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Mortifying the Mint

One beautiful spring day, I was planting flowers in pots. My eleven-year-old daughter came outside and joined me. We finished planting all the pots and decided to tackle the beds which needed to be weeded. Someone who lived in our house prior must have planted mint and it has taken over. Every year we try to exterminate the mint, but it proceeds to come back.

My daughter and I headed over to the beds and started pulling the mint up. You can pull it out, but underneath there are more roots you must find. Mint sends out runners that spread above and just below the ground. It quickly takes over an area. We discovered groups of it growing up into other flowers. We spent about an hour pulling up piles of mint. My daughter commented on how fun it was. Thankfully the roots come up easy and it’s very rewarding to make a lot of progress quickly.

This reminds me of our faith journey. Mint is like our sin. It will continue to spread and reappear until we mortify it. We must keep digging and digging until we find the roots, pull them up and dispose of them.

Pulling up the mint from our beds was tedious, tiring, and overwhelming at times. However, it was worth the effort. I can now gaze at the flower beds and appreciate how pronounced the flowers are without the mint resting aside them.

Unless we truly mortify our sin, it will continue to reappear and cause havoc inside us, spreading to areas of our lives we didn’t intend it to impact.

Thankfully we have a loving Father who can help us and is there to forgive us. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

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Rest for the Weary

Last year I had a medical procedure done to treat the varicose veins in my legs. Genetics and three pregnancies had taken their toll.

I was on day two of my four-day treatment. The physician assistant Katherine told me to lay back on the bed, I agreeably listened, delighted to lay still for the next hour.

She chuckled as she noticed my enthusiasm at the idea of laying down. Katherine told me they have noticed how moms come into the office and are so elated to lay down and put their feet up. The fact they are getting poked and prodded with a needle is inconsequential.

I was paying for someone to poke my legs with needles and strip out the dead veins (gross, I know). Yet I was thankful to have a reason to rest. You would think I was at the spa.

This speaks to our weary state. We tend to go, go, go not paying attention to our internal barometers. Some of us are physically tired, others are emotionally drained, the rest might be spiritually empty. Or if we are really lucky, we feel fatigued in all those areas.

If you are like me, you put undue pressure on yourself. You wear yourself out from self-inflicted high expectations.

Jesus says “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28)

Do you feel burdened and tired? Thankfully God is there to receive the heavyweights we were never meant to carry. Turn them over to Him, and He will provide rest and freedom.


Bruises for the Brave

As we headed out of town one weekend, we stopped along the way at an apple orchard. My kids very much enjoy the whole apple picking experience. They also don’t mind the apple cider donuts they serve at the orchard. As a family, we filled up an entire box with delicious, fresh apples.

When our weekend came to an end, we packed our bags and prepared to depart. My husband loaded up the luggage cart and as he pushed the cart into the elevator, the front wheels of the cart got stuck in the crack. The full box of apples flew forward and went plummeting to the ground scattering all over the elevator floor. Gross!

For a brief moment, frustration and disappointment consumed me. The recently picked fruit would now be covered in bruises. I quickly moved on from that thought and chose to make the best of the situation. I decided if the apples were badly tarnished, I would cut them up and make them into a pie. A little cinnamon and sugar can fix anything.

When we got home, I thoroughly cleaned the apples. Even with the bruised outside, the apples were delicious and nutritious.

This reminds me of our faith journey. We stumble and fall and have the emotional and physical bumps to prove it. My blemishes won’t look the same as yours, but we all have them. These imperfections don’t make us any less capable or loveable. In fact, these tender spots are a part of our uniqueness and give us the ability to better relate to others.

Don’t let the bruises from your past get you down. You are a child of God and He loves you unconditionally. Your distinctive marks make you special. Never forget, you are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)