Sunday Scriptures — Shredded Leaves

Isaiahby Sandy Kirby Quandt

Happy Father’s Day to all of the fathers and substitute fathers out there.

There is an area of our yard under a large mulberry tree that is filled with asparagus fern, thai and ginger plants. Recently I noticed shredded leaves on the thai and ginger that destroyed their beauty and couldn’t figure out what caused the damage.

Then I realized the leaves were fine before I relocated the bird feeder to that area.

Seems the squirrels used the leaves as safety nets when they tumbled from the feeder, and destroyed the leaves in the process.

Easy enough to fix. I moved the feeder.

As I pounded the metal pole holding the feeder into the ground at its new location, I thought about the times we stay in harmful situations that destroy our beauty. We expose ourselves to the sharp nails of the things of life that shred our souls just as easily as the squirrels shred my plants.

Although the problem of restoring the beauty of my plants was a simple matter of relocating the bird feeder, it may not be as easy to restore our inner beauty.

It takes courage and strength to remove ourselves from the destructive elements of this life. While the process is often painful, the end result is worth the effort.

Separated from the squirrels’ destructive sharp nails my plants are thriving. You might say they even look happy!

God promises the same can happen to us when we separate ourselves from the things we know harm us. He can repair our brokenness and turn our sadness into beauty.

Anything you need to move away from so your joy and beauty can be restored?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

… to provide for those who mourn in Zion; to give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, festive oil instead of mourning, and splendid clothes instead of despair. And they will be called righteous trees, planted by the Lord to glorify Him. Isaiah 61:3 (HCSB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Watch Out For the Marauders

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Pilot and I have a loquat tree in the backyard that sprang up from a seed dropped either by a squirrel or bird. We’ve watched the tree grow anticipating the day fruit would appear. This year was the year.

Every morning for the past month, Pilot has inspected the tree and waited for the moment he could don his Mr. Green Jeans overalls and harvest his fruit.

The other day before he left for work, he was confident the loquats would be ripe when he returned in the evening.

Around lunchtime, however, I made a terrible discovery…the loquats on the lower branches of the tree were gone.

After Pilot saw the damage our marauders had inflicted on his precious tree, he mentioned something about Mr. McGregor and a sieve.

Although the guilty squirrel stays put and listens when Pilot and I talk with him when caught in the act, he still does not comply. Sigh.

This has me thinking about our fruit. The Fruit of the Spirit we are to cultivate and bear.

We work hard to grow it, nurture it, bear fruit, only to have something in our life come along and snatch it away.

  • Love – we do fine until someone hurts our feelings
  • Joy – we do fine until fear creeps in
  • Peace – we do fine until we have to face that annoying co-worker
  • Kindness – we do fine until that irritating family member says one more thing
  • Goodness – we do fine until we are asked for another favor
  • Faithfulness – we do fine until we are lured away by something that caught our eye
  • Gentleness – we do fine until our last nerve is struck
  • Self-control – we do fine until that car pulls out in front of us and cuts us off

Next time marauders threaten to strip the fruit off our branches, perhaps we need to put on the whole Armor of God, stand firm and let him fight the battle. What do you think?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this please share it through the social media buttons.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Don’t Save It For Good

Do you have anything you hold on to for good? You know, special clothes. Special dishes. Special recipes. Special whatevers?

Before Pie was born, one very wise woman told me not to save any of his outfits for good. She said use them all. Don’t worry about the inevitable stains. Babies grow up fast. Before you know it, that special outfit you saved, goes unworn.

My mother had a set of dishes I loved, which were seldom used. They were the good dishes. What was the point of having them if we didn’t use them? Mom didn’t want the dishes broken. So the dishes were kept behind cupboard doors. In the days I visited Mom before she moved into a nursing home, I took those dishes out, and we used them. When Mom did move, I inherited those good dishes. I use them.

I have a habit of buying pretty stationary and brightly colored pens. Turquoise and Peacock Blue being my fav colors. BUT…I save them. (Read here to see one example.) The ink is so pretty, I don’t want to use it up. I’m not even going to count the number of books I have — which are unread. I think some of this is a holdover from my days as an elementary school teacher. Or from being a child of parents who lived through America’s Great Depression.

Regardless, I am getting better about all this. Honest.

As I approach a mile-stone birthday in a couple months, I’ve begun to understand there may not be a tomorrow. Those things I’m saving up for good, may just get tossed out by someone who doesn’t hold the same affection towards them, that I do. So, I’m using them.

I don’t want to save a day for good, either.

I want to experience all of life God intends me to experience. I want to take the time today, to enjoy his creation. I don’t want to wait for a special, or mo’ better time.

I want to smile at the antics of the squirrel I’ve nicknamed Bizarro.

Today.

I want to listen to the Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal sing God’s praises.

Today.

 

I want to discover new lizards in the yard.

Today.

I want to feel the sun and the breeze on my skin. Smell the sweet aroma of the trees and flowers. Watch the sun set and notice the palette of color in the sky at dusk. Look for the first star of the evening and wait for the next.

Today.

I want to stand totally and completely amazed and in awe, before the Omnipotent Creator God, and worship him for all he has done, is doing, and will do.

Today.

I do not want to take any of it for granted. I don’t want to waste it. I don’t want to save it for good.

Do you?

This is the day Adonai has made,
a day for us to rejoice and be glad. Psalm 118:24 (CJB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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