Thursday, March 13, 2014

In the Garden

I had planned to share a guest post from Stephanie Leinbach this week. But after the events of the last few days, it felt even more important. Please scroll all the way down to the bottom to read an urgent prayer request.

In the Garden

We raced against the sunset, robins squabbling in the pines over their night roosts, fireflies rising from the grass with lanterns flaring.
Pausing to straighten and unkink his back, my husband said, “I remember pulling weeds when I was young.”
I looked at him across the rows of knee-high corn. “Me, too. Did you complain about it like I did?”
“Well, actually, I remember thinking I couldn’t wait until I grew up, so I wouldn’t have to pull weeds.”
I laughed. “Then what are you doing out here?”
“Pulling weeds,” he muttered, getting back to work. “I can plow and plant, no problem, but I will never like this part of gardening.”
Our girls, newly freed from weeding duties, burst out from under a nearby pine tree, tiny cones piled in their hands. “Who wants to buy pine cones?” the five-year-old asked. “They cost fifty dollars.”
“Fifty dollars!” I yanked at a stubborn weed. “That’s too much money for me.”
“What about five dollars?” She looked hopeful.
“Sure, but I don’t have my wallet.”
“I have it.” She waved an imaginary wallet. “I’ll take five dollars out of it.” She wandered over to her father. “Do you want some money, Dad?”
“No, I don’t want any money right now.” He tossed a handful of weeds down. “Do you know what I really want from you?”
She didn’t hesitate. “Obedience,” she said and shot beneath the pine tree before her declaration was tested.
Her word hung in the air, and I pulled more weeds to its echo.
Obedience. What I really want from you.
I sat back on my heels, dusting off my hands, and watched the light fade behind Brush Mountain. Obedience. It’s what You really want from me, God. Remind me again of Your commands.
Gently, the Word unfolded in my heart: Love God with all thy heart. In everything give thanks. Pray without ceasing.
I winced. Truth hurts.
Wives, submit. Rejoice evermore. Love thy neighbor as thyself.
The unchanging Word washed over my weary soul. I was convicted and renewed all at once.
Laughing and shrieking, the girls raced past me, caught up in another invented game. “Come, girls,” I called, getting to my feet. “It’s time for baths and bed.”
As I herded my little flock toward the house, I pondered the life-changing power of simple obedience. Simple, but so hard.
Do you know what I really want from you? His voice still probed my heart.
Obedience, Lord.
I drew a deep breath of the growing darkness, watching the girls chasing fireflies, dancing with arms outstretched to the starry heavens. Thank You, Lord.
My husband fell into step beside me. “Why are you smiling?” he asked.
I looked from the girls to him, gratefulness warming my heart. “I just realized God likes to teach lessons on obedience in a garden.”

 Nearly nine years ago, Stephanie married the best man at her wedding, and since the two of them are opposites in almost every way possible, there hasn’t been a dull moment in over 3,127 days. They live on the side of Brush Mountain in central Pennsylvania. God has blessed them with three children to raise for Him and three children safely in heaven. Stephanie is the author of Light My Candle, Prayers in the Darkness of Miscarriage. You can contact her at lightmycandle @ Or check out her blog.

Note from Gina: A few days ago, Stephanie's four year old daughter Tarica began having seizures. One was so bad that she went unconscious. They are now at the Pittsburgh Children's Hospital. Tarica reacted badly to the first anti-seizure medication going into hallucinations. Please pray that they can stop Tarica's seizures and find out why they are occurring. I'm sure all you parents can imagine how scared Linford and Stephanie are at this point.  Let's hold them up in prayer.


  1. Praying for this sweet family.

  2. Praying right now and will continue. Please keep us updated.

  3. Remembering this sweet family to the Lord. Thank you for the prayer request.

  4. Thinking of this little one and family - they'll be in our prayers..

  5. Holding up Tarica and her family to our Great Healer..

  6. Our family will be lifting them up in prayer. Blessings, Jamie

  7. Praying sincerely and earnestly.

  8. we will be praying for the family

  9. I enjoy Stephanie's writing. I also will be praying for she and her family.

  10. Praying for the family! How is Tarica doing now? Any new updates?

  11. How is Tarica? I am praying that she and her family are well.


    1. You can get updates on Tarica at


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