Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Garden

We are in the process of developing our first garden.  We are exploring Square Foot Gardening, biointensive, raised bed, double dug, organic and French intensive techniques.  We have been researching all about companion planting, and growing for encouraging beneficial insects.  This whole process started sitting on Ruth's couch one day when I picked up a copy of Square Foot Gardening.  Shortly after that I was doing some research on cool places to go for our anniversary when I stumbled upon The Stanford Inn.  This began a whole process of discovery and quite a bit of daydreaming.  The Stanford Inn, is an eco resort that has its own biointensive, organic, raised bed gardens on the premises.  These gardens are just one piece of a whole.  They also have a onsite vegan restaurant called Raven's Restaurant that serves all the Stanford Inn guests vegan or vegetarian made to order brunches as part of the total package for all overnight guests.

Anyway, this whole discovery got me dreaming about a lifestyle center patterned after the sustainable, eco-friendly models out there.  Let me just say, I am still dreaming.  Maybe, one day, something will come of it all.

So the first step, is actually learning how to do some of the things we have been researching about.  Right now, I am on my way out the door, to do some soil sample gathering for soil testing.  Apparently, the local county extension agent does this for a nominal fee.  The garden test seems to be free  (well, upon closer scrutiny the test wasn't free but still reasonable) and the field test costs $10.

In the next couple of days perhaps we will get some pictures of what the process is looking like.  Right now, it seems that every spare second is spent reading up on plants, growing methods or working in the garden.

Hope those of you who are also gardening or more seasoned at gardening, will share your wealth of information with us.

Our dream is to create a small piece of the paradise that God originally made, here on our place and hopefully learn the lessons this process is meant to teach us.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


There is a theme.  I sense that I am full to the top of questions.  I have past the point where I knew the answers.  I have invaded the territory of the unknown.  Our good God will not be boxed.  He is free.  He is bigger than what we can comprehend or understand.  Yet, he comes down to us and says "come let us reason together."  It is almost laughable.  How can I reason with God?  Could I answer one of His questions?

There is nothing that can be done.  He is outside of our control.  He is good but not limited to our perception of good.  How awful (to be understood in the old English sense "awesome") it is to stand in the presence of His mighty power.  

I am standing empty.  The Lord has given and then taken.  There are moments when it seems a blessing, yet, the ache and the apathy overwhelms me.  I am sinking in the mire.  What is left to grasp to but His mighty hand?  Will He reach out to save?

It is so easy to get wrapped up in a sense of our worth being derived from our position, our occupation, what we do.  Yet, we were made to be human beings, not doings.  Who am I?  Why was I made?

Can I respectfully say that I sometimes feel like a pawn in a giant chess game?  Can I say this and still retain my faith?  Or does the admission pre-date a turning from faith to doubt?

What about the promises?  Can one claim the promises and meet the conditions and still come up empty?  To whom were the promises written?  Why?

Why, is probably my biggest question.  Why Lord do You seem to draw back?  I am only holding on at times by a thread.  Can I really withstand Your retreat?  

The tide is coming in again and I sense myself sinking.  In the garden you spoke hope into their despair.  As they stood on the edge of the garden with the sword flaming between them and their home, You spoke hope.  They were banished from Your home gifted to them.  How could they hold onto the hope of not being banished from Your heart, if it wasn't for the promise?

As I stand on the edge of despair please speak hope into my life, for there are times when I fear being swept under.  What do You want from us?  Why?

The loss is aching through.  How does one cling to hope this side of Eden?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Trust beyond Feeling

What must it have been like to have been made in the garden?  If your only memories were of perfection, bliss and perfect harmony, how hard would it have been to leave?  How would it have torn your heart to see it all slipping away, because of something you did?  What does it mean to trust God beyond the feeling?

Can we move beyond the place where Eve stood, looking longingly toward the tree.  There she was caught between God's Word and the serpent's lie.  As she ponders, her perception rises up and sides on the side of the serpent.  Her senses agree with the lie.  What now?

Oh, it is easy to judge her from outside the garden.  We forget the times today, this hour, this second where we have stood looking longingly toward our tree, caught between God's Word and the serpent's lie.  What will we do when our senses side on the side of the serpent?

It is oh so easy to judge her from outside the garden.

It is a long journey, learning this art of abiding in Christ.  When it feels, like you are all alone, what then?  The Word says, "I will never leave you," but your heart feels...  It is then that the serpent whispers.

How does one settle down into the circle of God's love and trust it, because it is and not allow the sensation of our lack of worth drive us out of His presence?   Was it this sense that drove our parents to hide behind the trees and make their futile attempts at clothing themselves?

What does righteousness by faith look like with clothes on it?  Did it look like God unclothing Adam and Eve from the clothes they had made, removing piece by piece the lies that were blinding their eyes and their hearts?  The lie that they could fix it themselves.  The lie that they could hide their imperfections from God.  The lie that they didn't need God.  When God made them clothes of animal skins, did Eve's heart break to see the precious lamb's blood flow?  Was this what righteousness by faith looked like?

Corrie ten Boom said, "Don't wrestle, just nestle."  Is this what it means to trust beyond the feeling.  To hold on tightly to truth, no matter what it feels like.  At some point along the way, will we realize that when we are holding on to Truth it is holding on to Jesus, Himself?  If we cling to Him we will find ourselves in the shelter of His wings.

If we can gaze into His eyes, and take our eyes off of the tree, will we find it is harder to hear the serpent?  I believe that while nestling in His arms, it will be easier to verify our perceptions with His will and to trust Him beyond the feeling.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Have you ever desired, deep in the bedrock of your soul, to be understood?  There is a sense of need, to be intellectually known.  Perhaps it is a built in need that God has placed there.

It is easy to feel all alone, in spite of the milling throng.  If in that throng there are no sympathizing ears and hearts, no answering chords of harmonious thoughts, the tendency is to feel desolate.  It seems overwhelmingly solitary when you are surrounded by people, but no one understands.  It is easy to begin feeling left out, and even begin to wonder about your ability to make coherent sense, when you desire to be heard, to be understood and to be able to share ideas and theories, but they fall on deaf ears that cannot hear beyond the bias of their previous thought.  

Sometimes, in the effort to plot the next answer we fail to listen to the sentence, or even the heart of the other person, poured out for us in the desire to communicate.  Is it possible, today in my quickness to answer, I missed an opportunity to connect with another isolated soul?

When God made man, did He desire to connect with man on a level of intellectual giving of Himself to us?  Does He look down on earth with its milling throng and feel lonely for someone who would be interested in "hearing" Him?  Are we rushing past, when He tries to draw near to us, seeking for a heart that might want to "know" Him and "understand" Him?

There is often a desire for relational understanding among each other.  Yet, I remain unknown.  Is that because we were not made for this knowing amongst each other, but to be known by God Himself?  Or is this void, this vacancy, a symptom of the brokenness of our relationships?

When I find myself longing after a forgotten garden, I often find myself yearning after the sense of wholeness.  I am craving relationships that do not have space and distance in them.  I dream of the ability to communicate in ways that express ideas, share dreams and in the sharing of ideas connect me on a deeper level with another.

When I reach toward the glorious day of our Lord's soon returning, I am reaching toward the wholeness of restored relationships and the ability to be known.