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Pushing Forward When the Voices Say Give Up

10 Mar
Pushing Forward When the Voices Say Give Up

Friends, let’s be honest. Everyone is going through something. And while what I’m about to share is nothing earth shattering, (it is a tiny thing really), I share it as an example of how swift the evil one acts, how equally swift we are to believe his lies, and how God responds (when we seek Him and then listen for the response).

But first a verse from the book of Mark:

“These are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them. Mark 4:15.”

Imagine for a moment sitting alongside the road enjoying a beautiful spring day. A cute little girl comes skipping along scattering flowers and singing a lovely tune. That’s the word: beautiful and pure. Now imagine my rambunctious goats following behind devouring every precious beautiful petal she has scattered while whining baah, at the top of their lungs.

Simple analogy isn’t it?

For some time now, the Lord had been leading me toward converting our little strip of country into a property for heritage bulbs, heritage vegetables and woodland medicinals. I don’t purchase anything genetically modified, not even flowers. The Good Lord has already placed several medicinal plants on the property, and, wanting to be a good caretaker, I’ve spent the better part of two years converting a former horse pasture into a vegetable and flower garden. Using sustainable methods, I’ve hand-pulled weeds, hacked away locust tree roots (mercy they run a long, long way just beneath the surface), and pulled up so many wild onions I smell like the goats.

We’ve named our little place “Butterfly Cove,” because the first year we had so many butterflies their beauty literally took my breath. I spent hours stalking them, following them as they flittered hither and yon. I ignored my friends who laughed as I protected the thistle (loved by the butterflies).  I began writing a weekly garden column titled, “Butterfly Cove Notes,” and basically fill every free moment getting my hands dirty while exposing myself to an abundance of poison ivy. While the rest of the world watches the television and either rages at current events, or cowers in fear, I’ve blissfully worked our little strip of land staying close under the protection of Our Lord.

Ready now to follow His lead, I believe it’s time to introduce others to Butterfly Cove, time to strongly consider selling vegetables to the neighbors and others visiting the tip-top of the mountains where those transplanted in this area can’t grow anything but rocks and rental property.

I’ve prayed and asked God, “Are you sure?” And kept moving forward, planting tomato seeds, drawing this year’s garden plan, and hoarding enough zinnia seeds to plant a full acre. I’ve done according to His plan knowing everything was lining up. The neighbors are ready for tomatoes. I’m ready to see colorful flowers fill the field and – with God leading the way– transform the once brambled area into something of beauty.

Until last night.

Last night the whispers came. You know what I’m talking about . . . the whispers.

Lies that say you can’t, that you’ve wasted your time, your youth, your energy. Whispers that become resounding roars screaming that the very idea you’ve invested in is actually a joke.

Those whispers. We all hear them. The evil one tailor-makes them for us, and we believe them.

We believe them and stop.

We give up.

We see the finish line, but we sense someone breathing down our neck and pull back.

Creative people know this feeling as resistance. Christians know it’s the evil one.

Defeated, last night I asked God, “Are you sure? Because I really am doing a lot of physical work, and I could just stop.”

God was silent. He’s sneaky like that. The more silent He is, the more vocal I am.

This morning, I loaded the trash into the truck, heading to work. Our county has one of those metal portable garages called The Swap Shop where you place unwanted items and people, like me, take a looksee to see if the donated items are of use. Low and behold this morning there were four glass jars. Now y’all already know about my jar obsession. I haven’t met a jar I didn’t like, OR need.

Friends call me saying, “Renea I have these . . . ” and before they finish I say, “I’ll take ‘em.”

Running late, I placed the bag in my truck and hurried to work.

This afternoon, I took the jars out of the bag. Look closely at the design on the jar, a butterfly. In all my jar-hoarding days I’ve never seen glasses with butterflies on them. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure God wants me to ignore the whisperjars1.jpgs and keep walking the path He has laid out before me.

I don’t know what you’re going through, but God knows. Please try to ignore the whispers. Take time to seek God’s will and keep walking the path until He tells you to do something else.

Renea is the award-winning author of In the Garden with Billy, download it here. On rainy days she’s working hard on her novel, Outbound Train, otherwise, she’s in the garden pulling weeds and wild onions. Follow her on Facebook here.

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15 Comments

Posted by on March 10, 2018 in A Glimpse into My Life, Uncategorized

 

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15 responses to “Pushing Forward When the Voices Say Give Up

  1. Ed Ammons

    March 10, 2018 at 2:04 am

    I never ask God, “Are you sure?” I often ask myself, “Are you sure you are talking to God?”
    Good luck on your new venture!

     
    • Renea

      March 10, 2018 at 1:50 pm

      Ed, It’s funny you should say that. Because when God said, “you need to write a newspaper column,” I actually turned around and said, “Are you talking to me? Because I am the lowly and unqualified. Yet He insisted and still gives me weekly fodder for the column. The Smoky Mountain Times has also picked it up. So now I’m writing for two columns (albeit it for no pay !)

       
  2. Stephlin's Mountain

    March 10, 2018 at 2:21 am

    Powerful testimony. Thank-you!

     
    • Renea

      March 10, 2018 at 1:48 pm

      Thank you for reading, and responding to my post.

       
  3. Jenny Castle

    March 10, 2018 at 3:15 am

    Dear Renea, if you only knew how badly I needed to hear this. I have been on a treadmill for some time – as a retiree I thought things would be different. Part time work, bills, aging parents, overwhelming responsibilities, and frankly despair have kept me frozen in place. Your timing, and I surmise really the Lord’s timing is impeccable as always. Enjoy your garden; it was where God placed us originally after all!!

     
    • Renea

      March 10, 2018 at 1:48 pm

      Thank you Jenny for taking the time to write. This post has been on my heart for some time. Like you said, the Lord knew the best timing. I agree, more than you know, about being overwhelmed. Still we press on don’t we? Do not despair my friend, just keep pushing, even if you don’t have the strength to apply much pressure. Don’t give up !

       
  4. Dana Ellington, MAPW

    March 10, 2018 at 11:50 am

    This was exactly what I needed to read this morning. Renea, I love what you do, you have no idea how often our brief meeting at the marketing workshop for new writers and your subsequent blog posts have kept me going on my journey. I anxiously await the ‘official’ introduction to Butterfly Cove and finding out how I can support you in this endeavor. Hugs!

     
    • Renea

      March 10, 2018 at 1:45 pm

      Thanks Dana. We must continue to support each other, because we are all pushing against the same resistance ! Love to you

       
  5. Amber Nagle

    March 10, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    Goodness! I loved this blog post so much, and I love the butterfly designs on those jars—yes, most definitely, sent from the messenger Himself. Please keep digging in that dirt and sowing the seeds of kindness and hope.

     
    • Renea

      March 10, 2018 at 1:45 pm

      Thanks Amber, We must keep digging, sowing, and writing ! Never stop writing. Love to you.

       
  6. William Hall

    March 10, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    Butterfly Cove sounds great, Renea. You are such a busy lady. Thank you for sharing your blog with us. I am getting close to presenting my novel, too, THE BLESSED FRAGMENT. Love and blessings to you as always. You have been so much help and inspiration to me. Kay Hall

     
  7. ann bennett

    March 10, 2018 at 4:31 pm

    Now I have my own trendsetter. This year, I am going to .a bodacious garden. This is food for my spirit. Thanks for writing this.

     
    • Renea

      March 10, 2018 at 6:48 pm

      Here’s to good food and bodacious gardens. You can do it!

       
  8. Barbara Dover

    March 10, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    Beautiful. As a fellow jar hoarder I understand your obsession. I also understand the whispers and the calling. Resist those whispers and embrace your calling of writing, digging, and planting. Your readers and butterflies thank you. 🐛

     
    • Renea

      March 10, 2018 at 6:47 pm

      Thanks Barbara. Always happy to meet a fellow hoarder.

       

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