It’s really early in the morning. Most of the world around me is deep in sleep. I was nudged awake and quickly the faces began to appear before me. God is tilling the soil of my heart.

I love to garden. It’s good exercise to hoe the crusty red Georgia clay, unearthing the softer soil below. I love adding the composted dirt I’ve created from scraps and trimmings that could have been discarded. Each time I plant a tiny seed and cover it with dirt, I wonder how it will find it’s way to the top of the soil and the sun. What obstacles will it have to overcome to find the light.

Flowers create beauty in my gardens and on my patio. They need care. Watering is essential. Spent blooms need to be pruned. It’s important to inspect the plants for disease and unwanted pests that think I grew the flowers for their dinner. It’s therapeutic to yank unwanted weeds encroaching on the space reserved for my plants.

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God is gardening in my heart this morning.

There have been some disappointments for me over the past few weeks. I’ve struggled to process them and have felt my heart tighten. Where are you God? Why won’t you fill this longing? Can’t you take away this hurt? You are being rather silent, God. Fine God! I’ll just close up my heart and not allow myself to feel.

There is a lot of “me” in all of that. What I want, what I’m not getting.   I can’t make it happen. I’m not in control. God is silent. I’ve been here before. I don’t want to stay here. I don’t really want control. I do want to hear from God. The focus needs to be off of me and on others.

The names on my prayer list for today have times beside them.  A friend who has lived boldly for 15 years after a cancer diagnosis that left his future very grim is facing a serious surgery this morning. He has shown me how to live well in the face of adversity, pain and uncertainty. He has the 10:00 a.m. prayer time slot.

Friends that we’ve enjoyed company with over many years are being called home from our winter paradise. They are packed and will begin their travel north this morning. There is a serious family situation at home that needs their presence and their care. They have the 8:00 a.m. time slot and throughout their journey home.

Another one is very special to me. Her life has been turned upside down by tragedy and there is a very important meeting today for her and her family. She has the 2:00 p.m. time slot.

A couple who play a significant role in my life have made a difficult decision that will impact the lives of many. There will be gain and loss. The space created by their decision feels very empty. How will God fill that space? How will that impact my future? Lots of unanswered questions. Prayer needed. It doesn’t fit neatly in a time slot.

My heart feels like God is taking His hoe to the crust I tried to let form. I need some pruning. I fell into life being too much about me. I didn’t like how it was going. I lost sight of believing His plans are for my best. Evil may want life to harm me, but God means it for my good.

My heart needs watered by a time of grieving and tears for myself and for my friends who face difficult hours ahead. God has created some good compost in me from the trimmings and scraps of life. I want to offer that to others and focus less on me.

Maybe God nudged me awake so I could sort through my thoughts by writing. And I have my prayer list scheduled for the day.


valerie avery Valerie Avery treasures the journey of embracing all God has gifted her with including creating art and beauty using fibers, beads and nature. The bond of 46 years of marriage has created a legacy as mother to 5 and “Grammie” to 20. She is venturing into the world of writing and is grateful for a place to share stories of growth and hope.  You can read more here.
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