“Though we’re very familiar with the story
and may understand the concept of resurrection
better than the disciples did, it’s never easy to die to self.
But God is a gardener, and He is faithful to tend each graveyard until it blooms with new life.”
Charles Stanley, In Touch Devotional, Feb. 2019
Have you ever thought of your own heart as a garden being tended by a Master Gardener?
I bet you never thought of your heart as a graveyard that God is tending until it blooms with new life!
When I come across a statement like this one that I read in a daily devotional, I have to stop and just let the “I wonder” take over and ask God about it. It always amazes me when God answers. It’s always with some creativity, just for me!
Do you have times like that? Times when you can wonder? Time to be still and listen?
Do you have a place in your home where you wonder and dream? A place where creativity lives?
What was your dream when you were a kid?
I wanted to be a forest ranger. Or a marine biologist. It didn’t happen.
It turned out that God had bigger plans for me.
I married a very handsome man, had seven beautiful children in the first fifteen years of marriage, homeschooled for 23 years, had my own cottage industry, sold direct sales stuff, learned to cook for nine people, graduated seven kids from homeschool high school, learned to cook for two again, and I still have half a brain! Maybe.
I got to do stuff like hanging out with forest rangers and exploring marine life with my kids. This mom was the best student ever! But it wasn’t limited to those subjects. We had some really cool field trips far beyond my original dreams.
The dream? The deeper dream, or heart desire, was to live outdoors as much as possible, using wonder and creativity as much as possible.
It’s the way God created me, I’m sure of it!
God is good.
There’s something I want to tell you.
Most of us are too busy.
We both need a place where we can take a break from the busyness.
The purpose of this blog is to help you reconnect to your heart. Your heart is full of wonder and creativity but that part of you can be stuffed away because, well, the busy stuff seems so important! So, first, I talk about why that happens and I also give you practical tutorials on how to be creative in specific places of refuge. The specific areas include step-by-step tutorials. I hope you will browse each area of a home and find something that is perfect for your family.
You are welcome to stick around for a while. I would love to chat with you. I mean that. Not just me talking to you, but me talking with you. I would love to hear from you.
No matter if you work in a career, work from home, or you are a stay-at-home mom or dad, you will find a home here.
Why “Seasons of Devotion”?
“Seasons” because my big goal is to write a Christian devotional for all seasons of the year. The name made sense even when I expanded that dream to include garden guides and the upcoming freebies and practical ebooks that all stem from that theme of “Seasons”.
“Devotion” because the most important thing you can ever do is to be devoted to Jesus Christ. If you are devoted to Him, then, “whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Col 3:17 NIV
“Seasons” has a double meaning too. We all have “seasons” of life. Devote every season to the Lord and, when you are old, you will be able to say that you have lived a wonderful, full life. To get a sense of “well done, good and faithful servant” cannot be described. When you work in the garden, prepare food for your family, acquire healthy lifestyle habits, or create a place of refuge, you can listen to God and follow Him as He guides you every day, through all the seasons.
Life doesn’t get any better than that.
More About Me
I grew up in Bradenton, Florida, when it used to be a small town. At the young age of 18, I moved away from home and fell in love with an even smaller town in central Florida, Plant City, where I still live.
I became a “health food nut” by the time I was twenty. (That’s what they called us in the 70s and “nut” meant “crazy”.) To put it mildly, my ideas of a healthy lifestyle were not popular. This was a very small, rural farming community where sugar happened because, well, we lived in the south! Banks gave “suckers” to everyone who had a kid in the car going through the drive-in. I remember the tellers looking at me as if I was the worse mother in the world when I refused the suckers. Normal meals included lots of “hog grease” for vegetables and white bread was pretty much all that was sold.
My health suffered at that time and it showed up in a big way on my face. Literally. I didn’t have pimples. Nope. They were welts so bad that there was not a place on my face that was clear. I also suffered from low blood sugar every day so badly that you could see my heart palpitating through my chest. It hurt! I really didn’t want to live the rest of my life like that.
A Big Life Change Was Essential
So, I did some research and took the plunge. I cut the sugar way back, rarely used “grease” and began eating whole grains. It took two or three years to acquire beautiful skin but cutting the sugar and caffeine worked immediately on my painful hypoglycemic symptoms. I’m so very thankful for that. I’ve never looked back.
After I got married, I turned that passion into organic gardening.
The garden paid off in several ways. I can’t say it was super economical if you included the price of a tiller, fertilizers, and equipment but I can definitely say that the impact on our health was amazing. The doctor bills were incredibly low for a family as large as ours. In addition, the garden chores taught the kids a great work ethic. And all of them attest to that now that they are adults.
I have a lifetime of a different lifestyle to fulfill wonder and creativity.
I can show you ways to do that with gardening, creativity in the kitchen, creating places of refuge in and around your home, and choosing healthy ways of caring for yourself and your family. My home is known to be peaceful and seen as an oasis. When you come onto our property, you will notice and connect with that sense of wonder….even if you don’t exactly put those words to what you are feeling. It’s what you do at our home! I believe every home can be like that. Let me show you how. This blog is divided up into the different subjects to make it easier to grasp the whole concept of living in a refuge.
Home Garden Refuge
A great way to stop being so busy is to be busy in a different way. Manage a garden and your thoughts will have time for wonder and creativity. My organic garden is about twenty-five years old. I’ve learned a lot of tricks along the way. Some things worked, some things didn’t. I want to pass that knowledge on to you! I live in a sub-tropical climate, but you can learn from me no matter where you live.
The Home Kitchen Refuge
Another place for creativity and wonder (ever wonder if the food is going to actually taste good?) is the kitchen. As you can imagine a mom that cooked for nine people for years, I acquired kitchen tools and appliances that I think every kitchen should have. I gathered a ton of recipes too. Not all are healthy-we did have one dessert a day! And I have to admit that I still have a sweet tooth. But I don’t bake much anymore because, well, my body has become quite efficient at storing fat as I have grown older! And, if I’m not careful, hypoglycemia is always a threat. I’ll still share all my recipes, but please limit the sweets to small portions or for special occasions. From beans to brownies, my family favorites will become yours too.
I believe in keeping the weight down and staying active as much as possible. My heart breaks to see people who cannot be active in a time of life when there’s still so much to explore. Many people my age and older have trouble with joints and other health issues. I want my joints to last me a lifetime! And, if there’s any way I can nurture a body to be healthy, limber, and strong, I’m gonna do it! Maintaining a healthy weight and exercise are essential if that is what my desire is. As this blog develops, I’ll be sharing how to stay limber and active.
If you have any outdoor space at all, you can create a wonderful refuge there. I filed these ideas under “Lifestyle”
I hope to help you find time, every day, to use your places of refuge for a time of devotion, Bible study, and prayer. God is waiting to hear your heart. Your places of refuge can become a “secret garden” where you can listen to God. I include inspirational blogs. They are filed under “Lifestyle”.
In One Word
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