Blog under construction! Bear with me as I develop and redesign my blog….
As the days grow warmer and garden shops fill with plants, flowers, and shrubs, it seems only appropriate to take a closer look at creation. Join me for the next three weeks as I write about observing and enjoying creation. Also, I want to hear from you! Share your creation stories with me. At the end of the series, I will have a drawing for all who leave a comment on my blog. If I pick your name, I will send you a copy of Caring for Creation in your own Backyard by Loren and Mary Ruth Wilkinson (one of my favorite creation books).
Week 1: The Joys (and trials) of Yard Work
Since March, I, along with assorted students working off demerits, have spent a good number of Saturdays and many afternoons working in the yard.
When our family pulled into the driveway of our new home last July, the surrounding yard looked like an overgrown jungle. Our front yard has no grass; it is filled with hostas, daylillies, and weeds. There was simply too much interior work that we wanted to complete before school started to even think about tackling the outside. So for the past eight months or so, I have been planning and contemplating my plan of attack. Initially, I battled moments of feeling overwhelmed and discouraged. I knew from a financial standpoint that I couldn’t call “Joe-the-Landscaper” and have someone else do the work. Whatever work was going to happen would be the result of hard work from Brad and me and the unfortunate SBS student.
At the beginning of the process, I felt like there was nothing to show for my work besides heavy bags of weeds–that needed to be loaded into the trunk of the car and driven to the dumpster–and an aching back. I struggled with discouragement. Shouldn’t I see some results? The day eventually came when even my critical eye began to notice a difference. Instead of one giant mass of green in the middle of the yard, I could see space between plants and the wood chips that covered the ground. From pulling weeds, to removing shrubs and small trees, to creating rock borders, order, shape, and even beauty met the eye. Further motivation came from those who noticed the difference and commented on the slowly-taking-shape-yard.
I’m not the first person to write about the parallels of the spiritual life and gardening. Just like our yards needs tending so do our souls. Sin has a way of creeping into our lives like weeds and left unattended can wreak havoc on our hearts. The act of repentance and righting our wrongs requires humility and takes time. It is not an overnight process and often it feels like the same issues keep cropping up again and again (just like the weeds in my yard). We become stuck in our habits and choices, making change difficult. Yet, there is hope. One day you wake up and by God’s grace you notice that sin’s hold isn’t nearly as strong as it used to be. What was once an overgrown mass now has been pruned and shaped by God’s love and forgiveness. A small flower begins to push through the soil, offering reminders of beauty and new life.
More work still needs to be done in our yard. There are sections that haven’t even been touched yet. But come Saturday, you will find me outside with shovel and bucket in hand ready to tackle the next round of yard work.
What are some of the joys or trials you have experienced lately in your yard?