Who likes failure? Not me!!! Back in June I shared with you the planting of our very first garden. It truly was a joy to plant and the hope of juicy fresh veggies was on everyone’s minds. Well…let me be honest…I failed.

We had very heavy rainfalls for 10 days straight after our planting – and moss began to grow in our garden! Uh oh – I knew that couldn’t be a good sign. Then weeds began to grow and I couldn’t tell a weed from a seedling – uh oh! That can’t be good either. So I let the weeds grow a little, while we looked at books and tried to decipher. Eventually it was clear the seeds had been washed away and most of what was growing in our sweet garden were weeds.

There were a few hopes though. Our strawberries were beginning to get plump and turning light shades of red. Our corn stalks shot up to the sky and our tomato and green pepper plants did have signs of veggies. BUT then the birds came and ate the berries. And something (I don’t know what?) tore down and ate all of our corn stalks in the middle of night just last week! Devastating!

At this point all we have in our garden are tomatoes and green peppers. Both have unripe veggies forming BUT I just noticed yesterday one of the tomatoes has a huge bite taken out of it. This is not a good sign!

SO, I failed miserably at our very first garden…

I shared this with a bloggy friend who has ten children and lives on 16 acres where she grows her own food, raises beef cattle, has her own dairy cow, sheep for meat, chickens for meat and eggs, ducks, geese, cats and dogs for pets and horses as well.

Today she wrote a blog post for me at A Moment With M.O.M. Maybe you will find something in there for you too.

The children are very disappointed but I have already told them – we will not give up and we will try again next year. After talking with a few friends, I have realized some of my flaws and why we have had our failure.

It’s a part of life…falling down…getting back up again…the feelings of defeat….rising with defiant joy .

Life is filled with hard moments. We do have a choice – will we choose defiant joy or defeat? On our own – we will be defeated. But when we walk with the King – Romans 8:37 tells us: “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Don’t let your failures define you.

Get back up again and Walk with the King!

Our Very First Garden

The Plan. Teacher mommy and little pilgrims billow with hope as they write out the plan for their first garden.The Place is not inviting. The curse is remembered “Cursed is the ground because of you; (Adam) through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food.” Gen. 3:17-19They work in the hot sun preparing the soil. An hour later perseverance and exhaustion battle. Exhaustion leads to irritability. Children waver…mommy chooses the route of encouragement and praise. It works – Perseverance wins!The stones are removed for we are reminded of the parable of the sower. “Some seed fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly…but when the sun came up, the plants were scorched.” Matt. 13:5. The seeds are measured and dropped into their nests and teacher mommy reminds the children, God says: “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” 2 Cor. 9:6

And so the pilgrims sow and sow and sow, for they desire an abundant harvest.

Hope is born in children’s hearts. Lessons are taught as dirty hands dig and sweaty brows drip. Teacher mommy quotes one of her favorite verses: “Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” John 12:24 Children are reminded how they are like the seeds, someday they will produce many more seeds if they are willing to be used by God. Life is a garden. We plan, we toil, we sow, we die to self and we wait on God for the increase.

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting…

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Heb. 11:1

The rain comes and comes 7 straight days in Ohio, the sun does not shine and the seeds do not sprout. The seedlings are beaten down and weary. Will there be a harvest?

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Heb.11:6

Teacher mommy reminds children “you have sown generously now be patient – your reward is coming.”

And then it happens, the sprouting of corn, the row of lettuce appears overnight, 10 green cherry tomatoes appear and the pinnacle – a ripe strawberry!

Persevere in faith, sweet Christian sister. Sow generously – Indeed rewards are coming.

Walk with the King!

No Guilt – No Regrets

Hebrews 12:1b “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
Recently I was reading some blogs that were convicting me. Or should I say they were making me feel guilty. Guilty for using facebook, twitter and blogging. Guilty for the time I use on technology. So I had to sit back and ask myself – why am I blogging? Is it a selfish pursuit? Is it causing damage to my family?
And then like a wave rushing over me, my very next thought was – because I have ONE life – I’m living it full throttle for Jesus!

Blogging is hard work. The late nights writing and answering emails are not for the weary at heart! Women Living Well is not about me. It’s about my passion – my mission – my burden for my weary sisters in Christ!!!

I have one life and I’m living it full throttle for Jesus! I’m giving my all! I’m not gonna rust out sitting on my duff watching reality television! And I certainly don’t want to burn out, due to my failure to depend on God’s strength. But with the help of the Holy Spirit, I desire to simply be a light on the hill (Matt.5:14) burning faithfully till God calls me home.
I must lean hard on Jesus. Do you feel like respecting and submitting to your husband is so hard? Lean on Jesus for strength and go for it full throttle! Give it your all!
Do you home school and feel exhausted? Stop doing it in your own strength – call on Jesus and stay in the game – full throttle!
Are you exhausted in ministry with people’s troubles, back biting, complaining or lack of support – take your eyes off of your troubles and put them onto your worthy Savior and do it full throttle for him.
Reading our Bible’s daily, respecting our husbands, training our children, creating homes that are havens and reaching a lost world is NOT an easy to-do list – but we must give it our all. Not in a selfish way to receive something but for Jesus.

I’m reminded of missionary and martyr Jim Elliot’s quote “Where ever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”
Why do I bother to blog, facebook, youtube and twitter? Because that is where the next generation of ladies are at and I want to make an impact there. Where has God planted you in this season of life? “Be all there, live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God”!Run with perseverence the race marked out for you.” (Heb.12:1b)I only have one life and I’m living it to the hilt -full throttle – no guilt, no regrets – join me!
Walk with the King!

Unanswered Prayer

Recently I have received gut wrenchingly painful emails from women who are suffering in broken and troubled marriages and a season of unanswered prayers. I tell my children often, “God is always watching, he is always listening and he cares for you”. I pray that one day when “mommy” isn’t there to comfort their hurts that this truth will be so ingrained in their minds, that they will always sense the ultimate comforter there with them.

On Monday in my quiet time I read Psalm 121, which says: “I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip – he who watches over you will not slumber.”

Dear reader, if you are struggling with unanswered prayers – please know that God does not slumber. He is still in control. He will not let your foot slip. Please persevere in prayer.

I’ve attached this song by Casting Crowns titled “I Will Praise You In This Storm”. As you listen – if you need to cry, cry. If you need to pray, pray. If you need to praise the Lord, praise Him. Ultimately, if you are carrying a burden – drop it right here and now into God’s lap. Jesus says he is our great shepherd and we are his sheep – we are not donkeys. We were not created to carry heavy burdens. So leave your burdens with Jesus and praise him. The darkness will lift as you praise him.

Lyrics to I Will Praise You In The Storm

I was sure by now
God you would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day

But once again, I say
“Amen”, and it’s still raining
As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper
through the rain“I’m with you”

And as You mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives
And takes away.

I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are

No matter where I am
Every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side

And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry
You raised me up again

My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can’t find You
As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper
through the rain“I’m with you”

And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives
And takes away

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

So I say with confidence to you dear reader, “God is always watching, God is always listening, he does not slumber, He cares for you.” Persevere in Prayer.

Walk with the King!

What is Ministry?

I received this poem in an email yesterday right when I was sitting down to write my next blog post. The words rang with such truth that I thought – “this must be tomorrow’s post”. As you read this poem – apply this first to your ministry as a wife and mother and second to those inside and outside your church.


Ministry is….

Giving when you feel like keeping…

Praying for others when you need prayed for…

Feeding others when your own soul is still hungry…

Living truth before people when you cannot see results…

Hurting for others when your own hurts cannot be spoken…

Keeping your word when it is not convenient…

Being faithful when your own flesh wants to run away.

-Author Unknown (Leanne Hardy)

As a young girl my mom had me memorize Luke 9:23: “Jesus said “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” As a follower of Christ, we must learn to deny ourselves and follow in the footsteps of our Savior – sacrificing all for him who is worthy. I pray today that you would be willing to minister to your loved ones even when life is not rosy and finding the strength is not easy.

Walk with the King!