Some weeks themes come easily, other weeks not so much. This week is the latter. But I am indeed thankful for plants and people.
This week I’m thankful…
About a month ago, I realized how much I missed mulberries. Back when we were kids, we walked to the empty field at the end of our street and pillaged its mulberry trees regularly. I hadn’t seen a mulberry since I moved to Wichita. So, imagine my surprise when my brother and sister-in-law were in town over Memorial Day and we were doing some yardwork (pulling out a fence, digging up thistles, and reorganizing bricks and stuff from one side of the garage to the other) and discovered… a mulberry tree. In my yard. Since that point, I’ve been eating mulberries morning, noon, and night – straight from the tree (it’s the best way). I’m limited because there are only a few branches that are within arms reach and the ground’s too soft (and too muddy from digging up fence posts) to use a ladder – but mulberries ripen quickly and there’s usually a new couple dozen ripe berries within reach each time I go out.
I am a dismal gardener, mostly because I garden (like I do almost anything) in fits and spurts. Gardens don’t take too kindly to not being watered or weeded for long spells, and container gardens (which I had when I was renting) like it even less. But I put in a nice big raised bed last year and this year I planted it with spinach and beets and onions and tomatoes and peppers and broccoli and summer squash. And yesterday I enjoyed a lovely spinach salad grown in my own garden. It’s still early in the year and I definitely could still kill the rest – but this taste of success is bolstering my resolve that I *will* see this gardening thing out.
My sister-in-law (and brother) came to visit over Memorial Day weekend and insisted on being put to work. My other sister-in-law texted me on Memorial Day (after her sister had left) and asked how I was doing, said she was thinking of me. I had to reply that I was feeling a bit emotional and mopey – and we arranged a Skype date to talk, which was just the thing to lift my spirits. My sister and I had a nice long text exchange yesterday, part silliness, part seriousness. Having such wonderful sisters and sisters-in-law is a blessing that can only come from God.
…for my husband
I’ve been tired, have been barely keeping up with the housework (Remember when I lost my homemaking mojo? I’m doing a bit better but it’s still struggling.) Then I got a massive cold from a client and was pretty much out of it for three days. Daniel has fed me, made me orange juice, done dishes, done laundry, and generally babied me. I’ve given him rather a lot of worse since the day he pledged “for better or worse”, but he’s faithfully kept that vow. God has blessed me again and again with a husband who faithfully models Christ’s love for the church by loving me as his own body, regularly sacrificing his own comfort for mine, his own rights for my privilege.
…for the Vine
Frequently, I feel like a dead branch, with little life in me. I fail at so many of the good things I intend to do. I would be a dead branch, incapable of accomplishing any good thing of myself. But God has made this dead branch live, not because I conjured up life in myself, but because He has grafted me into the Vine. As I remain in Him, and He in me, He causes this dead branch to bear fruit. And whether I see fruit or not, I cling to Him and to His word. I cannot bear fruit, but cling to His promise that as I hold fast to Him, He will bear fruit in me.
Thank You, Lord, for making provision for my deadness by granting me life through Your Son. Thank you, Lord, for making provision for my barreness by providing fruit through Your work. Help me ever to abide in You.
“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. 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. 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. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 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. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
~John 15:4-10 (ESV)