“All things must come to the soul from its roots, from where it is planted.”
St. Teresa of Avila
What favorite summertime fruits and veggies do you look forward to each year?
I love fresh spring lettuce and spinach straight from the garden, an icy watermelon-mint slushy, juicy, sweet tomatoes with buffalo mozzarella, basil, and sweet balsamic vinegar midsummer, and crisp, cold, cucumber water any time! (See below for my watermelon-mint slushy recipe!)
Every backyard gardener knows it takes a great many things to successfully harvest a crop, doesn’t it? There is more to it than just seeds, soil, and sun.
Expert gardeners select plants based on location and carefully water, fertilize, prune, weed, protect, and harvest crops at the right time with great attention and intention.
Hybrid versus heirloom? Seedless of seed-filled? Early or late crop? Chemical soil amendments or natural? These are important questions when considering the harvest.
Honestly, any good gardener knows it all comes down to ROOTS. Poorly established root systems mean sickly, poorly producing plants; burgeoning, prolific root systems mean plants last through the stresses of the summer heat to produce great harvests later.
The Bible tells us through the Holy Spirit’s strength and power, Christ dwells in our hearts through faith. When we are rooted and established in His love, we have the power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is God’s love for us through His Son! Though impossible to understand, we are able to catch a glimpse of the unknowable!
How do you know your root system is healthy?
I ask you a simple question: What are you producing? “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.”
Sure, Church Girl,
but what does it mean
What’s in your heart, Beloved?
“The good man bring good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.” Goodness, just like evil, goes down to the core of a person. It’s always a root issue.
What kind of soil do you have surrounding those roots?
hard as a rock,
is it good,
prepared to receive
What fruit do you see God producing in you?
- Is there personal, internal Fruit of the Spirit growing on your branches? A kinder, gentler, more patient you?
- Do you have abundant ministry? You give or serve in ways that help the kingdom of God take ground. You pour the Word of God into or over your spouse, children, coworkers, church through teaching, conversations, and prayer. Even where you might think you’re in a winter season of ministry, how are you preparing your soil and spirit for the next spring?
What fruit do you see God producing in others around you? Maybe it’s in your coworker, boss, spouse, child, friend, ministry partners, or church leaders. Could you take time today to send that person a message of encouragement?
Who knows what could grow from that seed you sow this week. Given great roots and careful tending, that seed might end up being the sweetest, most prolific plant that one day feeds you or your loved ones…
Let’s take a moment to pray, praising God that we are rooted in the love of Jesus Christ. Approach the throne of the Almighty One with boldness and confidence to receive mercy and find grace, help, and boldness to minister the Gospel to the world.
Ephesians 3: 16-20, Luke 6:43-45, Luke 8:1-15
The Church Girl’s Watermelon-Mint Slushy: This is a great low-calorie way to get extra hydration in the summertime. We drink them right before bedtime as a refreshing nightcap.
Chill 8 cups large, seedless watermelon slices. (You can even freeze watermelon to have later for these drinks if you can’t eat the entire thing at one time!)
Clean a stem of mint leaves under running water; remove stem and discard.
Reserve a leaf or two for garnish.
Add 3-5 ice cubes.
Throw ingredients into a blender and pulse for one minute.
Top with extra mint and enjoy. (makes 2 servings)