Friday, February 12, 2010

Planted


After being away from blogging for so long it is difficult to know where to begin!

Seriously, I've typed, erased, typed, erased...so I think I'll just begin with a story!

I was at a Christmas party awhile back. One of those with a gift exchange where everyone receives a number and then gets to choose or steal their gift. Each time a gift was opened the person who brought the gift would stand, introduce themselves, and tell why they brought what they did.

A gift was chosen. It was a beautifully decorated and potted miniature pine tree. The woman who had brought the gift stood and introduced herself and then shared from her heart why she chose to bring this beautiful tree...

2009 had been a difficult year for her. As each new trial or difficulty presented itself; she began to feel buried in her circumstances. It was as if a new pile of dirt were being shoveled upon her head over and over with each new issue and emotional hurt. It was difficult to breathe or to see clearly and she began to cry out to God asking why He was allowing these suffocating circumstances. Then she read this verse:

"...and provide for those who grieve in Zion-to bestow upon them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called, "oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord, for the display of His splendor." Isaiah 61:3

She realized she wasn't being buried; she was being planted. Planted by the Lord, for the display of His splendor. He was inviting her to to be rooted and established in Him rather than gasping for air on her own.

This was the first moment that I heard God's "sacred echo" (as Margaret Feinberg calls it.) God's drawing me back to writing and blogging. Not so much because I was feeling buried in the moment; but because He has taken great care in planting me, as He has you, for the display of His splendor. It is my prayer that His splendor would be displayed here in these electronic pages and with every word that I write or type.

Since that day there have been increasing nudges and echoes within; releasing my pen/keyboard. But it will most likely not be something scheduled for quite awhile; just as I am led.

Thank you to each of you who has reached out, prayed for me, and encouraged me throughout these months off of blogging. Your e-mails and messages have blessed me greatly.

If you find yourself struggling for breath; buried in your circumstances or hurts, take heart. God may be at work, planting your roots deep enough to reach the steams of His living water.

Many blessings to you,

Shanda


24 comments:

Shannon said...

I love it Shanda! My friend, Nancy S. mom died one year ago today. Nancy is still hurting so much and I just don't know what to say to her, but now I do. Thank you so much for your teachable heart. Hugs, Shannon

Lindsey @ A New Life said...

Oh my goodness, I am so stinkin' excited!!!!!!
Can't wait to hear all the sweet Lord has shown
you during this time :-)

And I really like the idea of being planted.

Butterfly Flutter said...

Shanda, I am so glad your back I have missed reading your blog. Your words have tounched my heart so many times. Welcome Back!!!

RCUBEs said...

Had to rub my eyes when I saw you posted! Yay! Welcome back sister Shanda! You were missed of course. And that's an awesome story you shared. I love that particular verse because it is a great encouragement for me when facing own trials myself or just plainly feels weak at times. Next time your fingers type again, I know it would always be what the Lord wanted you to share. To Him be the glory. God bless.

HappyascanB said...

yaay!!!!! Sooooo glad to hear from you!!!! And this is a great "I'm Back!" post ~ Thanks for reminding us that God just may be planting us instead of burying us in muck. I'll be on my knees in my office in about 20 minutes praying for a meeting my husband has at work, and I'll be begging God to plant Tim, not bury him in the dirt . . . God bless you, sweet one!!! You've been MISSED!!!

Farmgirl Paints said...

Oh sweet Shanda...can I just say YIPPEE!!! I'm so glad God spoke to you and nudged your heart to pick up that pen again.

I've missed you so much. You were a breath of fresh air in blogland. So good to have you back friend:)

Lora said...

i was SO excited to see your blog pop up with a new post on my reader! glad, so glad you are back...and as usual you inspire me...

His Girl said...

Oh how I missed you!

planted, not buried. planted, not buried. planted, not buried.

I will be repeating this over and over and over today.

So glad you're back, chica!

joybug56 said...

Oh I was so delighted to see you were back on blog street! ;0)
I loved your posting today! It seems to be an experience many of us are going through since the holidays...I to...found myself busy ...consumed ... without anytime to blog as I desire...
I so enjoyed your blog this a.m. and look forward to the next time you are LED... wink wink ...
Like a tree planted by the waters I shall not be moved!

Keystone said...

Punxatawney Phil saw his shadow and said we would remain cold at least six weeks.

But he did not know Shanda would reappear in cyberspace, with words from Our Lord.

Though chilly outside, it is warmer this day, in our hearts, inside because Shanda is speaking anew.

Valentine's Day came early for this audience, eh?

Welcome home, Shanda.

God bless you abundantly,
Keystone

Shanda said...

Wow, I am blessed to have such amazing blogging friends! You sure know how to make a person feel welcomed! Thank you so much; I have missed you all.

Shannon - I did not realize it has already been a year. I will be praying for Nancy. HUGS back to you! I miss seeing you a few times a month!

Bethany - I've been praying for Tim off and on all day. Hope all went well with his meeting. God has such great plans for you both! (& Molly too!)

Keystone - May God bless you abundantly as well. I trust all went well with your surgery this fall. I've been praying for you.

christy rose said...

Wow Shanda! What a great post to make your entrance back into the blogging world. This was an awesome analogy. What an oak tree you are becoming as are all of us as we let Him take care of us all along the way in the midst of all of our pilings of dirt. I am looking forward to be able to visit with you again.

Kristen said...

Yahooo!!!! I'm glad you are writing again. I'm always so encouraged by you. Welcome!

Morgan Lea @ GloryFIlled said...

I don't even know how I got back here but I SOOOO needed to read that!Thanks!

Gretchen said...

This is beautiful, Shanda. Wonderful to see you back. Great words.

Supermanslady said...

I am new to your blog...visiting through SITS...and can I say you blessed me immensely with this! Thank you for following the nudging of God to come back to blogging again.
Hope to see/read more from you soon!!!

Check my blog out if you get a chance!
http://supermanslady.blogspot.com/2010/03/what-got-me-here.html

Melanie said...

I was here today.

Hi! I'm Grace said...

Beautiful post. I enjoyed reading. Thanks for sharing, Shanda. May you have a blessed Sunday ahead.

RosyRose said...

Hey Shanda....So glad to have you back!:) Loved to read what God was showing you!
I'll keep checking back in an unscheduled manner:)
Hugs!

Holly said...

What an awesome reason to choose a tree! :)

© Jennifer Raley said...

Hello! I had just started following you when you broke from blogging. I had taken your blog off my thumbnails not too long ago and was quite surprised to see you were blogging. It was an "accident" that I saw your thumbnail. Still don't know what I did. But I'm glad you posted. That is an excellent post. I've been buried - and sometimes I don't understand little things - but this post helped me to understand the little things (mini-burried moments). Thanks! Jenn

Outsourcing Cagayan de Oro said...

Your blog is wonderful. Always be inspired to write.

sanjeet said...

Can't wait to hear all the sweet Lord has shown
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Toyin O. said...

Praise God for those deep roots God is planting in each of our lives. The fruits are always rewarding.