May 14, 2016

Planting and Harvesting - Ruth L. Snyder

As I think about the outreach and ministry opportunities God has given me through my writing, the analogy of planting and harvesting comes to mind.

In 2014 and 2015, I had opportunities to have a larger amount of writing published. It seemed like every time I turned around, something new was waiting for me. In 2016, this hasn't been the case. My time and energy have been used up in other pursuits, which are as important as writing, if not more.

I still have many projects on my "to do" list, and I'm working on those projects as I have time. (One project is updating and combining the two Twitter books I wrote and publishing them in one volume in print and e-book format. Another is a gift book on the topic of hope, along with digital recordings of old hymns.)

However, this year seems to be a "planting" rather than a "harvest" time. I don't know about you, but I enjoy celebration more than times of preparation or darkness. However, we can't have the one season without the other.

Although my writing is not being published as much, God encouraged me lately that His words are getting out in other ways:
  • My main role at present is that of Mom. Every day I have opportunities to share with my kids and live Jesus before them.
  • My husband and I share the role of Sunday School Superintendent at our church. We teach children ages 2-14. It's a challenge to make God's Word practical. However, we have discovered that simple prizes motivate these kids to read the Bible and memorize verses, which we know will not return empty!
  • I teach Music for Young Children to kids ages 2-8, and rub shoulders with their parents every week. These families share their challenges very openly and I have the opportunity to encourage them and give them ideas of things that work for me.
  • One of my volunteer activities is serving as chair of our public K - grade 12 school council. A new Principal started working at our school in September 2015. One of the first things I did was tell her I was praying for her, even though I had no idea where she stood spiritually. We have built a solid friendship and an open working relationship. She often thanks me for my prayers and gives me specific things to pray about.
  • My cell phone provides opportunities to send a quick text message to people who are too busy for a phone call. Many thank me for what I share.
  • I enjoy putting pictures and text together (memes) and am able to share these on social media, in e-mails, and text messages. God encouraged me this year by allowing me to see that my memes from last year are still being shared by others.
  • Facebook is a tool that enables me to connect with my extended family members and friends. People often comment about how much they appreciate what I post.
  • Four times a year, I edit a newsletter for foster, adoptive, and kinship families in northeastern Alberta. Through this work, I have had the opportunity to share my beliefs and what keeps me going through the tough times. When cuts were made, I was told that Child and Family Services was frantically looking for a way to save the newsletter. And they did!
  • This year I have offered to help coach other writers. I'm enjoying this more intentional way of helping others get their God-given message out.
  • My work as President of InScribe provides opportunities to network with many people. Several of them have expressed amazement at what our organization accomplishes through volunteers.
Writing this post has been a good reminder for me that God's ways are not always our ways. Even though I have felt like I'm not accomplishing much as a writer this year, God is still at work in me and through me. My prayer is that I will be faithful, especially when I don't understand or see what He is accomplishing.

What about you? Has God been leading you down a different path? Let's trust Him to accomplish His purpose in and through us today and in the coming weeks and months. After all, He knows what each one of us needs, and He also knows what will best minister to the audience HE has called us to reach.


  1. Yes, Ruth, there is a time to plant and a time to harvest. We were without a garden last year, and we missed being able to go out and harvest a bit of lettuce or potatoes whenever we wanted to. This year we have a few metres of raised garden. Today Hank and I were out there sharing the excitement of a few onions and a couple tiny lettuce plants bursting though the soil.

    Raising your family, helping young children learn to love and express music, and praying for the new principal all remind me of the newly planted seeds breaking forth. In God's plan, planting and watching new sprouts grow is a good time. Blessings, Ruth, for all you are and all you do.

    1. Sharon,
      Thank you for your continued encouragement and support. I appreciate you!

  2. Like you, I've had some crazy-busy-prolific years in terms of writing and publishing and then some not so busy years... This is such an uplifting post because you remind us to focus on what we DID accomplish rather than on what we DIDN'T. Just what i needed today!

    1. Tracy,
      I'm glad I was an encouragement to you. May God continue to guide you in your writing as you focus on HIM.

  3. First time visit to this blog so it was very nice to browse around here:) This post brought to mind that we are to be fruitful in every season. May we learn to be content, doing what He has called us to do in this moment. Great reminder this morning!

    1. Thanks for visiting, Joanne!
      I hope you will continue to come back. Amen - fruitful in every season. I will continue to meditate on that thought.

  4. Ruth,
    Thanks for being faithful to God's calling on your life--to spend the year being who God wants you to be in the lives of many. And thanks for speaking into my life.

    1. Connie,
      Thanks for your words of encouragement and for the amazing prayer support you have provided for me. You have spoken into my life as well. What a wonderful family God has given us!

  5. Hi Ruth, I just shared this from someone else's FB page even though it's two weeks since you posted it. I feel slightly breathless reading all you do, but also encouraged that even the small things we do matter [that's part of the take-away message I got from this]. God bless your seed planting, your "watering" and your harvesting.

    1. Diana,
      Thanks for your encouraging words. Yes, small things are important. May God richly bless you as you continue to seek and serve HIM.


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