“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to get, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time of war, and a time of peace.”
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-8~
This passage is always so poignant, especially when you live out in the country, away from the hustle and bustle of city life, and can see — truly see and experience — the creation of God in nature. When you can take the time to slow down your life, and just observe…..waiting to see something beautiful. There is always something beautiful, just waiting to be found. There are so many ways to see the hand of our Creator at work — both outside and in our very own lives.
That’s not saying that you can’t slow down when you live in the city. I’m sure you probably can….maybe. I don’t remember ever living in a city, so I couldn’t say. I’m sure you can see beauty — the lights at night, a skyline suddenly appearing out of nowhere….but you can’t be surrounded by nature. By what God alone has created, by Himself. The animals, the trees, the plants, the flowers….
Every year, as the old year leaves, and the new year begins, I wait. For what? you ask. For the birds chirping. For plants to begin blooming. For warm dirt. For soft spring rain. For colorful flowers. For the feeling of dirt between my toes. For warm sunshine, clothes flapping in the breeze, bright green leaves on the trees.
Because all of those signs mean that it will soon be time to plant a garden. Start little tiny seeds. Marvel as the dormant seeds that appear dead sprout with life, as you care for them and water them and put time into them. This week, the Lord has blessed us with beautiful weather….the perfect weather for planting. Nice and dry. No rain. A nice breeze. Sunshine. After an unusually wet winter, it seems like spring is just around the corner. It’s hard to believe there might actually be a late frost, as we’re being warned to watch for =) It seems like spring is here. To stay.
All this week I have been outside, planting. I look forward to this time every year. Not so much the care of the garden during the hot summer months, when you are drenched with sweat just by walking outside — much less working — and the humidity is so high you feel like you are swimming through boiling water. Although I do like the fruitfulness of the garden during those hot months. And I don’t so much look forward to the fall, when the once fruitful plants are in various stages of dying. But I do *love* the springtime. The planting time. The warmth. The togetherness of our family being outside, working together, laughing together, talking together, sweating together, getting sunburned together, and being sore together.
That is my plan — that is always my plan. But the Lord usually has a way of “messing up” our plans, and implementing His own, doesn’t He? With one sister sick, two sisters getting over being sick, and one sister working to finish lessons so she can graduate this fall, the togetherness has been….well…..lacking. But in a good sort of way. Instead of the siblings I am nearly always with in the garden, I have been with my other siblings. My younger siblings. I am seeing the help they are, and the joy they can add to our lives. How many older children miss out on this, thinking the little ones are “too young” to help?
The days have began to have a pattern to them. And I am never doing it alone. Even when hanging clothes on the line, I have a sweet little four year old sister who is right there. “I want to help, what can I do?” and she smiles up at me with big brown eyes, sparkling with anticipation. I hung up a clothesline the other day, that she can reach, thinking that she could “help” hang up the napkins, so she could feel useful, and I could easily keep an eye on her while I hung up the rest of the laundry. And you know what? She was truly a help, in more ways than one. Yes, she hung up the napkins. And the whole time she was singing, playing make-believe, and talking a mile a minute. She was so very happy about helping, and I was just doing something because I am supposed to do it. She was so joyful, while I was indifferent. She was savoring being able to help, when all I was thinking about was finishing as fast as I could. Convicting? Yes. Absolutely.
Pulling weeds, I have an excited two year old by my side. “Look!” as he holds up a half filled bucket of weed tops — leaving someone else to pick the roots. “These are for you!” offering up a pretty “bouquet” of “flowers”. When my brother finds an orange lady bug, this incouragable little brother exclaims “I keep looking ’till I find a blue one.” And we all laugh, relishing this little brother who is so happy to be helping, so content with looking for a blue ladybug. What better way to be working outside than with a little comic relief now and then?
With little ones playing house, Indian and settler, riding bikes, laughter in the background, the suns warm rays, the cool breeze, a beautiful harmony is created, perfect for being outside. Perfect for working together, laughing together, and just being a family.
Yes, there is truly a “season for everything, and a time for every purpose under heaven.”
“While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” ~Genesis 8:22~
I am a 23 year old young lady who is redeemed and saved from my sin only by the grace of God. A bibliophile at heart with a love of history who desires to see the Word of God practically applied to all aspects of our daily lives -- in our homes, in the grocery store, in the political realm. I strive to put my jumbled, chaotic thoughts down onto paper -- reducing them into black and white rows, letters, sentences. Into some semblance of sanity. And I share them here with all of you, where I can challenge you, make you think, and cause you to ask questions. I am the oldest of eleven children living the country life in the deep south.