You know, life’s just all about the garden! It did start there after all, in a place called Eden. (Genesis 1) Today, for example, started with a beautiful morning of worship (weeding out the week’s overgrowth of worldly cares from my heart). Then home to a lunch of mango-jicama salad (what’s more like a garden than a big bowl of crisp veggies and fruits?) Next I was off to a wedding shower for a young couple who will soon be starting their own home; so in love that one could easily imagine cupids lacing strands of pink roses over and around them. (Love blooms so sweetly in the dawn of life – much like my rose garden when the year is young). Home again, to canning another seven quarts of green beans (gardens’ bounty this year) for my daddy’s table. (Those in the winter of life lose the ability to do such things, same as winter’s ground will no longer be able to produce the bounty.) Just as the last steaming quart was placed on the pad of towels to cool, it was time for the quarterly revealing of our Secret Sunshine Sisters. The best thing about this fun activity is getting to know more about a sister in Christ than we previously had a chance to do in our busy lives. Friendships blossom and set seeds for many years to come. (Without the re-seeding of many of our flowers, landscape would grow bleak after a short season.) I have a patch of Four O’Clocks that are from the seed given me by my great aunt Treva Jones Darnell. That was around 30 years ago. These wonderful fragrant blooms drop seeds that just keep producing more and more abundantly. I gathered those and was able to move their happiness with me when we moved..MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

There’s some degree of effort to saving seed, planting, and caring for growing things, but the results are so very worth it. Just what about all this labor of love anyway? We know where that began too! Yes, back in Eden. The beast and the beauty, the burden and the bounty; if a thing is worth having, there’s a price to pay. From preparing the soil, to preserving the surplus, it can be delightful or burdensome, depending on one’s frame of mind. The beast of sin was driven out by the beauty of God’s amazing grace when He decided to let mankind continue to enjoy the marvelous creation of earth. Albeit, more work than they’d ever imagined would be the price to pay!  Not too unlike raising children; we can’t deny the blood, sweat, and tears involved in raising them, but having looked into those spellbinding eyes and watching them blossom into their own, makes it all worth while. I’ve always said my kids were my favorite flowers in my garden of life! Who hasn’t? We might also claim they can be the thorns too at times, right? Still worth it all!  “I love them a bushel and a peck, and a hug around the neck.” And I sure do miss my butterfly kisses:)

From our hour of laughter and gifting this evening, we were privileged to end our day with another hour of worship. Praising together our mighty God, the Healer of our souls; sowing seeds of fellowship; gathering grains of truth and wisdom; strolling hand in hand with Jesus through the garden of prayer.

I leave you with a quote from an English poet:

The kiss of the sun for pardon, The song of the birds for mirth, One is nearer God’s heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth.  (“God’s Garden” lines 13-16 by Dorothy Frances Gurney)