Gardens

I Come To The Garden

 

“I come to 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.

 

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,

And He tells me I am His own;

And the joy we share as we tarry there,

None other has ever known.”

 

You will find God in the garden. . . I do! I feel close to Him. I feel close to Mom too!  Her gardens were immaculate, not a weed. I think that was her peaceful spot, her “gazebo”  It was quiet there. . . we three kids were surely NOT there unless we had to be!  I Come To The Garden was her lullaby song for Ed.

 

When you think about it. . . a garden is like a life. Watching it grow, plants, maturing, bearing food, seeds forming and spreading, hope for another year, harvesting. . . withering and dying.

 

. . . but there are weeds, and they multiply fast.  They can take the nourishment right out of the soil/soul.  One has to be diligent to keep the garden clean and growing.  Life is like that . . . negative comments can suck the life right out of your soul.  Negative actions can keep us from being who we really are, the best, positive, helpful person God purposed us to be.

 

My father-in-law’s garden is beautiful.  He has had almost 95 years to get his garden in order.  I know it is hot and humid today, but I’m heading down to the garden. I need to get mine in order.  How about you?

 

Signs: Look Left, Right, Up, and Down

Eric Fellman wrote about fishing in the Chesapeake Bay with a friend. They would cruise around and stop.  His friend always seemed to know where the fish were, even though Eric had not seen any signs of them.  When he asked how he knew, his friend replied, “The birds were circling–they see a school of fish!”  It worked every time . . .who who would have thought looking up when fishing??

 

Eric’s message: If you can’t figure out something, look right and left, up and down,  Breathe. Listen.  Somewhere there will be a sign to make your problem easier.  

Eric’s prayer: “Lord, give me eyes to see and ears to hear the signs You put in my life today!”

 

Have you ever been frustrated trying to figure out a major problem in life?  You want the answer right now!  The more you fixate on the problem, the more anxious or angry you get.  Do you ever give up–This is just  too hard, impossible for me?  I HAVE!

 

Oh, this was so spot on for me today!  I love then that happens.  I am quite aware of the problem and even the solution, but I can’t get a handle on it.  Oh, I have tried countless solutions and none have worked very long–successes were short lived.  My brain is saying – YOU CAN’T–IMPOSSIBLE!  My heart is saying “I’m Possible!” The battle rages on.  Maybe my determination will win out this time.  Maybe I can sit quietly today, looking for signs or messages from God on what to do next.  How to fight this battle?  I will breath! Sit quietly. Ponder. Look right and left, up and down.  I know the answer is there because He promised: Matthew 19:26.

 

Thank you Eric, for your words of wisdom. I pray for strength and wisdom as I battle along this path.  What is your battle today?  Stop, breathe, listen, look.  The answer is there!

Our Comfort, Our Courtyard

I sit in my gazebo, my quiet place, my haven/heaven from the world. I look into the courtyard at the end of my house. The pine trees give it shade. The day lilies, hostas, and sweet peas give it a serene look of nature. I am reminded of those days when Rich would lay on his lounge chair in the shade. . . straw hat over his eyes, Kitty on his belly. He would ponder life or just rest. He often asked me to join him, but it always seemed that I had something pressing to do: meals, laundry, school planning.
 
But the summer of 2004, I did just that. We sat in the shade, listening to the wind blowing in the pines. We would talk, listen to 60’s music, laugh, and love our time on this little acre of land. We would think over our lives, the journey of life–its ups and downs. We didn’t know it would be his last summer then. But it was, and I am so glad that I could relax and enjoy time with him.
 
Rich taught me a lot about fear and trust, life and love, struggle and strength. He certainly made me a better me when I was with him.
 
How many times discouraged
We sink beside the way
About us all is darkness
We hardly dare to pray
 
Then through the mists and shadows
The sweetest voice er’ known
Says, “Child am I not with thee
Never to leave thee alone.
 
No never alone
No never alone
He promised never
to leave me
Never to leave me alone.

Failing, Struggling, Persevering

A day of pondering this week:
Psalm 27- “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?. . . Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.”
 
Thus far the Lord has led me on;
Thus far His power prolongs my days,
And every evening shall make known
some fresh memorials of His grace. . .
In vain the sons of earth or hell,
Tell me a thousand frightful things,
My God in safety makes me dwell
Beneath the shadow of His wings.
 
Both are such good references or “anchors” to hold on in times of insecurities. . . or when you’ve felt that you have failed. . . life is about failing and struggling. . . and learning. . . and persevering. . . and hoping. . and praying. Pace yourself for the long haul, for the distance. For the road of life is rugged, narrow, with ups and downs, twists and turns. But be sure and steadfast. Run the race with patience! There is victory ahead!
 
I hope you find strength and courage this week. If you fail and struggle, just keep going. A friend told me that is God’s way to keep us humble. . . . I am feeling very humble.

Love

I attended my great nephew, Derek’s wedding this afternoon. It was simple and elegant—outdoors on a beautiful sunny day with puffy white clouds in the blue sky. Derek’s best man was his six year old son, Jaxson. Lella’s twelve year old son walked her into a circle of family and friends. Afterwards, there was a meal and much laughter, hugs, and well wishes. There was a Jenga game for us all to write something for the bride and groom. . . advice or memory.
 
What do you say? What advice do you give? How can you put into words what is in your heart?
1. Love is doing, not just saying
2. Love is waking up every day and doing something for the other one that will make his/her day better.
3. Love is seeing to the needs and desires of your spouse first and foremost.
4. Love is patient.
5. Love is kind.
6. Love is from the heart, the soul.
7. Love is the blending of two people into one joyous union.
8. Love is honest, sure, and steadfast.
9. Love is the feeling that pours out even when you aren’t with the other one.
10. Love is for ALWAYS!
 
So what can you put on a Jenga block? Love like there is no tomorrow–one day there won’t be.
 
I just said. . . “SAY I LOVE YOU EVERY DAY—AND MEAN IT!

Strong Arms

Yesterday’s journal entry: Yuri is joining me in the gazebo. . . we will see how that works. “Faithful Lord, let me feel your ever lasting arms beneath me today” ~~Elizabeth Sherrill
 
Elizabeth had told about her father holding her up at age two. . . standing on his hands as he reached upward. She likened that to standing on the Lord’s hands. . . . I could see that picture. And I felt having His loving arms around me, protecting me today from all evil—the way I felt when Grandpa Robert or Great Grandpa Arthur Brown when they hugged me in a greeting on our Sunday afternoon/evening visits. I felt safe and happy! Years later I felt that same love and so much MORE with Rich. Those strong, loving arms have caused me to be able to stand strong, trusting, and knowing God is with me always. . . . and even though they are no longer here. . . I still find comfort, feeling their strength in my heart and memories!
 
Deuteronomy 33:27 —
The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and she shall thrust out the enemy from thee; and shall say destroy them.”

Dogs Are Man’s Best Friends

Dogs are man’s best friends. .  Uncle Don gave us a little mixed beagle puppy for our wedding.  Critter stole our hearts.  She watched outside at the Spencer Farm, had one litter, and made the moved back here to the Ranch in Delaware County.  Several years later we had very little money,and when she was ill, we had to love her enough to let her go. . . We were all broken hearted.

 

Riley, Golden Retriever/shepherd mix was our next fur baby. . . that even got to come and live inside.  My brother thought I had lost my mind, but I was starting  a new teaching adventure (Multi Age class of K, 1, and 2 students in the same room).  Riley became my relaxation buddy. . . The love between him and the girls was apparent.  He lived to be 14. . . he was blind and Rich was too ill to take care of him while I still taught.  The decision was made.  Jon Hatcher had held his dog, Serendipity when Seren  left this life. . . I thought then, that no way could I do that. . . but I did!  I held Riley in my arms as he slipped away.  I was sobbing when I walked out . . . my buddy was gone.

 

A month later we saw the article of the Border Collie/Australian mix puppies born in a snow drift on a state highway. . . three puppies survived.   Rich immediately wanted to go look at them.  I DID NOT want another dog yet. . . I was still grieving Riley. . . but I knew Rich would enjoy the company!  So, we went to just look!  Any dog lover knows that you don’t just go and look.  . . Lucky would be ours as soon as he was old enough.  Rich got to be with him for a little over a year. . . .when he passed away, Lucky became my protector.  He is 13 ½ and doing well. . . .moving a little slower, like me.

 

Somehow I got the idea that I needed a puppy–a Goldendoodle!  What was I thinking?  Yuri became mine after a just “look and see” trip.  He will be two in September. . . my lap dog.  I can’t imagine life without a dog to sit beside me, on my lap, or at my feet as I read and write.  Definitely God’s companions for us when we need them.

 

I Tim 4:4  . . .For every creature of God is good,  and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving.”  Some people have told me that animals don’t go to Heaven, because they have no soul.  I certainly am not smart enough to know the answer. . . but my heart says that Riley is walking with Rich in Heaven!!

I invite you to write your fur baby stories!