Gardening Grace

          “ We want to prepare a good soil in which grace can grow;

we want to regard the cracks and fissures in ourselves with fresh eyes, so they might be revealed not merely as the cause of the symptom of our misery

but also as places where the light of promise shines through.”

K. Norris Acedia & Me

Good morning friends.  I’m sorry it’s been so long.  Life has taken hold  as it does and as it should and I just haven’t found words strung together, in the few minutes that I do sit here to write, in any way close to a publishable blog post.  I actually had not planned to write this morning, so we’ll see how this goes, but as I continued reading this morning – this quote just jumped out of the pages and made me read it over and over again and I loved it, so I thought I’d share.

Isn’t that what we are all doing in this life?  Digging through the dirt and the days, pushing past the weeds and weeks and looking forward to what is next.  In all of it we are trying to find the light shining through so that we can grow into whatever it is we think we should be growing into – whereas really it’s God’s plan what fruit we should bare and which leaves will adorn our stems.  It’s a lesson we try and teach our children: be flexible to the outcome, but give everything your whole-hearted best effort and do everything in a loving and gracious way and God will provide the light at the end of whatever rabbit whole of a tunnel you feel like you’ve been racing down.  Don’t be sad if things turn out differently then you’ve planned, but never stop planning, and never stop trying.  It’s funny that as I sit here, I’m thinking about Kung Fu Panda – you know, the Dreamworks cartoon movie in which the lead character is a giant Panda appropriately voiced by Jack Black?  Well, I actually sat on the couch, exhausted the other morning and watched this with my daughter and at one point in the movie, the Kung Fu Master, Shifu is telling the Master Master, Oogway that there is no way that he can teach this Panda to be the Dragon Warrior and that he can control all other situations in which to beat Tai-Lung – the bad guy who has escaped prison….anyone, the part of this that struck me was Shifu’s insistence that he could control even Nature – decide when a peach was picked, where the seed was planted and even how the tree started to grow, but at this point Oogway points out that no matter how much of it’s lifecycle Shifu could control, The tree that grows would only bear Peaches – not apples or oranges, and that in the end he had no control of the outcome of the growth of the tree. Whoa – Go Dreamworks.

Maybe I’m just a silly mom reading too much into a kids movies and philosophical literature, but isn’t that the same thing that we all need to be told?  You can try, do your best, struggle, do well, but the outcome of life is not yours to decide.  I’m Rebecca, I’ll still be Rebecca at the end of it and as much as I try to be like someone else, in the end my life will reflect that I am who God made me and hopefully in all of the mess that is life, I’m able to cultivate leaves and flowers and fruit of God’s grace and love in the midst of the dirt and weeds that will sometimes try to nurture that grace and sometimes try to choke it out.

I’m trying to cultivate this grace and hope for light in my children in a world that seems to depleted of nutrients sometimes that I feel like giving up, and then I look at their little faces which are getting so much bigger all the time and I see how much more love and grace they have in their lives than I could ever have hoped or imagined, and in all of my planning on what fruit I’d bear in this life, I never expected any of these little people – they were never in the plans I made, and God’s plans are different and wonderful, and I’m so thankful for them everyday.

How does your garden grow?

IMG_8685*picture by Leda Mast Photography

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