Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Victorious Battle!

4 days and 20 hours later, I have defeated my 'enemy' (blackberry, ivy and bindweed) which has invaded our hillside as well as the side neighbors for a number of years.

How much overhang there was at our fence line when we purchased the house.

The ivy covered the fence in some areas.

In 2007, we hired a crew of guys from the neighborhood to do the initial clearing of the hill.

The house above us has not been maintained for a very long time and it is currently sitting empty (apparently abandoned by its owners this past January). Yet, someone must be making some type of payment on it, as it has not been foreclosed. But for those of us living here each day, the neglect (or sin) of one has an ongoing affect on everyone else. Neighbors on one side of this yard choose to spray RoundUp on it a couple times per season (kill it back off their property line) and the neighbor on the other side 'says' he really should do something about it, but doesn't... And then there is me. I don't use chemical pesticides (unless no other alternative - and yes, we have sprayed the blackberry a couple times), but I prefer to go after the root ~ it's source of life! And when there is nothing but chaos all around ~ I not only see what is, but also what can be. I see the potential beauty in people and places. I'm not easily dissuaded when something seems impossible or a task seems bigger than what we can personally overcome... And, for the past 4 days, I battled my enemy.

However, this wasn't just a physical battle with invasive weeds and human neglect of the land that isn't properly stewarded ~ but it was also a battle in the spiritual realm against that which desires to overcome my life and steal life and God's calling and love from others.

This past Friday evening, Blaine and I were blessed beyond measure to spend time with dear, faithful, spirit-filled friends that have taught us, encouraged us and been used greatly by God in our lives and along our journey. We arrived Friday quite discouraged, down-trodden and nearly defeated ~ but when we left our spirits were renewed, refreshed, refilled AND ready to be back in action for God's purposes!

Physically, there is no way I could have accomplished this major yard 'battle' on my own. Chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia cause a person to have only so much energy and muscles that become worn out quickly. As I cut, chopped, gathered, filled buckets, dumped materials into yard waste cans, stacked large limbs to be cut up at a later time, carefully cut and removed blackberry vines and cleared the ground of debris ~ hour upon hour ~ I prayed and prayed and prayed some more AND praised God even more still; something amazing happened and my energy level was sustained and my muscles continued to function. One day is great, but this happened day after day AND on this final day as I neared the end of this yard battle, I declared victory over the invasive issues (physical and spiritual) and my energy soared and there was a spring in my step and hope in my spirit and great joy in my heart! You see, this wasn't my battle - but God's. He was the one who was at work in the heavenlies as I prayed and praised and physically labored... And, my faith has grown stronger in the past few days than it has in the past 3 years! I'm so excited for what is ahead!

In addition, God strengthened my faith in a very special way. Our dear friend prays about the weather and God listens... This morning, I still had 3 hours of work to finish on the hill. The weather forecast was for rain today and it had rained overnight. When I got up this morning (and later than I desired), the clouds looked threatening and I worried that I wouldn't be able to finish today. I remembered what Dan shared with me and I prayed. Please Lord, push back the rain or contain it in the clouds that I may finish today. Please just don't let it rain until after 4:00 pm this afternoon. Well, not only did it NOT rain ~ the sun was shining gloriously for the majority of the time I worked and the wind blew and kept me company as I worked and prayed and praised our wonderful Heavenly Father. He is amazing! And yes, it finally rained here around 7:00 pm tonight... He is so good!

I have declared that the blackberry vines, the ivy and the bindweed cannot trespass on our property, but I have also declared that the 'darkness' at work in this world and in our lives SHALL NOT PASS! I will continue to maintain the upper fence line, so the weeds do not reclaim what they had taken before, but I'm thankful our precious and mighty Lord will continue to battle with the darkness that seeks to destroy. However, the darkness we battle now shall not penetrate the Light of Christ in our lives! He is able!

Fellow believers ~ it's time. It's time to accept the mundane way of living in this world is not okay for any more of our days here on earth. There are weeds of darkness that have crept into our lives and we often haven't been aware of how it slowly slithered in and wrapped itself around us or perhaps it came in as a wolf in sheep's clothing and we were tricked into believing it was what it was not. Now is the time to reclaim! Not in our own strength, but by Jesus. It's time to fall to our knees and pray! Pray like never before! And remember, no matter what is happening around you ~ praise His Holy and wonderful name! Don't give up for He has already won the battle!

"Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit," says the Lord Almighty." Zechariah 4:6b


  1. Wow Joan,
    Great Post...I can't say anything else....I have a similar battle going on and I am praying and praising God for what He will do...and asking for the desires of my heart as well...You have given me strength...you just don't even know....
    I am glad I found your blog...I will add it to mine...

  2. Thank you for your precious comments! You have blessed me beyond measure knowing that my story (my battles) would encourage and bless others. God is so good! May He receive all the glory...

  3. Thanks for posting this Joanie. As you know I have a battle raging at my house, thanks for giving me the encouragement to keep fighting. And praying. Thats the most important bit.

  4. You're welcome, Sharon. I still owe you a long e-mail, but this week has been a bit busy... Know that I am praying and standing with you seeking wisdom and grace and hope in your situation!

  5. Wow!!!! The hill looks awesome!! What an incredible job, it looks brand new.


Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! Abundant blessings on your day... Joanie