… on guard…

“Do you see those yellow weeds in that field?” Tom moaned one morning as we looked out the kitchen window. “Every single one contains millions of seeds, all headed in our direction. It is impossible to keep them from our yard.”

“Can’t we put up a fence or a net of some kind… a guard to protect the yard from all ugly weeds?” I jokingly asked.

Of course, there is no possible way to keep seeds from blowing into gardens. Just as there is no way of preventing unwanted, unhealthy ‘seeds’ finding a place in an unprotected heart.

“Guard your heart, Barb.” The whisper was so timely, so necessary… encouraging.

I have opened my heart lately to let bad seeds in. Seeds of fear, doubt and worry are flourishing in my former trusting heart.  So I didn’t need to ask why I was receiving such a reminder. I recognize my heart is in trouble; I clearly understood this gentle command. Tears sprang immediately as I looked at the weeds, listening to the quiet nudge to guard my heart. Why is it easier to focus on the obnoxious weeds in the fields beyond us rather than on the lovely spring flowers blooming near the window?

You see, I am much saddened and distracted by the pain portrayed on the media screen, by the anguished tears of an adult child, and my own health(heart)  issues*** (see personal note at end.) I have simply become hard of hearing God’s whispers. Negative seeds are springing up around me, squeezing all signs of peace and hope. I had forgotten how to protect my heart. Easter seems so far away… in heart and home.

“Above all else, guard your heart… for it determines the course of your life… everything you do flows from your heart.” Proverbs 4:23. Guard is used over 800 times in the Old Testament… 200 of those relate to our emotions, our thought life. It literally means to take care of, to treasure this (mind) that defines who we are.

I have lost my way these dark days. My heart­­­ — i.e., my life, suffers from worry and fear. So many intrusive seeds preventing me from tending carefully to my heart.

The heart is who we truly are. It is in the inner code. It can be wounded. It can also be healed. It can be strengthened, renewed, and even changed. J.B. Shreve

If we allow toxic seeds to find a home in the heart, the course of life changes. Suddenly fear, worry, anger  capture all of life.  One must be diligent to protect it from any danger that would keep us from listening to the very whispers from God’s heart.

How am I to take care of my heart? How do you care for yours? A difficult question in these days of massive pain plastered on the screens. How does one lovingly care for the intimate place from where all feelings, thoughts and actions flow? How do I treasure this most important gift?  Quiet praise music, truth of Scripture, slow walks, a spouse’s hug, a friend’s call… all can help in the vicious assault of ruthless seeds blowing near and taking root.  But I have the major responsibility…

These seeds have found a spot in our gardens and produced ugly weeds. Tom and I have literally pulled and dug hundreds to make way for the perennial flowers.  I mean, they will grow anywhere… even at the front door of our lives.

Years ago, I had these words posted near my desk… I must do what I can, and let God do what I can’t. I can pull the weeds…

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will GUARD your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4: 6-7.

This Maundy Thursday of Easter week, may we all be on guard, protecting our hearts from fear.  Let not your heart be troubled… trust.  John 14:1

*** I am in process of knowing what is causing some medical heart issues.  Physical symptoms of shortness of breath, unusual fatigue affect my mental acuity, as well.  If this blog is a bit disjointed… and late… you will know why. 🙂 



About oct17

The little girl in me loves bird watching, butterflies, sunrises, sunsets, walks in the rain; the adult I am enjoys the same. I sense God's awesomeness in all of life--what wonder there is in slicing a leek or cutting open a pomegranate. I have many favorite things--a formation of Canadian geese flying overhead, the giggles of my grand daughters, the first ripe watermelon in summer, snowflakes on my face--these gifts from my heavenly Father delight me continually.
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8 Responses to … on guard…

  1. Roxie Bogart says:

    Praying for you, Barb, and your doctors! I ALWAYS receive such a blessing from your posts. Thanks!


    Sent from my iPhone



  2. Wilma says:

    Love you Barb and prayers for you. Your posts are so encouraging.


  3. Roxie Bogart says:

    Oh, Barb, please know that I am praying for you and your doctors. I love your blogs / lessons/ insights. They always bless my heart. This is Good Friday. Sunday’s coming! Resurrection Sunday! A special, beautiful Easter to you and Tom.



  4. Ed says:

    Praying for you and your family


  5. Karen says:

    Thank you sweet Barb! I am able to relate to your blog in many ways. Thanks for sharing your heart. God is always using you even in the difficult times. Love and prayers to you dear friend! ❤


  6. Peggy Leonard says:

    I always look forward to your blogs and am always touched by how much your words speak to my heart each time. I remember the years when you yearned to write what your eyes were seeing, your ears were hearing and what your heart was feeling. But you were not ready. God had a specific purpose and a specific time for you to share with us. I am always blessed by your words, because they come from your heart. I will be praying for your doctors to discover what has caused you concern and maybe distress. One thing I have learned since my Ron left this world and has gone to a better place, is that I MUST TRUST in my Father. He, and only He has the answer.
    My heart yearns to see you and Tom at least one more time in the near future. I hang on to the sweet, sweet memories of our friendship that started so many years ago.
    Thank you for sharing from your heart once again.


    • oct17 says:

      Peggy, I sure hope I responded to your encouraging words on Messenger. If not, then I do so here— belated. Thank you so, and we, too, wish to see you again.


  7. Vinette Huber says:

    Dear Barb, Having read your blog, it would seem that we had communicated and this would be your response directed at me! You speak to us so clearly in many areas of our lives and always in times of need.
    Barb, Please do let us know that all is well. God Bless and Keep you both.💐


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