¿Habla español?

Still Good

As a novice gardener I am becoming more and more confident in the garden. The beginning tasks of starting a garden have been replaced with the daily upkeep. Pulling a weed here, or picking a tomato there, we are reaping the rewards of all the hard work my husband and I put into it at the beginning.  Lately, my social media feed has more pictures of my zucchini and cucumber than my kids!  And of course the best part is the satisfaction you get when you sit down to a meal and think as you take your first bite "I grew this."  Well, technically God grew it, but I planted it.  

I already have plans for what I will plant for the fall.  Beans, brussel sprouts (my kids used to call them baby cabbage), beets, radish and carrots.  But something strikes my heart as I begin removing all my exhausted plants, it's a faint whisper but I recognize the voice.  "But, Ursala" the voice says, "these are still good."

Still good, I thought?  What could I possibly use this dead zucchini for? Again I am new to gardening so I did what my teenagers taught me...I google it.  Turns out this dry exhausted zucchini plant was good for something...the compost pile.  

For those of you who don't know, a compost pile is what some gardeners use to fertilize their gardens.  The basic idea is to throw all your scrap veggies, exhausted plants, coffee grounds, some even use cardboard, into a pile and allow them to break down into the soil.  During that time all the nutrients from the plants are released back into the soil, enriching it and making it good soil. In turn, into this good soil you plant new plants.

Of course the google search led me down a rabbit hole, and now I have plans to start our own pile in the backyard.  There are actually some neighbor-friendly ways to do this, so hopefully we won't have any complaints.  As I was researching and planning, I felt like there was a practical lesson in this compost discovery.  I wasn't sure what it was yet, but I knew if I was patient enough the lesson would reveal itself.

Without fail the opportunity arose for God to remind me about our composting lesson. The lesson was about relationships.  It is so easy to throw away relationships after we think there is no fruit left in them.  Life pushes us forward and the people in our past seem unimportant.  But just like that exhausted zucchini plant, maybe those relationships are still good.

 So often we move away or into a new season and cut off old people and experiences to start life "anew, or fresh". Although that sounds good, the only way we truly grow is by learning from our past.   Instead of leaving behind good friendships when we move to a new place or a new job, what if we allow the richness of those relationships to continue to contribute to our soil?  

Staying connected to those people and pulling from those experiences does not stop us from growing new fruit in our lives.  If we take our lesson from the compost pile we learn that they can actually help us to grow new fruit.  In my life I have experienced both.  I have had friends who moved across the country, or even the world, and still stay in touch.  We continue to make an effort to see or speak to each other from time to time. I have also had friends move away without even a goodbye.  As painful as a goodbye can be, I have always been thankful for the opportunity to wish a friend well in their future endeavors.

Recently, I learned that a dear friend was moving out of state.  At her request, a journal was passed around to her closest friends.  Along with the journal came a few directions.  First, she wanted us to recount a story or a special time shared with her.  Then, she also requested that we put in a prayer request so that, even though we would be separated by space and time, she could be praying for us.  

There is something special about knowing that thousands of miles away there is a dear friend praying for you and your family; that someone is fighting for you when you don't have the strength or wherewithal to fight for yourself. Still good means that even when we can't see it, God is still using his good to nourish our souls.  

We see this principle throughout the new testament.  As Paul journeyed from region to region he did not forget the friendships that he left behind.  In letter after letter we see Paul reaching out to the dear friends that he made along the way.  In doing so he built the network of faith communities that we now know as the early church, and wrote a large portion of what we read in the New Testament of the Bible.

Of course we can apply this same principle to many areas of our lives.  Consider a marriage that doesn't seem to have anything left or maybe a parent child relationship that has been strained. Sometimes it is our nature to just walk away, especially when there is pain involved.  But many times, if we are patient, God will reveal the good and give us new strength to endure in the hard times.

  • Still good, means that there is still so much to give even if you don't see it.  
  • Still good means that regardless of our future, our past is what grounds us.  
  • Still good means that we can build people up just by being part of their lives.

Is there a relationship that you believe is still good?  Maybe this is God's way of encouraging you to send a text or a letter to an old friend.  You reaching out could be the encouragement they need to get through a rough time in their life.  Maybe a phone call will help you rediscover the good from the past seasons in your life.

Returning to my garden this fall will mean something different to me. As I prepare my root vegetables to go into the ground, I will be thinking about the good from last season's crop.  Also, as I build new friendships this season, I will not forget the nutrients that previous friendships have left behind.  My prayer is that in this new season you will find that your soil has been enriched by others as well.

No Comments



1 Kings 12 Days of Christmas 20 minutes 2020 Acts Adonai American way America Antelope Valley Apostle Paul Apostle's Creed Bibile Bible study Bible Birmingham Book of Acts But God COVID-19 COVID Calvary Charlies Angels Christian Voter Guide Christian home Christmas Church Colossians Communication Confessional Prayer Corinthians Dallas Willard David Devotional Doing Life Together Eastertide Easter Ecclesiastes Emmanuel Ephesians Epiphany Esther Father in Heaven Father's Day Father Galatians God With Us God first God is good God of peace God still Moved God's Will God\'s Will Good Friday Gospel of John Gospel of Luke Gospel of Mark Gospel of Matthew Happy Father's Day Hawaii Hebrews Holy Spirit Hosea How are you doing How to Pray I want that Instagram Isaiah 43 Isaiah James Brown James Jenna Bush Hagar Jeremiah 29:11 Jeremiah Jesus John 3:16 John Hughes John Wesley John Judy Garland King David Kingdom Come Kingdom of God Leadership Lectio Divina Light of the World Lord Love is Love your neighbor Luke MLK Malachi Mama Bear Mark Martin Luther King Jr. Mary Matthew Memorial Day Merry Christmas Micah 6:8 Micah Molly Ringwald Monday Night Manna Mother Hen Mothers Day Nancy Drew Nehemiah New Testament Old Testament Only God Knows Paul Pentecost Peter Philippians Prince Phillip Prince of Peace Proverbs 13 Proverbs Psalm 10 Psalm 139 Psalm 23 Psalm 40 Psalm 42 Psalm 46 Psalms of Joy Pursuing the Presence of God Queen Elizabeth Revelation Romans Ruth Haley Barton Savior Sermon Sheridan Voysey Son of God Son of Man Son Spider Man Sunday School Surprised by Joy TV Target Thanksgiving The Free Market The Lord's Prayer The Sound of Music Timothy Titanic Today Show Twelfth Night Veggietales Voter Guide Wizard of Oz Women in Leadership Women of Faith Women's Bible Study abide abstain accused act justly action adoration adventure advice advocate afraid allelon alone anchor anger answers anxiety app art ask attack authority awe awkward back to school balance baptism be kind be open be prepared be still and know beaten and condemned beauty and struggle beauty belief believe belonging betrayed by a kiss betrayed black friday blackbelt blameless bleeding woman blessed blessing blog body bond bookmark book boundaries breadsticks broken brotherhood burden butter called by God called by name called carbs care cause celebrate centered in Christ challenges change childbirth children choice choosejoy choose christian christ chronic illness church nerd alert church online citizen civil rights clean hearts cleaning comfort comment community compassion into action compassion compost confession of faith confession conflict resolution conflict confusion connection connect consumer culture contemplative prayer conversation with God conversation corruption court tv court creation creative juice creativity cross crucified and kind crucified crucify dad dating daughtership daughters death defense delight denied depression differently abled disabled discernment discipleship discipline discovery discrimination distracted divine divinity do good do the action donate doughnuts dreams dream early church eating disorder eden election emotional health emotions empathy encouragement endurance enjoy enough excess expectations failure faithfulness faith fall family dynamics family fun family of God family systems family fangirl fasting fast favorite scripture favorite things fear feel find and follow Jesus fine flexible forgiveness forgive free time freedom free friendship friends fruit funeral fun future gaining faith galaxy garden generations generosity genesis gift give it away give life giving goals god good news good shepherd gospels gospel government grace of God grace grass is always greener gratitude gravy great cloud of witnesses green bean casserole green thumb grief grieve grit groups growth ham hangover happiness harmony harsh truth head healing healthy habit heart sick heart help holding tight holidays holiday homeless homeostasis homeschool honor hope deferred hope how the Lord speaks how to read scripture how to talk about loss how to worship how to humanity human humility humor innocent inspiration intercessory prayer intimacy introvert invitation isolation join journal journey joy just believe justice kids kindness kind kingdom of heaven knock lament laughter learn lent let it be life together light listen live loneliness longing losing faith loss love in action love mercy love story love the Lord love loving like Jesus magi map marathon march marginalized marriage mashed potatoes meditation memorial memories mental health mentalhealthmonth messiah momlife mom motivated by joy mourn moved with compassion move mystery navigate need neighbors neighbor new beginning new normal new season new year newlywed news new nickname normal not alone not easy note to self nothing but joy nourishment now and not yet nowandnotyet nurse offering one body online overflowing with gratitude pain pandemic parenting parents pastor patience patient peacemaker peacemaking peace perseverance personal prayer perspectives perspective petition phillipians pity planted by water plan play something podcast politics potatoes practice of confession practicing gratitude pray for pastors pray without ceasing prayer request prayerwarrior prayer praying praywithoutceasing pray preach prepare presence of God present priortize prize promise of God promise prophetic psalms psalm purpose quarantine questioning God questions quiet race read reconciliation reconnect recovery reevaluate reflect regather regret rejoice relationships relationship remember repentance repost research resilience resources respect rest resurrection retreat rhythms riot road to the cross roles routine ruby slippers rules sabbath sacred sadness safe at home safe salvation scalloped potatoes schedule scripture about justice scriptures about fear scriptures about joy scriptures about peace scriptures about race scriptures scripture searching seasons season seek self-care self-denial self-differentiation serve serving share shelter at home shepherds signs silence simple pleasures single dad single mom single parent sing sinking sink slowly smile sober social distancing social media soil solitude sonship soul care soul music spiritual disciplines spiritual health spiritual practices spirit spring stars starting point star stayathome still good stop and look up storm storytelling streams of water strength stress struggleisreal study success sudden suffering of Christ suffering summer support surrender take heart talking with kids teacher tears technology template thank God the truth is out there the truth will set you free the way the truth and the life theology thessalonians think thisistheday time tithe to be honest together traditions transformed transition trauma treasure tree of life trials trust and obey trust in the Lord trust truth turkey understanding unfailing love unity universe vacation vice president virtual voices volunteer vote vulnerable waiting waking up walk humbly we cannot go back weather wedding welcome welcoming prayer wisdom wise counsel woman at the well woman caught in adultery women pastors women wonder worry worship yield youmatter zoom