Spring has faded into summer at the Treehouse Inn and one word defined the season…LANDSCAPING! Edging, digging, pulling, planting, spraying, mulching, watering, weeding, bending, scratching, $pending, free cycling, potting, harvesting…All of this leading to beautifying both our yard and souls.
As God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden to work and tend the garden, our little family tends to our tiny lot in the hills of West Dundee, as if it is a divine appointment. Nature has a way of bringing me back to the awe of our Creator. It restores my perspective when life weighs me down and I try to control my world. Nothing can snap me back to surrender quicker than the wonder of creation, with the wind rustling the leaves, the birds chattering in the trees, and the countless botanical beauties.
On a recent weekend, during one of our many mini projects, Miley and Elise, our designer mutts, supervised my husband Chris, our son Luke and I pulling weeds in a garden bed. Luke had beautifully edged the area with a narrow shovel, sparing Chris’ strong but aging back, weeks earlier. Distracted by other priorities, some grass within the bed had remained untouched, although facing a sure defeat at the hand of a garden trowel. Today was the day. As Chris laid out on the grass beside me, (he has the most unusual weeding posture), I kneeled, both with gloved hands, digging and pulling, when the irony of the situation tugged on my mind. Just three inches away, lay a lush, green lawn. To Chris’ credit, Scott’s Lawn Care would boast in their glossy ads about this lawn. Yet, there we were, on the ground, pulling out grass that had grown in the wrong place. And it wasn’t just grass. There were maple trees from last year’s helicopter attacks and a lovely chartreuse vine trying to choke out the spirea whose blooms are just beginning to fade.
I got to thinking about the planting and cultivating of seeds in my life. There are so many ‘seeds’ scattered over us throughout our lives. The sowers are our parents, extended families, teachers, friends, mentors, bosses, co-workers….and that is just scratching the surface when you consider Hollywood, pop culture, social media, the internet, the newsstand and the Church. Our soil, A.K.A. our souls, are overwhelmed.
Without proper tending, what takes root? Seeds of fear, doubt or despair? Or seeds of joy, peace, and love?
How does my garden grow? Measuring growth by comparison or cutting down others to increasing feeling of worth? Or expressing my unique God given gifts and purpose?
I have to be intentional about what I allow to take root. What grows and fruits in me is not an accident. It is by design, and if I am listening to the still whisper, it is God’s design.
What does that look like in my everyday life? How do I cultivate good seeds, tend my garden, dig out the roots and prune the good things?
Stay tuned, as I dig into this more….
Facebook: Jennifer Limbach Chaffin
Chris & Jenn live in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. They were high school sweethearts, marrying in 2001. They are parents to one son, Luke (born November 1999) and two loving pups: Miley & Elsie.