Today I decided to garden.
The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail.
Dogs and I had breakfast and our walk after the kids went to school. It’s what I always do, at least most mornings. I looked at my to-do list.
All stuff I should be doing. It’s on the list after all. Gardening wasn’t on the list for the day. Did you hear that? Gardening… was…NOT… in the plan for the day.
But what did I do? I let the dogs outside, and they were thrilled I was coming with them. I pulled on my gloves, gathered the tools and headed to the closest flower bed that needed attention. I spent the whole morning, and part of the evening out there, pulling weeds, watering, plucking dead flowers off of the plants growing beautifully in the sunshine. I listened to music and drank tea. And not once, did I return to that to-do list for the day.
What a rebel.
I’m learning, slowly, that I can’t just do all the time. Though believe me there was plenty of weeds to be pulled, so I was doing, but remarkably enough, it didn’t feel as much like it would’ve had I been “doing” that to-do list.
Setting a boundary is hard. Learning to take a breath and do what I love, what refreshes me, what fills me up, rather than what is required is hard. It’s hard because of lifelong habits of trying to live up to expectations. But the silly thing is when I think about it is, no one is here expecting me to get that list done. I have the freedom, when kids are at school in the care of others, to make my time work for me. So I chose to garden, which slowed me down and filled me up after several very busy of to=do lists, coping with chronic health concerns, missing Hubs, dealing with kidlet crises, going to appointments, waiting for answers, wondering, worrying about our future and the answers we have not yet received, the decisions yet to be made.
And I realized something as I slowed down, dug in the dirt, soaked in the sunshine, pups piled under a tree close. I realized that I was praying. And thinking hopeful thoughts. And feeling more and more grateful for the time I have to pray and hope and garden. I realized that in that moment in the garden, I was ok. That all would be okay, even if nothing or everything changed in our circumstances, even if we had to wait a little longer for answers and decisions…even if… even if…
I realized we would be okay. When my brain stopped the worry-whirl, I saw God with me, giving us a life full of His Goodness even in the waiting, and wondering, and crises and cares. He has been with us through it all. This wasn’t our first time waiting for something…someone…
We would be okay…even if…
It reminded me of a passage in Isaiah, from chapter 58: ”
I will always show you where to go. I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places— firm muscles, strong bones. You’ll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry. You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You’ll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again.
Just like I am there to water the flowers to make sure that they survive in the heat of summer…
Just like He carries me through each day even with the struggles of living sometimes…
He nurtures. He provides. He gives us a full life even when there’s tough stuff around. So just breathe… and garden, pray, be grateful and wait in hope. He’s working on the rubble.