Posted by: Kara Luker | March 8, 2019

A small obedience

I am writing this post from the writer’s shed of our new home! Exactly three weeks after we first saw this house online, we were given the keys and brought over our first truckload of boxes. The following day, exactly three weeks after we first saw it in person, we brought over the rest of our stuff and started our new life here. Needless to say, it’s been a whirlwind… but what a welcome one! After all this time of waiting and praying, it still doesn’t feel real.

 A couple of years ago, when we had already been in high gear house-searching mode for a long while, the Lord told me “invest in where you are now.” I wrote a post about how scary it was for me to invest in a place I knew to be temporary, but I did my best to follow the instructions. The very first thing I did was to plant my potted dwarf lemon tree in the barren dirt plot in our side yard; a pioneer of my eventual, much-loved garden. Then I set about doing the much riskier work of investing in the people around us, trusting that God would heal my heart if we were to be uprooted from the area and forced to start over. It was certainly a challenge but the terror lessoned as time went on because I realized He was teaching me how to do community, a lesson I needed to learn and apply wherever we would land.

As it turns out, this house puts us less than a mile from the school Chase is attending (one that was outside our previous boundaries), and in the very heart of the community we’ve spent these last years investing in. We’ve only been here a week and our home has already been filled with new friends and old. It just seems like a place that was made for gathering. You’d better believe I’ve poured out some tears over God’s goodness to us. Not just for a house, which holds no good thing without Him, but for His presence in this process and all He has done through it to stretch us and grow us and provide for us in ways that reach far beyond material provision. With all my heart, I say thank you, Lord.

As for that lemon tree, I had imagined that by the time we moved, it would be a thriving tree with an abundance of luscious lemons that would demonstrate the fruitfulness of obedience. While I did manage to keep it alive (a fact of which I’m very proud), it looks a lot more like a Charlie Brown version of a fruit tree and any lemons it bore never ripened. Until last month, that is. When all of a sudden, the green fruit that had been dangling on that pitiful tree so long turned the beautiful yellow that signifies ripeness. What a sight to see before moving on. Chase was pretty excited about it too.

Chase Lemon

Here is the thing I didn’t foresee. Our new yard is host to 13 fruit trees, three of which are mature lemon trees – each a different variety – loaded with ripe fruit. It’s almost like God is saying, “You do your part. Listen to what I’m asking of you and do it to the best of your ability. It may look small and insignificant and you may be a crappy gardener who can’t make things grow, but be as faithful as you can and trust me for the rest. Because I am the one who makes things grow, in my perfect time, to produce the sweetest, best and most plentiful fruit. Each juicy bite will remind you of my goodness (not your ability) and there will be enough to fill many fruit bowls beyond your own.” Or something like that. 🙂 It’s like not unlike the water the servants brought to Jesus at his request. They couldn’t turn it to wine, even if they had years to do it. But Jesus could. And He did. That plain old water, alongside their humble act of obedience, was transformed into the finest wine that satisfied each and every wedding guest and demonstrated the power and glory of God. The servants got to be part of that miraculous act!

Fruit Bowl

This leaves me wondering what God is asking of you. If you don’t know, seek Him out. If you’ve been frustrated by the waiting and the inability to see that any blessing or significance could come from your current efforts, please know that it is not up to you to turn water to wine or to grow the fruit. Your part – and mine – is to trust and obey and He will do the rest. Yes, with bountiful sweetness, He will do the rest.


  1. Karanoel:

    Karen is going to read this. We just said goodbye to the appraiser, who will give a reasoned price for the house that most of our kids were raised in, that has done tons of ministry, that had a 100 plus young people every week for years, that presently receives Lydia House Church worshipers, the house where Karen does Bible study for Japanese ladies, the house where I have mentored hundreds, the house where grandkids have toys in almost every room, where they often stay overnight. Very hard for Karen to think about saying goodbye. Thank you!! We likely will within months.

    Paul & Karen


    • Wow. What a home you have had! With so much service and so many memories! I can only imagine that it’s incredibly hard to think about leaving, even if you know it’s right and it’s time. I will pray – as I’m praying for my parents – that there is a release and excitement that comes with this new season. That it won’t just feel like an end but a new beginning. ♥️

  2. This wonderful post was worth it just for the last line – thank you! It’s the “word” I’ve been receiving from the Lord this last month.

    We’ll hopefully see you Sunday at 1 when the architect (who’s named Tony Paloma and talks more like a New York hit man) comes over to take a look. I’ve drawn some other alternate plans with the kitchen against the back wall if moving water lines concrete is cost prohibitive.


    PS . I think Mom might want to plant a lemon tree in our corner anyway!

    On Fri, Mar 8, 2019 at 8:59 AM where waves grow sweet wrote:

    > karanoel posted: “I am writing this post from the writer’s shed of our new > home. Exactly three weeks after we first saw this house online, we were > given the keys and brought over our first truckload of boxes. The following > day, exactly three weeks after we first saw it in ” >

    • That’s a good word! Yes, we will be here for the next leg in your new adventure. I love how you are rolling with what comes and adapting your plans accordingly. I really believe the end result it going to be such a delight. And I fully anticipate mom planting a lemon tree 😄

  3. You’ve left me near tears, Kara. Tears which I’ll cry later, when the truth of what you’ve written gets fully embedded in my heart and mind. Thank you for sharing from your heart. Congratulations on your house; may our Lord Jesus bless everyone who enters in and know that He dwells there and that He loves them. Love you. Maria

    • Dear Maria, thank you so much for sharing that and for your blessing on this home! I can think of no better blessing than that those who enter would know Jesus and his heat for them. So much love to you, Kara

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