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How to do life as a sensitive soul: gardening edition

May 2, 2016

 “I am the Vine, you are the bracropped-final-016.jpgnches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.” John 15:5-8, The Message

To be aware of every need shouldn’t be a burden, but a call to action. Seeing nothing but brokenness shouldn’t crush my spirit, but set it aflame to do good works. Not knowing how to process the mundane as well as the difficult shouldn’t be life-stopping, but a clue to keep searching for better applications.

A lovely friend helped me realize that God speaks to our hearts when we are doing work that makes us content–if we will just be present and listen. It can be art, music, writing, adventuring, interacting with people, basically anything you enjoy devoting yourself to. For me in this season, it’s gardening in general, and weeding is the chapter we are on.

The obsessive perfectionist in me wants to pull of those pesky buggers, but I know that’s not practical. That’s why we are given a limited season to work out the mess that winter didn’t kill off, and preen and mulch to blanket the issues for awhile. If the weeds aren’t pulled at the earliest signs of detection, they could take deeper root and choke the loveliness that we want to grow. Some weeds seem like a larger problem, but upon finding the root, I’m amazed at how easy they are to get rid of. Others require special tools, and still others require sacrifice of part of a healthy, wanted plant in order to destroy the root of the problem. The hardest weeds to move on from are the ones with the deep-seated roots that have been left to fester. We may try and chisel bits away, or pull up chunks, but some fights aren’t meant to be won right now. Perhaps next season.

On Planting:

Consider a squirrel’s work to prepare for winter. He collects as many nutrient-rich nuts as he can, and buries some here, some there. Does he have a map to find his food when the ground thaws? Does he count the locations, varieties, quality? Does he ponder what to do if none of his well-hidden gems are rediscovered when needed? What if the winter was too harsh and he never returns? A tree could sprout up from that buried nut, providing future generations of squirrels with a food source. We plant the seeds, and then we wait.

I trust I will learn more lessons as I continue gardening; for now, I will be content.


November 16, 2015

Instead of asking, ” why did this happen?”
Or prowling for someone to blame
Ask, “what can I do?”
Choose to act.
Choose to put things back together.
Lend a hand, share your wealth, help your neighbor.
Seek out forgiveness, forgive yourself, forgive those who have wronged you and just LIVE, not paying any heed to the masses who have opinions on how life should be lived.
Choose to be alive with hopes, dreams, possibilities, savings for the future even when that future seems desolate.
Be a vibrant force of life in the face of death.

Courage is the opposite of fear, hope the opposite of despair, life the opposite of death.
With every fiber of our beings,
It is our duty to defiantly be a force for good,
Conquering evil with love.

next door strangers part 2

May 21, 2015

sometimes when i look in the mirror
i ask, “What do I see?
someone built of character?
one who is free?”

i have a vision—hope—dream
for what i want to see.
i will hold tight to this,
let the past and future be.
build a life of goodness and peace,
patience, kindness, strength, and truth.
courage and conviction,
knowledge imparted to youth.

i long to show the world the light,
that there is good and hope and right.
that we are not alone when we fight
we are never out of God’s sight.

next door strangers part 1

May 12, 2015

every day we go out into the world
encountering souls encumbered by life
tired from our chores, our choices, our grief
only half living
searching for more, for help, for relief
living one day at a time
because that’s all we can manage

we’re strangers on this planet
alone and unknown
vulnerable to the careless desires
and destructive choices,
the irresponsibility of those in command.
aware of more than we can live with,
don’t have the tools to fix
so we choose to ignore.

so many distractions detracting from the elemental meaning
too many, “Good to see you”s,
not enough, “How are you truly doing?”s
our politeness is a hindrance to humanity at its core
for if we’re all here together,
what are we hiding for?

some thoughts on marriage and hopefully helpful tidbits, metaphors, and a poem

March 7, 2015

what marriage is not: wholly fulfilling, self-serving, easy, fair, anticipatory and able to be planned out ahead of time in neat little boxes with perfect bows. 

what marriage is: an unexpected lifelong journey of love, endurance, courage, and of self and mate discovery, where sometimes you will travel separately to arrive at the same destination. on your journey together, you will hit roadblocks and take detours; you may get speeding tickets; you may need to backtrack because the road ahead has caved in (or is covered in ice, or is blocked entirely by a giant felled tree). when you run out of gas, you two will need to get out and walk on foot to the nearest supply station ~*{together}*~ with the Good Lord as your guide. If you want it to work, if you take your vows seriously and believe God has a plan, you will change (as will your spouse). you will do everything you can to be the best partner in a team, the best lover you can be. look to The Lord for his example and strength. you will search for ways to please, listen, compliment, build up, help, treat, and care for your mate instead of searching for all that needs to be fixed (…in the Maker’s time). that is not your role; your place is beside, to help and not hurt. to be there to lean on and not push down. to look at clearly, human to human, and not through rose- or grey-colored glasses. yes, it seems to be an institution that is dated and not worth the effort, but are not two better than one? when one falls down, the other is right beside to help up! when one rejoices over an accomplishment, the other is rejoicing too! it is a great blessing to be able to share in the joy! when a shared project, goal, or life ambition is worked through to the end, two heads and two hearts are putting forth effort into something they both believe in and are thinking of solutions differently. each person brings something unique to the relationship {it’s a potluck dinner!}. sometimes the effort is not understood or appreciated {who brought the jello salad?! that is not a food}, but we must put forth effort to understand each other.

two imperfect people

mashing their existences together

in hopes of creating something new,

something shared,

something good,

something better than before.

it doesn’t always work out the way you’d think

sometimes things explode

(others implode)

until an understanding occurs

that’s why they all say

communication is key


minor details

February 8, 2015

if i had more time

i wonder if

it would have been more than fine

or if

i have done all i can

and am right

to move on without plan

even though

i’m leaving ends untied,


thoroughly saying goodbye.


February 8, 2015

what will it take
for you to move on
if something’s not working,
if goodness is gone.
why live in pain
why choose the low road
your vision’s distorted
your actions, borrowed.

look at your life!
see where you are!
is this what you want?
how did you get so far?
you do have a choice
you can make a change.
where’s your inner voice,
is it estranged?

relish this space
to clear your head.
unknot your stomach,
untie the threads.
reach out your hand
for mine to hold-
believe that you’re strong,
not the lies you are told.

reclaim your life!
it is not done!
do not give up,
death has not won.
the giver of life
gives hope in despair;
pour out your woes
and release to his care.