One of the reasons we were drawn to this house, besides its beautiful and serene country setting near to the convinces of two towns, a hospital and within an hour’s drive to Piper’s various doctors as well as being in fairly close proximity to our oldest daughter and her husband, was the large lot and gardening opportunities that it presented to us.
The lot is kind of unique in its location near the rear of the neighborhood with two sides backing up to forested areas. Another special quality was that although the home was fifteen years old when we purchased it, the previous two owners had not really done much in the way of landscaping, except for a nice lawn surrounding the house, a few plants and shrubs in the front flowerbed and a 4ft fence enclosing the backyard.
For us, this piece of heaven was just what the doctor ordered! With a love for gardening and yard work deeply embedded in my DNA, this property had our names written all over it! I realized a few years back that my love for all kinds of yard work (well… maybe not raking leaves) was also a way for me to burn away the stresses of life and rejuvenate my spirit, soul and body!
As I look over our ¾ of an acre lot, I see a vast multitude of landscaping possibilities, highly accenting fruit trees, a large vegetable garden, cactus garden (love prickly pears!) and beautiful flowers artistically placed around the home. But then reality hits home and I realize that there is only one of us to cultivate, care for, harvest and eat the garden products! So I have to keep reminding myself to scale back my plans. I would like to stay here for a while and at my age, it is important to think of the care of whatever I add to the yard in mind!
One of the simple things within the sphere of yard care that I have always found pleasure in is mowing the lawn… weird huh? But with the right tools and attitude, I find it quite relaxing and thoroughly enjoy the results of a well-cared for lawn and yard! Well… I put that theory to work over the last two days as I mowed and trimmed the front and back lawns. Now granted the riding mower makes relatively quick work of the mowing and the gas powered string trimmer and blower help immensely as well!
But you know… I was feeling pretty emotionally and physically stretched this week and yardwork did not have its usual appeal to me. So what did I do? You guessed it… I dragged myself out to the shed, gassed up the tools and away I went… two days in a row! And whoosh… It worked like a charm! As I sat upon my bright red riding mower and looked over this beautiful piece of heaven that I firmly believe the Lord had in mind for us when it was built, the strain, pain, worries and cares of my wife’s situation seem to vanish amongst the trees bursting out with their spring greenery and the deep blue skies dotted with huge white puffy clouds! Yes it worked again!
I knew that if I got out there and started performing the yard chores that I would feel better… because that’s one of the ways that the Lord works in me! But I’ve also learned (the hard way most times…) that with everything going on that demands my 24/7 attention, that I can’t over do it! So instead of trying to do everything in one day and then regret it later in the evening when exhaustion sets in, I knew to spread out the various tasks involved in mowing and trimming the yard into a two or three day task. That wisdom also gives more opportunities for Piper, the dog and I to be outside and enjoy nature for extended periods of time!
Working with the land not only energizes my physical body, but it renews my spirit-man, bolsters my resolve and re-focuses my vision off from the physical circumstances and back onto the Word of God and His truth concerning our needs. Where I might be in the place of gradually cracking open the door to doubt and unbelief, by the time I turn the key and switch off the mower, scriptures like those found in Mark 5:36 when Jesus immediately turned to Jarius after some of his workers came to report the death of his beloved daughter, looked him in the eye and with great love and conviction spoke unto him: “Be not afraid, only believe” come alive to me again!
So yeah… We’ve got a good sized piece of land out here, but no, it is not too much for me to handle… it is exactly what the good Lord knew that I needed to work through and accomplish the task set before me in carrying for my wonderful wife in her time of greatest need. Isn’t God good!
What are your stress-relievers? What activities cause you to refocus your energies and commitment to your faith in the Word of God? What activities lift you from the grasps of fear and bring you back into a firm belief in the love of God and His Word working on your behalf? Let me know! I’d love to hear of all the various and unique ways that God works through different folks.
Have a great weekend! We’re supposed to have scattered thunderstorms for the next few days, although it is warm and sunny right now. Hopefully you’ll get some opportunities to relieve any stress and refocus on the truth of God’s Word… and as you do, keep asking yourself… “How am I expecting to become stress-free today?”