People sometimes ask me, “Why do you get so many blessings???” It isn’t that we “get so many blessings” or that we “get” more than others do. It is, however, that I see God’s hand in almost everything in my life. Where others might see things as “good luck,” I see those as blessings from God. Where some may see fate or coincidence, I see Yahweh’s provision. Where it seems we have a windfall or good fortune, I see how Abba put everything into place to make things work for our benefit. Because of how I view things, it just seems Yahweh blesses us beyond measure.
This story is one of those examples.
A short time ago, I was not having the best week. I was frustrated, impatient, and just plain grumpy trying to deal with several worldly things at once. I had pretty much forgotten all about the shalom Yahweh wants us to have in our lives and in our hearts.
I had a lot to get done, was overwhelmed in my thinking and emotions, running behind on several tasks. That was the perfect moment for Yahweh to do something that truly got my attention. He showed me, for the second time in 18 months, that He can make things work despite ourselves. What did he do? Well, this may sound silly, but He taught me that sometimes the directions on the packet of seeds are merely a suggestion from mankind.
I first experienced this kind of miracle last year when we decided to fully trust Yahweh with our garden. In 2017 when we planted seeds to start our first garden, we only had about 40% germination for some reason. No matter how many times I re-started the seeds we had stored in the cupboard, we still only got about 40% growth. It was frustrating beyond measure.
As an experienced gardener, I thought I KNEW what I was doing – I followed all my years of “training” and still got the same results. On top of that, half of those seedlings died within a few days of sprouting. These were supposed to be “special” seeds – ones that were heirloom, specially chosen and packed for longer storage. Yet, it just seemed nothing I did worked. It was very frustrating.
In the spring of 2018, after the worm lesson, I decided we would pray specifically over the seeds after I planted them. I worked hard that day filling starter trays with soil and planting everything you can imagine, using the same seeds as the year before. I watered the soil, set the trays outside and prayed over them. I praised Yahweh for creating the plants, praised Him for being our Provider, and then simply ended the prayer with something somewhat flippant, along the lines of, “Well, Yahweh, they are in your hands now! We know you will bless these seeds to grow and provide!” It was sort of a haphazard remark, trusting yet wondering if it really would work.
Then, off I went to do household tasks, some college classes, and ministry. Several hours later, I felt an impression to go outside and see “how the seeds had grown.” Can you imagine how much I giggled inside at the impression that the seeds had grown already? “Yahweh, it has only been a few hours since I planted those seeds. The package says they will take at least 7 days before they germinate!” And that was in optimal conditions. Did a little doubt creep in? Yes, I admit it. I briefly wondered to myself if we even had any optimal conditions after the 2017 experience. Then, I got the impression again to go and look, much stronger this time. So, giggling on the inside and smiling on the outside with maybe a little bit of a subliminal eyeroll, I wandered outside to see what was going on.
I was shocked! About half of the seeds I had planted were already sprouting – just hours after I had planted them! I was so stunned I started to cry and shout at the same time! I called Jim to show him the miracle that had happened with the same old seeds! He could hardly believe that I had only planted them that very morning!
By the next morning, almost all the seeds I had started had already sprouted. Those from the day before had even grown at least a half inch overnight, and their stems were MUCH thicker and stronger than the seedlings from the previous year. You can imagine how much happy dancing I did out there on the deck – and PRAISE!!! Goodness did I praise!!!
Fast forward to Spring 2019
Sometimes we take for granted that a blessing which unfolded once will do the same thing next time it is needed. When we feel this way, we might get a little remiss in how we handle the situation. We just might think we don’t need to do much for it to plop in our laps, and maybe that will happen for some. I find, though, that my experience is, if I don’t bother to praise and thank Yahweh, some things might not come as quickly or as easily the next time.
So, there I was planting seeds for our garden and thinking of how miraculous Yahweh was with the seed sprouting before. I filled the pots, planted seeds, and watered well, knowing they would be blessed. I will admit that by the next morning, just short of 24 hours later, some of the seeds had sprouted, but nowhere near as many as the year before.
When I noticed this and realized that I had not done MY part – gratitude, praise and prayer, I immediately went about asking forgiveness and praising for the sprouts we had, plus thanking Yahweh immensely for the previous year’s sprouts, garden, produce, and blessings, then I politely and humbly asked for similar blessings this year. Imagine my surprise when by that day’s end, MORE sprouts were coming up! Within three days, Yahweh ensured that almost all the seeds had sprouted. We did have a few stubborn seed sets, the peppers for example, that held out and actually took 3 weeks to sprout, but over-all we had similar results as the year before. Swift sprouting AND excellent growth – providing us with strong, healthy plants to go into the garden. Praise Yahweh!
There was a new addition this year in the blessing category: as the plants went into the garden, many grew even more swiftly and larger than last year! What a wonder it was to watch as even the produce that started coming forth was larger and more plentiful at first. Some days we even joked that you could sit and watch the plants and produce grow inch by inch!
Sadly, something killed off all our zucchini plants early, so I started a new set of seeds in pots. THIS time I made sure to praise right away and thank Abba for his precious love for us and His provision. Within two days they had not only sprouted but were already about 2 inches tall! By day three from sprouting, they had started to develop their second set of leaves and were just about ready to go into the ground for a second round of squash to harvest. I gave them a little extra time, just in case – I wanted them to develop good, strong roots. Now we wait! They have just started blooming, and I have been praying for bees to do their work.
I do believe it is time for another shofar blowing as we praise in amazement at how wonderfully Yahweh works on His creations!
He is your praise, and he is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things, which your eyes have seen. Deuteronomy 10:21 WEB
Behold, I am Yahweh, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me? Jeremiah 32:27 WEB
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The One About Yahweh Making Seeds Grow In Just One Day
I have mentioned before how I sometimes pray for even the little things. I have learned in life that little things often lead to BIG things. In return, the big things are often what end up fulfilling our needs and those of others. As a result, I have just gotten in the habit of asking Yahweh’s coverage in even the smallest of details, then letting Him guide and direct the results of those prayers.
This garden season I have been blessed three times with witness of how well this practice works, and how simple sometimes the blessings can be. Abba showed me this lesson in the way of blessing us with bees.
Whether sitting outside during personal prayer time or wandering first thing in the morning through the garden to see how things are growing, I often pay attention to who is visiting the yard. I see moths, butterflies, ants, and bees of many varieties wandering in and out of flowers accomplishing the pollination process. This year we have had a tremendous increase in the number of big butterflies, and even hummingbirds have happened in to help with the process. It is fascinating to watch as each one accomplishes their job in a different manner than the others, fulfilling our needs and their own at the same time.
Several times this year, though, I walked into the garden to notice almost complete silence. For someone so in tune with the sounds of the morning, it can stir a bit of concern inside because the result of no morning workers is that there will be less harvest. On those mornings, too, looking around I could see very little movement among the plants.
For a gardener, this can be a bit alarming – without a constant buzzing and flitting in and out, there will be no fruits of all our labors. I am always ready with my handy-dandy soft paintbrush to hand pollinate the bigger blossoms like squashes and pumpkins. But cucumber, tomato, pea, bean, and other smaller flowers are a bit tedious for me to do the entire garden. I NEED my helpers to do their daily job!
On those mornings when they were absent, it was strange when they had been there just the day before. There were plenty of blossoms, fresh water for them to drink, and no reason for the sudden disappearance. So, I turned to Yahweh, their Creator, and asked for His help. I prayed and praised and asked for the pollinators to return. Each time I did this, to my delight, by the next morning the garden was alive again with workers buzzing all around.
You could tell the difference, too, in the amount of produce and the shapes of some things, like the cucumbers. When Yahweh blessed the garden with lots of pollinators, you could see how cucumbers and zucchini were dramatically different – they were plump and full, plus much more likely to grow large in just a few days. With other produce, you can see a very clear difference, too, in the way things grow – several of the squash plants produce nice, large squash when the bees are busy, like the two big Cushaw we have. Those were pollinated on the best of days. The little ones came around on days when we didn’t have as many workers in the garden.
To me it is both impressive and intriguing to watch how Yahweh designed our world to work for us, or against us. I much prefer FOR us!!! So I will continue to pray for bees – we are also trying very hard to build our prayer garden up with lots of lovely perennial flower plants to draw even MORE bees next year. One day, maybe we can do our part, too by having beehives – one of Jim’s dreams is to be a beekeeper. THAT is a story for another day!
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The Summer Days I Prayed For Bees
I remember, when I was a little girl, sitting in the kitchen at “The Cottage” with Great Grandma working at the kitchen counter preparing all sorts of delicious things. Some memories are of her making oatmeal, bacon, and eggs for breakfast, while others are of her peeling potatoes, boiling and making them into potato salad for dinner later that night. Little things she said and did are etched in my memory, and I still call upon many to this day.
One of those memories is how she tried to use everything possible from the kitchen scraps to make something else. Over the years, I have tried to use those lessons to stretch the garden harvests and our nutritional intake as far as I can. Today I thought I would share with you one of the things I do every autumn. I know – it is not even officially here yet, but the ripening of the squashes in the garden has started which makes this the perfect time.
This morning I ran out and picked two small pie pumpkins, one for curing to use as décor during Sukkot in October, and the other to make something delicious for dessert tonight. I want to make sure I make the most out of every little blessing Yahweh has given us, so nothing but skins will end up in the trash today.
First, I cut and scraped out the pumpkin and placed into a large bowl, all the “guts,” as my dad used to call it! Seeds and strings. I placed the cut pumpkin pieces into a saucepan and set it aside. Then to the bowl of “guts,” I added a few cups of filtered water and swished it around, loosening all the seeds from the strings. I took the strings and plopped them into the pot with the pumpkin chunks.
Next, I strained the seed water INTO that same pot, NOT down the drain. That rinse water is packed full of yummy goodness to use during the winter. I placed the lid on the pumpkin pot and put it on the stove to cook. When done, I will scrape the pumpkin from the skin, puree and use in dessert for today. Normally, I take the pumpkin and freeze it into 2 Cup baggies or plastic dishes for baked treats or soups during the winter months.
The seeds? Well, normally I toss them with a tiny bit of olive oil, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and toast them in the oven until lightly brown and crispy. They make a great afternoon snack or a yummy sprinkle on salads. THIS batch though, is being dried and saved for next year’s garden.
The water I had left from steaming the pumpkin will also end up frozen as “pumpkin broth.” This makes a great starter for soups in the winter. Just add some salt and spices, some vegetables, or use the pumpkin/squash broths to make gravy or pot pie filling!
There you have it! Nothing tossed away except the skins. I will tell you, if we had the ability to have a compost heap, NOTHING would be wasted because the skins would end up there. Sadly, I am not comfortable here composting with bears being spotted in the area – I really don’t feel like encouraging large wildlife to wander into our yard!!!
I think Great Grandma would be proud of me for remembering the lessons she taught and for making the absolute best of Yahweh's provision.
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Waste Not, Want Not
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Lead Author (Bio)
Jim, (Judi's husband), has Sephardi Jewish ancestry and is a minister and head of Shofar Productions. Jim was a denominational pastor, hospital chaplain, and former director of a non-profit community organization.
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