PREPARE YOUR FIELDS FOR SPRING  By Lori A Alicea

Growing up in the Northwest region it was delightful for a little girl as a passenger in the back row seat with her window rolled down and wind at her face, to be mesmerized by farmers at the helm of their tractors,
preparing acres of fields for spring.USE Tractor 4

Land which stretched as far as the eye could see, I remember those heroes in overalls getting lost in my view as a flurry of blowing and kicking up dust into the afternoon glare of the sun, behind tractors tilling and plowing the fields.USE Till the land

From sunrise to sunset I dare not take for granted those years their backbreaking work at family farms passed down from generation to generation, with us enjoying the fruits of their labors at dinner.USE fields 3

Written in God’s Word is a poem titled:

A Time for Everything.

(an excerpt…)

There is a time for everything,
And a season for every activity under the heavens:

A time to be born and a time to die,
A time to plant and a time to uproot….
Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 NIV

Yes, farmers understand this season of seed time.
They celebrate this season of harvest.

Sowing and reaping for them is a journey of believing;
Walking blindly with God’s promises leading the way.

For we walk by faith, not by sight.
2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV

It takes faith to believe our buried seeds will die and one day produce and yield bushels of its likeness.

A man reaps what he sows.
Galatians 6:7 NIV

Might we glean from the farmer’s fields for our own lives.

Remembering in the poem
A Time for Everything,

When it is our time to be born, our time to live,
There would be years of seed time and harvest,

Seasons of sowing our self into another man’s field, expecting a harvest in our own field when we do, because God’s promises remind us of this.

Seasons of planting God’s hope for a better day,

For healing,
For health,
For finances,
For prodigals…

In our children’s lives…
In our grandchildren’s lives…
In our neighbors and strangers alike…

In our own lives…

And during those impatient months and years when our harvest hasn’t even peaked above ground, our faith must continue believing for answered prayer; our eyes still envision the season of fall.

That in our posture of anxiously waiting at those fields appearing to be barren…
In our endless conversations and questions with God in our wondering…

Might we find rest in His promises,
Take heart when we are reminded,

The harvest of fall is coming,
If we prepared our fields at springtime.USE fields 4

Our barns would overflow as God promised if we did.

USE hay 1

BLOOM WHERE YOU’RE PLANTED…By Lori Alicea

We’re all planted somewhere.

A friendship…
A marriage…
A job…
A community…
Our personal dreams…

Yes, we’re all planted somewhere, but are we blooming?USE Aubrey smell flower 1

Looking back over the last two years when my husband and I planted our lives in this small community, I question our blooming while watering our gardens at sunset.HOUSE VALPOUSE both girls looking back

Gardens grow with love and attention where breathtaking flowers of every bouquet are birthed.

Paintings of wonder are framed in the gardener’s mind at spring, imagining their strokes of color and beauty bursting off the canvas at summer’s end.USE flowers 2

I’ve asked myself…

Have our gardens of neighbors grown and flourished from those seeds of love and attention we’ve planted in them?

Are there bouquets of relationship flowers bursting in color up and down the street because we’ve imagined them at spring?

Have we bloomed in contentment from the address we are planted?USE Ayva smell flower 3

With a brand new house next door (like ours) which has been up for sale these past few months, we’ve intentionally greeted those peeking through the windows with a verbal tour of the neighborhood, occasionally hosting a tour of our home when these prospective neighbors wondered what the inside and size looked like with furniture.

David and I have enjoyed promoting our home sweet home community, sowing seeds of kindness to whom God might be sending to live one house over from us.

F4D79D00-BEBC-45FC-B0CE-1956067563E0

That neighbor finally moved in a few weeks ago, an older woman living on her own with her only daughter residing in Texas; an opportunity to love on somebody’s mother in her absence.

Do unto others

As I would have wanted done for my mother in the same situation.

We’ve made a few friends over the last two years, helping the “older than us” when we can.

David went missing for a few hours last summer when I found him fixing another man’s roof; keeping the homeowner safe in his lawn chair after my husband stopped him from wobbling up the ladder.

You wave at passerby’s in the community, rolling our window down every now and then for a few moments of conversation at the mailbox hub.

We’ve introduced ourselves to those congregating outside
during our evening walks around the park.

You never know what kind of day your neighbors are having; who’ve also reciprocated the love when the weather report on our faces reads cloudy skies.

Kindness is always the cherry on top for a smile waiting to happen.

But the question remains…

Have we bloomed in contentment these last two years we’ve planted ourselves at this address?D9DBC329-22EC-4CDD-BCB0-399F1897C8FE

While we love this charming home God gave us, we desperately long the country life we enjoyed during our early years of marriage.

Every night in the evening, David and I intentionally get lost in back-roads, driving towards the desperate longing that calls our hearts, an excerpt I once wrote about in a former blog…
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THE LONG WAY HOME
By Lori A Alicea

(excerpt…)

The long way home gives you time to reacquaint yourselves with one another, as life changes from day to day as the four seasons do, and one must dress appropriately for the weather escorted in.

Are we there yet?”

Usually not, when the compass of our travels is a constant turn to the east or west down roads where the scenery isn’t familiar and stirs your curiosity for any hidden log cabins to discover.

cabin near trees
Photo by Marcus Murphy on Pexels.com

Then is the map you follow for those log cabins you long to see for the umpteenth time, stopping at the edge of their driveway and dreaming together over a few sips of our coffee, adding a childlike gift to our Christmas list once again this year.

snowy brown house near tree
Photo by Evelyn Chong on Pexels.com

The best seats in the house can be purchased for the price of a few gallons of gas and uninterrupted moments of time except to enjoy and take in the view of nature’s carefree children chasing each other around the trees and deep into the woods of their private playground.

brown deer surrounded with snow covered trees
Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com


(excerpt end…)
________________________

For our young granddaughter’s delight, I’ve sown a few rocks in my garden for their discovery…

Rocks of peace, laughter, believing, friends and hope…each glittered to catch their attention.

Maybe I’ve sown these rocks of encouragement for this little girl in me unknowingly.

Sometimes we question why and where we’re planted when you’d rather be re-potted elsewhere.

But we are reminded to find contentment in all things…

…for I have learned to be content in whatever situation I am in.
Philippians 4:11 NIV

I’ve also learned these last sixty-one summers, it’s best to trust and be in awe of those…

Paintings of wonder framed with us in the gardener’s mind at spring, imagining those strokes of color and beauty of our lives bursting off the canvas at summer’s end.

Because…

God has all things blooming no matter where we’re planted.

USE Ayva smell flowers 3

WE’RE BLOOMING AGAIN  By Lori A Alicea

We’re blooming again!

Though it’s the beginning of fall,
We’re blooming again.

USE ANGEL

After uprooting from a three year stay in a nearby town,
The first of many handfuls of seeds have been sown into the fields of our new beginning and yes, it delights us to see we’re blooming.

Moving is terribly difficult on the roots of a family.

Moving disrupts what has been deeply planted and watered in love of living life together; memories deep in the rich soil of neighbors, surroundings and the familiar.

Disturbing the gardens of family tempts the chance your fields won’t thrive and bloom as beautiful when re-potted into a new address.

Uprooting is always a risk.

Yet yielded to the Master Gardner tending your fields though,
You discover you bloom again,
You bloom where you are planted.
USE BIBLE FINAL
A new address stirs the morning cup of loneliness.

You sit outside and notice a neighborhood of unnamed faces.

People aren’t as friendly and passerby’s don’t notice your gesture of waving hello as the town we recently left.

Neighbors haven’t stopped to introduce themselves or sit for a momentary cup of coffee. Unless you can include that cute cat who hung around for a few days meowing for something to eat then vanished when your “meanie” husband banned you from feeding the stray.
USE FULL VIEW 1
I get over myself quickly though because after multiple seasons of uprooting in my life, I’ve discovered God always has his eyes on someone hurting and replants us next door to water their pain with His love;

To be His lamppost in a dark night, a bright light leading their lost way back to Him.
USE MUMS
My heart already goes out to the single mom I noticed seated the other day on her front steps alone, the lonely mother I used to be so many decades ago.

The elderly mother living across the street from her young adult daughter with a child of her own already caught my attention; a scene played out in mine and my mother’s life two addresses ago.

Then there’s the recently widowed woman about my age quite possibly needing a friend.

Maybe the young married couple within view of our living room window could glean from our twenty-six years of marriage.

I have a feeling that the empty seats in my life won’t be empty for long.
USE SMALL TABLE FLOWERS
The wisdom of God just tells us to
Bloom where we are planted.

We’re re-potted there for His purposes;

A mission trip of sorts without leaving the country, just the bountiful fields of your neighborhood.

We bloom to the cultivating hands of the Master Gardner.

Gardens grow when hearts are willing to die as seeds planted in the ground, surrendered to the Gardner’s weeding, watering and being given away for others.

In these gardens of replanting,

Consider it an opportunity, a privilege.

Consider it a given,
You’ll always bloom again.
USE ANGEL 1