Tag Archives: Bible

My Mary Year

Remember Jesus’ friends Mary, Martha and Lazarus?  Siblings who welcomed Jesus to their home for a visit.  Martha was very busy indeed providing hospitality to Jesus, making sure all physical needs were being met–perhaps cleaning, preparing a meal, making beds–the usual things we hostesses do when a special guest arrives. 

Mary on the other hand dropped what she was doing and sat down at Jesus’ feet to hear what he had to say.  She set aside her housework and focused fully on the message being shared by her Lord and Savior.

2010 was my “Mary” year.  I “unplugged” myself from most commitments, I put down the phone, I shut down the email, I didn’t sign up for anything or even invite too many people over. It was a year to be like Mary. I  let go of many things in order to open myself up to God’s will for me at this time in my life.

During this time, one thing (other than my family) thrived beyond my expectations. My garden became my sanctuary, my work and my expression of what I wanted to do.

I didn’t plan it this way. But gardens have a way of becoming something more than a garden. And somewhere in those rows of radishes and towers of tomatoes I found what I loved, I found something I could share. I think I might have found God’s message to me–here is something for you to do!

That is why I’m blogging in this way.  I want to share my photos, write down my thoughts, outwardly express what has been stirring inwardly for a while.  By taking a year to listen to what God might say to me, I’ve discovered that faith and love for God can have many varied outlets.  I’ve been absorbing His grace, letting it seep in while pushing other so-called priorities aside and now I’ve found my outlet to be a patch of dirt in my backyard.

I’m so glad that God led me to make a conscious decision to listen in this new way.  I feel like I have an enhanced life in many ways.  Becoming like Mary was just the thing needed to get me from where I was to where He wanted me to be, and I don’t believe the journey is anywhere near over.  God has a way of planting seeds and then raising them up at just the right time.  Praise to Him who is the Gardener of all!

Picture Books in Winter

Picture Books In Winter

Summer fading, winter comes–
Frosty mornings, tingling thumbs,
Window robins, winter rooks,
And the picture story-books.

Water now is turned to stone
Nurse and I can walk upon;
Still we find the flowing brooks
In the picture story-books.

All the pretty things put by,
Wait upon the children’s eye,
Sheep and shepherds, trees and crooks,
In the picture story-books.

We may see how all things are
Seas and cities, near and far,
And the flying fairies’ looks,
In the picture story-books.

How am I to sing your praise,
Happy chimney-corner days,
Sitting safe in nursery nooks,
Reading picture story-books?

Robert Louis Stevenson

More time indoors means more time spent in books, online and watching movies.  I do all of these things with my son and daughter.  We love to read books together–the more pictures the better!  Pictures and words can transport us from the cold, grey existence of a Wisconsin February to a myriad of places, times and circumstances.

This time of year I’m spending a lot of time looking at seed catalogs, gardening books, websites and magazines.  The colorful photos are inspiring and thinking about all those different fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers makes me happy.  I do feel a bit like a wide-eyed child enjoying a picture book and all the wonder of imagination it sparks.

Since I’ve begun gardening, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) cannot affect me.  I have found a way to cope with this season.  I have found peace in the fact that my garden needs the rest that winter provides.  I appreciate the time that I have to plan for the next season.  And I also find that having a winter makes spring, summer and fall that much more a thing to savor.  By the time the ice starts melting I’m more than ready to delve into another gardening season.  It’s the time off that makes the time on so much fun.

You know, life has seasons too.  Of course I’m not the first person to make this comparison.  But there are days that seem very cold, unproductive–sad even.  Other days may be warm and abundant, joyful!  And every kind of day in between.  I’ve experienced them all.  I’m guessing most people have.

So, how to cope with a wintry time of life?

Thanks be to God that all we have to do to remember the spring, summer and fall of our life is open up that old familiar book and dig in.  The Bible shines with all the SONshine we could ever need, giving us hope for our future and a reason to keep on going throughout our winters.

This reminds me.  Besides spending time in picture books with my kids this year, I’m going to spend more time in the Bible with them.  We have some really nicely illustrated children’s Bibles here at home.  Often, in the excitement to hear Mommy stumble through Fox in Socks (again…) the Bible books get passed over.  What an opportunity we are missing to let some SONshine in! 

Here’s to Winter!  The season that makes the other seasons–and God’s love–seem even more bright.  Thank you Winter for your quietness, your grayness and your coldness.  They are blessings too.