Everyone has a place. A place that is so marvelously special that you are aware of the instantaneous solitude and peace that will come as soon as the thought of it crosses your mind. This is the place where you may feel inspired and refreshed. This is a place where you may retreat when you have decisions to make or merely just feeling gratitude. For some it could be as grand as a weekend camp house or as simple as a front porch laden with Boston Ferns and out of season Christmas lights twinkling in the sometimes well manicured hedges.
Shortly after my divorce I started mowing my yard and keeping my flower beds all by myself with the exception of the occasional help from my daughters. Initially this was an endeavor that was born out of necessity while I worked on my budget. It took some time, but I really began to improve my skills and enjoy the fruit of my labor.
As time went by I truly began to cherish the moments in the flower beds. I started listening to Podcasts and music. That soon grew into devotional and prayer time. This was time that I used to talk to the Lord about everything on my mind. My worries, my praises, my past….my future, my daughters, I talked to him about everybody and everything. Poor guy, I am so blessed to know that he wants a relationship with me and never gets tired of me coming to him. He knows that I can talk.
Yard work was even where I began to be inspired to write…who knew that pushing a mower would be so inspiring. My yard and my porch were being morphed into the most peaceful place I have ever known. The front porch has hosted many friends, relatives and friends of my children as well as neighbors over the years and it continues to welcome anyone who wants to visit.
As peaceful and serene as home has become to my family it still takes determination to stay on top of the chores. I have turned down numerous social engagements to mow before the rain hits. I never thought I would be an adult who plans her life around mowing and maintenance.
Keeping a yard is very hard work and every so often I do need to enlist the help of professionals. The hotter it gets outside, the more I remind the Lord that we can just as easily chat inside until it cools off. But, If you miss a few days or weeks of maintenance the weeds will start to creep into the flower beds. Consistency and planning are the key. Just like our spiritual lives, the more time we take off of nurturing our relationship with the Lord, the easier it becomes to let sin creep in. The weeds are barely noticeable at first glance but before you know it, your bed can be fully engulfed in hard to kill weeds.
In the Bible gardens were the backdrops of many pivotal moments and instructions. Genesis 3:8 tells us that Adam and Eve heard God walking in the garden in the cool of the day. This was my first clue that one should not work in the flower beds midday….Wait until the cool of the day. They heard him and hid. The Garden of Eden and its splendor was the location of the original sin and the place where God made his presence known.
Jesus even grew quite perturbed when his disciples could not stay awake to sit and watch for him…not even for one hour..while he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. This garden was the location of many painful prayers and is now the place of the oldest olive trees in the world.
God has always used his glorious landscape to catch the attention of his children and introduce them to a closer walk with him.
“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”
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