I am on spring break this week and having a ‘staycation’. I’m loving time at home to write, sleep, cook, read and relax.
Wednesday was finally gorgeous and warm, so after spending the morning working on a magazine article, I headed out to my flower garden.
It’s a mess.
I have to admit I’m a fair weather gardener. I’m not big on getting out in the cold and wet to pull weeds and it seems like all we’ve had for the last six months here in Northwest Georgia is cold and wet. My garden shows it. The daffodils have finished and the day lilies are putting out their greenery, but all my other plants are hidden under a jungle of spindly junk. Nothing to do but dig in and start pulling.
I don’t mind. I’m not in a hurry when I’m in the garden; I know that I’ll eventually get it all done. This is my space. No one tells me how it should look or what I should plant. I never know what it’s going to look like from year to year. It’s not terraced or spaced or landscaped. Most of the flowers and bushes are odd ones that I’ve been given or found at some out of the way place or dug up and transplanted. Some live and some die. Some surprise me and others disappoint. A lot like people, I guess. But I love it.
I have a strict no electronics rule with myself for when I’m in the garden. In the house or car, I have music, NPR, or Audible going nonstop (I’ve even gotten in the habit of listening to Audible while brushing my teeth.) But out here, the phone stays off. The only sounds are the birds talking, a lawn mower growling down the road, my neighbor Jack putt-putting by on his tractor or the mournful sound of the train passing a mile away. Quiet, calm sounds.
This is my listening place. While I pull up the offensive weeds, God and I talk in that companionable way of old friends that don’t have to be constantly saying something. My problems and concerns, fears and uncertainties about the future, are less pressing. As friends and family come to mind, I pray for them and then turn them over to God.
When the sound clutter is gone, I’m amazed at what I hear.
We read in Isaiah:
“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
But you would have none of it.” (Isaiah 30:15)
Notice that phrase — ‘But you would have none of it.’ Even in Isaiah’s time, the Israelites didn’t want to be quiet — the passage goes on to say that they rode off on their horses.
I wonder why it’s often hard to find time for silence. What am I afraid of? That I might be bored for two minutes? That I won’t like what God might say when I’m still enough to listen? That I’ll be shown all the ways I fall short?
That’s where I’m learning to trust. Even though I’ve heard it all my life, I’m learning to truly believe that God loves me and wants what is best for me. That makes listening to Him easier.
I love this quote from the author Pearl S. Buck:
I pray you find that quiet place inside. to renew your springs in the coming days.