Day 25: Listen through the Slow and Cold

I love spring flowers.

So, when I had a sudden burst of energy this morning,
I used up all my allotment of said energy
to plant some spring bulbs. 

And as I strained and struggled with the task 
that would have been but a minor chore
only a few years ago,
I remembered the words that a good friend
had shared with me last weekend.
He sent me a text which read, 
“I have two words from the Lord for you:
‘winter wheat.'”
I trusted this friend enough to know that I needed to
pay attention
when he felt something for me while praying.
So I researched “winter wheat” and found some interesting facts. Did you know that there is a term for plants which require a set amount of time in cooler temperatures in order to bear flowers? That term is vernalization, and applies to many familiar plants, especially to winter wheat, which is sown in autumn, and harvested the next summer or early autumn. When we lived in farm country I remember the beauty of a field of freshly sprouted winter wheat, the vivid emerald green flashing against the reds and golds of the adjacent autumn leaves.  It felt almost cruel to me, to think of those tender and weak-looking blades shivering under the blanket of snow that was soon to come.
And, it’s the same for my beloved spring bulbs: 
they have to get planted now, 
before the winter freeze settles into the ground,
but early enough so that their required
time of cold temperatures can be met.
There is a slow time that is required before those plants can bear their beautiful flowers, a slow time under the cold and ice before they can bring to fullness the harvest for which they were created. 
And my heart had to ask the question then,
Is there a slow and icy time 
that is required for
those of us
who have been planted
in these dark and
where trials run deep?
Could it be that the cold season
has to happen 
before the fullness of the harvest
can come to fruition?
Every fall, I dread the cold and icy season
that I know is coming.
But my ears are open to hear a new song
this time,
a song that relishes this Season of Slow,
because I can trust my
Master Gardener
to watch over this tender plant
while the winds are howling
and the snow is falling.
The time of awakening will bear the fruit
and the beautiful flower
for which this season has been
the preparation.
This is Day 25 for the #Write31Days Challenge,
and we are on the Home Stretch for these
#31Days of Listening with Chronic Illness!

I am linking today over at these great sites:


16 thoughts on “Day 25: Listen through the Slow and Cold

  1. Dear Bettie, this achingly frustrating tortoise life lived in the slow lane can feel cut off from the fullness we imagine everyone else must be experiencing. Your words here were on my heart for many a year:
    “Could it be that the cold season
    has to happen
    before the fullness of the harvest
    can come to fruition?”
    And now? I am seeing shoots, signs of liveliness from what seemed dead and buried. I can testify to how the inner life is richer than I ever imagined before I learnt to sit at the Master Gardener's feet while He cultivated seeds of patient endurance within, and revealed the hidden beauty of unexpected flowering. I'm no fan of winter either but I am beginning to appreciate how dormancy doesn't mean death. Life still pulses strong in a weakened body, an inner glow warms parts the sun cannot reach and hope provides anticipation of seeing fruit blooming in time to come. I love where your reflection has taken you and the beautiful song you've shared. Hang in there, my friend, you are not a rejected weed but a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendour. xox


  2. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post! I had never heard of winter wheat before.

    The insights you shared with us were incredibly edifying and encouraging.

    Amazing how God uses nature to teach us about ourselves and our relationship with Him.

    Praising God for the Word you received from a Brother in the Lord and that you were pleased to share it with us.



  3. Dear Joy, I am so thankful that you truly understand this life of slow, and have paved a trail for those of us newer to the path to join along with you! I catch myself thinking that dormancy is interchangeable with death, but it's so much a part of this living that we go through. And, I too long for those pulses of life and inner warming glows that you spoke of. Thank you for bringing encouragement and helping me to keep journeying into the JOY of His Presence! Blessings and Hugs to you my friend! xoxo


  4. Thanks for stopping by, Rachel! Yes I am constantly amazed by the ways that God speaks to us through nature. But He is the Creator, so I want to be even more watchful to see His fingerprints scattered along the way! –Blessings!


  5. Thank you for stopping by, Karen! Yes, isn't God so good to leave glimpses of Himself all over this world? I love the ways that He speaks through nature. And, I am so thankful that He still speaks to us through His Holy Spirit also, through the gifts of a friend's words. –Blessings to you!


  6. I love spring flowers, too, and I need to plant some bulbs! What you shared about winter wheat is very interesting and I like how you used it to illustrate the slow, cold times in our own lives. “But my ears are open to hear a new song
    this time,
    a song that relishes this Season of Slow,
    because I can trust my

    Master Gardener

    to watch over this tender plant
    while the winds are howling
    and the snow is falling.

    Beautiful! Blessings to you, dear Bettie! xo


  7. Bettie,
    This idea you explored about bulbs and seeds needing the deadness of winter so they can come to life again is one of my favorite pictures of us and the seasons of our lives in God. So often we need {although at the time I don't think we realize it} the cold, the barrenness and the stripping away to discover something in our lives that's restored, comes into bloom or bursts with life.

    I'm glad that you were able to get your flowers planted, despite the effort and strength you expended because I know come spring, you will see new life in ways you never dreamed! xoxo


  8. Dear Gayl, Yes, aren't those spring bulbs beautiful? I imagine that you have a little bit more time for planting still, since you are a bit farther south than me. So I hope you are able to get a few put in. God is so good to bring encouragment to us through so many things scattered throughout this world He has given us! –Blessings and Hugs, my friend!


  9. Dear Valerie, Oh I am so glad that you love the picture that God gives us through the changing seasons, from cold & barren into the blooming of new life! It's such a deep truth, that I think there must be new layers to uncover each time He takes us through it. And, yes, what a blessing to be able to get those bulbs planted, especially in the new little garden that was started last spring! 🙂 xoxo


  10. Oh Bettie, I needed to be reminded today of winter wheat and bulbs needing the cold barrenness of winter in order to thrive and grow. I love what nature teaches us. I dread the winter cold, too, but I try to remember that the trees may look dead but underneath the surface their roots are growing deeper and stronger. Thank you for this encouragement today. I hope the extra work you did doesn't set you back. Blessings of rest and hugs to you!


  11. Love how God works in our lives to plant His truth and prepare us for His work. Like your bulbs, it takes patience to wait on the blossom, but oh, how beautiful the results of His tender care!


  12. Dear Trudy, I thought of you as I wrote this, as I know you have farm experience! My Biology classwork has been too many years ago, so I have usually just said my bulbs & perennials needed the “cold-spell” to grow properly. 🙂 But isn't our God so amazing to plan & implement such a unique way for nature to survive (and thrive!) in these cold climates of ours? And, yes, He's making our roots grow deeper and stronger now too, my friend. I was extra tired & sore today, but thankful for the rainy day that was just right for resting. –Blessings and Hugs to you too!


  13. Thank you for stopping by Tiffany! Yes, our God is so tender and watchful over His work in us, isn't He? I am trying to learn to be patient, and to be still in the slow! I am amazed how God had us thinking on similar pathways this week! –Blessings to you!


  14. Bettie this is a beautiful post that helps bring me comfort. Knowing the hard seasons really aren't some random act or a punishment (and the Word even says if we are hungry or suffering that doesn't mean Jesus doesn't love us)but can serve as a divine purpose to help us thrive int he next season is just a wonderful testament to how God works beyond our ways! I am just so encouraged by this today. Thanks sweet, friend!!


  15. Dear Meg, I am so glad that the Lord brought you comfort here tonight! Yes, I know that sometimes we, in the Church, have taken up that attitude that all suffering is a form of punishment. But aren't we so blessed to find that the GRACE of our Lord goes deeper than that? He does have His divine purpose to help us thrive! And I am so thankful that His ways are higher than mine! Thank you for your encouragement too, my friend! –Blessings and Hugs!


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