Friday, May 15, 2009

Gardening: What's NOT to Like?

The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there. ~George Bernard Shaw, The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God, 1932

I spent part of my morning out back in my garden. It's interesting how people react when I mention that I'm heading outside to the garden. Some automatically translate it to mean a vegetable plot, and ask when I can expect a harvest. Others picture their own own flowerbeds, and initiate a chat about all they need to do to whip it into shape.

No matter what kind of gardening one likes, I think we can agree that there's nothing quite like the sun on your neck and a gentle breeze cooling your forehead. That's part of the enjoyment. Before I had flowerbeds, back when we grew grass that required mowing, my flowers consisted of 6-7 containers for the patio. I hadn't caught the gardening bug yet.

Gardening is a taskmaster. No ignoring it, or the weeds will creep up to my bedroom windowsill. It's a commitment of time and resources, but once it's established, watch out. I never expected this much enjoyment three years ago, when I decided to dig up my backyard . I just figured I'd change the look. Whoaboy. Did I ever.

When I was a kid, I hated to weed. I complained that weeding was a big waste of time, because weeds always return (like dust). Funny what we learn when life ambles a few miles up the road.

I like how Mirabel Osler sums up the wonders of growing a garden: There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.

Today I'm smiling. Are you?

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009


He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home. - Goethe

I admit, I'm a big fan of Divine Design, HGTV's hit show hosted by designer Candice Olsen. I've seen her transform a cluttered basement into a comfortable escape for a mom in need of relaxation. And her kitchen makeovers--it's incredible what that imaginative woman can do with cramped space and outdated furniture!

But that word - outdated - has become so overused in our must-have, instant-gratification world, that if any of us blink a few times, everything will be deemed outdated. Life moves on. Trends change like the direction of the wind. Today's latest-greatest will soon be tomorrow's have-beens.

I hate to drop a bombshell, but I'm perfectly happy with my laminated kitchen countertops instead of granite. It's ok that my kitchen floor is still linoleum and not Italian tiles. Sure, I see changes I'd like to make, but those plans don't keep me awake at night.

Outdated isn't important to me. Contentment is.

I found myself cheering for this elderly woman on a Saturday makeover show, whose grown kids were trying to coax her into redoing her living room in a style she absolutely hated. "I like it the way it is," she said with a shrug. "It's my house, not yours."

I'm blessed to be married to a man who respects my opinions and supports my interests. I'm doubly blessed that together, we are content. It's a good life.

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Friday, May 8, 2009

If Wishes Were Horses

"If wishes were horses
Then beggars would ride."

This quote has surfaced several times lately, and although it's never attributed to anyone specific, it seems to be something many are dissecting these days.

Truth is, we can't live on wishes.
Wishes don't put food on the table.
They don't change a terminal disease.
They don't mend a friendship or launch a new business.

Wishes are the dandelions of a lawn. They're temporary escapes - a fun diversion while they last - but not the solid building blocks of life.

It's in the doing, not the wishing, that we're stretched. Today I'm wishing us all the kind of "doing" that makes our hearts celebrate the here and now, temper our concerns about the future, and focus in on what matters most.

This moment in time is a priceless gift from God.
How we approach it is our sacred choice.

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