Practicing Patience

 

Spring is so near that I can feel it beneath my feet. The recent rains have softened the earth, and the mild temperatures are thawing the ground. Bulbs that my daughter planted in the fall are already beginning to emerge. A sudden freeze would damage these tender little plants, so I’m hoping the snowless winter continues. Yet I need to remind myself that it is only February.

So much of our lives are spent waiting, and learning to be patient in the interim. Sometimes we jot a date on the calendar that we can anticipate. Then we count the days, crossing each one off as it passes. But other times the date is unknown and every day drags by without an end in sight. Those are the most difficult days.

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Lessons from Lent

As we approach the season of Lent, I was thinking today about the 40 days ahead. During this time each year, we remember Jesus’ ministry on earth — his teaching, his healing, his selfless sacrifice, and ultimately his death on the cross.

Just imagine knowing that you would one day die for the sins of others. In your heart, you’ve known your purpose and mission since you were a child. Your life — and death — would be the fulfillment of prophecy, a promise you were sent to keep. You have no idea yet what day your death will occur, but assuredly it will. But in the meantime, you patiently live your life, fully embracing each new day and deeply loving mankind, while knowing the end is approaching.

I don’t know how Jesus had the patience to endure such a life and painful death, but I’m sure glad he did! Where would we be today without his steadfast love and guidance to teach us patience and perseverance?

What a joy it is, knowing that at the end of those 40 days of anticipation, Jesus defeats death, and walks out of the tomb!

“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”‭‭ – Romans‬ ‭15:4-6‬

Welcome Summer!

This weekend marks the unofficial start of summer. And like previous years, the weather in Northern Virginia has gone from chilly and rainy to hot and humid overnight. Pop-up afternoon thunderstorms are common and everyone is complaining about ants overtaking their homes. They are everywhere!

We kicked off the weekend by hosting a birthday party for our daughter and 25 of her closest friends. We’ll be eating potato salad, corn on the cob and watermelon for days! She has an amazing group of friends from her church, and they all had a great time eating, laughing and playing card games until midnight.

Garden Update

Today’s walk around the garden was fruitful, to say the least! The pea vines and pepper plants are covered with blossoms, and we already have tomatoes and squash on the vines. I picked two cucumbers and a bunch of radishes this afternoon. We’ll be harvesting beans and lettuce soon too.

But keeping your garden healthy is a season-long battle. We are already seeing signs of blight on our tomato and cucumber leaves. And it appears that have some hungry slugs munching on the radishes. Hopefully we caught both issues early on. We’ve learned that you always have to stay one step ahead of these gardening challenges or you may lose your precious produce!

You’ll notice that I labeled one photo “Mystery Tomato”. We are not exactly certain what variety it might be because it was a volunteer that came up towards the end of winter in a potted houseplant! We transplanted it into its own pot indoors, and it was the first tomato to go into the ground in the spring.

This week we said farewell to our beautiful peonies and we are picking the last of the spinach as it is beginning to bolt. But we have lilies ready to bloom, and my favorite Mexican Sunflowers are growing rapidly. Thankfully, there is always something ready to replace the plants that are dying off. It’s the horticultural circle of life.

We love having our vegetable and flower gardens. Nothing beats that freshness, when you walk outside and pick your own food, and then serve it the same day. That is farm-to-table at its finest!

 

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Remember . . . Freedom is Never Free

On this Memorial Day weekend, I am feeling so very blessed for my home and family, and am humbled by the sacrifices that many brave men and women made to preserve my cherished freedoms. May we always remember the price they paid, and never take those freedoms for granted.