Growing and Being Grown in God’s Garden – Chapter 7 of “No Ordinary Home”

Ok, Ladies, no one else offered to take up this discussion so you’re stuck with me.  😆

You may all rue your decision by the time we’re done. 😉

I am not a gardener.  I do not like gardening.  I like having gardens.  I like having produce from my gardens. This does not good gardening math make.

I have this fantasy of living in a house with beautiful gardens and lush greenery all about it.  I want a cutting garden that will allow me a plethora of different flora to reside IN my home.  (Considering I have 6 daughters, I need LOTS of garden so that each of them may produce a bouquet.  Although I will say BondServant is more into the buying thing anymore than the picking thing.  This is good – she was THE WORST about picking things by the roots. 😉 Don’t tell her I said that.) These lovely gardens will be rich in color and fragrance and not only that, but they will change by the season.  Not to be forgotten would be the multitude of butterflies and hummingbirds that would visit my beautiful garden.   So, when I read Diane’s words to Carol “What is your heart for this yard? Pray for what you want.”  I was struck.

In all honesty, I have no heart for this yard.  (I think that is part of the reason I was dreading doing this chapter.) I have no heart for this house.  It’s not that I don’t like this house – it has been a HUGE blessing.  But, with the new things that Father is doing in my heart, my heart is leaving this house.  (left?)  I’m not discontent, I simply don’t have a vision for a future in this place.  So, if that is you, please join me in having a heart for the next place that Father moves us – you and me – and we will all talk about how to have  – and how to be – a garden that glorifies our Lord.

All in all, this chapter was hard for me.  Not just because I have no vision for a future in this house, but because our whole future seems so up in the air right now.  When she spoke of pruning, UGH, I could feel the sheers.  I know the sound of cutting away the old to make room for the new.  I am embracing this time of being pruned – I ache for it, in the way one aches for labor – but it is hard. (Aching for labor meaning, being weary of the heavy burden of carrying this child and longing to see the fruit of the process.)

For me, the hardest part of this pruning is in knowing which “branch” to submit to Father for His work, next.  I was just sharing with the Lord this morning that I’m at the point that I do not know what to do. My list is long and I am racing inside trying to be about it, but I don’t know where to start….  I can’t even plan my own projects, so, why is it that I would even allow myself to believe, even for a moment, that the Master Gardener is needing ME to decide which of my branches to submit to Him? Why can I not hold fast to the knowledge that His timing, His way of pruning is best? Oh Lord, help me to hold still as I allow Your loving hand to remove all that is in the way of the new growth that You desire to do in and through me.

Although I do not like gardening, I love the lessons to be learned in the garden – those of knowing the Master Gardener, those of trusting the Master Gardener, those of seeing beauty in the midst of bare branches, those of seeing fruit – luscious fruit – brought forth,  those of learning to fully depend on my Master Gardener for all that I need.

Oh Lord, help me have eyes to see the hope of growth and the beautiful promise of death – death to self, to the things that hinder – that brings new life.  Oh Lord, thank You, that in Your garden death is never without the promise of life.

Ladies, of all the questions that appealed to me this time, the one that grabs me most is: What parables does/is Jesus teaching you in your garden?  This may be your literal garden, or it may not.  But, share with us – what do you know of our Master Gardener?

8 Responses to “Growing and Being Grown in God’s Garden – Chapter 7 of “No Ordinary Home””
  1. Heidi says:

    I have written a couple posts regarding our garden. One on building raised bed gardens here:

    The other on companion planting here:

    I think what I have learned the most through gardening is that when you grow things in balance with how God created His creation, most natural predators stay at bay. In our lives, if we live, breathe and have our being according to His Word and live in obedience to Him, most things will fall into place. Of course this doesn’t mean that we live a blissful, trouble-free life, but we will be avoiding many of the pitfalls that others suffer due to disobedience. All of this would make more sense if you read about companion planting. We are not meant to live as an island unto ourselves. We were not meant to be “protected” by artificial means. We are to be among a variety of other Christians and we will support and protect each other. We will build each other up and in the process we will be a beautiful symphony of His love and beauty to be a light to a dying world.

  2. Kristine says:

    Good morning, Dawn!

    I haven’t read the book you are discussing, but I can certainly relate to this statement: “But, with the new things that Father is doing in my heart, my heart is leaving this house. (left?) I’m not discontent, I simply don’t have a vision for a future in this place.” That describes very well how I feel about my own house. I, too, am acutely aware of the pruning sheers in my own life.

    If I dare step in to comment without reading the book, I have learned a lesson or two from gardening …

    The most vivid lesson is that weeds are most easily removed when they are small – before they have developed deep roots. That truth applies to spiritual weeds as well – bad habits, ungodly attitudes – sin.

    Also, weeds are easiest to remove after a heavy, soaking rain. I haven’t quite figured out the spiritual equivalent to rain. conviction of the Holy Spirit? an outpouring of God’s love?

    I’ll be thinking about that for a while today. I certainly have a lot of weeding to do…

  3. Dawn – I hope you had a wonderful weekend! This chapter was hard for me, too, because I am a horrible gardener. I just kill stuff all the time because I know nothing about gardening. But therein lies my big lesson. I can’t do it by myself! I need a master gardener to tell me when to plant, when to water, when to fertilize….I need someone standing over my shoulder telling me every little thing to do. Just like life. I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t even know what the finished product is supposed to look like. I need The Master Gardener to direct my every path.
    I did love what she said about wanting a mature garden and yard. I’m the same way. My grandmother’s house (“home” for me) is huge and full of plants and trees that I’m sure were there long before the house was built in 1890 (and it’s in incredible shape, btw, they knew how to build stuff back then). She has about 10 gigantic pecan trees in the yard. A courtyard full of roses. Wisteria, ivy, daffodils, lantana, peach trees, rock gardens, trellises, hedgerows… SO when we bought our lovely brand new home in a brand new subdivision – well, to say there wasn’t a lot of landscaping would be a big understatement. Hubby does have a talent for hard work,though, and he’s done a lot of work on it already. But we don’t share a vision for it, yet. Actually, the yard has often been a source of great frustration for both of us – he wants (I’m pretty sure:) ) to fix it up for me and yet he wants to do it his way. Very low maintainence, very clean and neat. I like a been-here-forever kind of look. Reading this chapter did inspire me to pray about what I want and to try to come together with hubby and find one vision for the whole thing.
    Dawn, Thanks for taking this on!

  4. Jen says:

    best lesson learned in gardening – let my husband who ENJOYS it and is GOOD at it do it! 🙂

    most recent lesson learned from my neighbor goes along the lines of “bloom where you’re planted.” I watched her come in and plant a little bit here and there in the places she was given and it was beautiful. Me… perfect or mediocre. I can only do so much and I know so much, so I just don’t do it. I am definitely planning to do more blooming in our next home.

  5. javadawn says:

    Jen, isn’t it interesting when the Lord doesn’t call us to fully come into bloom in “this” place? I’ve been waiting and waiting to do that here and it hasn’t happened and now I know for certain that is partially due to the “next step” that is coming.

  6. Jen says:

    I’d say that what is holding me back now from doing more (outside anyhow) is the knowledge that a change is on its way, yes. Inside I am still adding because it can go with us. However, for me, this is more a process of learning that you *can* and it is okay. I am not a decorator in part because decorating was never something of a priority in our home and doing work outside on someone else’s property was never a consideration. For me, I have not been able to justify the expense of this or that because it is temporary. I mean, we *can’t* live here forever and have known that from the start. I am learning that I must do what I can to make our home ours for whatever time He has given us. It is taking time, but I am learning more about the process and more about me and what I like so that it is my own and not the recreation of someone else’s ideas.
    hope this makes sense, gotta run!

  7. I mean, we *can’t* live here forever and have known that from the start. I am learning that I must do what I can to make our home ours for whatever time He has given us. It is taking time, but I am learning more about the process and more about me and what I like so that it is my own and not the recreation of someone else’s ideas.
    hope this makes sense, gotta run!

    Jen – What a great metaphor for our Christian life here! We’re all have a better home waiting! But He does have us here to do work that’s just ours to do!

  8. beth says:

    Oh, I can so relate to where you’re at on this one. And I’m right there with ya, both literally and figuratively! I’m finding it hard being in that middle place, limbo. It does make it harder to *settle* in to homemaking. But it’s an exciting time too, change!

    How the Lord speaks to me while my mind and hands are busy in the garden. But I too tire of the *work* quickly, but every year am again drawn back to it. It’s a love/hate thing for sure! I think what makes it the most difficult for me is my extreme ignorance… that I’m learning everything concerning gardening for the first time, via lots of trials and errors.

    I’ll never forget a word the Lord dropped in my spirit last year, as I saw the radishes coming up in the long row my then 6yo daughter had planted. I noticed that there were bunches where she’d dropped too many seeds, and then entire stretches where she’d entirely neglected to drop seeds. I thought to myself, “What a waste of good, prepared soil!” Immediately He whispered in my spirit…”How many days have I prepared the soil of your heart, and you didn’t plant any seeds (Word)…” ouch! Let me tell ya, I sure was gentle as I pointed out the gaps in the rows to my dd. 😉

    Oh, there’s more in this great topic. Gardening is so rich in analogy and parables. Just the act alone, of participating in the planting and growing/pruning, harvesting process has such a quiet, healthy, and subtle impact on one’s soul I think, so many insights and object lessons.

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