Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Briars, Poison Ivy and Vines Oh My!

What it looked like before
I want to take some time to brag on my hard working husband.  He has been spending the last 3 1/2 months clearing the underbrush small bushes and trees from the frontage of our 9 acres on the road leading up to the 6 acres on which our house resides.  It has been such a monumental tasks that he is going to finish the last 200 feet next winter reason being the ticks, snakes and chiggers are beginning to come out. 

Tom removing honeysuckle vines

Overgrown is an understatement.  Pulling up briars, poison ivy, Muscadine vines, and honeysuckle vines by hand is back breaking work.  He has had some help from Henry, Daniel and their friend Bruno, but for the most part, my husband has accomplished this on his own.  Our neighbors have spoken encouraging words to him by stopping as they drive by and expressing to him how great it looks. 

Sunlight Shining Through

I am very proud of my husband and he definitely has not only improved the looks of the property that God has given us to take care of as His stewards, but also he has increased the value of the property and probably the entire neighborhood. 

It is amazing that as I observed my husband over the last months working steadily clearing out all the tangling vines, sticky briars and irritating poison ivy I was reminded that God desires to do the same in our lives.  He has patiently and lovingly been doing this in my life for more years than I care to admit, and continues that process today.  I find these verses particularlly applicable:

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great

Cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything
That so easily entangles us, and let us run with
Perseverance the race marked out for us.”
Hebrews 12:1
Honeysuckle vines wrapping
around tree trunk
WOW!!!  Our precious Lord has a unique race specificall marked out for each of us.  I personally think it is unique based on the talents He gave us at our first firth and the gifts He gave us at our second birth.  God redeems and uses our family history, life experiences, and everything else that makes us unique.  Unfortunately all of this is mixed together with our sinful nature and sinful people living in a fallen world.  No wonder we can get tangled up and hindered on our journey.  God has called us to throw off all that hinders us from running our race.  This takes time.  It takes patience with ourselves for we can only work on areas that the Holy Spirity reveals.  What is our part?  Fix our eyes on Jesus and resist growing weary and losing heart.  We need to respond appropriately to the Lord's discipline (Hebrews 12:5-7).  Some areas of my life are just like those deep rooted briars that my husband had to take a pick ax after in order to get them out.  Hard work!  Some are just like those vines that cover the ground so thick you can't walk on or see the path on which you are supposed to run.  I've also seen vines that have twisted up the trunks of trees, and the trees have grown over the vines and have become a distored picture of a tree, not at all what the Creator intended.  Hello!  I can relate.  Fellow traveler, please don't grow weary or lose heart.  Consider Jesus during your journey.  He focused on the completion of the debt being paid freeing us from the penalty and power of sin because of His great love for us.  This was joy for Him.  What brings you true joy?  I remember the movie Chariots of fire about the life of Olympic runner Eric Liddell.  Eric was made to run.  Eric found great joy when he ran because he felt God's pleasure.  The light of the Son of God shined brightly through his life.  When we clear out the underbrush, the Son of God can also shine through us.  When all is said and done and we look back at the path on which we have been running, I can't help but believe that we will see God shining His glory along the path.  We will see how He redeemed and used it all for His glory.  Only God can do that.  Isn't that our purpose?  My friend, run your race.  Experience joy and feel God's pleasure.

Tom and his favorite JD tractor
Henry, Bruno and Daniel

Thank you my favorite men


  1. You are doing a GREAT job with your blog...keep it up! I especially appreciate the Bible lesson:) God bless!

  2. Thanks for the invitation to your blog Debbie. I mentioned to Lea while we were in Ukraine that you would be a great fit for the evangelistic ministry. You have the gifting, the heart for people and especially the kind of heart for God that it takes to do such a ministry.

    Lea is planning on going to training in Texas in March. I am sure she would love to take you if you are interested.

    You can find me blogging at and I posted a few reflections on our trip---it is not a ministry report---just working through the things God is teaching me. :)

    1. Thanks, Dea. I appreciate your words of encouragement. Aren't we all working through what God is teaching us.

  3. I really like this post... yeah, it took us months to clear the area, but it worth the time invested.
    The way you describe and relate it with our Christian lives just inspires me. Reading the post gives me a new perspective about all what dad, daniel, bruno and I did. :)

    1. The post looks better since you helped me shape it up. LOL Thanks Son! You worked so hard!

  4. Great post mom! The world has a lot of things that entangle to our lives and prevent us from seeing the light of God. When day by day, we dedicate time to clean ourselves from all these things, we are able to see God's light clearer, just as the sun's light shines more into the property now that Tom has pull all those ugly vines and briars out!

    God bless!