Deep Run Roots
These are the days that try men's souls.
Okay so maybe they're not THAT bad.
These ARE days filled with 87 new unread email messages boasting of the BEST and NEWEST that life has to offer.
And amazingly enough, that three day sale has been extended three more weeks JUST for YOU.
Can you even imagine such providence?!
Days where Jack Frost may be nipping at your nose but Amazon is nipping at your heels.
The American Girl magazine arrives at your door and I half wonder if the postman smirks as he scoffingly tosses it into the mailbox, full-well knowing what that will unleash in this house.
Let me go back and say that these just may be the days that try "Women's" souls.
And in the shadow of Thanksgiving I was full-ready to make this the best Christmas we have ever had.
And then something happened.
Black Friday happened.
Now, I am not the "Stand in the cold for a 15 dollar gadget" kinda gal.
Sleep is my BFF and I refuse to get up early for just about anything. A house fire just might test this theory.
I even make sure that I have a little "Black Friday nest egg" so that I am within a good financial boundary, can have fun AND come home with some cute sweaters and Dave Ramsey's stamp of approval.
Wow, I sound way more organized and sophisticated than I really am.
I've enjoyed several years like this one, waking up when I wanted, leaving for the stores I wanted, of course eating all the Chinese food at the mall I wanted, and came home with two bags of fun items.
But this year I found something I didn't want to find.
Right in the bottom of my Old Navy bag.
Next to the scarf I now know was the right decision.
Laying on top of the coupon to come back to the store and spend more money with the three dollars they are kind enough to bestow upon you.
In brilliant splendor it brought me that inevitable pit in my stomach.
Right next to the Lo Mien.
I've seen it before. It has walked with me through too many of my life's moments to recall.
I placed all of my items in my closet when I came home as if I could banish it and reopen the closet to see it had moved into one of my kid's rooms.
I did my dead-level-best to forget it was here again cozying up with my new clothes, but it has a way of making it's presence known.
I was amazed how many "treats" I had "earned" even before the month of December had even begun! I thought I was getting myself into the "Christmas Spirit," but what I was really doing was exhibiting the fact that I had shallow roots.
In all of my "Fa la la la la-ing" one afternoon, I chose to bring home some Paperwhite bulbs.
I've never grown any sort of plant at Christmas time and I snatched this little box boasting of beautiful delicate flowers like a fly to honey and actually felt as if I was doing it a favor.
My agricultural son and I soaked the peet moss in warm water and were amazed at how this little disk of hardened dirt grew and softened and became the perfect little "bed" for the bulbs.
What severely lacked luster was the pot that came in the box. It was like you took brown tissue paper and decided to make yourself a pot for flowers out of it. We knew we would have to do something about that later.
I added a Christmas plate for it to sit on and "Viola!" It was cheery.
And a day passes, a few days pass, and in this time, the Lord gently, quietly, calmly deals with me.
Though a podcast, through my husband's preaching, though a ginormous gift of time away with a cherished friend, and especially and always though his Word.
And I love how the Holy Spirit just lets things simmer in our hearts for a bit, knowing that some simple occurrence will bring every puzzle piece to form exactly what He sees in us and where we need the biggest piece of himself.
That, my friends, was last evening.
I decided that my windows needed bows because insta-someone told me so, of course, and off we flew like a flash, my youngest boy and I, and tore open the wallet and coughed up the cash.
Did you see what I just did there?
Anywho, while out and about I remembered that what I needed most in life was a pot for my new side of Cheeriness.
We headed home and had the best conversation consisting of him calling someone to just thank them for investing in him, which made us both cry, and also spoke about a note some sweet man at church had written him and what it had meant to him.
I had almost wished we had an hour's drive home to see the new cultivating of soil in his heart.
Agricultural son and I dug up soil from the pot outside to make more room for the bulbs and then I had the arduous job of trying to get the Paperwhites out of the paper-like pot they were in without harming them or making a mess.
After a few gentle side-ways taps they finally relinquished their grip and out came some dark, rich soil and out came the bulbs.
And my son voiced what I was thinking, "WOW! Those are some looooong roots!"
We perched them atop new soil and tucked them in for the evening and went back to what we were doing.
I however, never forgot that moment. The thick black soil. The roots.
Hosea 10:12 reminds us to: "Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you."
Did you know that one of the worst problems for a corn farmer is that of shallow roots? I know this because the Holy Spirit led me to read about it in light of Hosea 10:12.
And shallow roots come from shallow soil compaction, and shallow soil compaction comes from shallow tillage.
God, in his infinite wisdom, designed the root system of plants to grow towards moist soil and then secure the plant for anything that comes its way all the while making sure it has the nutrient highway it needs to flourish.
In the hustle and bustle of farming, cutting corners and planting quickly with a subtle pass over the field will not give the corn the depth it needs, resulting in a lot of time wasted and financial upset.
It's the same thing Matthew 13, verses 5 and 6 gives us a picture of in the parable of the sower, sowing the Word of God into different hearts:
"Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away."
God used these passages along with one that forever melts my heart:
"Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness."
Isaiah 55:1-2 almost brings me to tears each time I read over it. God has used this passage specifically in my most difficult times and came again, sweet and easy and reminded me of who He is to me.
My Christmas roots were shallow. My "doing" had compacted dry soil where I expected real growth.
And yet, God was little by little, turning a plot over, and working it with his very own hands.
How grateful I am that this first week of December finds me already at the foot of the manger, reminding myself that He is all that matters.
He is all that will last, all that will bring me satisfaction, all that will bring my thirsty soul refreshment and growth.
Do yourself a favor and take a break from the online hustle and bustle, the adds, the new, and even the insta-feed.
Sit and soak up all of the Word you need to turn over the soil, wet the roots and prepare your heart for true beautiful growth.