442. Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity. ~Lindley Karstens

In my garden there is a large place for sentiment.
My garden of flowers is also my garden
of thoughts and dreams.
The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers,
and the dreams are beautiful.
~Abram L. Urban

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Although I began gardening quite some time before I retired, I had little time to devote much quality time to it. Now that I own my time, the garden has grown a great deal and been refined considerably, and it continues to be a constant source of delight for me. Come rain or shine, winter, spring, summer or fall, I walk its paths looking for the presences and realities that feed my soul. From day to day they are different, and there are times when the abundance of them is less or they are harder to find, but I never fail to find something to feast on, even if it’s just a tiny morsel.

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My garden, like any garden is still a work in progress however, and so it is never the same from season to season. The lay of the land may remain more or less the same, but the garden itself is dynamic and always in a state of flux–new things are planted each year, a few older or weaker ones die, and sometimes I find treasures growing in the garden that I didn’t have to plant or sow. And to insure that there is always something in bloom, I have tried to plant flowers in that flower at differing times so that when one group is spent, another is beginning to bloom. My garden, like any garden is still a work in progress however, and so it is never the same from season to season. The lay of the land may remain more or less the same, but the garden itself is dynamic and always in a state of flux–new things are planted each year, a few older or weaker ones die, and sometimes I find treasures growing in it that I didn’t have to plant or sow. And to insure that there is always something in bloom, I have tried to plant things that flower at differing times so that when one group is spent, another is beginning to bloom.

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A woman who had never been in my backyard visited me for the first time recently, and as we wandered around, she kept saying, “Wow! You should have been an artist,” and I thought to myself, “No, God’s the artist; I’m just the schemer, planner, planter, and steward of His gifts.” It was a nice compliment though, and in many ways, I do think a garden is a reflection of the person who designs it and brings it into reality. On another occasion my daughter brought a friend to see my yard, and her comment was “Wow! It’s like walking into another world,” and that’s exactly the feel I’d been trying to accomplish. I always wanted my garden to be a tranquil place of beauty blessed by the kind of peace the world cannot give. I deliberately designed it to be a welcoming place, a place of delight, so that no guest leaves it without being blessed by its beauty, and above all else I created it to be a place that speaks of God, His abundant gifts, and His amazing grace.

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Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. ~1 Corinthians 1:3   ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.

 

9 thoughts on “442. Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity. ~Lindley Karstens

  1. First, the pictures, as always, are stellar.
    I love how you stated that you now “own your time”—I like that.
    The other thing I like is your deferment of your being an artist—you are indeed an instrument in the hand of the Master Artist–with your talents in the yard, your gift with words and empathy, your eye for color and arrangement–and you are, daily, a blank canvas–prepared to bless all who come around—
    blessings my friend —
    Julie

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    • Oh my, what kind and lovely sentiments you lavished upon me tonight, my friend. Thank you so much for your encouragement! I’ve been thinking about you all day. James family was very dysfunctional too. I loved his dad and grandparents but my oh my was his mom a piece of work. I used to refer to her as evil incarnate at times. She didn’t live too much longer after Nikki was born and Nikki never spent any time alone with her. She remembers her a little bit but that’s about it. I always tried not to say anything negative about her to Nikki when she was growing up, but sometimes now I’ll reveal some things about her, if for no other reason than that she’ll understand her dad a little better. James is a great father and grandfather, but he can be a bit grumpy at times. I think it’s nothing short of a minor miracle that he is as good a man as he is. I guess all families have a skeleton or two in the closet. Some are definitely hard to manage and understand. I pray you have a great weekend, my sweet friend. Love and hugs, Natalie 🙂

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      • I totally understand—Gregory’s dad was the catalyst as he was such a horrible alcoholic–the spirals have continued outward with his mom’s enabling—
        All three siblings are truly damaged goods and just as you, I marvel over how well Gregory turned out—but I know much of his temper, his frustrations, his inabilities reach back to that very wounded little boy—
        If parents could only see what they do to their children. . .thanks for the warm thoughts and prayers!!!
        hugs to you—cookie

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  2. I love your beautiful flowers, and I love how you talk about your garden!! 🙂 I adore gardens! 🙂 I also love the garden metaphor for life, we have to tend the garden within as well as the one without, so maybe one day they reflect eachother 🙂 ❤

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