If you’ve ever driven down the highway in the south, you’ve probably seen kudzu.
This twining plant has stems that can extend from any node to attach to and climb surfaces or anchor itself to the ground. The green, leafy vine wraps itself around electric line poles, old buildings, and can even blanket the entire side of a hill.
Kudzu was first introduced to the Southeast in 1883 at the New Orleans exposition and marketed as an ornamental plant used to shade porches. It was used to help control soil erosion. Eventually the US government began funding kudzu plantings and helped support the distribution of 85 million seedlings. Following crop failures, farmers began moving to more urban areas, leaving kudzu plantings unattended. Kudzu continued to grow freely. By 1970, kudzu was reclassified as a weed; by 1997, it was listed on the Federal Noxious Weed List.
Today, kudzu is known as “the vine that ate the South.”
Scientists have discovered that as the invasive weed spreads, it smothers other plants under its leaves. It has been known to surround tree trunks, break branches and even uproot an entire tree. The vine that appeared helpful at first has shown itself to be incredibly harmful to the ecology and land.
My four-pound superpup, Hershey brings so much joy to my life. Even with his small size, he certainly packs a powerful punch in the ways God uses him in my life.
I think back to a few years ago when Leif and I met him for the first time.
Tiny. Timid. Fearful.
As we gently picked him up to take him home for the first time, fear filled his body. We were taking him from everything he knew and was familiar—and it showed.
No eye contact. Tail between the legs. His tiny body trembling.
The whole drive we tried to offer comfort. We stroked his soft fur. We held him close. We kept repeating: Trust me. You’re going to be okay. Just trust me little Hershey. We’re going to take care of you.
But he didn’t listen or understand. Like a horse with blinders, he was only focused on the fear around him, not realizing that we had his best intentions in mind and the fullness of life we were offering him. Continue Reading...
It's no secret that Leif and I have struggled over the years to connect spiritually through our personal times of devotion. In the early days of our marriage, we tried a laundry list of things that simply didn't work.
We attempted reading the same passages of scripture for discussion, but also felt a sense of awkward disconnect. We tried reading the same books, listening to the same sermons among other practices, and yet it always felt forced, unnatural, anything but, well, organic. Continue Reading...
Margaret Feinberg is a popular Bible teacher and speaker at churches and leading conferences such as Catalyst, Thrive and Extraordinary Women. Her books and Bible studies have sold over 600,000 copies and received critical acclaim and extensive national media coverage. Click the image to learn more.
Margaret, Leif, and Hershey are traveling all across the country this year. Check out the speaking schedule to see when they visit a city near you.