This morning I was drawn to my garden. I went out early to stick my hands in the dirt and talk to myself (uh, I mean God) before the Maryland humidity became too much to bare. There were weeds that needed tending and I physically needed to work out some frustrations from my week.
My flower garden is one of my favorite places. I love to plant and nurture and watch things grow but this morning I just wanted to exert myself. I wanted to grunt when I pushed that shovel through the hard dirt. I longed to rip tangled roots and hear them crackle when I yanked them the rest of the away out with “he-yah”! I think if I could have boxed 🥊 it out with my butterfly bush and given my Echinacea a swift uppercut I would have…thankfully my neighbor came out to water her flowers before things got too out of hand in my floral ring. I’ve been THAT kinda frustrated this week – anyone else??
As I “grrrr-ed” and heaved and tossed greenery without regard I noticed my heaviness started to lift and my mind began to clear.
In my quiet time this year I’ve been journeying through the Bible. One of the things I look for when I’m reading are words that pop out to me over and over, sort of like a social media notification. You know, when you’ve commented on a post and then EVERY time another person comments you hear that little “ping”! When I get that ping in my heart that means “pay attention”. So interestingly enough, JOY has been that word for the last 5 weeks or so. I know sounds silly, since anyone who knows me or has followed me for any length of time already knows that’s my word. Honestly, even I thought it was ridiculous…I wanted God to show me something new. Something fresh. Something I hadn’t cultivated already. But He who knows me better was preparing the soil of my heart with these little reminders of just how important JOY is- “PING”!
As my sweet friend Margaret Feinberg suggests in her book Fight Back with Joy:
“Sometimes you have to poke holes in the darkness until it bleeds light”
At times that poking looks like pushing through a circumstance or repeating a verse or prayer over and over but today it was a piercing of the ground. A physical motion to counteract what was emoting in and around me all week.
As I knelt, gloved hand clenched around the spade, gouging away at the weedy soil, that which didn’t belong was yanked out down to the root and my wall of frustration started to crack. With each drag of the trowel, emotion evaporated and the sun seep in and warmed my weariness. When I stood an hour later, mulch clinging to my knees to survey what else might needed my attention, all I could see were little pings of JOY revealed in forming buds and hues of new growth.
We must pull life’s weeds and plant our thoughts wisely on the Gardener to gather JOY bouquets for our table.
I haven’t journaled anything worth posting in quite a while. I always have the desire to write but refuse to just plop any ole thing out here. I’m hopeful my time of silence has been God cultivating some seeds that are about to sprout forth with some pings of JOY I can share with you soon.