Followers

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

GETTING RID OF THOSE PESKY WEEDS, In your garden and your life.



Spring is finally here in the mountains!
For most of you, spring has been here for quite awhile now. Not where I live. Oh, we've had occasional days of sun and warmth, maybe for 3 days at a time.
For one week now the weather has been glorious, and the temperature slowly warms, making for one happy gal.

I absolutely love to garden. Getting my hands dirty, pulling the weeds, preparing the soil, and  then heading to the nursery to buy the annuals, the vegetables, the fertilizer and plant food. It's my idea of creativity.

For the ten years I have lived in the mountains of northern California, my goal is to have everything done by Mother's Day weekend. Except for the one year our youngest daughter was married ( 7 years ago yesterday). We were done planting at the beginning of May so that things would be blooming by her wedding.

This year though, we had 96 inches of rain. Yes, I mean 96 as in four less than one hundred. So picture in your mind the amount of weeds that that amount of rain could produce. LOTS. Well, way more than lots. I have more weeds than I have seen in the past few years combined. That would be due to the extreme drought California has endured, but thankfully this years over abundance of the wet moisture, ended our drought!! I can take longer than 5 minute showers.

Back to my gardening escapades. Because we had such a wet fall, winter and spring, I am just now beginning my gardening for this year. Today was my day to tackle the weeds. A few weeks ago I asked my dear husband to spray the weeds where I typically plant all my flowers. He is so sweet and did that almost immediately. 
Unfortunately, he sprayed many of my perennial flowers as well. Seriously I cannot blame him; I don't think I would have seen the difference. So this morning I began the process of getting rid of the weeds and the plants that had been doomed to death with the weed killer.

Silly of me to think it would take a couple of hours. I started at 8am and worked until about 10:15, until the sun was completely shining on the place I was working. Due to an unusual type of thyroid cancer, during my second surgery, half of my hypothalmus was also removed. This organ regulates your body temperature, and having only half of mine, I have become much less tolerant of heat and I tend to get overheated sometimes rather quickly. (this doesn't bode well for our Kauai vacation in September). So because of this pesky complication, I can only garden now in the early mornings and evenings. Given the amount of rain we have had, the mosquitos are also in overabundance, so the evenings are pretty much out as those pests love to get to my blood.

But the WEEDS. They are EVERYWHERE. I was overwhelmed before I pulled a one. There is this one type that lives here in the mountains that I never saw living in a city. This one is actually always low to the ground, but grows underground with roots that you pull up sometimes almost a yard long. They flourished in my flower area. Maybe I weeded half of the space today before I got too warm.

Weeds always remind me of the many flaws and sin I have in my life. Those areas where I think I have made progress ridding myself of my problem attitudes, but before I know it,  they reveal their heads again and cause me to further stumble. Just like the weeds I began to pull up today, I know those suckers will return and I will try and stomp them out again.

Extreme weaknesses that I have seen repeatedly in my life are judging others and jealousy. Oh I can't even tell you how often I have confessed my sin of judgmentalism. Why do I think I can cast judgement on others and what they say or what they do? It is the sin I would love to eliminate more than any other. And I can admit, that I have gotten much better as the years have gone by- for crying out loud, it should,  I mean seriously, I am now in my 60's. 

Jealousy keeps popping up its ugly head from time to time, just like those damn weeds. 
"why can't I have that house?"
"why does she always look so good?'
"why do they get to go there?"
"why can't I write like she does?"
"why can't I have the money she has?"
"why are they so successful in their ministry?'

Blah blah blah. Always wishing I could have what others have. Why can't I be so grateful for what I do have?
A husband who loves me and is faithful to me.
Four kids who have turned out well and have amazing spouses.
Three amazing little boys I get to be Grammy to.
Friends that I wouldn't trade the world for.
Involved in a ministry, working with a boss and team that is beyond fantastic.

God has enriched my life with so many blessings and gifts. I need to cherish them as much as I get enjoyment over the flowers that will eventually be planted and bloom.

Life is like a garden. We all need the pulling of our weeds in order for God to have us bloom where we are planted. It is never easy work. We will always get stretched and might feel the sting of the pulling; but HE knows this is what needs to happen for us to produce a garden that aligns with His character.

Next time you go to pull the weeds in your garden, maybe ask God what weeds He needs to pull out of your life to make His garden of your life as beautiful as He always envisioned you to be.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

TIME TO WITHDRAW

I realized this morning, that it is time to withdraw.

Are you at all like me, and the news that has transpired in the past week, has perhaps traumatized you? That you get sad and angry, frustrated and confused?

Five days into the Trump presidency and I am upended. I don't know what to do. The mostly repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act (aka: Obamacare) was the first thing that got me reeling. I was an RN for 31 years. It wasn't until I became a home health nurse that  I saw the huge disparity in the care of patients. When you had good healthcare coverage, you were allowed extra visits. When you were on Medicaid, you got one visit. I was horrified. People who need Medicaid (Medi-Cal for us in California) do not have the money for health insurance, are living in the below poverty level; they barely have enough money for food and clothing and shelter. It was in the early 1990's when I began to consider that universal health care or national health insurance was something we needed. I learned that most of the world's countries all provided health coverage to each citizen. I wondered why we didn't.
I know that in the early stages of the Clinton administration, that they tried for this and failed. 
Then came Obamacare and I was grateful that then, everyone could get insurance. And yes, it was very confusing and the computer servers crashed, but the outcome gave millions of Americans the access to healthcare that they needed. President Trump's repeal of most of that was the starting point of my frustrations.

The thing that has upset me terribly is the news that today he will order that there are to be no refugees from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Sudan allowed into the United States. These countries have been known to have people enter the country, and some are ISIS proponents here to recruit.
The President also tweeted that "we will build the wall"

Yes, I know that there are HUGE numbers of people that have entered our country illegally at the borders between Mexico and the United States. I know it has caused a tremendous financial cost to us the US taxpayers. I admit that I have no idea of why the people of Mexico cannot enter our country legally; perhaps there is a yearly quota.
What bothers me is that there is NOT any ONE of us who live in the United States that is here because someone in our family tree came here to better their lives. To be free from oppression, whether it be for religious reasons, to escape the taxes of their countries, to try and give their families a better start in life. Do we not profess that: We are the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave?
Trump wants to use money from the Homeland Security Department to fund the building of the wall.
As I sat on the edge of our bed this morning with tears streaming down my face lamenting to my husband on the unfairness of all of this, he reminded me that this is why our country has checks and balances. Donald Trump is the President of the United States but HE IS NOT THE CEO. He cannot sign things into law without Congress's approval, and even then if someone files a lawsuit, it could be overturned by the Supreme Court or appellate courts.

I have been a follower of Jesus Christ for 45 years now. HE will always be the ONE I have my allegiance to. Way ahead of my allegiance and love for the United States of America, is my love and devotion to Jesus.
I have a friend and some of my family who I asked if they wanted to join me in reading the Words of Jesus this year in the four Gospels. (you can read about it here:http://missyscud.blogspot.com/2016/12/join-me-with-jesus.html) and this morning I was reading in the 4th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew. This is the chapter where Jesus is led into the wilderness and tempted by the devil. In the first temptation, the devil tells Jesus to make some stones become bread.
Jesus answered: It is written: "Man shall not live by bread alone, but on every Word that comes from the mouth of the LORD". (Matt 4:4). From the very start, Jesus emphasizes how the WORD of GOD is of primary importance. Which once again confirmed to me, that I must be in the Bible, that my choice to just read the Gospels this year so that I can see the Words of Jesus is of upmost importance.

Later on in the chapter in verse 12, it is said that Jesus withdrew to Galilee after hearing the news that John the Baptist was imprisoned. There are many instances in the four Gospels that Jesus withdrew by Himself to be with His Father. I have to surmise it was to get His Father's instructions, His Voice, to confer with Him on the big decisions that were coming, when his ministry depleted Him and He needed spiritual refreshment on His human side.

If Jesus needed to withdraw when things were taxing on him, why wouldn't I also need to withdraw?
To be with Him. To hear His Words. To seek His advice. To listen to Him, and be able to pour out my heart to Him in things where I need clarity, or wisdom, or just to be with Him and tell Him why I am confused or frightened; to bear my heart and soul to the Only One who fully knows me and still loves me in spite of who I am.
So I am withdrawing to be with Jesus. From the news, from Facebook. I need to pray for our President. I need to pray for our country and the world. I just need to be with Jesus.
Don't you?