Friday, May 1, 2009

Finding Peace and Contentment

Most of my readers know by now that I am caregiver to my elderly parents, and that my dad is in very poor health. Just this week we had three doctors appointments and a trip to the emergency room with him. My life these days is very stressful and I stay both physically and emotionally exhausted all of the time.

Last spring my dad was in the hospital a lot, plus we were in a very bad drought, so I didn't do much gardening. I just didn't have the heart for it, and told myself that I didn't have the time or energy. Sadly, because of my inability to get my butt in gear, I lost a number of my precious perennials.

This year I've learned my lesson, and changed my ways, and thanks to encouragement from my husband, am back out in the garden again. What I had lost last spring, I rediscovered this spring, and I'm so glad I've 'felt' that feeling again. That feeling of digging in the dirt and making my yard pretty again, and of expending all the frustration, exhaustion, and stressful energy, and replacing it with the peaceful, contented, calming energy that comes from playing in the dirt!

As I work in the garden, usually bending over and looking down to the earth, my mind and my heart tend to look upward, and wander in several directions:
  • prayer - somehow I can just lift my heart, my worries, my hopes and dreams up to my Father so much clearer and easier when I'm in the garden!

  • talking (silently, in my heart) through things that are bothering me, and working through them, and often finding solutions.

  • and frequently, after I've spent time in prayer and worked my way through problems, I end up humming or singing to myself, a product of having let it all go, giving it to God, and opening my heart to His healing touch.

Rarely do I spend time in the garden that I don't pass through these three 'phases', and never do I leave the garden in a bad mood! (Unless, of course, I'm fighting the voles, but at least in that I have purpose!)

And most times when I am singing to myself, it is the words to one of my favorite hymns, "In The Garden". The words just speak volumes about how it feels to work outside, enjoying the beauty of God's creation and the work of your own two hands, communing in a peaceful, connected way with the creator of it all!

Here are the words to the hymn, written by C. Austin Miles in 1912:

I come to the garden alone

While the dew is still on the roses

And the voice I hear falling on my ear

The Son of God discloses.

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,

And He tells me I am His own;

And the joy we share as we tarry there,

None other has ever known.

He speaks, and the sound of His voice,

Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,

And the melody that He gave to me

Within my heart is ringing.

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,

And He tells me I am His own;

And the joy we share as we tarry there,

None other has ever known.

I’d stay in the garden with Him

Though the night around me be falling,

But He bids me go; through the voice of woe

His voice to me is calling.

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,

And He tells me I am His own;

And the joy we share as we tarry there,

None other has ever known.

God Bless You! Becky


Anonymous said...

Your flowers are so pretty and that hymn is one of my favorites. This time last year, my mom (who lived with us) started being visited here at home by Hospice. She lived until Sept. but she enjoyed the flowers in the garden all summer. Gardening makes me feel closer to the Lord also and brings me great joy. Thank you for sharing your pictures and God bless as you care for your parents. It is tough but you will never regret it.

FrenchGardenHouse said...

Becky, what a fabulous post! You are so right, the garden is the perfect place to talk to our Father. And admire his handiwork.:)

Thinking of you and your parents in prayer today.
xo Lidy

Anonymous said...

Your garden and flowers are so pretty! And I love that song, too, it's one of my favorites (especially the version by Billy Dean and Susan Ashton). I enjoy being out in the garden too, even though I'm not that good at it! LOL! I just enjoy being out there and totally agree with you about the experience.

I wish for you many more peaceful days in your garden. You and your parents are always in my prayers...

Linda said...

Wow Becky what a beautifule garden and verse