Thursday, August 6, 2009

He Removed the Stump

One of my biggest landscaping pet peeves is to have large bushes or trees in front of windows. Hate it! My realtor can vouch that the first thing out of my mouth upon seeing my house was "if I buy this house, those bushes are gone!" A flowering bush in front of a burning bush in front of one of only two windows. Not happening with this chic.

After snipping on the bushes for a couple weeks in April, I could take it no more. I cut the flowering bush to the ground. (The mini flowering balls stuck like pee. Eek!)

With so many landscaping projects, removing that stump was last on my list. Plus, I paid $17.94 for 'stump remover' and that was going to solve that problem. Consider that project checked off. Fast forward several months to July. A couple times over the last month, I would use my shovel to see what I could do in removing this horrid thing. No luck. What to do? What a wonderful time to have a strong and able man around the house. But this is not the case for now. This last Friday I wanted to finish my front flower bed by laying mulch. The kicker: I really wanted that stump removed before laying mulch.

With my shovel in tow, I began. Shove, push, jump, jab, stab. Okay. This isn't going so well. I get out my hand clippers and might as well get the limb clippers too. Oh, get the hand shovel while I'm at it--I never know when it's sharp point and scooping ability will come in handy. I was trying to be systematic so as to accomplish my goal. Remove dirt, clip a root. Remove more dirt, cut another root. Shovel, push, jab. Sweat. The sweat rolled down my face and into my eyes burning. Oh, this seems so hard. What am I going to do? It's too late to call a pro as I want it done now. I'm determined to do this and have it finished. It's so hot and I retreat for a quick break. A big sip of water and a moment on the porch step. I must continue. I have to follow through. I have to get this done. I began again cutting each root that I could see, knowing with each detached root I was one step closer to being stump-free.

But, this was just not working. I switched gears. I had to step it up. With ALL (and I mean all) my might, I jabbed the shovel hard into the hole around the edge of the stump. I continued this while taking two or three more breaks between gushes of energy. I knew I could not fully stop. I allowed myself breaks which gave much needed rejuvenation. Yet, I knew stopping for the day would deplete all my desire to finish. I felt this approach was working with the intermittent breaks but I was running out of strength and energy. On the last water break, low and behold, I asked God to "help me get this done." What a revelation, asking God. Yes! I returned to jab that shovel with my all. Jab. Jab. Jab. Jab. And I felt it. I felt it was loose. Attached by only one root. The end was near. The end was within my sight. It still took time to maneuver the shovel and get to the very bottom of the stump to clip that last root. Aha! It's done! The stump is free. My goal is complete. My desire is fulfilled. Thank You, Lord, thank You, thank You, thank You!

As I thought about this experience and considered penning it to praise God, I reflected on this being much like my feelings for my true heart's desire: marriage restoration. What a very difficult, painful, and extremely draining journey. Only a handful of friends have traveled this road ahead of me and with me. I can so easily see the correlation between the stump experience and my journey. Simply reading over my words, I could easily see how my words and feelings about my stump aligned with the journey of my heart's desire. The fatigue...the determination...the weariness...the doubts at times...the need for rest and rejuvenation. This is what I felt with my stump and feel with the call on my heart.

The stump:
1. I didn't want to give up.
2. I was weary and tired, exhausted.
3. I saw no results.
4. I wanted a plan.
5. The sweat and pain felt good in an odd way. *
6. I didn't want to do this alone.
7. I knew the benefit of "following through".
8. I was intermittently encouraged.
* There is nothing better than being soaked with sweat, jumping into the shower, getting clean, and putting on fresh jammies

My heart's desire:
1. I don't want to give up or stop believing.
2. I am weary, tired, and exhausted from this journey.
3. I see no evidence of my desire being fulfilled.
4. I want to know HIS plan.
5. Knowing He has a plan and is growing me feels good.
6. I don't want be on this path alone nor live life alone.
7. I know there is great reward to following Him and believing this call.
8. I am encouraged by those who walk this path with me or have gone before me.

What does God say about this?
1. Don't give up.
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised. Hebrews 10:36 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial. James 1:12
2. I will give you rest.
Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
3. Keep believing without seeing.
Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. John 20:29
4. I have a plan for you.
In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
5. Trust Me in the pain.
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11
6. You are not alone.
I will never leave you nor forsake you. Joshua 1:5
7. I will reward your faith.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. Hebrews 11:6
8. Be encouraged. "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.". John 16:33

Two scriptures that caught my attention while searching
Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again. Psalm 71:20
Then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. Deuteronomy 30:3

© Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.

Picture is of the stump.


Angela said...

I ended up doing a devotional something every similar to this also...I can't tell you how much I have been learning by pulling weeds, digging out stumps and plants that have dug themselves so deep into the ground...I LOVE how our Father speaks to us like this sis...great post.

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

A great post.....I think I will even read it again

Pam said...

oh to see our "stumps" loosen & that last "root" cut... i hear ya!

Tracy said...

What an awesome parallel, Paula! It IS amazing what God can speak so loudly to our souls through struggles like this one. Thanks for sharing what He showed to you through that blasted stump. = )

Love & blessings, sweet one.

Sharon said...

Oh my goshhh this is good girlie. I have been dealing with this too, so I can soooo relate, I felt every time you hit that stump. I just dug out 4 in my front yard and one of them put me on my butt. Just like God has done to me a few times.
Great writing my friend! Have a wonderful, blessed~~~joyfilled weekend :)

Laura said...

Oh, friend, you just amaze me. Your faithfulness and determination are an inspiration.

May I say that I miss you? I haven't been much for blogland lately, so much going on at church. We are getting two new pastors soon, thank the Lord, and hopefully things will calm down.

I love you and pray for you faithfully!

Tina said...


This is so good! I had to smile when I read how you feel about bushes hiding windows. I feel the same way. I cut down four huge bushes in front of my house, I think I will have to ask my neighbor to help me yank them out with his truck though because they were BIG!

I loved the scriptures you used, I am on a difficult journey myself, it is amazing just how much we can learn from our everyday lives if we just look to God's word.

in Him,

David C Brown said...

Don't we all tend to try our best on our own rather than paying to start with!

Anonymous said...

Ilove your blog

JnL4God said...

Very Good Paula, I can hear a re-energized spirit in you. Yes Thank you Lord.

Yolanda said...


I think for me, this is one of my favorites that you have written. Perserverance...with God.


Robin's New Song said...

So true! Stumps, and deeply rooted things, take persistence! Layer by layer, as roots are exposed, we're able to dig them out. I love to listen in the garden. The Master Gardener teaches us so much of His wisdom there.
Praise God you got that stump out!
like fervent prayer, persistence brings great rewards!

Paula said...

I'm going through a season where I could give up at present, so your post has been a refreshing and rewarding reminder that I am to not. I am to wait on the Lord and for His guidance and direction. xo

Tonja said...

What wonderful words you write here, my friend. I love the correlation you draw. So very true. This spoke to my soul this morning. Thank you.....Tonja

Pat said...

Good Word sister! I have a stump in my front yard that needs some persistance!
Bless you@

Robin's New Song said...

How are you Paula? Still praying for you! Write when you can!

Love Robin

Sharon said...

Heyyyyy whatsssss up????? I have missed YOUUUU! :)
Guess what I just turned hmmmm should I say naaaaa I had a Birthday and I'm another year older, hahahaha.... He Loves me so much, that I haven't changed a bit!
What a blessing I have received, Amennnnn!!!

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

This is wonderful! Publish this!

Cindy said...

Believing with you,

Catie said...

Don't you love how God teaches you things even when doing something as little as yardwork? Amazing.

valerie said...

You always have the best posts.
I loved this.
I was just reading about perseverance this morning in James chapter 1. And, I heard a tv preacher give this definition of perseverance Sunday.
He said it's willing to be unhappy for a while.

Thank you for your comment on my post. I wanted to write exactly what you wrote....and tie it in with how God gives when we ask etc.
To tell you the truth that simple little post took me so long to get posted. I uploaded the pictures that morning and kept trying to make a little devotion out of it and finally decided to just post it. I'm thankful you wrote all that you did. It's so true...if that girl hadn't bragged on the cookies and made such a big deal I probably wouldn't have bought those and never would have thought to give them to her specifically.
I know God loves it when we do the same.
Thanks Paula.

Erin said...

What an awesome post. It touched me on so many different levels. Thank you for sharing your heart.

Dana said...

I haven't been in blogland for quite some time now. I just wanted to check up on some of my sisters who were so sweet to me. You were the first one and WOW!! This is AWESOME!! You have such a sweet yet powerful spirit and you are talented more than I think you realize. I am praying for a breakthrough for you soon. You are definitely an inspiration to me.

Love in Christ,

Melanie said...

Hi, Paula! It has been so long since I last visited.. and I missed you! I've taken sort of a self imposed break over the summer... visiting here and there... posting here and there... overall just taking time to enjoy my family and listening to God.

I've so enjoyed spending some time this afternoon catching up with you. You have such a way with words and spoken such truths over the summer.

Praying for you and looking forward to being back by soon for a visist!