When Subtracting Means Adding

Hosea 10:12
Hosea 10:12

I used the break in the rain this morning to visit the garden and do a much needed task. Thin the lettuce seedlings. It’s the part of gardening I don’t like to do, because it seems so wasteful. Those are good little plants. There’s not a thing wrong with them. They are healthy and growing. BUT, there were too many in one area and they wouldn’t have a chance on growing and thriving that close together.

Then, I came in for my bible study. One of the scriptures was, interestingly enough, Hosea 10:12. Isn’t it amazing how God will use something so small as a lettuce seedling to help teach one of his principles?

Hosea 10:12 reads: “Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the Lord, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.”

While the scripture talks about the sowing, breaking up the ground, and then reaping the writer knew that there is the ‘thinning’ that must also happen as it’s a natural occurrence when growing plants. Whether it happens with man’s intervention, or by natural selection – thinning happens.

For healthy plant growth you have to prepare the ground, sow the seeds, give the seeds light and water and thin the seeds when/if necessary.

In our life, we sometimes will have to thin our life as well.
Take away.

We have to thin and remove things in our life so that there can be addition and increase…

Why thin? There can be a host of reasons. Could it be….

your heart is being led in a new direction, but in order to possibly have time to do “it” (whatever ‘it’ is) you know you will have to eliminate something else that takes up your time
you need to thin out some unhealthy relationships
you need to eliminate some bad habits
destructive thoughts

I encourage you today to not be afraid to do some thinning. Prepare the ground for growth. God will honor your choice.

My own personal and recent story is my “retirement” from the corporate world. I recently went through a thinning which was very monumental in our lives. I left my full time corporate job (and the paycheck that went with it). I knew that God was calling my heart home. I struggled with the call for 3 years. I found every excuse in the book to remain employed, enjoying the paycheck, and helping the environment by working for a recycling company (and recycling is something that I hold dear to my heart. I was recycling back when recycling wasn’t even cool!)

But, God was whispering to my heart to go home. “We have an empty nest. Our son isn’t at home Lord, so why do I need to be home?”, “I can give SO MUCH MORE to charities by having this full time paycheck”, “They NEED me at the office, I do some important things”.  Those were some of  the excuses that I gave as I struggled with my inner battle. All good reasons. Good and valid seedlings.

However, I knew it was something that needed to be done. I struggled. I labored in prayer looking for a different answer (for years). Let me tell you, it was an exhausting battle of the mindset.

The day I gave my notice I was still struggling. At the same time, I walked in peace. I was prompted by a question burning in my heart that asked “Do you want to be sitting at that desk 3 months from now? Will you be in God’s will sitting there??” I audibly spoke the word NO and took my resignation letter and went to speak to my boss.

Did I have all the answers for “after”. What form of income would I bring to our family if I left my full time job? What was God’s next “plan” for my life? What was I supposed to “do” at home? Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE being at home. I have been able to come home and already be a better wife to my husband by being less stressed. I’ve been available to do some projects and things with my aging parents that I am very thankful for. I am able to have long, daily, visits with my parents which I cherish. I’ve been able to pull out all my old “crafty/creative” projects that have been on the back burner for years. I’m cultivating new creations. I’m taking the time to cultivate a little garden, both figuratively and literally!

Below are my little lettuce seedlings I thinned this morning. I’ll enjoy them on my cheese sandwich at lunch =)

Lettuce Seedlings

Are you ready to do some thinning? Is it time to prepare your life for new growth? I would love for you to share your thoughts below. If you are on facebook you can find me at
The ReFeathered Nest!

Hugs and feathers from the nest~~()~~

  • Kim Steadman is the COOP (Creative Online Operating Person) for The Re-Feathered Nest. A place of encouragement for moms entering the Empty Nest Zone who are ready to RePurpose and ReDesign themselves according to God’s purpose for their lives now that the kids have flown the coop. Kim can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheRefeatheredNest and on Google+ at +Kim.

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