Sunday, November 4, 2012


I suppose you wonder if the Frues fell off the face of the earth?  Not quite, but we are certainly in another world!  We only moved 2,250 miles, 37 road hours, 8 states, or 3 days away from our cozy little condo in Cali, but life is dramatically different. The pace, the place, the people (don’t-cha-know)—all the unfamiliar that is beginning to become much more familiar.  I still rattle my head when I’m reminded that we live in Minnesota, and I still refer to California as “back home”. I look at people funny when they say “put your things in the beg” (bag) or “here’s your name teg” (tag), and they look at me funny when I say “stoked, ya’ll”, but slowly Minneapolis is becoming our own.  We are in love with the city and the diversity and the new things to see and explore and do.  We are overwhelmed by the sincere love and care and friendship that has come from the families in Todd’s seminary, our church and our neighbors. Our home is a haven in a humble quiet neighborhood where you can turn right to go into “the forest” as Lion calls it, or left to a view of the city’s skyline.  We’ve been uprooted from the sandy soil of SoCal and replanted in a special place…and are beginning to take root again.

Now just so I don’t paint a rosy picture of utopia and perfection, we may have left a few things back west, but our sin and habits and hang-ups came with us, for sure.  It’s taken some adjusting, and stretching, and releasing, and (gasp) repenting to settle us into this new way of life.  Some rocks had to be dug up, some weeds pulled, some pests (ahem, habits) killed so that we can wiggle our feet into the new soil.  It isn’t easy, but it’s good.  In a lot of ways, although challenging at times, I feel like the Lord had us under the rake for awhile in order to make the soil we’re in the perfect place to grow.  Or to put it another way, if the year prior was a muddy mess of awkward uncertainty, confusion, and painful pause, this year is emerging from the soil and seeing sunlight. 

The summer garden we inherited and it's caretaker
It’s no coincidence that I’m using planting metaphors to describe the season of life that we’re in.  As Todd unpacked his seminary textbooks, I unpacked our homeschooling curriculum and realized that we’re settling into a fresh field for an altogether new beginning for our family. And just why am I so enthused about the planting, and growing, and seeds, and root talk?  Well first, Todd has begun seminary, which is derived from the Latin word seminarium, or seed bed.  It’s name is defined not only as a place of theological education, but also “a place or environment in which something is developed or nurtured.” Next, we have begun kindergarten with Lion, which is German for “children’s garden” and preschool, otherwise known as “nursery school” (think plant nursery) with Bear.  And Bees, well, he’s busy eating dirt and bugs…which begs me to say our home is a garden and we are all growing!

So what exactly are we watering?  Zucchini?  Tomatoes?  Faith.  Plain and simple, by grace Todd has answered the upward call to the knowledge and fear of God, which has already taken him deeper than any Navy dive he’s done and has really stirred up (and healthily challenged) his faith.  And as a mom I’m (fumbly) engaging the role as seed planter in my children’s hearts for the love of God and of learning, which has equally challenged and stirred up my faith in and dependence on Jesus.  It is not beautiful (I’m often in my pj’s well into the afternoon) nor breezy (Todd’s school work is more than a full-time job), but I know that the Lord is cultivating in us something that I believe will be fruitful and worth it. 

(Not coincidentally, “cultivate” is the word God impressed upon us when we started dating):

tr.v. cul·ti·vat·edcul·ti·vat·ingcul·ti·vates
1.a. To improve and prepare (land), as by plowing or fertilizing, for raising crops; till.
   b. To loosen or dig soil around (growing plants).
2. To grow or tend.
3. To promote the growth of.
4. To nurture; foster.
5. To form and refine, as by education.

Honestly, I can’t get away from the metaphors.  The last several weeks of homeschool with the boys was first about the sun, how it gives life and light to everything, then later about leaves and how plants grow and are dependent upon the sun, and last week was about apples and how it begins as a seed, grows into a tree, and bears fruit that proliferates more seeds…I really think God in nature has a theme running here…

Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways! You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table…”  Psalm 128:1-4 

“Then our sons in their youth will be like well-nurtured plants…”
Psalm 144:12 

“Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.” 
Psalm 37:3

What’s most encouraging to me in the days that I just want to go back to bed:
“Do not become weary in doing good for at the proper time you will reap a harvest of blessing if you do not give up.” 
Galatians 6:9 

And I'm reminded that we aren't really the growers here, but God who began a good work in us and who will see it to completion (Philippians 1:6). "So neither he who plants or he who waters is anything, but only God who makes things grow." 1 Corinthians 3:7

"I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. . .If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing." (Todd's theme verse)
John 15:1,5

So just as Jesus said, “no one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God", pray that by His grace we'll be focused, with our minds fixed on the row in front of us, able to nurture the little mustard seeds of faith in Christ that God has planted in us.

Oh, and did I mention there’s literally something growing in me?

We’ve got a new seedling a-sprouting in May!

And that’s why we’ve fallen off the face of the earth--it’s hard work to grow a person from a seed, you know!  (Not to mention, I'm definitely experiencing "growing pains" in this first trimester, so please keep us in prayer for healthy perseverance!)


  1. Beautifully always. And a much better metaphor than the turkey. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

  2. So thrilled for you all and will definitely keep you in our prayers. And I second MLs comments...beautifully put. God has been doing some pruning on this end...ouch...but praise the Lord for the "new growth" in so many ways.

  3. Oh my goodness, if only I can reach through this computer and give you a big squeeze!!! I'm SO incredibly proud to call you my friend and sister in're doing an amazing job showing how beautiful Christ is!

  4. I love you and your sweet family! Thank you for pursuing Jesus and continuing to be an encouraging example to me of The Lord's faithfulness! And congrats on another little Frue! I'm stoked, y'all!

  5. Tracy! I am so glad I subscribed to your blog in my Google Reader before I left Facebook (Lisa from moms group at Reality I only went a few times). I love your metaphor here. We've experienced much of the same with our move. This so very much resonated with me, "It isn’t easy, but it’s good. In a lot of ways, although challenging at times, I feel like the Lord had us under the rake for awhile in order to make the soil we’re in the perfect place to grow. Or to put it another way, if the year prior was a muddy mess of awkward uncertainty, confusion, and painful pause, this year is emerging from the soil and seeing sunlight." My metaphor was more of a crazy roller coaster that we were finally being allowed to step off and move from, but I like this better. Phew! What a year! Glad things are getting brighter. Congratulations on your fourth! Oh and most days I'm in my PJs later into the day as well, one of the luxuries of homeschooling, I say. :)

  6. Good morning, sweet Tracy! So awesome to read your blog this a.m. Facebook has given me such sweet blessings to get to know my students as adults. I am so proud of both you and Jenni! I love the memories, but I am so enjoying getting to know you again! God has certainly blessed you!

  7. Congratulations! So happy you all!

  8. Oh my goodness! Always saving the punchline aren't you! You are on my mind so much, thinking about what life must be like for you balancing all your plates in a new place. And missing you of course! Every time I see a little boy's jacket or pair of boots I think, should I send this to Tracy? Hopefully, I'll be able to do that with little girls boots in the future!!!! I'm so excited to hear all is well and God is growing you all. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Much love form the Spross Clan!

  9. Just went back and read this again... so thankful for you :)

  10. TrayBird, you all kindsa kingdom hottie up in here. If I've said it once I'm bound to say it a million times, then shout it from the rooftops!!! I love you & your writing is cultivating new extensions of the garden in my heart.