Hope Springs Anew--And A Giveaway

Orange leaves unfurling
      
     Like a mother checking on her babes as they rest peacefully, I tiptoe out to the garden. Not wanting to disturb the hopes within me, I measure my steps to our injured, dormant citrus trees. Could there be any signs of growth, yet?
     I peek through left over leaves and freeze-dried branches, gazing upon my "babies" as a mother pulls back the blanket to behold her sweet one's angel face. There I find the hope and joy for which I have been searching.
Mini-sized green balls hold the new growth of unfurled leaves on the orange trees. Hope bursts anew that this tree will live. Whether we'll see oranges next year or not until 2013 is still a question mark.
     Then I turn to gaze at the lemon tree, or what is left of it. Dismay washes over me as I observe the brittle brown branches that once bore life.

     I wish to see some hope of life, some streak of green amongst the brown. And then my eye sees the tender shoots of new growth rising from the stick-like branch.

New shoots on the lemon tree


     Just babies stretching to the sky, they call out hope, a future of produce, and new life. The Lord has blessed even when there was no fruit on the vines. He has touched the barren trees that they may yield crops once more. To God be the Glory.

     "If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you." Romans 11:17-18 NIV

     We need to remember, Christ is the root and He supports us. He has grafted us in with His blood.

     This week, I thank the Lord:
   
     483) for renewing life in our citrus trees. I can hardly wait to fertilize them and deep water them
     484) for having a whole day to myself in our quiet home
     485) for the joy of a day spent blogging and answering comments. It warmed my heart.
     486) for family getting over bronchitis
     487) for order beginning to take shape in different rooms of our house, and for some cleaning getting
             done
     488) for a powerful teaching on compassion--the kind Jesus had
     489) for drinking in God's word and drawing near through Cynthia Heald's Bible Study on
             "Becoming A Woman Of simplicity."
     490) for a Friday evening of rest, a good book, and pizza
     491) for watching our college basketball team become the Pac-10 champions--yes, Sports Center is
             alive and well in our home
     492) for my friend healing in all the ways that matter
     493) for co-workers coming to my assistance when I needed a brief break from teaching
     494) for finding new teaching tools and games to help my second-grade student learn with more
             enthusiasm
     495) for being able to grocery shop on the "Big Sale" day and save a bundle
     496) for the application for my passport going smoothly
     497) for a morning to sleep in
     498) for warm coffee on cool mornings and cool breezes on warm days--all within one week
     499) for sunsets and clouds, for music and notes from friends, for pictures of the family in California
     500) FOR ONE YEAR OF BLOGGING--time to celebrate. And halfway to a thousand gratitudes.
.
     In celebration of this milestone, I will be giving away one copy of Anne Voskamp's new book, One Thousand Gifts
     Everyone who comments in the next week from Monday, March 7 through Sunday, March 13 or becomes a new follower will be entered in the drawing. Thank you to all who have encouraged me along the way with your comments and suggestions. You, and the Lord, have kept me going on this project. May He be glorified and work in and through me to bless my readers.

From My Heart to Yours,

Linking with the Gratitude Community at Anne Voskamp's Multitude Monday


and Playdates with God at The Wellspring



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