It's Wednesday! One of you will win a FREE book and I have a guest blogger. Welcome Jo Huddleston.
Jo Huddleston is a multi-published author of books, articles, and short stories. Her debut novel in the Caney Creek Series and her latest book, Wait for Me are sweet Southern romances.
She is a member of ACFW, the Literary Hall of Fame at Lincoln Memorial University (TN), and holds a M.Ed. degree from Mississippi State University.
Jo lives in the U.S. Southeast with her husband, near their two grown children and four grandchildren.
You can find Jo at:
You can purchase eBook for Kindle and print copies of Wait for Me at:
Jo has a special permaFREE eBook, Amen and Good Morning God: A Book of Morning Prayers
Always free and available at:
Kindle eBook copy: http://tiny.cc/xjwavx
Other eBook formats: http://tiny.cc/7qwavx
Thoughts from Jo -
Preparing for a Bumper Crop
Business at the plant nurseries is booming. Spring’s start has caused a rush to buy flowers and shrubbery. Spring has always been a time of new life bursting forth after the dead of winter’s cold. It’s new growth rising from sleeping seeds.
Recently on a clear, sunny weekend, I bought some bedding plants for transplanting. Healthy, red geraniums. I thought my task of plating the flowers would be an enjoyable one, perhaps even an easy one.
When I set a planter box before me in which I wanted to put the geraniums, I faced something totally unexpected.
I faced not a simple task of lifting the bedding plants one by one and merely putting them into the dirt or the planter box. No, the dirt in the box was not soft and moist as it had been last spring when I’d first planted flowers in it. Something had to be done about the hard, dry soil before I could ever place new flowers there.
I had to prepare the soil for my purpose. Even if I could have dug small holes for the placement of each bedding plant, the surrounding soil would still have been caked around them. This surely would not have been a favorable condition for the new flowers’ growth.
No, I had to prepare the soil. I had to go from one end of the planter to the other, loosening every last inch of the dirt with my trowel. It wasn’t easy breaking up the hard dirt; it was almost like chipping away at a piece of marble.
Preparing the soil took longer than the actual planting of the new geraniums.While I dug and chipped and even crumbled dry earth with my hands, I had time to think. I was reminded of many situations that require lengthy and thorough preparation before an actual deed can be accomplished: the hours of studying required of a student for a good performance on a test; the long, nine months of development prior to the birth of a child; the many, many months of learning and training before an astronaut can actually engage in space flight.
But the most important reminder while I prepared the soil for planting had to do with relationships. People getting along with people.
We don’t all think alike; nor come from similar backgrounds that influence our actions; nor hold the same principles that govern our lifestyles. Differences are a distinguishing characteristic between people. Differences tend to set us apart. We hold differing opinions on many issues and get excited about different things and cling to different values and virtues.
In light of all our differences, seeing eye-to-eye with everybody becomes a difficult task. Something is needed or else we could never get along with many folks. Yes, something has to be done to the hard, dry soil of personalities before a right relationship can exist between people.
In the Bible, Jesus tells a parable of the farmer, a sower of seeds (Matthew 13:1-10). Getting along with people can be likened to those seeds the farmer planted.
All kinds of obstacles lie along the way to good human relationships. The rocky places and thorns are the differences we have. In such cases we must prepare the soil of differences so that we can realize a bumper crop of harmony and goodwill. The highest priority of preparation would be to put aside selfish desires. And remembering the Golden Rule of doing toward others as you would want them to do toward you (Luke 6:31). Putting other people first, loving one another. It’s all a thing of the heart.
Getting all these relationship right is not easy. Just as farming is not easy. But following an unsuccessful crop, the farmer doesn’t quit. He goes out the next time, prepares the soil and plants again, striving toward that abundant, bumper crop.
Yes, the preparation indeed is often as important as the actual deed that is achieved. May we all continue preparing our hearts for a brotherhood of all people.
Good thoughts, Jo. Thank you for this important reminder.
Jo Huddleston's New Book
Can Julie, an only child raised with privilege and groomed for high society, and
Robby, a coal miner’s son, escape the binds of their socioeconomic backgrounds?
Set in a coal mining community in West Virginia in the 1950s, can their love
survive their cultural boundaries?
This is a tragically beautiful love story of a simple yet deep love between two soul
mates, Robby and Julie. The American South’s rigid caste system and her mother
demand that Julie chooses to marry an ambitious young man from a prominent and
suitable family. Julie counters her mother’s stringent social rules with deception
and secrets in order to keep Robby in her life.
Can the couple break the shackles of polite society and spend their lives together? Will Julie’s mother ever accept Robby?
This sounds good, Jo. I look forward to reading it.
Readers, you can win a FREE copy of Wait for Me. All you need to do is leave a comment and make sure to include your email address so Jo can contact you.
Last week's winner of While My Soldier Serves is Deanna Stevens. Congratulations!
Friends, are you reading a good book? Want to tell us about it?
Grace and peace to you from God,