Sunday, July 18, 2010

Gardening with God

Why do we look for weeds instead of flowers in our daily walk?

If you’re like me, I love to garden! I love spring for the benefits of great smelling lavender, roses and herbs. I have a couple of gardens in my backyard. I have a border of roses along my fence of all different colors. I prefer roses that have a long lasting smell and vibrant color. I also have incorporated lavender as well because the bees seem to prefer it. If you can attract the bees, your flowers will bloom like crazy. Plus an added benefit of the lavender is that our hummingbirds love it from the occasional sugar water we have out for them.

I also have two gardens that my kids each have. In one, I have a dwarf, granny smith apple tree and the apple blossoms in the spring are something unforgettable and beautiful. Caitlyn has some mini roses in her garden and a rose bush that produces some vibrant purple/pink flowers. Kailee on the other hand has mini roses and night blooming jasmine so that we have fragrance all day and night long. We also have some freesia plants that grow in containers alongside our spa. Love that tropical smell!

I also tried my first herb garden this year after trying to grow a raspberry plant for two years and saw no results. So we uprooted that, and now have strawberries, cilantro and chocolate mint growing. We had an early snowfall this year, which dumped some two feet of snow and killed our tomato and basil plants. So we will replant in the spring and try again. Gotta love growing your own produce. I really want to try to plant a lemon and orange tree if not for the blossoms but for the fruit as well. Plus think of all that freshly made orange juice and lemonade.

It is often too easy to become distracted by being ungrateful in our daily lives. Too often we spend our prayer lives asking for our own personal wants and needs, our adversities to be lifted, our trials to be eliminated or shortened, occasionally toss in the needs of a friend or love one and we forget to thank God. We forget when our prayers are answered to stop and say thanks to Him. We often pray with needs in mind but not thanksgiving for what we already have. Another beautiful day, filled with the breath of life, a healthy body, loving kids, warm homes, a car that starts when you turn the key. How come we take for granted this things and think we don’t need to thank God for them. Is it because we think we deserve it or because God just does it without being asked or is it that we simply take such things for granted?

“Always be joyful. Pray continually, and give thanks whatever happens. That is what God wants for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NCV).

I have to pass along a story from Sidney Connell I read recently. When her brand-new bicycle was stolen, she called her dad with the bad news. He expected his daughter to be upset. But Sidney wasn’t crying. She was honored. “Dad,” she boasted, “out of all the bikes they could have taken, they took mine.” Gratitude is always an option.

I believe we should make gratitude our default option and you may just find yourself giving thanks for the problems of life.

Management consultant Robert Updegraff wrote:

“You ought to be glad for the troubles on your job because they provide about half your income. If it were not for the things that go wrong, the difficult people with whom you deal, and the problems of your working day, someone could be found to handle your job for half of what you are being paid. So start looking for more troubles. Learn to handle them cheerfully and with good judgment, as opportunities rather than irritations, and you will find yourself getting ahead at a surprising rate. For there are plenty of big jobs waiting for people who are not afraid of troubles “.(Alan Loy McGinnis, “The Balanced Life: Achieving Success in Work and Love (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1997), 56-57.

As you can see as a gardener, sometimes, all I can do is find those irritating weeds that grow in my garden. You know the ones that despite how many weed killers or organic home treatments you try, so many inches of mulch, they just keep on coming back. We need to indwell a garden of grace. God’s love sprouts around us like lilacs and towers over us like Redwood pines, but we go on weed hunts. How many flowers do we miss in the process?

If you look long and hard enough you will always find something to complain about. So quit looking! Lift your eyes off the weeds and major in the grace of what God has to offer.


Mari said...

I love to look at and enjoy flowers too. God has blessed us with so much to enjoy. You are right about looking for flowers instead of weeds!

Just Be Real said...

Good point. Why do we look for the weeds before the beauty. Why the negative before the positive. Our society unfortunatley is based on negativisim. blessings to you Kat. Thanks for the post.

NanaNor's said...

Oh Kat what a wonderful post today!!! I have determined to have a thankful heart but so often it is easy to forsake and forget stopping immediately and giving thanks to the Father. I love the idea of a garden of grace...freely given and freely bestowed on others.
Hugs today.

Elle Bee said...

What a pretty post. I love any chance to count my blessings and show gratitude to God, so what you wrote really spoke to me! I'm so interested in your chocolate mint plant! I bet that will be fun to try!

Rita said...

Kat, I just got my post ready this afternoon for tomorrow morning, saying that I needed to thank God for helping me get all this painting done instead of telling Him how big the job was. Then when I got up from a nap, I read your post. I am guilty of looking at the weeds instead of smelling the flowers! Great post!

Denise said...

Amen, loved this post.

Crown of Beauty said...

I love this post, Kat.

Like you, I'm also a gardener...and my small modest garden gives me hours of pure delight on the days I work there.

I love lavender! Yardley is my favorite bath soap. But Lavender tea is also so delicious.

And cilantro on soups and pasta is great.

I loved your bike story, and the management consultant's insight as well.

Weeds will always be there, so I try not to be hassled by them. Sometimes in my case, they serve as excellent ground cover, and can even be long as they don't crowd out the beautiful effect I want.

Thanks for this post - I could really relate to everything you wrote.


Elizabeth Mahlou said...

You are right -- at least about me. I do look for the weeds. I like your idea of looking past the weeds and seeing the beautiful garden.

Along other lines, I have sent the postcards (finally) to Kailee. I hope she receives them in good condition.

Also, please note that my Blest Atheist blog went down. Instead of resuscitating it, I chose to replace it with another, 100th Lamb ( for reasons that I explain there. The content is the same, and I am moving the BA posts there, including the Blest Guest posts.

Joyce said...

This was nice to read on a Monday morning...starting the week with a grateful heart sounds like a good plan to me : ) Happy Monday!

Just Breathe said...

Very good story. Thank you. I don't garden anymore and I've never had a vegetable one. Maybe one of these days I will grow one, sounds like fun.