It’s been a very busy Spring season. Lots of productivity, creativity, and busyness have marked our days.
But now……(insert Olaf singing)……IT’S SUMMER!!!!!
My goal this summer is to be intentional about my summer gardening. However, if you know me, you know I’m not much of a gardener.
I’m talking about a different kind of gardening….I’m tilling the soil of my heart by pushing intensely into my relationship with God.
See, through all of my busyness in the spring, my heart got tired. I expended a lot of energy. After Women of the Way, I wanted to share thoughts and ideas. I wanted to write about what I’ve been thinking about. I wanted to keep the productivity going, but I just didn’t have the ‘umpf’ to match my intention. My soul was compacted- packed down hard from all the exertion.
So, once summer vacation began, the soul gardening started with silence and solitude.
Rising before anyone else wakes up, I sit in the light of the morning sun. The warm glow on my face, my eyes closed, and I meditate on God. He is good. I’m so thankful. His love endures forever.
Do thoughts creep in? Yes. What’s on the to-do list? I need to buy groceries. I’m worried about so-and-so…..Does sleepiness creep in….Oh yes! I’ll just stretch out on the couch for a minute. No, that will put me back to sleep! Sit up!
Opening my eyes, the sun is rising through the trees. The gleaming beams brighten up the quiet living room. I refocus and start again.
This time, I listen for the birds.
Surprisingly, listening to the birds early in the morning helps me stay focused on God. Their calls and songs keep me from thinking about tasks that need to be done and keep my attention towards the eternal. I close my eyes again and listen for the birds while thinking about God. I listen for God.
At first, it wasn’t easy. I’m not a morning person. I LOVE to sleep late. So, starting out, getting up very early was a decision. Each day, the choice was a discipline. As each morning passed, I realized how much I want to get up early and spend time with Him. It has become a delight! I look forward to my special quiet solace in the sunshine.
This early morning gardening has turned up my soil and brought fresh air and sunlight into my heart. Where my heart had gotten a bit depleted for all the productivity and maybe a bit hardened (not discouraged or hopeless, just spent) from all the doing, this practice of silence and solitude has broken up the dry ground and worked in some fresh air and light.
Does it seem like I should be doing something for God? Sure, those things come later. But during this early morning, soul-tilling, heart-aerating silence, being with God is what matters most. This song, by Andy Park, is what my heart longs for most……
In the secret, in the quiet place
In the stillness you are there
In the secret
In the quiet hour I wait only for you
‘Cause I want to know you more
I want to know you
I want to hear your voice
I want to know you more
I want to touch you
I want to see your face
I want to know you more
How are you soul tending and gardening your heart?
If you want some help with your summer gardening, here’s a little e-book I put together with some meditations, reflections questions, and a resource list to help you. When you sign up, you’ll get access to other Bible studies and the WoW Newsletter. Sign up here! Hope it helps!