Thursday, June 21, 2012


by Stefanie Libertore

Though I don’t consider myself much of a gardener, I enjoy planting and maintaining our flower beds. Truth be told, I don’t have indoor plants because I can’t be trusted to keep them alive! Let’s just say the greens have a better chance of survival outside where they don’t have to rely on me to quench their thirst!

Last spring I planted a very small dahlia bush – six inches small, to be exact. I watered it every evening during the hot summer months. In spite of my best efforts, the dahlia wasn’t growing. It appeared weak and limp. My husband took one look and diagnosed it “a goner”. I thought he might be right, but I wasn’t giving up on it quite so easily. We were somewhat like this story Jesus shared in Luke 13:6-9:

"A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed. Finally, he said to his gardener, ‘I’ve waited three years, and there hasn’t been a single fig! Cut it down. It’s just taking up space in the garden.”

The gardener answered, ‘Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. If we get figs next year, fine. If not, then you can cut it down.’”
Every wise gardener desires to yield a harvest. God is no different. Nurturing the life of that dahlia became a lesson of God’s love, care and faithfulness over me: His tender shoot. In spite of character flaws and a sometimes wilting faith, He cultivates the fruits of patience and perseverance in my heart. But first I must be willing to trust Him. 

Are you experiencing a season of drought?
~He is able to quench your thirst.
Do you feel like giving up as you endure a season of waiting?
~He can sustain your weary soul.
Do you feel anxious under the Pruner’s shears?
~His watchful eye is ever upon you.

We have a Gardener that never gives up on us. He is committed to cultivating a harvest of righteousness with the tiniest seeds of faith. To build strong roots that flourish in times of plenty and in times of drought: 
  • Get plenty of Son-shine (time with The Gardener)
  • Water your faith with the Word of God
  • Fertilize your thoughts with God’s promises  

And my dahlia?

By mid-summer, the fragile dahlia began to look strong, hearty and even appeared a bit taller. I bent down and examined it up close and the first few buds were forming! With a little time, and a lot of TLC, my dahlia proudly stood over three-and-a-half feet tall. It produced dozens of beautiful, fragrant flowers! 

I later learned that dahlias symbolize “a commitment and bond that lasts forever.” How precious of the Gardener to use a fragile dahlia to declare His everlasting commitment to me. No matter what shape I’m in...His love never fails, never gives up, never runs out on me!

"One Thing Remains" by Jesus Culture

Once again, I am praising God for this beautiful woman. Stef, you are amazing!
Stefanie Libertore has been joyfully married to Tony since 2003. They are blessed with two wacky, fun children, Isabella and Luke. Stefanie serves as Client Services Director at PregnancySupport Centerin Canton, OH. She is currently working on her first book for women, a Biblical journey of forgiveness, healing and restoration from one’s sexual past.
She is a Woven Woman: a woman of virtue!

Thanks Stefanie for sharing your heart with us today.  Love and prayers to all~Cindy

Previous Post by Stef:
LIFE LESSSONS: Seeking Shelter


  1. have a similar story with a rose bush and now it produces lots of roses. I am so thankful for God's faithfulness to me- He doesn't give up, ever, on me!!!

  2. Stef, you are a beautiful writer and a beautiful friend! so incredibly blessed that God saw fit to plant us side by side! Love, Kim


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