The day the garden stopped

August 26, 2018

It felt so good to get outside yesterday and sit in my garden.  Skip announced that he would be weeding the flower beds and I felt he needed my supervision so no perennials were harmed in the process.

I sat for awhile and just enjoyed the perfect weather and the sounds of God’s creation. Before long, though, my fingers were itching to pull a weed (or 2 or 30).  I just couldn’t help myself.

These gardens are my therapy and where I do my best praying and have some of my best memories.  I know the gardens well and can name most of the plants.  If I can’t tell you the name of the plant, I can tell you who gave it to me.

I inched my gardening stool around the garden, picking a weed or pruning a perennial until I came to the unfinished area.

I had completely forgotten about this area because it is hidden from the house by mature plants.  It’s a new garden area that Skip and I had been working on in the spring when I got the cancer diagnosis.  The day when everything stopped.  The day the garden stopped.

After that day our thought processes were different.  Anything extra was, well, extra.  Our days were filled with things we didn’t want to handle but had to.

As an Organizing Coach, I go into people’s homes to help them get organized.  Many times they find themselves in a mess because a crisis has occurred in their lives.  A move, a divorce, an illness, the death of a loved one, downsizing, multiple babies.  Anything, really, that has rocked their world and their home.

I can always spot the signs:

The calendar is still on the page of the month the crisis happened.  Time has stopped.

Packed boxes remain unopened.  Memories are painful.

Paperwork piled high.  Order and control has left the building.

Bags full of items sit around.  We can’t make one. . .  more. . . decision.

I get it.  I really do.   I long for the “normal” days from the past.  The days before my life was interrupted.  Before the garden stopped.

But then I have to ask myself, “would I be willing to trade “normal” for what I learned and experienced during this journey”?

Certainly, I would not want the physical pain again.  Not ever.  Never ever.

But everything else?  It’s pretty much priceless.  Growing closer to the Lord.  Growing closer as a family.  Learning to let people help me (which was hard).  Watching my family grow in their spiritual walk.  Watching the Lord work in the lives of my friends, church family and complete strangers.  Priceless.

Yes, the garden stopped.  But it’s ready to start again.  I’ll need a few more weeks and a helping hand, but it will start again and it will be a beauty.

Lord, you know the starting and stopping of everything.  You declare there is a time for everything.  Thank you for the times you have started and stopped things in my life.  I know it was part of your plan all along.  Forgive me for questioning the why and how of the stops and starts.  Help me to rest in the assurance that your plan is always to prosper me and give me a priceless future.

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