My mother is a gardener.
She grows dreams from tiny seeds. Plants hope in small furrows of soil as black as coffee grounds. Each time she drops one into the ground her hands wave the soil gently over them like she’s tucking them in for the night under the midnight earth.
Sometimes her face gets dreamy when she looks out at the poppies’ dancing faces waving to her in the breeze, and I think this must be her lullaby. A place to rest.
The ground has taught her patience during the times when things are unseen. There is a faithfulness to waiting, anticipating growth. A longing even.
There are seasons when things are so blisteringly hard and the ground is razed and scorched and the pillaging seems to mean no harvest will ever come. These are the dying days. We all have them. Seasons of loss, seasons of dry land and the shadows of overcast burdens blocking out the goodness of God.
We throw the kitchen scraps into our compost and pitch and twirl it like we’re tossing giant mounds of spaghetti with an oversized fork. It’s the castaways and the trash. The things that would find their way into the bottom of a dumpster that become worm food and then soil and then fruit.
I believe in the God of lost things.
We’re moving and she wants to take her plants. We’re pulling up roots put down and breaking our backs shoveling the good earth under the hot sun.
I’ve heard it said that to plant a garden is to believe in tomorrows. If that’s true, then to watch a garden grow is to remember your yesterdays.
I don’t think it’s any coincidence that Eden was bursting with life, a garden of promise where things grew under naked feet and man walked with God and that it was called good.
I’ve often felt like an exile clinging at scraps and secondhand things. The castaways and hand-me-downs that God provides. I haven’t trusted my God will provide. At least not in the way that spills dreams into my hands instead of through my fingers leaving me grasping and empty.
Sometimes God has said no and not now and I’ve learned to see His good anyway. I’ve trained my eyes again and again to see goodness in the hard. But to see the garden burst out of barrenness. To see the hope planted bloom? That is miracle and wonder too, and I’ve often failed to see it.
I’m so tired from packing boxes and lists of things to do and move and connect and transfer. Shifting lives from one space to another, moving our home is tedious and grueling. But it’s hope planted. There is plenty waiting.
I picture my kids running through the wildflowers, their fingertips grazing their petals, making them ripple like waves. I picture harvesting tomatoes in the summer and building snowmen in the winter where the wood stove beckons my children’s pink noses, and their smiles hover just above cups of cocoa, marshmallows bobbing cheerfully on the surface. I picture the moments of being together with room to grow.
I am in a season of good.
Sometimes it may not look that way to others, but I feel it even with health issues lingering or when the kids get the stomach flu and all the extra sheets are packed away already. I feel it with trials that come because things are blooming again. God is walking with me in the garden and it is good.
It’s been a long wintering of my soul, so many dying days I forgot the feel of sun on my cheeks. But I’m recognizing the hand of God sweeping inky soil over me, covering the light and crushing me with the heel of His palm to break out new life.
If I didn’t know Him I’d believe He meant my destruction on certain days. Some days I’ve asked how God could possibly mean these dying days for good, I’m often stumbling about in darkness, grasping for that break in the ground to come up for air.
But to know God’s goodness and to believe is something I’m always journeying back to.
Oh, how easily I forget how devastatingly harsh God’s love is, how it dispels all the placed things and digs down and covers up and coaxes new life.
It all starts in brokenness. Jesus broken for me. Me broken open to Him.
I am a girl in the lap of God, believing in hope planted. I am learning to ask of God for the lost things, and believe in God for the found things.
I am rooted in love.
LOVE what you said about being in a season of good and walking with the Lord even when you don’t feel it all the time. So, so true. What an excellent reminder of his love!
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
“To know God’s goodness and to believe is something I am always journeying back to.” Deep down in my soul I know that God will take me through all the broken places because He has brought me through them in the past. God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, yet I still journey back to His goodness. What a beautiful reminder that God does bring beauty from our ashes, He delights in restoring the broken. I believe that if we never experience the broken, we can’t truly appreciate the joy of restoration. May all who dwell in broken places be enabled, by His strength, to hold onto the hope that His joy will come in the morning! Your writing always resonates with me…perhaps because I have been there…rejoicing with you in this season of hope!
Amy Hannaford says
Wow, what beautiful words! And yes, it’s most often in our brokenness in which we find Him.
Hi Alia, “I’ve heard it said that to plant a garden is to believe in tomorrows. If that’s true, then to watch a garden grow is to remember your yesterdays.” Digging into the earth and planting in faith that something of beauty will rise from it, it’s a gardener’s joy. Celebrating God’s goodness with you.
Such a true article! God sometimes test us in our dry times to see if we can withstand for a beautiful harvest!
Perfect visually,perfectly timed. Thank you for writing my very own heart…words that are still deep in the earth of my soul.
Many of the seeds i planted this year did not yield what was written on the package. That was a disappointment. Yet it has brought joy. Like my days…there have been deep disappointments. Too many losses. Though i planned to see other things in my life, these plants, like me are still growing.
There is not one thing i can control in this world. I can only trust God. Even when i cannot see what he is creating in the darkness…in thr soil…
Lord, help my unbelief.
Thank you for the gift of your words.
I also am mired in deep disappointments that only HE can change. Yes it is dark. But I must trust He is working for my good.
Oh, Alia, you are “in a season of good”.
I pray for you so frequently and hearing the siege of hard has lifted, if only for a season, that the winter of your mind is now hearing the cooing of doves again, is music to my soul.
His “beautiful one”-you, has risen to fields of light.
God bless you!!!
Song of songs 2:11-13
Joy Lenton says
Although I wish I didn’t in some ways, I can relate to your words here, Alia:”I haven’t trusted my God will provide. At least not in the way that spills dreams into my hands instead of through my fingers leaving me grasping and empty” and I’ve also ached to see the fruit appear before due time. When God seems to set you aside for a season it can feel like a slight rather than invitation to come to Him, to rest and abide in that deeply passionate Love which knows no bounds.
You spill out beauty with your words and hope with your open, honest heart that can’t help but return to God’s goodness and love. And we are hungry recipients grateful to receive them. Thank you! 🙂 x
Mindy Whipple says
It has been a while since I have read your words ~ God always speaks to my heart through them. I too am a gardener and there is so much to be learned through it, so many ways God draws me to Him through lessons learned there. So true, with Him we can be in a good place despite circumstances.
Nancy Ruegg says
Thank you, Alia, for your poetic prose that reminds us God is good and faithful–a truth to journey back to frequently–especially during a winter season of the soul. And thank you, too, for the hope your words plant in our hearts–hope in our God of found things!
So pretty. What a gifted writer you are. Praise God for “a season of good.” ((hug))
Beautifully put Alia Joy. I wish you well in your new start. I appreciate that saying,” To plant a seed is hope for tomorrow.” I will do my best to keep on planting. So thankful for the goodness God has offered among brokenness.
Karrilee Aggett says
I love you and all of your words… but these? These are my favorite: “I am in a season of good.” Oh friend… (I feel a bit of blubbering happy rising up so I will just go back to our normal commenting procedures… Insert gushing comment here.) I love you so!
Linda Stoll says
I always reach for your reflections with an eager heart, knowing that something worthwhile awaits, Alia.
Weekend blessings as you dig and sort and dream …
This is stunning. God brings exquisite moments amidst the harsh realities of life, to kneel at His altar, to remember truth. I love this post! You’ve brought me back to His peace.
Beth Williams says
Blessings on your move. I pray it will be a smooth transition for everyone!!!
Thank you for a great thought provoking post!! Last year was a season of darkness for me. I didn’t see how I would make it through. And yet God in His faithfulness was always there guiding me and my family! Now I’m wondering if He will spill dreams into my hands and help me garden for His purposes!