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bailey in pumpkin patch

It’s been three years since my granddaughter and I visited the pumpkin patch where I snapped this picture. Seeing it reminds me of how quickly the days and months have whipped by– like leaves in the wind. Now here it is fall again, the time of year when autumn breezes threaten to become a tornado. Many of us will blow through the coming days in a frenzy of shopping, decorating, baking, and general running from one activity to the next. If you dread getting caught in the holiday whirlwind, here’s a story that might take some pressure off…

Two springs ago, I decided to plant a cutting garden. I researched which flowers were likely to thrive and ordered my seeds. I tried to closely follow the planting directions and was happy when my efforts were rewarded with tiny green shoots. Most of the seed packages said to thin the plants once they reached a couple of inches. But even though I had read the instructions, I was so excited to see the plants growing I couldn’t bring myself to pull any up. I dreamed of big beautiful blooms, but my flowers were too crowded to reach their full potential.


At times I’ve resisted thinning out my schedule the way I resisted thinning those flowers. I fear giving up many things to focus on a few because I might miss out on something or fail to accomplish all that I could. And yet it’s silly to worry because God’s Word tells us He has ordained all our days before we’re even born. (Psalm 139:16)

My striving is not necessary for God to accomplish His will. To illustrate this point, let’s contrast my gardening efforts with those of the Master Gardener… 

One autumn day, my friend and her children carved a pumpkin. As they worked at scraping out the insides, their dog did his part by eating the discarded mess. He later did what dogs do, relieving himself in the yard. Fall became winter and winter turned to spring. Eventually summer rolled around and my friend noticed vines growing on the edge of the lawn. She realized they were pumpkin vines. By summer’s end, they had yielded fat, orange pumpkins.

As this year draws to a close, I hope to thin my activities and bloom fully in each moment, trusting my Father to bring growth in His perfect time.


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