Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

Monday, January 17, 2011

His Harvest Not Mine

Last spring, I was so anxious to plant a garden.  Yes, I know I live on a postage-size lot with towering houses blocking the sun, but I was determined.  We set aside a small rectangle of land and off I went to plant seedlings indoors and some small plants to start in the soil I had prepared.  I dreamed about the bountiful harvest that would grace our table and jars of canned goodness for the winter months.  There are designated seasons for planting and harvest, and I was obeying the rules.

The warmth of spring brought a bounty of foliage.  My plants were thriving and I was enjoying the daily watering, weeding, and admiring of the work of my hands.  I could just taste the tomatoes.  Each plant continued to grow... peppers, squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, beans and herbs.  Surely the harvest would be plentiful for my small family of four.

As the budding season came, so did the sun and grasshoppers.  My beautiful foliage became the meals for the grasshoppers.  What the grasshoppers didn't eat up the sun scorched.  The pictures of the early anticipated harvest led to a dead-looking garden.  The little harvest I was able to save wouldn't provide one meal.

So out I went to pull up the dead plants, throwing them and my dreams of a bountiful harvest into the trash.  As I turned to my non-producing tomatoes, I pruned them down and left...  No Harvest This Year!
November 12, 2010
God's timing isn't ours and He had a valuable lesson to teach my husband and me.  As fall came, the tomatoes began to grow.  You could see the flowers of fruit, filling the limbs.  The tomatoes began to grow...but OH, NO, the frost would hit before they could ripen..the timing was off!!  The cold nights started to creep upon the unripened tomatoes.  I just kept laughing, "Why now!  This isn't the right season!  They were supposed to produce like this in the spring and summer!"

Each day I would water and each night my husband or I would cover them with blankets.  God kept speaking to my heart...my small patch of land became my meeting place with Him.  He kept saying, "I determine the season of growth!  I determine the season of Harvest!  I am the one who makes the wise man seem stupid and the stupid man seem brilliant. It is Me who works through whom I want... and when!"

The temperatures were dropping below freezing and the tomatoes weren't  going to make it even with blankets.  I turned to my husband and said, "it is time to bring them in!".  I had been watching the growth.  I knew the limbs were full of fruit...he did not.

I heard an amazed scream from the kitchen during the late hours of night, while I was warmly tucked away in bed.  "Janette, do you know how many tomatoes are on those two plants?" (There were more than 50!) I started to smile in my bed...I knew what God was doing. God was going to teach my husband the same lesson in just a few minutes that He had spoken to me for weeks.  My husband came to grab the camera.  Excitedly, he entered the bedroom, proclaiming the Word of the Lord.

Through total humility, he started to weep through his words,  "Do you know what this means? God is saying He is going to bring a harvest in the winter season of our lives!"
(Neglectful in our zeal over our harvest, my husband and I both took tons of pictures, without the memory stick being in the camera!  God is still in the humbling business.  The tomatoes do, however, taste like summer tomatoes even though they turned brilliant red inside our home)!

So, I encourage you to enjoy whatever season God has in you in at this time.  Know that God will determine the season and harvest in your life and it may not be the season or timing you expected.  I don't know what our harvest is going to look like, but I am getting excited to see what God does in my husband's life and mine. Tonight we are going to enjoy fresh salsa from our red tomatoes.

24 Joining in with more words:

Karen said...

Oh, Janette what a wonderful life lesson learned, but shared with us. This brings such encouragement.

Theresa said...

You always share such encouraging lessons. Enjoy your salsa-sounds delish!

Farm Girl said...

Always there are so many lessons in gardening. I am so glad you shared about your little garden. Well we have a new year upon us and more chances. Thanks for your very insightful post.

Sandy said...

Wonderfully encouraging and so
true. I never come here without
leaving with an uplifted heart
either through your observations
about life with our Lord or your
zany sense of humor.

Ma ~ said...


Debbie said...

Oh Janette what a wonderful lesson learned, and a wonderful gift from Him. His timing is perfect isn't it? Why do I have trouble remembering that sometimes?? Salsa sounds wonderful btw...I eat it by the spoonfuls over here. It's free on Jenny Craig! haha Have a wonderful day. HUGS

Debbie said...

What a wonderful life lesson learned! How good is our God? And thank you for sharing these lessons you are learning with us Janette. I need all the help I can get. LOL.

Love you,

Sue said...

I am totally humbled by this Janette, because I am once again reminded of whose in charge. Thank you for your words of wisdom and insight.

Anonymous said...


This was a good story with a good lesson. It's always hard to wait upon the Lord's timming, but I am slowly learning that His timming is always the best, even though it may not seem like it when I am enduring a certain difficult situation.

-Lady Rose

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

Oh, I love this! When will we ever learn that God is in control! Of all things!

Thanks Janette - you always inspire and enlighten!

Sonja said...

Smiling through tears at your harvest! What a perfect decription Janette... it's His to determine when the harvest comes... this is precious my friend!! :)

partialemptynester said...

Oh, precious Janette! I always love your posts! I saw the title of this one come in earlier and I've waited all day to read it...knowing by the title it was going to be great! Well, it did not disappoint...I just love how you see God in every detail of life! Loved every word of this post...esp, hubby's reaction and you grinning from under the covers, so great :))

Lea said...

Oh, I loved this and how the Lord uses such everyday happenings to teach us such profound lessons. Thanks for sharing! Blessings!

Sarah Jane said...

I was so encouraged by this post today! It's always good to be reminded of His perfect timing, and how it's often not our own. And I love that He's teaching you, and me, of it in such sweet ways. I love His surprises and sense of humor. Enjoy those tomatoes and may they spark heartfelt worship as all His creation is intended to do.

Stacy said...

What an amazing story! Such a God story. May a picture of those tomatoes be forever imprinted in your mind and heart, but more importantly, may you always hold to the promise that He spoke to your heart through those tomatoes. I can't wait to see what God does. And how precious that it was for you and your husband. God is so good!!

Thank you for sharing your story with us. It so encourages my heart as I walk through my current trial. Yes, the harvest is brought in His timing.

I hope you are able to can some of those tomatoes and enjoy them throughout the year!!

Much love,

Anonymous said...

I think about how God has been working in the past year and it makes me laugh because He accomplishes His purposes within us and outside of us, and He does it in His way. I hope to see your beautiful tomatoes in person because I got nary a one from my garden.



Jo said...

God surprises us when we least expect it. What a wonderful story.

On the subject of tomatoes, I planted 3 in a pot and each night I go and check them and given them a water and I am amazed at the number of cherry tomatoes I have. It is so fascinating to watch things grow and produce - I feel like a young child watching for the first time. Knowing there is no chemicals being uses is also a HUGE plus.

Debbie said...

WOW! I love this so much, and God used you as a mighty voice of encouragement for me this morning.

I love this part:

He kept saying, "I determine the season of growth! I determine the season of Harvest! I am the one who makes the wise man seem stupid and the stupid man seem brilliant. It is Me who works through whom I want... and when!"

Maybe it won't be such a barren winter in Debbie Land after all.

Again, love it.

Lorie said...

Love this! Totally ministered to me today. Blessings...

Sydney said...

We must be content with every season that the Lord presents to us. We must be hopeful and know that He will make it ALL work for our ultimate good!

Peace be with you!

A multi-dimensional life said...

That gave me goosebumps! I just love seeing the way God speaks...Thank you for the reminder that God IS "timely" ...and I am so glad to have Him guiding the path instead of me!


Please stop by my blog and pick it up!

It's the least I could do in exchange for all the joy you bring me! xo

AwaydownSouth said...

Enjoyed reading your post. I do hope he will you a winter harvest in the spiritual life.

Cora said...

Very moving testimony about God's timing. I will remember this each time I get frustrated in my vegetable garden. His timing is always perfect even though at the time we do not understand. It seems as though my husband and I are always fighting the elements where our gardens is concerned...heat, worms, bugs, squirrels..... But our fight continues and we have enough to put in the freezer...
Thank you Lord!
Thank you for sharing!

lioneagle said...

Hi Janette -

This story was such a treat. The lesson is great to retain. We must wait on our Lord for He is precise and completely aware of what is best and when.

I love your ending that you partook of the red tomatoes.

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