by Phyllis Ducey

The air has a sweetness, a reviving freshness in its breezes. The sun is bright as I have seen it all year playing hide and seek within the billowing clouds while kindly bestowing its warmth on me. The soil is cool and damp… waiting to be tilled, waiting for the worms to do their job of aerating, waiting for roots to grasp it while clinging to absorb its moisture.

And I dig in, stir it all up. Breaking the clumps while I comb the topsoil with the rake preparing the way for my plants. Removing the rocks and old useless roots from last years plants that will no longer reveal their awesome colors; removing the debris that will be in the way of this new season’s growth. All done with care to replace the worms so they may continue their toil. I work to build up the soil with manure and mulch to prepare.

I trim my bushes, eliminating the old growth to encourage new. I have found there is an art to trimming the bushes and trees. I know that trimming them in the wrong season could damage their growth or flowers in the spring. I look to remove the suckers – the shoots that try to take over without producing anything good or adding to health of the plant.

Hours and hours I prepare

… for the perennials to sprout anew, bigger and fuller than any season prior

… prepare

…for the annuals to display their glorious beauty


….for my bushes to revive, to flourish and strengthen.

Oh my sweet plants. Some in yellows so bright you can see them from the street, some in deep reds, some in whites with hints of gentle pink and the palest of purple in the heart of them where the bees will seek their nectar. Some I plant for the colors, some for the scents, some for height and some just to enjoy the leaves… the variety of greens that create depth to the landscape. Each delights me in its own unique way.

It is a labor of love that brings vitality to my body as I am nurtured by the fresh air into my lungs and by my muscles receiving power from my exertion. I not only prepare my garden to grow and thrive I am preparing my body to be healthy and well. It brings a joy to my heart as I watch my plants develop and bear the fruit that they were designed to grow; each having its own purpose.

And I wonder…every time I garden,
I wonder these same thoughts each season...

Is this how God feels about me?
Am I His labor of love?
Was that painful event last week a part of His preparing me?
Was He trimming me to make way for new growth?
Is He using others in my life to help remove the rocks and clumps of dirt that block my ability to thrive in Him?
Does His heart delight in the unique ways that I can grow to bring Him glory?
Does He have a purpose for me?

My answer is always the same: yes. He must. If He did not, why would He send His Son to die in my place so I could draw near to Him?

And each year I know the answers in advance because I know that they are all in His Word which is why it is so precious to me. I just enjoy the exercise of thinking through the process just as much as I enjoy creating my garden!

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
May 9th is Mother's Day!
Don't forget to not only check out the shops below but all our CAST Team shops.
I know I am letting my family know what I want!!
Remember to search for the word: castteam

Comments (9)

On April 26, 2010 at 2:22 AM , Vanessa said...

Pruning can be a painful process but I am so happy the Lord is shaping me. I dont even want to imagine how prickly I would be without Him. Wonderful post Phyllis! Thanks so much for including my graphic set. I wish everyone on the team a wonderful week!! Blessings ~Vanessa :)

On April 26, 2010 at 4:25 AM , Julie Riisnaes said...

Great stuff! Praise God he loves us that much!

On April 26, 2010 at 9:47 AM , Sue Runyon said...

So, Phyllis, are you the same lady who didn't know how to blog a few short months ago? That is an incredible post: artistic, thoughtful, wonderful to read, fun, amazing!

On April 26, 2010 at 10:13 AM , button said...

Thank you for this inspiring post, Phyllis. You are very gifted, not only with the work of your hands, but, also the words from your heart. Thank you.
:o) button

On April 26, 2010 at 10:46 AM , Christie Cottage said...

Beautiful post!

On April 26, 2010 at 11:10 AM , Elisa said...

I was having very similar thoughts just yesterday as I was weeding my flower bed. :) Thanks for including my Gardening Apron in your post!

On April 26, 2010 at 4:37 PM , mattscraftywife said...

I love gardening! Great post, and I love the verse from Jeremiah, one of my all-time favorites!


On April 26, 2010 at 9:27 PM , VElisht Art Test Blog said...

Beautiful post, Phyllis. You are a gifted writer and artist! Lovely choices to accompany your post!
I too love gardening, feeling the soil in my hands, pruning, nurturing, weeding, watering,watching the plants growing and protecting them from the things that wish to cause them harm. It is hard work but it is worth the effort. I am thankful that God loves us enough to prune, nurture and protect us so that we might become all that He wants us to be.

On April 26, 2010 at 10:01 PM , Princess Daffy said...

Oh Lord, please prune away all of the ugly, dead branches and replace them with living and beautiful blooms that glorify YOU!
Thanks Phyllis-I've often had the same thoughts about how He prunes us...This is a great post :o)