|(This is my actual backyard garden)|
When Gary was candidating to come to Platte, some of the ladies asked me, "Do you garden?"
I stammered out an apologetic, "No, not really."
They recovered quickly and said that was fine. "Beth loved flowers," they explained.
My heart sank as I wondered how disappointed some would be if I didn't garden like the previous pastor's wife. I put it out of my mind and forgot about it until we moved in.
One of our new friends proudly showed me the garden spot out back that she and some other ladies had graciously weeded before we came. I smiled and thanked her, but honestly, I had no idea what was growing there. Nothing was blooming, and all I could think about was how I would disappoint her when I let it get overgrown with weeds.
Well, lo and behold, I started to spend a few minutes most days looking at those plants and pulling a few weeds. I could recognize grass and thistles. Gary pointed out a few trees that were started to grow, so I chopped those off.
We've gotten lots of moisture this spring and summer, so the garden has done well. Things started to get buds and then they bloomed:
And as they bloomed, I got more and more interested in my garden.
I spent a little more time each day. I pulled off the wilted petals and watched to see when more would open,
|The phlox is just starting to bloom!|
|I thought these tall plants might be weeds, but they started blooming and they're so pretty!|
On Tuesday I went along with a new friend on a garden tour. I saw so many neat things that I could hardly sleep that night. My mind was racing with ideas for what I could plant in our yard!
We went to lots of homes on that tour, and it seems like almost every place had something they pointed out that had died. They talked about replanting trees or plants that just hadn't made it. I was reassured that I could garden even if I didn't do it perfectly.
I also heard lots of talk about "creeping jenny" and how it can threaten to take over a garden if you're not careful.
|Don't let that cute little flower fool you - this is an annoying weed!|
Besides spending time in my garden, I also find myself wanting to reread some fiction books that deal with gardening. The Secret of the Rose series by Michael Phillips, Some Wildflower in My Heart by Jamie Langston Turner, and A Garden to Keep by Jamie Langston Turner are some of my favorites.
I remember these christian authors beautifully explaining many spiritual principles as they used flowers and gardening in their novels. I want to visit those stories again and take note of the little details I probably missed before, now that I have more of a gardener mindset.
I know I want to make sure I'm spending just as much time in the garden of my heart as I am out in my literal garden. I need to water it with a steady soaking of God's word. There are stubborn habits and negative thoughts to pull, and I need to ask for help when I'm not sure what's growing there. I need to take notice of the promising buds that appear out of nowhere, and enjoy the beauty when God allows something to finally bloom in my heart.
I hope I'll remember that every time I look at the flowers in my back yard.
"The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever." (Isaiah 40:8 NIV)
Do you like to garden? How can focusing on God help you to grow the garden of your heart with as much care as a flower or vegetable garden?
(You can check out a few more of my garden pictures in my Facebook gardening album)