I languish like a rotting tree because I am too unsure, scared to start the cutting.

    This post is getting printed out (if you don’t mind) and pondered more.

  44. 144
    Kelly S says:

    That was beautful. Thank you.
    So glad your back 🙂

  45. 145
    Diane Bailey says:

    Powerful Imagery,

    Powerful soul thoughts…

    I’m about to go on a 3 mile walk, down country roads with many trees. I will be thinking on these things.

    Have a beautiful day! ~di

  46. 146
    Kelly says:

    Dear Beth,

    Your words were such a blessing to me this morning. I was diagnosed with breast cancer last Friday, and the past couple of days have been spent going over the long, long road ahead. Nothing much to look forward to… No fun AT ALL. However I am encouraged by your words (God’s words). I know if I can just get the energy to try, with His help, I can bear some kind of fruit through this.

    • 146.1
      Jennifer D. says:

      Sending prayers your way!

    • 146.2
      Beth says:

      Oh, Kelly, we care so much. We pray that every plan will be God ordained for your full recovery and for a harvest of fruit in your life unlike any you’ve ever experienced. He is with you, Sister. He is mighty to save. He rejoices over you and loves you so. Keep us posted!

  47. 147
    Bethany says:

    I have read this post more than once and each time, I get something I didn’t see before. Welcome Back. I missed you. Blessings…

  48. 148
    Corrie says:

    Alongside the drought in texas, this has been a very hard year for me. I did not feel spiritually dead, but everything around me was dead, in every sense of the word, and that made me feel dead. Then, not too long ago, I did your Deuteronomy study and read this book called, 1,000 gifts, by Ann Voskamp, that really helped me. Soon enough things around me starting waking up! My husband and I planted trees and plants and flowers in our new house’s back yard (even a glorious redbud!) 🙂 And shortly after, our 1st born daughter was born to us (Lillie Joy) and she is precious and so full of life! Im feeling God’s favor in this time of reprieve and life finally and im so grateful and full of child-like faith! Our back yard is now full of butterflies and a whole host of birds and I couldnt be more happy! So this post was perfectly fitting…thank you!! 🙂 You are so appreciated!

  49. 149
    Barbara Head says:

    We just returned home from 3 weeks “Downunder”. I was catching up on my favorite blogs. As I was reading this blog, my sweet husband comes up to me after a walk around our “property” and says: “I have looked over the tress and lo and behold I see budding on many I thought were dead.” Praise the Lord for new growth. Beth, you my sweet friend, have said it so well. I can’t wait to get back to my church and hear my wonderful pastor! It is good to travel the world but oh so sweet to come home.

    • 149.1
      Beth says:

      I thought about you guys, Barbara! Did you have a great time? Priscilla and Amanda and I are still reeling with the time change. You? So worth it though! See you Sunday at church!

  50. 150
    Jennifer D. says:

    Dear Beth,
    What a fitting post! I too love Spring and the hope of new life that it brings. This last week has caused me to need hope and a God centered perspective. My heart hurts and I need to accept a pruning. For the almost two years, I have been responsible for my teenage brother. Our dad died from alcoholism and my husband and I brought him into our home. During that time he graduated high school, completed a trade training, and was ready to start a new job and get an apartment. It was time for him to leave the security of our nest and move to a nest very close by so that I could still watch him.

    Unfortuantely, everything turned completely upside down and became very ugly. He decided that he no longer need our help or guidance and moved back to his “home” town four hours away to live with friends. He moved to a dangerous neighborhood the complete opposite of what I HOPED for him. Tears fill my eyes as I type. Worse, he has disconnected his phone and cut off all communication.

    I whole heartedly KNOW that the season of him living in our home needed to be over, I just never imagined an ugly end. That cut off our relationship. I have a two year so time for reflection before the Lord can sometimes be a challenge, which is preventing me from processing this with the Lord.

    Thank you for this wonderful avenue to share and receive support. I keep telling the Father that I feel weak and NEED Him!
    Jennifer D.

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