Life

The Tomato: A Story About the Details

Last night, I was cranky.  

 

We had just gotten home from celebrating our soon-to-be-born niece at a baby shower. 

 

We brought home our older niece, this baby’s big sister, to have a sleepover with her cousins.

 

As I heard the giggles coming from our little ones down the hall, I felt myself becoming more and more the opposite of what I was hearing. 

 

I was completely, utterly frustrated.  

 

I was angry. Down. Depressed. 

 

Without going into detail, we’ve, once again, been finding ourselves severely attacked by Satan.  

 

We have found ourselves confused as we see others not struggling, others that have what we’ve asked for for years, and haven’t received.  

 

One of those things being, that we’ve dreamed about potentially adding on to the side of our house. More bedrooms, a much needed garage. Nothing fancy. Just basic.  

 

Now, for the past four weeks, as we leave our nook in the woods, we are greeted by the very addition that we want for our home, but cannot afford.  

 

The house directly across the street, newly remodled and purchased by a family of three, is building a very large, albeit, slightly overkill addition for their home. 

 

Its exactly what we’ve been hoping for. 

There’s more to why we feel this way. There’s a lot more I cannot tell you, and will be revealed in eternity. But, trust us, there’s several perfectly good reasons why we feel almost forgotten in the financial blessings department. 

 

So, we had this conversation about how it’s very difficult to see beyond this life. It’s very difficult to keep our eyes on an eternal reward we can’t effectively imagine.  

 

In fact, I have no idea what is waiting for us.

I’m sure it’s great. I’m sure it’s worth the struggle here, but it’s tough to trust that God still cares about the details when He doesn’t allow things for us, but for others. 

 

Do you ever feel this way?  

 *Click thru the photos.💗

Around 8PM, I was in the kitchen cutting a juicy, plump, fresh organic tomato.  

 

A warmth came over me. A familiar warmth.  

 

And I stopped cutting for about half a minute, allowing His Spirit to speak. 

 

I really saw the tomato for what it was. I mean really, really saw it. With spiritual eyes. 

 

A beautiful, detailed, amazing creation of God. 

 

It was full of purpose, beauty, and provision.  

 

If God can care about the details of a tomato, surely He even more so cares about the details of my life.

 

Of your life. 

 

But He went on further.  

 

The redness of the fruit: representing the freedom found in the shedding of His blood. 

 

The fruit itself: a representation of how He is the vine and we are the branches. We have the ability to bear fruit.

 

Tomatoes grow on vines. Are you actively growing thru your times of struggle?

 

It’s easy to grow when it rains, but what about times of drought? Are you willing to allow the elements to dry up your fruit?  

 

The seeds inside the tomato: a representation of duplication. 

 

Are you trying to actively duplicate yourself, starting first with your family, and then with your communities? Making disciples of Christ is what we are called to do. No matter if we’re in the valley or on the mountain top. 

 

Purpose. 

 

Cared for. 

 

Perfectly loved and designed to nourish the lives of others. 

 

I must say, I was so thankful for the reminder in this little tomato.

 

I was thankful for the reminder that God, always, always, always cares about the details of our lives.  

 

Why? 

 

Because He’s a detailed God.  

 

He’s an orderly God.  

 

And He certainly never ceases to show us His perfect love, even when we don’t remotely perfectly understand.  

 

 

 

 

Embracing the Gift of Rejection

Play it safe.

 

That's the way I would approach life before I opened myself up to constant rejection. 

 

Sometimes, well, a lot of times, just the fear of being rejected can keep us from moving forward. 

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It just so happens that three of the biggest parts of my life are full of rejection and little dashes of acceptance sprinkled here and there. 

 

The thing is, we can't make people accept what we have to offer. 

 

The whole "bringing a horse to water..." creed has never meant more to me, than it does now. I get it...

 

From sharing the Gospel, to showing others a more natural way to approach healthcare, and to encouraging others to give my writing a chance, there's this pattern that follows the sharing of those things that is hard to accept. 

 

"You're project is not what we're looking for..." 

 

"I know I'm going to hell, and I'm okay with that..." 

 

"Thanks, but no thanks..." 

 

"Maybe, next time..." 

 

I could go on and on.  

 

I'll be honest with you: my heart stings each time, sometimes I cry, sometimes I get angry, but every time I think, "If you would just give me a chance."

 

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Embracing rejection is not something that any of us are good at. It's certainly not something that we expect or we get used to.  

 

I consider all of the ones who have really made a difference. Those brave ones that went thru years and years of hearing "Not now...but thanks..." . 

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Over and over and over again.  

 

J.K.Rowling. (The manuscript for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was rejected by 12 different publishers before being published). 

Oprah Winfrey. (She was told she should perhaps find another career entirely after being told to stop meshing her emotions through her news reporting). 

Albert Einstein. (Was told he would amount to nothing because he couldn't speak or read until later in childhood). 

Thomas Edison.  (His inventions failed thousands of times before he got it right.) 

Walt Disney.  (Fired because he "lacked imagination"). 

Emily Dickinson. (Less than a dozen of her poems were published while she was alive. They only saw the value of her work posthumously).  

 

I could go on. 

 

Maybe rejection will never leave us smiling. Maybe we won't ever "get over it" every time it comes our way.  

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I believe the way to truly embrace rejection is by understanding that it's just part of the journey.  

 

You may feel that a piece of you chips away with every back turned. But, in reality, the chipping just reminds you that this life is worth living and feeling for. 

 

We can choose to leave the pieces where they fell, or we can pick them up, and make a beautiful mosaic.  

Maybe our lives are a little like lattes. Swirls of bitter and sweet. Creating a masterpiece of colors and tastes for others to enjoy.  

Maybe our lives are a little like lattes. Swirls of bitter and sweet. Creating a masterpiece of colors and tastes for others to enjoy.  

 

So we just keep sharing anyway. Because the next share could be the next "Yes". If it's important enough to you, you'll keep attempting. Driven purely by the passions within. The passion to get people to finally understand.  

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Because someday, they just might. As long as you keep embracing rejection along the way. 

 

love, Alicia  

 

 

 

 

 

God's Purpose or Mine?

 "We tend to think that if Jesus Christ compels us to do something and we are obedient to Him, He will lead us to great success.

 

We should never have the thought that our dreams of success are God's purpose for us. In fact, His purpose may be exactly the opposite.  

 

We have the idea that God is leading us toward a particular end or a desired goal, but He is not.  

 

The question of whether or not we arrive at a particular goal is of little importance, and reaching it becomes merely an episode along the way.  

 

What we see as only the process of reaching a particular end, God sees as the goal itself. 

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What is my vision of God's purpose for me? 

 

Whatever it may be, His purpose is for me to depend on Him and on His power  now.

 

If I can stay  

calm, 

faithful, 

and unconfused

while in the middle of the turmoil of life, the goal of the purpose of God is being accomplished in me.  

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God is not working toward a particular finish--His purpose is the process itself. 

 

What he desires for me is that I see "Him walking on the sea" with no shore, no access, no goal in sight, but simply having the absolute certainty that everything is all right because I see "Him walking on the sea" (Mark 6:49).

 

It is the process, not the outcome, that is glorifying to God.  

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God's training is for now, not later. His purpose is for this very minute, not for sometime in the future.  

We have nothing to do with what will follow our obedience, and we are wrong to concern ourselves with it. 

What people call preparation, God sees as the goal itself. 

God's purpose is to enable me to see that He can walk on the storms of my life right now. If we have a further goal in mind, we are not paying enough attention to the present time. 

However, if we realize that moment-by-moment obedience is the goal, then each moment as it comes is precious." 

-O.Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest

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