Monday, June 6, 2011

My Master Gardener

I always think of my sins when I weed. They grow apace in the same way and are harder still to get rid of. ~Helena Rutherfurd Ely, A Woman's Hardy Garden, 1903

I know that most of my problems are ones that I allowed to be problems. For instance, the poison ivy growing absolutely wild entwined with my lovely patch of English ivy, my back yard of moss and weeds instead of grass, my one garden bed of filled with dandelions, and all those sprouts of a diseased tree determined to resurrect itself on roots that should have died months ago after we cut it down and treated the stump.

In our backyard we have a kind of sink hole. The kind that is caused when the builder clears the land and buries all the wood debris. Eventually, it rots away and the ground sinks. Plus, we have exposed wires that were meant to be buried, because they just buried them by placing sod over them and now, because of the drought killing off the grass and soil erosion when it does rain, some wires can be seen on top of the ground. We have such huge areas that need our attention and lots of hard, hard work.

I have worked hard in small areas taking one garden bed or more often a portion of a garden bed at a time. Although the ones I have done look nice, to keep them nice takes work and then there is another one to tackle. The poison ivy entwined with my lovely patch of English ivy...well, we might just have to give up on cutting and treating it a bit at a time, because the stuff is so resilient with such a strong defense against human intervention, and just kill off everything in the area, saving some English ivy to start over.

I have been hand watering the food and herb gardens with rain water caught in our barrels, but it really needs to rain again. The grass is thinning and browning among growing bare dirt patches in the front yard. Yesterday the wind kicked up and we hoped, but no rain fell.

A few days ago, I found myself sitting down on the shaded landing of our back stairway to rest and cool off in the quiet of nature. My husband did such a lovely job on the deck and I really do like that landing he added, but that deck will need to be varnished again soon too. Everything we have requires work to maintain, get into shape, or just to keep from falling apart. And, even when you do all those things, something will break, or a weed will grow where you do not want it, or things will rot. It is neverending!

There I was crying softly all alone, feeling sorry for myself, and thinking everything was dust in the wind. What will it matter if we clean up all the yards and gardens, my Lord? Weeds will encroach again. Bugs will eat the plants. It may take years to clear the wooded area of the poison ivy, if we ever can. It is all futile. It has no lasting value at all.

I feel God has been telling me to do with what we have and I have been trying to do just that and be content with the work I must do, but I allowed myself to explore the depths of my heart to reveal what has value to me right now. Not much of anything...well, there are some things. Maybe I was just...tired. I looked over to my herb garden, now looking so well cared for, and thought about how the things that make me happiest are things I work to produce. While they are not everlasting, they are pleasing for a time. I can now, at least for this time, enjoy the appearance of my herb garden. God must feel the same about us at times...perhaps those times are too short-lived for Him as well.

He works on us, has His angels help us, and for a time we might meet His expectations of us. He may even sit back and enjoy watching us as we grow for a time, but just like my garden, He must attend to us repeatedly because some are not as resistant to the pests that steal away from our spiritual vitality, weeds crowd in, and we wilt without His Light and Water of Life. He does not give up, but must continually be the Master Gardener.

So, I continue watering, weeding, and working my gardens....

~ My Lord, thank you for never giving up on me and thank you for this encouraging thought gift that I will keep close to my heart while I work in my gardens. ~


  1. Wonderful post Linda.... I saw so much of myself in it. First because my own yard and house has suffered so much neglect over the last year as I have been struggling so financially. And now that things have eased up I have the funds (and emotional energy) to attend to things... and it is so. much. work. Even letting things go for a short time means so! much! work! And I can see myself as the garden/house who grows and languishes alternately. Thankfully He is a much better and more diligent caretaker than I am♥

  2. Diane, exactly. I have to say that stressing the plants, as a drought does, naturally "weeds out" the less hardy plants. I suppose that happens on the spiritual side as well. So, the fact that we are still planted must mean that He has pleasure in us staying where we are...or maybe we need more stressing? Let's hope for the first one!!!!


Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.