Why do Thorns, Thistles and Weeds take over Good Soil?

When I moved to our last house we had a garden at the front of the house.  It was south facing.  When spring came we sat outside in the sunshine.  It was private.  I invested in sun loungers and my children would compete who could get sitting on them when I was not around.

I sat outside relaxing.  I looked around my garden.  I planned what I would do to improve it.

I grew up on a farm.  I remember helping my father gather potatoes.  I was not afraid to get my hands dirty.  I helped mum with her work collecting eggs.   Dad kept a milking herd of cows.  It was an early start each morning for my father, every day of the year.  My mother and father worked to rear their family of ten children.

I would watch as my father trimmed the hedgerows or mended gaps to keep animals from getting out of the field.

I inspected the holly hedge at the front of the garden and the two walls at either side. The hedge needed trimmed and encouraged to grow higher.  The walls had become overgrown with ivy.  The previous owner had cut the grass but the thorns and weeds were taking over on both sides.

I decided to reclaim some land!  I was able to use my experience from growing up on the farm.  I got on my working boots and clothes.  I began to tackle the thorns with sharp hooks.  My children watched and joined in to help.

In early spring the thorns and weeds are the first plants to emerge.  The thorns send out their shoots sideways.  Very soon they can cover a piece of ground.   I was determined to deal with them.  I was going to reclaim two stripes of ground at the side of my garden.


My boys helped me.  In no time we discovered rich composted soil under the surface of matted briars.  We trimmed the ivy that had hidden the stone walls.  I burned up all the thorns and ivy.


One does not have to plant weeds or thistles.  They just appear.  It is true what the God said to Adam.  Thorns and thistles will grow.
To Adam he said,  “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.
It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food. (Genesis 3:17-19 NIV)

It is a constant battle for the farmer to get rid of weeds and allow the wheat to grow to produce food.

As I cleared the weeds and thorns that was covering the good soil, I thought about how bad things come into people’s lives to stop the good in their lives coming forth.  I thought how Jesus came and moved among people and delivered them from the things that prevented them living normal lives.  Sickness, infirmity, epilepsy, leprosy and depression were cured by Jesus.  These things are like weeds and thorns in peoples lives.

Jesus told his disciples to do what he did.  He  gave them authority to use his Name.  After Jesus died and shed his blood on the cross he defeated the power of the devil.  By calling on the name of Jesus and claiming the power of His blood all “weeds and thorns” in our lives can be removed.  Then we can live fruitful lives.


Appreciating my Parents after Rearing my own Children, DPchallenge


I had two children of my own.  I was twenty four years old, and lived far away from immediate family.
My life experiences were living on a farm in a big family, going to an all girls school, and attending a new university in a small town in Northern Ireland.
Things were about to change.  There was turmoil in our country with bombings and shootings.  People were killed, buildings reduced to rubble.  The dark clouds gathered.  Even the weather portrayed the gloom and fear over the land.
I must have been affected by that fear in the atmosphere even though the town where we lived was a safe place.  I began to wonder how can I keep my two children safe?  What example can I give them?  Who is right in the middle of the war?  What values can I pass on to them.
I remembered back to my own upbringing by my parents.  Mum and Dad worked hard on a farm to raise  us ten children, eight girls and two boys.  They did not have much money.  They sacrificed their own comfort and luxuries to look after us.  Dad was a pioneer.  He educated all of us.  He believed girls should get the same opportunities as the boys.  They had quiet faith in God.  By their actions I know they were Christians, as the old chorus goes “They will know we are Christians by their love.”
I knew nothing about sectarianism and wondered why Catholics were fighting Protestants.  I began to seek God.  I began a journey of faith.
As my family and my faith in God grew I was able to appreciate the values my parents held and their willingness to lay down their lives to rear their children and overcome hard times, trials and disappointments.  Brendan and I did not want our children to grow up to be bitter and have hatred in their hearts for their neighbours.  We worship with and love Catholics and Protestants.  Our children have married into both groups.  
I did not appreciate my parents when I was growing up.  I did not thank them.  I did not honor them. I wanted to leave home and see what the world had to offer.  Now, as I have gone through the work of raising children I appreciate what my parents did for me.  I have a good heritage.  I honor them.
My mum died at sixty four.  She did not get to see all her grandchildren.  I could have died three years ago, but Praise God he healed me and I am alive to tell other mothers there is hope and life.  May you live to see your children’s children.


Family get togethers. Weekly Photo Challenge

Thank you for the opportunity to publish some of our family photos.  My husband is a great photographer.  He has recorded many events over the years. He has progressed from a camera that developed its own photo, back in 1971, till today he has the best in digital.
Here are a few family photos.
 This photo was taken at my sixtieth birthday and our fortieth wedding anniversary gathering back in 2011.  I was one year healed of cancer.
I am reminded of the scripture,
Then our sons in their youth will be like well-nurtured plants, and our daughters will be like pillars carved to adorn a palace. (Psalm 144:12 NIV)
A taxi driver asked my husband one time, “How  many sons have you.”He replyed “Eight.”  The man said “You will go straight to heaven because it must be hell on earth.”  But it hasn’t  been hell.  We have to live together in peace and love.  We are quick to forgive and not hold a grudge.
This photo was taken in Slovakia, back in 2009, on a skiiing trip.  People ask “How do you do it. A skiing trip for all of you must cost the earth. only the rich go skiing.”.  With the help of Ryanair and my son finding a cabin that fitted all of us we got there.

This photo includes my sons and daughters in law and our nine grandchildren.  Three more have been born since then.  Our tribe is increasing.

We  are blessed by God with our children.  We believe the promise in Psalm 127 v 3 that children are a heritage from The Lord the fruit of the womb a reward.