as you might could imagine, in moving from southern California to northwestern Montana, there are many lessons to be learned. like, as in, countless lessons. (one, perhaps, being cutting ties with the word 'like'. or not. i mean, you can take the girl out of California.... but you can't take the California outta the girl). there are certain things about country life that don't necessarily translate, until you become immersed in country life. there are things you say you'd never do...things that, at one time, made you say, "ew!!!". until necessity proves you wrong. and slowly, lessons are learned.
one such lesson we have learned... continue to get schooled in... is found in the principle of reaping and sowing. this is a concept, a truth, that we all know; and yet until you actually plant something and watch it grow.... or not... you can't quite fully integrate into everyday life. and it IS that... something you integrate into everyday life. no matter where you live. or what you do.
when you plant a seed, there are necessary steps that must be taken in order for that seed to grow into what it's meant to become. now, i'm a complete newbie at growing things, and quite honestly, i'm not very good at it. but i still get the idea that no water and no sunshine and no pruning is gonna mean no flower or no fruit or no vegetable. this is common sense 101. hashtag gardening for dummies. if you take care of and maintain a garden, you'll get food or flowers. if you don't, you won't. you'll get weeds, which not only aren't good for anything, they destroy things.
we are currently cutting our first ever hay field! and when i say we i mean the farmer next door, because he has the equipment. and the experience. and while, after weeks of essential (and typical in June) rain and days of perfect summer sunshine, the alfalfa and grass look rich and vibrant, it's true that there are things we will do differently next time. as first-timers, we're learning that irrigation and fertilization are key to multiple cuttings. we will probably only get one cutting this year because we didn't do either of those things. two cuttings is double the hay... double the money. you reap what you sow.
in life, this idea of what you put in is what you get out, translates across the board. in ANY job, career, or creative endeavor this holds true. if you want to drop some weight and/or get healthy you have to be consistent and make good choices in order to see results. if you choose to continue making poor/unhealthy choices, well, you'll stay stuck where you are. if you want to climb the proverbial ladder of success, get a promotion or become a better anything you have to do the extra work, go the extra mile and make the extra sacrifices to get there. if you continue saying things like, 'who cares', 'i don't feel like it' , 'i'll do it later', or 'whatever'... most likely that's going to mean no growth for you. but... if you make the effort, take the chance, put in the time then you'll not only get better at whatever you're doing, but you'll grow in confidence and stamina! all good things.
in Galatians 6 Paul applies this to our hearts:
"do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked.
a man reaps what he sows.
the one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. let us not become weary in doing good for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
since i believe in the things of the Spirit, i believe that all of life is colored and covered by this. that whatever i do, whether singing songs about Jesus, writing words in worship, fixing dinner for my family, having a disagreement with my husband, giving my daughter advice, talking about life with my son... i get to choose in each and everyone of those instances to sow to either my flesh or the Spirit. the decisions i make reveal my motives. am i sowing seeds of self? or sacrifice? am i hung up on old ways? or allowing the Father to prune my heart? am i given over to constant comparison? or letting go of my need for man's approval?
it's not easy to maintain a garden or a field. it takes consistent effort and hard labor. but don't be afraid to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. you'll get stronger and the harvest is WORTH IT!
my STANDard for the month of july is:
"...a man reaps what he sows..."