Posts Tagged ‘Garden’


I was listening to a few people whose it was to plant some bedding flowers. They are all nice and generous people, but it was obvious from over-hearing their conversation, that they were not unified in the details of the planting.

Which plants went where?

How far apart?

How deeply should they be planted?

The two women were expressing their interpretations of the instructions given to them by the gardener of the property.

The gardener has probably been looking after the grounds for years, maybe even studied botany, and he knows the environment he is working in.

The ladies, on the other hand, are fulfilling his wishes, attempting to honor his plan for the plants to go into the ground. They are only here for a short time, they are only placing the plants into the soil … they will never see these plants grow and thrive, and go to seed. The only task they have is to plant.

But, the gardener, he lives on the property, and his reason for being is to see the plants planted, the seeds scattered, watered, then to enjoy the harvest of that which has been placed into the ground.


Those who plant do not always get to participate in the sowing, the watering, or the reaping …

1 Corinthians 3:7-8 tells us that :

“It’s not important who does the planting,

or who does the watering.

What’s important

is that God makes the seed grow.

The one who plants

and the one who waters

work together

with the same purpose.

And both will be rewarded for their own hard work.”

All that is important is that we listen, and follow the instructions of the gardener, for it is His garden we are living in, and it is His garden that we are tending.


“Let it grow
Let it grow
You can’t reap what you don’t sow”

Fletcher Sheridan “Let it Grow”
(from the Dr. Seuss soundtrack “The Lorax”)

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For the next week, I will be featuring guest posts, as I spend my regular ‘writing time’ preparing for a speaking engagement. If you feel led to pray for me in this regard, I would so appreciate it, and specifically that Pinterest does not pre-occupy my writing time 😉  … I am so weak!

After the rains, when the sun’s rays were shining across my back garden, I made a mistake …

a big mistake!

I slipped on a pair of shoes, and walked out to see what was emerging through the sun-warming soil.

I was looking for wonder, but what I found was wallowing.

As I walked through the calf-high (not a baby cow, although I am trying to shed a few pounds) fresh spring grass (that needed to be cut three weeks ago …), wonder began to fade. My garden is growing, and it needs my attention.

But, alas, the bills need to be paid, the kids need to be driven, the meals, the laundry, the demands …

What I needed was a week off work to get caught up on the things of house and home … or a different home, with a small garden.

I began slouching, feeling the weight of maintaining our ‘stuff’, losing wonder and wallowing in self pity.

Then I came inside, and sat at my computer to write … writing can force me to move my focus to less Earthly, more heavenly things.

I opened YouTube, to research the lyrics of a song I had been hearing more lately.

The writer of this song is Jared Armstrong, previously of Desperation Band, a worship leader and song writer. It has been recently recorded by Philips, Craig and Dean, and is playing on Christian radio increasingly as it’s popularity rises in churches and homes.

Jared says this song came from a desire to be a part of the action of worship …

that the baggage of this life would fall away …

it is just about God’s story, not his/our own stories.

He spoke of wanting to not just stand on the sidelines of worship, distracted or disengaged.

As I listened I felt the weight of my Earthly responsibilities, my garden, my stuff … fall off, relieving me of the heaviness that comes from allowing myself to be heavy laden.

I felt stripped of this world until I was naked and unashamed, and drawn in to God’s story … free to dance naked (like David, so many years ago) in the garden of my Creator.


“This song brings back the desire to be connected to the greatness of God.”
Jared Anderson

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Monday morning in staff devotions, a teacher shared a story called Serpent, by Joan McCarthy (from a publication called Pro Rege, December, 1997), and I loved it! Then, two days later that same teacher read it again, this time in devotion time to his class, and I loved it more!

Today, I want to share the story with you, enjoy …

Serpent sinuously slips unseen and smiling through the grass with eyes narrowed to cruel slits. It has heard the cry of pain and rejoices.

“That cry echoes across the universe. it trumpets my victory. “Scream Eve, scream,” it hisses. “Today something new will be added to creation. Adam, the namer, will have to provide a name for the cessation of life.”

On its belly it slithers silently to a low tree and peers at the woman who lies curled beneath the branches. Fear and pain are on her dirt streaked face, and sweat gives a sheen to her skin in the light of early dawn. She moans. Serpent tingles with delighted anticipation and moves up the trunk of the tree and on to a branch to watch with eager, glittering eyes.

“You chose to know good and evil, ” it lisps. “My gift to you, Eve. Know evil. Know pain in your once perfect body. Feel the coming of the end. God has cursed us, but your screams are my laughter in God’s face.”

Eve’s body jerks at the sound. She recoils in recognition and struggles to push herself away, but the tree trunk blocks her. “Not you. Not now, ” she whispers through clenched teeth. Her whole body begins to tremble before Serpent’s icy stare.

“Yes, woman, it is I, the one you accused.” Serpent brings its head within inches of her face. “But why are you fearful? I sought only to make you wise. This suffering is the Maker’s doing. It was the Maker who denied you eternal life and drove you from Eden.” Serpent draws back, lays its head on the branch and coolly regards Eve. Remember the Maker’s words, ‘you shall surely die.’ What do you think is happening to you now woman, you mere afterthought of a jealous God?”

Eve’s eyes widen with terror and she screams for Adam. Serpent sneers. “Ah, yes, Adam, the crown of creation, over there crouching behind that tree. He is not in pain. His body is not swollen and deformed, but yours ….” Serpent averts its eyes in revulsion. “Adam blamed you, you know,” it says turning back to her. “Now see what has befallen you while he goes free. Perhaps, the Maker is destroying you and will create a fresh, new Eve for Adam, one that will once again delight his eyes. You will be returned to dust and the breath that quickened you will blow, lost forever.”

Serpent draws its face close to hers. “Call on me. I have the power to deliver you from your pain.”

Eve stares, her eyes wide with bewilderment that changes to horror. She tries to move toward Adam. In a louder voice Serpent addresses her once again. “So you not know what awaits you? See the fear in the eyes of Adam. He shall not help you. His manhood melts before your cries. He hears his own mortality in them and knows terror for the first time. He will run as far as he can from you and your groaning. You shall face your end alone.”

Serpent draws back to watch with a satisfied smirk as Eve’s body convulses once again. Her hands tear at the swollen belly. But, this time, no sound escapes her lips.

As the pain ebbs, her eyes seek the man. Seeing him, indeed, gathering himself to flee, she calls out with all her strength, “Adam, stay. Be man for this woman.”

Adam hesitates and turns his head to look back at her. She extends a trembling hand to him. “Do not fear my pain, Adam. It is mine alone. you too will have pain that will be your own. Comfort me now as you shall desire to be comforted.”

Serpent drops his coils from the branch and slips to Adam’s side. “Flee, Firstmade. Save yourself. She has no comfort left to give you. If you stay, you will see her end and taste your own. Turn while you can. You never needed her to do great things. She was only a gift, a helper for your great deeds, a pleasurable amusement. She has ceased to be helpful or amusing.”

Eve rises on one arm. “So not listen to the words of the cunning one. Serpent twists truth. I have always been with you. The Maker did not start over with me. He drew me from you-as you have said, ‘bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.’ All we have left of the Maker’s image is each other-together we bear that image in its completeness. I do not believe the Maker will destroy part of it. We must not let this evil one tempt us to shatter it and doom us to wander incomplete and alone. That will be worse than pain.”

Adam stops. Slowly the terror leaves his eyes. Serpent rises up before him. “Take care. She deceives you once again. you are the important one.”

But Adam pays him no heed. With his eyes fixed on Eve’s, he goes to her. He cradles he in his arms. With gentleness he wipes her brow and holds her through her pain.

Hissing in disgust Serpent tries to insinuate himself between them. “Fool, fool, save yourself.”

Suddenly Eve gives a great cry and Serpent sees her drew something from her own body. Its eyes widen in horror. Eve has not died. She has brought forth a new creature, small and wet and shining in the growing light.

Then the new one opens his mouth and begins to cry. The gleam returns to Serpent’s eyes. “This is not a new creation. It too feels pain. It is just one of them. I will coil around the door of his heart and have my way with this one too. I can wait.”

But the crying hushes. Adam, his face full of wonder as he tries to name what he has seen, has broken a large leaf from a nearby tree and brought it to Eve. She covers the man child with it and cradles him to her body.

All that can be seen is the kicking of tiny heels. A smile of triumph flickers across Serpent’s face and then suddenly dies. A shiver runs along its body, and it quickly lowers it head and slides silently away through the dust.

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Finally, after ten months of school, and then spending June and July working at a second job, I am able to really enjoy my garden!

Yesterday I spent the day in the garden. I was pruning, and mowing, and trimming, and watering, and weeding, and feeding. It was glorious! I got filthy dirty (I do not even seem to be able to water my flowers without getting dirty), and used muscles that ached the next day (heck, they ached as they were being used), and not one minute of it seemed like work.

Truly my day was all about recreation.

As I was out in the fresh air, and sunshine (oh, and how we have waited for sunshine in this area … unlike most of North America which has been hot and dry), I enjoyed only the noises of the birds, the squirrels and my neighbors little grandchildren. I attained great satisfaction, for jobs finally caught up on, and great head space at just being quiet for the better part of a day.

It is so thrilling to see the evidence of my blood, sweat and tears in the garden. I love to watch the contents of bulbs and tuber emerge from the soil. I love to watch a rose bud open slowly, day by day, and then produce it’s visual beauty and delightful scent, that can reduce stress in one whiff. I love to see each year the new growth of the boxwoods I had planted, simply by slicing off a branch of a larger one, and sticking it into the earth. I love to watch the lilies grow taller and taller each day, trying to guess which color they are, until finally they open up to reveal the beauty within. And oh, how I love to see the springtime buds on the grapevine, emerge into tendrils that reach far from where they began, to be followed by the minute clusters of ‘baby grapes’ that, like a newborn baby, grow bigger every day of summer, until they are finally mature, and ready to be tasted.

I love my garden!

But, I don’t love everything about my garden. There are irritants and pests there too. Like dandelions! I have been on a mission for two summers now, to rid my back garden of the weed. When I have the time, and have my trusty week puller thingy in hand, I am like a can of raid on ants! And, my persistence is working (if you ever drive by, you will know that I have not transferred this persistence to my front garden).

Then there is the slug … evil personified! Not only do they love to eat the lovely green leaves on my flowers, but if I come in contact with their slime, it is like some kind of gel crazy glue. It won’t come off easily, and sticks to everything in it’s path … even my ever-curious beast won’t go near them. Of course they do provide great entertainment when i get out my salt shaker!

And then there are aphids … who are on a constant mission to ruin my deeply loved rose plants. Every spring I will be marveling at how beautiful the fresh new leaves on my roses look, and then, there they are. Those tiny little green buggers … nibbling away at my fresh leaves like a teenage boy at an all you can eat buffet. Truly they give me reason after reason to love ladybugs … who think aphids are just the most marvelous treat … hum, note to self : go purchase ladybugs today.

My garden is where I am Mother Nature, and my goal is to protect everything I love within my garden … it is truly a place where I am a mother hen figure. But, I am sadly not able to protect my green ‘babies’ all of the time.

It is really my place in this world of understanding the beauty of our creation, of understanding the complexities of surviving and thriving, of understanding how evil and destruction can come our way due to no action of our own, and understanding how very much we the created are loved by the Creator.

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