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The Olive Tree

For my birthday Matt planted an olive tree. It was one I picked out and ordered specifically because it is a fruit bearing tree. The nurseries around us carry lots of varieties of non-fruit bearing trees for landscaping but olive trees that actually produce olives had to be ordered. I wanted a tree with fruit because I didn’t want something else in my life to take care of that didn’t produce fruit. Bear in mind that I know nothing about olive trees except that I like olives.

Today I have been harvesting my fruit. I have learned a little about my tree from spending time in it. I can tell you the olives on the east side are small and shriveled while the olives on the west are larger and plump. I can tell you the ones that are ripe drop into my hand at the slightest touch and the ones that I have neglected to collect too long drop to the ground just from my movement in the tree.

My heart and mind are often drawn to God and our relationship when I am working in my rose garden and it was no surprise that He had something for my in the olive tree. I realized just how little I know about the first real work God gave us. To tend the garden… In all honesty, I haven’t been tending my tree. I have been enjoying it through the dinning room window when I manage to get dinner on the table for my little family instead of on tv trays in the family room watching the evening news. I haven’t been nurturing or watering it on a regular basis. I don’t know what it needs to produce good fruit or even to stay healthy. I haven’t spent the time learning when and how to prune it, haven’t sought out someone with experience and knowledge, haven’t….

Then my heart spoke up and said “I feel like this tree. Trying to produce good fruit without nurture, without understanding, without guidance, without…without…without…”

Is it any wonder God told us to tend the garden, any wonder He walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the evening in that garden, any wonder that He keeps calling me to try to garden?

I have only harvested the olives I can reach from the ground and on my little step stool. I’m heading out to the garage for a ladder. I can’t wait to see what is waiting for me when I get off the ground and into the high branches. I can see some beautiful olives just out of reach.

A Friend of a Friend

Yesterday I read about a man who’s friend has been diagnosed with cancer. It happens thousands of times a day in our country. I will probably never meet this man in person but his diagnosis has touched my life none the less. In describing his friend, my friend referred to him as the rare kind of man who sees beyond the circumstances and into the heart of those he walks with. He listens and comforts, he supports without enabling.

My friend has been through the valley of sorrow himself and this man walked with him. Now the weight of the journey has shifted and because of the strength invested in others there is a line waiting to carry him. In so many ways this man is a living example of reaping what you sow. Friendship and compassion are coming full circle. 3 am does not have to be a lonely time because he’s been awake at that hour many times before.

Does your phone ring in the middle of the night? Are you the kind of person people call when they are in trouble or pain or grief or sorrow? Are you the one they want to share good news with because you’ve been there for so much of the other kind? Do you run on prayer and caffeine some days after an all night vigil? Who are you walking with? Who’s walking with you?

Today someone else is being diagnosed with the only 100% terminal condition…life.

The line forms here…

Eulogy for a Dream

Dearly beloved…

No that’s the beginning of a wedding, a celebration of a love story. This is the end of this story.

I just got off the phone with a very nice customer service representative at AT & T. They do exist. While he was pulling up the information on his computer about my account he asked me how I was doing tonight. Maybe it’s just me, but he sounded like he genuinely wanted to know. I told him I wasn’t doing very well. He said he was sorry to hear that and hoped he could help. He did help. Together we walked through what was necessary to pull the plug on the Go Deeper Still Women’s Conference website. Effective tomorrow it will no longer be on the internet. Just doing my part to cut down on the cyber junk floating around cyberspace. Can’t have that stuff crashing into Australia.

But anyway…After a year and a half, GoDeeperStill,com is over. I’m tying up the loose ends like canceling the 800 number and taking down the website.

“After just 1 1/2 years, we are closing our doors. We have loved being part of your lives.”

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