Goodreads to Muse

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The Book Thief
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
On Gold Mountain
Bread & Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter
City of Tranquil Light: A Novel
The Distant Land of My Father
The Paris Wife
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
Fall of Giants
World Without End
A Stolen Life
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption
The Pillars of the Earth
Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation
The Road
Trials of the Earth: The Autobiography of Mary Hamilton
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, a Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal
Cutting for Stone

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Entries in garden (1)


striving: 40 words in 40 days

Once upon a time, I planted some zinnias outside my back door. Actually, I planted quite a lot of zinnias. And  you know what grew up? Weeds. 

At the time, God was teaching me quite a bit about striving. He used this illustration of the weeds to show me that toiling and striving produced weeds. Striving is a fixation on doing things to bring about a certain result.

Now planting some seeds from a package labeled “zinnias” with beautiful bright pictures of zinnias on it - well, that is a reasonable expectation. Sometimes I study the Bible, pray, share with others - and it seems reasonable to expect that God would bless me. 

The Pharisees shared a similar misconception of how this spiritual growth takes place. Jesus turned it all upside down when he said, “The first shall be last and the last shall be first.”

When those weeds came up in droves, I plucked one up out of the ground and took it to a seasoned gardener. “These are not zinnias,” I brilliantly postulated. 

“No. No, they are not. Those, my dear, are weeds.” 

Well, I repented. I confessed to striving. I told the Lord I had been expecting X, Y, and Z to happen because I did A, B, and C. I asked the Lord to surprise me with some zinnias.  Not 2 days later, I spent the night at the hospital here in Williamson County. Matthew had an emergency appendectomy. There on the nurses’ station counter in a make-shift vase of a water bottle stood my zinnias.

And I saw the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.

PS The surgery was four years ago. Matthew recovered quickly. I have never successfully grown zinnias from seed.