"Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them." John 7:38

My mom is a serious gardener. It is hard for me to think of a time when she didn’t have a garden until she downsized a few years ago and lost her garden space. To remedy that, my sibs and I (well, the guys) built garden boxes for her last spring.

Now, she is able to play in the dirt almost every single day. Look at the results…





I was amazed at her harvest when I helped her pick on Saturday. From two 4’ square boxes, she is getting more vegetables than she can eat by herself.
I inherited a bit of a green thumb from my mom, but not quite the same passion. These are photos of my garden.
Every spring I start out strong; I intend to play in the garden a little every day. My goal is to keep the weeds at bay and the bunnies outside the bunny fence. Unfortunately, my goal to play daily fades with the summer heat, and my gardening becomes a once-a-week work session of weed pulling, pruning, staking, heat and fatigue.

You can see the difference between my mom’s garden habits and mine by the size of our harvests.
Mom’s (and, yes, we picked two bowls full of beans):
I have to confess, there have been times when I’ve tended my spiritual garden the same way I tend my vegetable garden.

For example: There is a critter devouring my beans. I haven’t discovered the breach in the fence yet, but then again, I’m not in the garden looking every day. The same goes for my heart, when I am not diligently searching my heart every day, the evil one sneaks in through a weak spot to devour everything he can.

“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” – 1 Peter 5:8

When I forget to fertilize my veggies they get a little scraggly. So to when I’m not regularly feeding my soul from God’s Word, my wisdom grows pale and my daily choices reflect it.

“If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, for jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom…” — James 3:13-17

And if I don’t pull weeds daily, they take over. I don’t purposely plant anger, frustration, depression, quick temper, unforgiveness, sarcasm, envy, or laziness.

“So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you.” – Colossians 3:5

Relying on a once a week church service to get back on track is not sufficient to pull all the weeds from my heart or yours. It is not sufficient to repair every breach in the spirit, build support for weaknesses, or feed the soul.

If you haven’t taken a spiritual break this summer, I trust you are feeding the Lord’s sheep from a bountiful harvest of righteousness.

If you have taken a spiritual break, my challenge to you is: Be diligent! It’s not too late to start a new habit of seeking God’s grace and mercy daily so that you produce a bountiful fall harvest for your spirit.

“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” – Hebrews 4:15

Mom’s garden has spurred me on to make a new plan for next year in my vegetable garden. I hope these “Summer Challenge” posts have spurred you on to stay committed to daily love and good deeds.

SpurEachOtherOn… and let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds…

Comments on: "Challenge: Be a Diligent Gardener!" (10)

  1. Kelli Visconti said:

    Loved this one, Marcia! It’s so true that when we don’t meet with The Lord daily, we can’t stay strong in the armor of God. I’m reminded of the verbs “put on” when referring to the full armor of God”, “stand firm” when referring to the devils schemes; “take up the shield of Faith” so that we can distinguish all his flaming arrows, “pray in the Spirit on all occasions”, and “be alert.” Your illustration of the garden is so true!!!!! Loved seeing the visual proof of your mom’s tended garden! Blessings to you for giving us God’s word to guide us through our laziness. -Kelli


  2. Lisa Peterson said:

    You always have such a great way with words and your thought process. Have you ever thought of becoming a minister in your church. And I realize you are a minister but I am talking like up on the altar!!!!! You have a real gift from God and it truly needs to be shared.

    I will try and call you to catch up. We are leaving for NC next Tuesday so the house is upside down and so is my heart. So hard to say goodbye to so many people. Saw that your house is up for sale. It looks beautiful. I so remember the day you moved to our neighborhood.

    Miss and love you



  3. Sandy Carlson said:

    You’ve done a great job of spurring us on to love and good deeds, Marcia! It was great to see your garden as well as your mom’s. I stick to my flower gardens but whether its veggies or flowers we cannot neglect them. If we want our spiritual lives to flourish, we cannot neglect God’s Word. Thanks for your loving faithfulness and encouragement to us throughout the summer!


  4. This is Zac Freeman and man…. THAT was a read. LOVED IT!!!!!


  5. Bev Brewer said:

    Amen sweet Marcia

    Liked by 1 person

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