guest post: cultivating faith

I’m so pleased to welcome my friend Stephanie from The Faithful Farmstead! Stephanie is married to her high school sweetheart, has four lively kiddos, and they have a small “suburban farmstead” in our shared hometown. When she’s not pruning back plants or harvesting turnips and collard greens, she serves her family, serves her church, and writes about faith and farming at her blog, The Faithful Farmstead.

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Farming is all about the seasons.

You plan and plan, and plan some more, which is heaven for an over-planner like me. We’re still planting the remainder of our spring and summer crops, but we’re already looking forward to what varieties of veggies will replace them with if we ever see winter again here in the Florida Heartland. The way we space things, the infrastructure that we put into place, and how to run our irrigation are just some of the topics that seem to make up mine and the Farmer Hubby’s daily conversations.

The fun thing about gardens is that they are never the same. Every day when we check on the seeds we’ve started, the plants that are in the ground, or the blossoms on our trees, something is always different. And yet at the same time, something is always the same. Gardens work together in a way that most of us don’t realize. So often, I’m reminded of Matthew 6:25-34:

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

My Bible actually has that passage titled “The Cure for Anxiety.” How fitting is that? Looking back at the past few years, I can see so many ways God was tending to our family, every step of the way. He was cultivating a faith that had grown stagnant and pulling out all the weeds that we had allowed to creep into our lives.

How often do we end up feeling buried by life’s circumstances, when God is trying to grow our roots? You wouldn’t let the weeds take over a garden that you were hoping to harvest something from. Don’t let “weeds” like despair, doubt, anger, or stubbornness keep you from tending to your relationship with God. He can use the harshest of seasons o create a far more bountiful harvest than you could have ever imagined.

There is a season for everything, except worry.

“Don’t dig up in doubt what you planted in faith” - Elisabeth Elliot

”Its been such a blessing to watch our hobby gardens turn into a lifestyle for my family. Something that started when we were needing stress relief, turned into provision when my husband was medically retired from the military. That provision sparked a passion in us and now allows us to help local families who may be facing a difficult time of need themselves.” - Stephanie

[If you’re local, check their ‘Available Veggies’ to see what’s in season and for purchase!]

You can follow Stephanie on Instagram and Facebook @thefaithfulfarmstead

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