Thursday, August 6, 2020

Day 7: Morning Meditations at Marina's Kitchen Table; A devotional memoir

We have enjoyed getting started on this month of devotions from my book, Morning Meditations at Marina's Kitchen Table. It's a busy time of year, but I'm getting comments, some live views, some private messages...and all of it is good! I know that folks are traveling, getting kids back in school, or schooling them from home unexpectedly, and to be honest, if you are reading this and it blesses you—THAT is my goal!
Enjoy today's devotion, and feel free to chime in if it moves you...or journal it, or hide it in your heart. My prayer is that it moves you a little closer to God's heart as we journey together!
I regret that I will not be able to join in live on Friday, but a family emergency of sorts has come up. I'll check in for prayer requests as I'm able, so be sure to leave them in the comments below. Feel free to check out the other daily posts on our Facebook Group page and join in the community!

Day 7 (Friday, August 7, 2020)
Morning Prayer
Good Morning God! Thank You for Your goodness and kindness this day. Your love and compassion is given with so much generosity, and Your mercy is never-ending. Your creation is so beautiful, as You plan and set days, weeks, months, and seasons into motion. I'm so glad I can trust You with each moment of each day. I love You so much. Amen.

Focus Verse
Hosea 10:12 NLT
I said, 'Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.
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Some time ago, during a hard season in life, a friend sent me this verse printed up in a frame. It helped carry me through that difficult time, and I started to notice the significance of seasons in our lives, just like He created seasons in nature. There is more than a coincidental thread of gardening in us; preparing the ground, tending and nurturing our hearts and minds, pruning trees, and our lives, to make them more fruitful.
When we became homeowners, I brushed up on gardening and landscaping skills, checking out books from the library, searching online, and visiting the County Extension office to gain knowledge specific to our area. I remember learning about the process of trees losing leaves in autumn (a new process to this Southern California raised girl), and the purpose in it—for the trees to spend their energy growing roots during winter, so they are ready to birth blossoms again in the springtime.
It's easy for me to forget life can be that way, too. We love the new blossoms of spring, the tree's canopy of shade and bright colors of summer, and even the colors of the leaves in fall, but when the trees are bare in winter, I can forget there is a purpose in that as well. My heart wants to hibernate, thinking it's a wasted season, forgetting God can use it to do deep work in me...in us.
I think it's purposeful that we celebrate Thanksgiving at the beginning of our coldest season. To turn our hearts and minds towards God, to give Him thanks, can be the start of growing our spiritual roots deep and strong, carrying us through the hardships of winter and the spiritually dry times of life.
He walks with us through the times of preparing for our season of thanksgiving. Just like we may divide our crowded bulbs or turn the soil in our gardens and fields, we need to allow God to break up the hard ground of our hearts in preparation for the season of regeneration.
Just like the plants in life, I need to have a season of "root growth." I need to have the weeds pulled out; the lies I've believed or allowed to take root in my heart. My soil needs to be amended by good friendships, fellowship, worship, and teaching in God's Word. In order for me to begin my growing season in the spring, I need to start preparing for it in the fall.
God uses illustrations of gardening and farming all throughout the Bible, and it's fitting to describe our lives with God and our journeys with Jesus. No matter what season we are in right now, we need to be sure we are in the Word, nurturing our spirits, preparing our soil for whatever season lies ahead and whatever crop He wants to grow in us.
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A Prayer
Father, You are The Master Gardener of my life. I know my heart soil can be as hard as clay or stone. I know Your love for me will keep it broken and soft, so that You can add to me what is needed to grow the things You want to grow in my life. Please help me to grow, to rest when I need rest, to allow You to do the hard work of preparing me for whatever lies next. Purge the weeds, amend my soil, and start good seeds that will bear good fruit in Your perfect timing. I need You to be at work in my life, and I realize sometimes the work will be painful, as You pull weeks that may look beautiful to the world, but may have dangerous repercussions in the roots, bringing damage to my other crops. Purify my heart, mind, and spirit. Amen.

Table Talk
Psalm 1, Isaiah 55:10-12, Ephesians 3:14-19
Which season best represents the condition of your heart today? Is there something God is leading you to pray about, or to do, to best be prepared for the next season in life?
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Morning Meditations at Marina's Kitchen Table; A devotional memoir, is available through Amazon and Kindle, and is free on Kindle Unlimited.
©2020 Marina J Bromley, Marina's Kitchen Table, all rights reserved.

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Thanks so much for reading today! I hope that you will share your heart with us! Do not forget to subscribe if you would like to have this delivered to your inbox!
~marina

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