Spring is my favorite time of year, because green = growth.

Once upon a time, I started a blog…because everyone said that to be an author you had to have one.

My earliest posts were all about my journey toward publication and included metaphors such as detours and foggy weather and pit stops. Of course, I also included applications toward raising a child with special needs and living with a chronic illness because those were journeys too.

But soon the journey metaphor was getting stretched thin. 

So, I expanded my blog posts to include other object lessons that had encouraged me…and that I hoped would give others something to think about.

Then came the day I was working in my front yard and stumbled upon the inspiration for a series of blog posts by digging in the dirt. I bundled those 18 blogs into a small ebook and then later created a print version because readers asked. (Fast forward a decade and Guideposts licensed the content to include in one of their compilations!)

The next year, I wrote a much longer series of posts inspired by the verse in Psalms saying that the one who delights in God’s law “is like a tree planted by streams of water.” That too became a book.

The year after, I blogged about Creation in general and how it reveals God’s fingerprints and His character. (Which I just repackaged as a book. And then collected all of the above into a single collection. Sense a theme yet?)

While my first love is writing fiction, I can’t help seeing God’s truth illustrated all around me…and can’t resist sharing it with others. Today, I do that in my emails (which are then reposted a week later on my blog/website). 

So, as April showers bring May flowers and Spring bursts onto the scene with all the vibrant shades of green as proof of new growth, I wanted to encourage you with the following excerpt from Devotions From the Garden.

God doesn’t waste anything. And like compost, He can transform our past mistakes and struggles into rich growing material.

Excerpt from Devotions From the Garden: Composting

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” ~ Romans 8:28

Part of preparing the soil of our garden includes adding organic material to the soil.

And nothing beats the “black gold” of compost.

Compost. That mixture of decaying organic matter, such as leaves and manure, that is used as fertilizer. Where else can trash like used coffee grounds, banana peels, shredded newspaper, and grass clippings be transformed into something vitally useful? Into something that will feed my plants the nutrition they need and result in a bigger harvest.

Quality compost material doesn’t happen overnight. It takes heat and time to transform the rotting garbage into a rich growing material.

What about my life? Given enough time, even my old mistakes and disappointments can be transformed into rich material. Material to feed additional growth in my life and nutrition to add to the lives of those around me.

Take for example my being an extremely shy introvert in junior high and high school. I felt the pain of being a wallflower. The insecurity of not having close friends. The awkwardness of wanting to say something yet being afraid of rejection.

Bottom line? Those were years I’d rather forget. Until I walk into a room today and see someone acting just like I used to. My social mistakes as a teen have taught me how to reach out to the people around me. And how to cultivate quality relationships. Now that’s compost at its finest.

What else is compost in my life? Words I wish I could take back have taught me sensitivity and tact. Opportunities I wish I would have taken have given me the courage to take risks. First drafts of stories that will never see the light of day have given me experience and fed my passion for writing.

What about you? Have any of your past experiences been transformed into growing material? Has that compost enriched the lives of others?

Life is like a garden. Complete with seasons of dormancy and growth, preparation and harvest. A winter, spring, summer, and fall of the soul.

Devotions from the Garden is a collection of short faith devotional readings covering topics such as tilling the hard soil, composting, planting, watering, weeding, thinning, insects, harvesting, and blooming as they relate to life. 

If you are a gardener or are looking for inspiration to face life’s seasons, this devotional guide will plant seeds of hope in your soul.

(This is the first in a 3-book series including the latest Creation Declares title. You can also get all three books together in the With All of Creation collection.)

Backlist Bonus: Devotions From the Garden