He Walks With Me - My Garden
"You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water." Psalm 63:1
Like many of you, our life has been hard lately. I think with a big family someone is always going through something and you have hard times. But, there's regular hard life and then there's really hard life. Sometimes it gets comical when your life becomes hard thing after hard thing after hard thing and then something else hits. It's like, really? For us, there have been relationship struggles, financial struggles, health struggles, and then my husband cut his foot with a chainsaw. Usually humor is how we get through things. Some of our favorite stories to tell are about how God brought about a really funny situation in the midst of some really difficult times. As weird as it may sound, we've tried to laugh about this, especially since this has been the 2nd time he has done this (the last time was on his leg 15 years ago). But it's hard to laugh when you see your husband, who is normally so strong and able, hobbling around barely able to walk. It's hard to laugh when you see an infection around the wound. And since he's been down and out, I've been making sure he is taken care of and I've been having to pick up the extra work around the house (I'm pretty spoiled and he does a lot around here!). Add his struggles with everything that's already been going on around here and I find myself worried and anxious and stressed out. Not how I normally am! I feel like I've been carrying a weight around on my shoulders from all of it. I'm at the point that my eyelid is twitching for no reason and I have to check if my toothbrush is wet to make sure I've brushed my teeth.
There have been pressures from the outside and pressures from the inside. I've let fears and doubts in. I feel like I should know better than this. I feel like I should be stronger than this. I've been through harder things than this, much harder, and I should have learned these things already. This should be easy! These hard times haven't brought out the best in me. I haven't been who I want to be. I set the atmosphere for my home and it hasn't been a happy place lately. I hate that! I get mad at myself for being short with everyone. I feel like I'm not even the one in pain, but I'm the one being the pain. My sweet friend always says, pretty is as pretty does. And by that definition I was feeling uuuuuugly. I've still got a lot to learn.
When I'm struggling I sorta pull inside myself. I kinda hunker down to weather the storm. And I draw close to God. I talk to Him constantly. I read His word and remind myself of His truths. I put on uplifting music and praise God. And it is all comforting, but sometimes, it doesn't feel like enough. I get desperate for Him. Sometimes I really just need to FEEL God near me. I need to FEEL His presence. Does anyone else ever struggle like that too?
So, what do I do? I go to a place of peace (no, not the bathroom. There' always a least one of my little kids standing outside the door trying to talk to me!) I go to the place where He is always near. I go to the place where I can breathe deeply. I go outside to His beautiful creation. Stillness feeds my soul.
Thankfully, after a few years of dreaming it up, I finally got to create a little flower garden around the rocks in our yard. We had kind of a mess up there since we had a new well put in last year. I wanted to try to hide the new well sticking out of the ground in the middle of our yard. My new garden is not much, but it's a place that I can go and meet with God. I can feel the gentle breeze, hear the birds singing, smell the sweet earth, and get my hands dirty!
I had a lot of help this spring when I created this little rock garden. My teenage son and I worked during the day and my husband pitched in a lot at night after he worked all day. Like everything we do, this was created on a budget. Although I did buy some annuals, most of the flowers and bushes in here were split from other plants or moved from other places in our yard. Our soil here in the mountains is red clay (avert your eyes people from the midwest!) so we always bring in a lot of topsoil when we start a new planting area. All the smaller rocks in here came from our creek bed and were just picked up by hand and hauled up here. It took a lot of sweat equity, but it's sooooo worth it!
Then the fun part of bringing in the plants and flowers! I'm sure I'll move things around over time, but for now I tried to place them in a spot where they look good and they'll be happy.
It's fun to plant little things in the nooks and the secret spots in the rocks.
The earth laughs in flowers. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
As the season has progressed, the bushes and flowers have filled in and recovered from being transferred and it all looks so pretty now! A lot of times in the evenings, my little kids are all playing and running around and it's just me in here. I can just walk through here alone and feel the presence of God. The other day, the "heaven light" (what my oldest daughter called it when she was little) was filtering through the trees and the air was so sweet and I just felt the love of God wash over me. It helped me forget how big my problems are and remind me how big my God is. It restored my soul and I have carried that peace in my heart.
In The Garden - C. Austin Miles
I come to the garden alone, While the dew is still on the roses; And the voice I hear, falling on my ear, The Son of God discloses.
And He walks with me, and He talks with me, And He tells me I am His own, And the joy we share as we tarry there, None other has ever known.
He speaks, and the sound of His voice Is so sweet the birds hush their singing; And the melody that He gave to me Within my heart is ringing.
I'd stay in the garden with Him Tho' the night around me be falling; But He bids me go; thro' the voice of woe, His voice to me is calling.
Hope you enjoyed my little rock garden tour! I pray you feel the peace of God wash over you today! If you want to hear the music to the song, In The Garden, along with some more pictures of my garden watch my video below. :)
Thank you all for following along!
Take care! Maria
P.S. My husband is getting stronger everyday and yesterday the infection looked like it was getting better. Praise God!