Tag Archives: garden

CHUCKLES

chuckles

Okay – today was a whining day. There were stones everywhere I turned (and I do mean that figuratively as well as literally). I hate it when my body aches beyond aches. I hate it when I’m digging in the dirt and keep hitting a endless supply of stones (and yes – again – literally and figuratively) Errrgggggg…

Then – as if to rub it in – God throws this up in my devotional feed: “A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?” — Ecclesiastes 2:24–25

I was not finding much satisfaction in my toil. I do not do patience well. I want to see results. I want to dig in the dirt, transplant a small, rooted treasure and watch it flourish – – – tomorrow. I want to speak and it becomes. I want to be like my Father. It is also – probably – why there were billions of stones under the spade of my shovel all day today.

While I was mumbling under my panting breath and dragging the shovel that looked totally bent on the sharp end, I’m pretty sure I heard a chuckle. Say what? You see, my mumbling was one of those impromptu complaining prayers. I’m sure you know the kind. Whether you are talking to your bae – your bff – or God, I think we all speak it or at least think it at one time or another. Mine went something like this:

“Seriously, God, I’m old. I’m almost 65. My knees ache. My shoulders ache. Even my feet ache. What were you thinking? How am I supposed to plant a garden and awaken this place to what YOU envisioned when you brought us here?”

The chuckle rumbled over me again. It stopped me in my tracks. It rolled over the hill – in between the trees – lifted the butterfly a little higher in the trees and broke the stone that was hiding a small blessing.

Stones are a pain. They break shovels. They are heavy. They trip us when we aren’t looking. They can block us on our path. Worse, they can blind us to the blessings that are hidden among them.

“In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’”~Josh 4:21

As I stood under the sprinkler, the irony of the chuckle caught me in its grip, and I remembered the verse that has always been our covenant with Our Father. (Did you know that Jesus often prayed the WORD when He talked to His Father?) So after a couple of Aleve and a great salad in my belly, I mumbled a different prayer. One that went something like this: “Okay, quit chuckling. I know I’m pretty slow on the uptake sometimes. So here goes again. I’m asking you, My Holy Father, ‘What do these stones mean’? What am I supposed to learn today?”

image11

  • Patience, Child.
  • (sigh) Do I have to?
  • Humbleness, Child.
  • I know. I’m trying…kinda.
  • Satisfaction in your toil, Child.
  • (downcast)  But it hurts!
  • Joy in the morning, Child.
  • Promise?
  • Find the diamonds hidden amongst the dirt, Child.

“He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear [stand in awe] the LORD your God.”~Josh 4:24

Tonight, I sit and let His “stones” of wisdom sink into my psyche, and I wonder if I will ever figure it out. The child who constantly invades my space and gets under my skin. Worldly drama that invades the simple spiritual peace that I try to establish. Unspoken requests on my long prayer list that seem to go unanswered. A house that has rooms of unending projects begging my attention. Writings, books, music waiting to be explored. Hard packed red clay encrusted with stones upon stones upon stones.

I know tomorrow, I will pick up the shovel again. I will chip away at the stones in my way. I will listen for the chuckle and smile. I might have to take a couple more Aleve, but you know? There are definitely worse things in life – like not finding the blessings hidden in His hand. Missing a child’s smile. Laughing with joy in my toil. Maybe tomorrow, I will be able to dig that golden nugget out and put it in my treasure box. And chuckle to myself instead of whining.

[google images]God's laughter

GARDEN DAYS

mar 27 2016dBusy garden days lead to tired, aching bodies. Transplanting plants for the second time in six months wouldn’t be so bad, IF one already had gardens in which to plop them. Of course, it was a lot different when I was 35 instead of almost 65. And yet –

And yet……there is nothing I’d rather do than take a space of land and create 3-dimensional mess of colors, textures and shapes. My own gallery – open to the world – and face upturned – “Did I do good?” “Do you like this one?”

It takes a little longer. Buckets of dirt that were easier to lift 3 years ago, need a little wheelbarrow or shovel help now. Hubby likes the tractor even better since it digs a hole a whole lot faster with a lot less effort.

Mound a small hill here.

A triangle shape there.

Some weird curvy shape in the corner.

Daddy used to say church for him was out on the lake in his little boat. He said it was where he felt closest to God. It has always been the garden for me. From Grandma Mac, who taught me the sweetness found in a weed, to my parents who let me walk in their footsteps as they planted a large garden space below their 3 acres of Christmas trees, I have found I like having dirt in between my toes and crusted in the crevices of my old bumpy fingers.

“If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land . . .” — Isaiah 1:19 

Life is good at our Eli Covenant house. It is being shaped. The driveway is being reclaimed and restructured. A new deck planned and etched out in our minds so that the front of the house is more inviting to those who visit. 3 months of letting the house speak to us of what it knows – what its Creator spoke to it so long ago. So we begin to carve its name into the palm of our hands just as Our Father has carved our names into His hand.

My Granddaughter said it best on Easter Sunday. “Love is love.”

mar 24 2016eSo with that, I think I will take this ol’ body off to bed. Time to reflect on the little miracles of the day and the big miracles that I probably missed observing but were happening all around me. And tomorrow – “I will walk through the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses. And the voice I hear, falling on my ear, the Son of God discloses…”

 

Come to My Mountain

“Come to My Mountain,” the words circled in my head,

I ignored it, of course, to cut my fingernails in bed.

A day already planned, jam-packed and quite full,

No time to climb mountains or act like a fool.

I’m going to the mountain,” a stranger hollered down,

“Wanna come? I can wait till you get your things ‘round.”

“Not now,” I replied, as I jerked at a weed,

“You can plainly observe my veggies going to seed.”

 

“Come to My Mountain,” the voice groused again.

“Go away!” I mumbled, “Would this day never end?”

“My children need guidance, the house is a wreck,

“There’s no time to dawdle or sit on the deck.”

Thus so it went, in tedious fashion,

Hours, then weeks and then months without passion.

The garden half weeded; still housecleaning needed,

While all of the time, my soul languished unheeded.

 

Day in and Day out, I struggled to comply

To the daily regimen of a week gone by,

I wake up each morning, one question at my hand,

Would my chores ever be finished, my vegetables canned?

“But chores never are,” answered the voice in my head,

“So come to my mountain and find peace instead.”

I looked at my house, at my garden and kids,

Their eyes just so hopeful; their love, oh, so big.

 

“Let’s go to the mountain,” I sighed as we packed,

And we walked out the door; the dishes still stacked.

“Come sit on My Mountain,” Our Father offered again,

“And you will have peace…a peace without end.”

We walked up that mountain, my children and I,

And sat at the feet of the One in the sky.

My chores and my garden still clamor for time,

But my children and I have found a more pleasanter clime.

akiane

(art by Akiane)

©Bcfk

4-29-06

 

Prayer on a Perfect Day

There is nothing better than sitting outside on a summer day. Bible reading completed. Hummingbirds so close that their wings buzz like giant bees flitting between the feeders. A wonderful hour of talking to my oldest “sister” friend. Temperatures hovering in the high 70’s, A soft breeze stirring the wind chimes. Veggies hanging off the vines, just waiting to ripen a little bit more. Baby birds chirping from a near by tree, and two brown dogs waiting to chase an orange ball.

birds c birds d birds b

” How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty!” Ps 84:1

It’s a world away from code red sirens warning of missile attacks; videos that show actual events…even death…in real time; ground wars hunting hidden tunnels; continual updates provided on every news networks every minute of every hour; passenger planes shot down by other missiles…video updates of bodies, luggage,remnants of people’s lives scattered over the countryside; borders and cities overrun by refugees; innocents sacrificed on all sides.

“O God, do not remain silent;
do not turn a deaf ear,
do not stand aloof, O God…
“Come,” they say, “let us destroy them as a nation,
so that Israel’s name is remembered no more.” Ps 83:1-2,4

I do not watch those news videos. I am a visual learner, so visual images stay with me in a very elemental way….imprinting themselves up on my brain for all time. Reading about events is hard enough as my mind creates the movie for me. Often, it is enough to bring me to my knees. Wars have a tendency to do that. My mom and dad often talked about WWII, and how war changed them and their friends during that time. My father often repeated the old saying that there are no atheists or agnostics in a fox hole.

“Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere..
Lord Almighty,
blessed is the one who trusts in you.” Ps 84:10-12

My life is blessed. A week ago, my husband and I purchased three acres of dreams. My children are grown and doing well in their life journey. I have gotten to play with the Grands every day this week. I have a “sister” friend that I haven’t seen in almost 10 years – and yet- we can still spend an hour on the phone and never run out of things to say. I can read David’s words in the Bible and see his world and our world merging – one on top of the other. So I pray as David did. I pray as Jesus did. Praise of thanks, prayers of awe, prayers for those that mourn; prayers that beseech, prayers for four baby birds in a small tree; seeking prayers, prayers of trust, prayers unending, prayers as He taught us to pray: “Our Father, who art in heaven…” Matt 6:9

birds a

“May He also rule from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.” Ps 72:8

(4 photos)

Lenten Journey/Journey of the Cross #32

It has been a long week for some reason. Haven’t really done that much, but every day was different. As if the wash cycle had switched to the spin cycle and then back to wash. In essence the water kept building up all week, soaking deeper and deeper until eventually, the machine just chugged to a stop. Eyes barely open; zoning out watching a favorite musical (Meet Me in St. Louis) and yawning every two seconds. Don’t know why I can’t write these journals at 5 o’clock instead of 10. And yet – here I sit – thinking about this journey. Introspection continues when I really wish I could just go to sleep. Is that how the disciples felt? What is it about this journey that pulls me in year after year after year?

And yet – it does -and has since I was a toddler and rejected a cuddly bunny for a crucifix that still hangs in my room.

“For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Matt 12:40

Early in His ministry, Rabbe Yeshua began dropping hints of what was to come. Metaphor upon metaphor. One repentance story linked to another repentance story. Steeped in Jewish wisdom and Jewish tradition, Rabbe Yeshua taught for three years in the physical heart of the earth…Israel. But this time, He would expand the heart to include Gentiles and eventually enlarge the heart to cover the world. Salvation in practice. Instead of unblemished animal sacrifices and intercessory priests, Rabbe Yeshua would drink …”…a cup is in the hand of the LORD…” Ps 75:6

He reached out, “Then I took the cup from the LORD’s hand…” Jer 25:15

Even in His first night’s journey in “the heart of the earth”, He reached into Himself – the WORD – and brought forth the words that would link the past to the future. An unbroken chain that ties us all to Our Father. From the first garden, designed to be heaven on earth, to the garden where He wept and let the cup begin to spill upon Him instead of letting it spill upon us. He took Our Father’s wrath and spun it into unending LOVE. Love for you. Love for me. This Rabbi Yeshua Barabbas did this for all of us.

“Rouse yourself! Rouse yourself! Arise, O Jerusalem, You who have drunk from the LORD’s hand the cup of His anger…This is what your Sovereign Lord says,
your God, who defends his people: “See, I have taken out of your hand
the cup that made you stagger; from that cup, the goblet of my wrath,
you will never drink again.” Is 51:17,22

The day of pain, suffering and agony is over.

lucasgrail

Lenten Journey 21

It has been a beautiful few days. Days spent more outside than in – especially today. Today was a day for digging out a useless garden, stacking bricks, hauling dirt, cleaning the patio, digging holes for a few plants, transplanting others, sharing a meal with daughter and family, and finally sitting in the hot tub with my husband while watching the sun set behind the lake.

It wasn’t much of a learning day, but it was a much needed busy day. Busy days give the mind time to digest all the new things buzzing around in my brain. Kinda like my old garden. I love gardens and this garden at our new house was kinda neat. It was one of the things that attracted us to this place. But living in a place changes things. While the garden was beautiful with herbs, flowers and a few perennials, it wasn’t functional for us and the plants were a little straggly. We hemmed and hawed about what to do, but finally decided it needed to go. At first, we thought it would be a fairly straight forward process, but it has been anything but that. First, we had to decide where to transfer the plants. Then, we found out the big, heavy garden bricks were glued. Hmmm….what do you do with two large garden bricks that are glued together? Smaller, cement bricks and stones were buried in the dirt. What do we do with those? (So far we have over 300 hundred – not counting stones and a few larger garden bricks) A one day project became more like a two week project. Slowly but surely, we are getting it done.

That garden has kinda been like my brain in this lenten journey. I started out thinking that this journey will be pretty straight forward. Follow Jesus on his journey toward Jerusalem. Review his parables. Get that wonderful feeling of being close to the Father. And – call it – mission accomplished. Here was my spiritual brain going on another lenten journey. Over the years. it was built with lots of care. Cemented together with lots of Biblical facts – enough to last a lifetime to my way of thinking. Produced fairly decent plants…but…it just isn’t situated in the right place anymore…and…it doesn’t produce as much as you hoped it would. Worse – more introspection starts to show all the heavy bricks that are buried in the dirt, blocking the fruit from growing as well as it should. sigh. Tricky stuff. Dismantle the whole thing? Transplant it? Enhance it?

It’s all about choice. So I am choosing to dismantle the garden in my spiritual brain. Reorganizing it. Re-situating it, so that it gets more Light and Water. Pulling out the worthless bricks that are impeding the roots of the plants that Our Father has planted there. Adding new facts from the journey and opening up space for the Father to transplant a few new plants that need the rich, fertile soil.

Rabbe Jesus is the Master Gardener. I just need to allow Him to do the work that He started when He began His walk 2000+ years ago. Prepare the soil, add the Water, make sure the garden is in the Light and pray and pray and pray…

“He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” ~ Jn 20:15

BTW: this is the way I learned this hymn. Sitting on the back porch of our home with dad playing guitar and singing with my mom.