Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Kid Lit

I'm still on a post writer's conference high.  The images and words from last weekend are swirling around in my head, heart, subconsciousness.  I love it.

I'm not ready to write yet.  Too much in there.  It needs to percolate before it can bubble over.

BUT, I miss ya'll, so I'm throwing something out into cyberspace.  Here it is:

What's your all-time favorite picture book, and why?

For more developed pontifications on life and God, visit Soli Deo Gloria!  Linking up with those lovely folks today.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Watering the Garden

Let me first say, I miss ya'll!  I've tried to post several times in the last few weeks, but I'm always derailed by something (technical difficulties, the need to devote time to the novel, groceries...you know, the usual).  But, here I am, and I'm so happy to be back.

I have a backlog of blog posts that are rolling around in my head, so forgive me if this is slightly incoherent.  Here goes....

I recently decided to volunteer at church by watering our garden once a week.  Let me give you some background here...I desperately want a garden.  I've tried to grow all sorts of stuff over the years: succulents, potted florals, vegetables.  Let's just say, my thumb is far from green.  Everything I try to grow dies a withered, dehydrated death.  My problem?  I always forget to water.

So, when I signed up to water, it was a leap of faith of sorts, backed by a sincere desire and decision to commit.  [When someone else is counting on me, I take things more seriously (sad to say).] 

Here's a picture of the garden with the Texas Hill Country in the background:

I love my church.  Some wonderful members decided we needed to grow an organic garden in order to augment our food bank.  So, not only do we have the only food bank in our church's neighborhood (a wealthy part of town...our food bank is almost always running low, ironically), we now have a thriving organic garden to go with it!  I love being part of a community, don't you? 

I never would have thought of this, never would have known how to make it happen, never would have been able to get these fruits to grow, and certainly never would have watered on my own every day. 

(For those of you who are interested, we split the watering seven ways - each taking one day/week - and we all check on the garden as we can.  We harvest once/month and deliver bags of fresh, organic produce to a sister Episcopal church in a poorer neighborhood in our city for their "neighbor to neighbor" food delivery program.  Here's a link to my church as well, just for kicks: St. Michael's Episcopal Austin.  If you want more info on doing this at your church, you could email Alice Hall.)

Back to my story.  I started watering mid-May.  These pictures are from my first week in the garden.  I haven't had my phone with me to take pictures since, but I sure do wish I had. 

The garden is thriving!  The tomato plants are literally pulling their trellises to the ground, they are so heavy with fruit.  The squash (the picture above) are trailing lush, gorgeous vines that overflow the bed.  In one week, the squash went from about the size of my first to the size of my two-year-old's head.  It was incredible!  The tomatoes went from the size of a quarter to the size of my fist.  It's awesome what consistent watering can do!

Since I've never spent any time in a real garden, I was amazed.  On my second Sunday, I ran back into church and dragged my whole family into the garden, showing them the peas, peppers, radishes, onions, mustard, leafy greens, and more.  They humored me as I discovered new delights under the foliage, wide-eyed and childlike.  I was so excited, so amazed, so...innocent.

Have you ever noticed how that happens?  How the discovery of unexpected gifts can delight and, ultimately, lead to childlike-ness?  Maybe not on the outside.  Maybe we receive a gift and act all cool and tough or...polite.  But deep down, if we'll allow ourselves to feel it, we're amazed when we are loved like that.  Amazed to see gifts literally unfolding right before our eyes.  Amazed that it's possible, that it's happening, that we're experiencing it.  It opens up a path into the childlike places in us, the places that never go away, no matter how old we become.

So, what have you watered today?  What places in your heart need those unexpected gifts - the kind that you don't believe are possible in your life, on your watch?  Where are the dry, withered, dehydrated places that God wants to bless, to flourish? 

I encourage you: spend a little time in your garden today and ask the Lord of the Harvest to send His rain. 

Linking up with Soli Deo Gloria - stop by.