Last year I took four weeks of spiritual renewal leave and wanted to focus on cultivation… in relationships, in my spiritual life, and literally, in my back yard.
I had far more intentions than time, but I was able to manage to clear out one entire section of the retaining wall (seen behind the owl mug in the picture). Vines and weeds and trees were growing in the midst of the mulch and rocks. I wanted to start from scratch and add some order to the space.
The question put forth today in “Growing A Rule of Life” is simple: In your garden, what will thrive… what can thrive if you let it?
What I discovered last summer was a whole lot of things were thriving I didn’t really want anymore.
So the English ivy was pulled and I discovered day lilies hiding under all the vines.
I cut back and cleared volunteer mulberries.
I destroyed a viney, busy mess of poison ivy, and cut out growth on a tree that had been cut down long before we arrived.
By clearing away the clutter in my garden, I created space for other things to thrive. Like the lilies and a lilac bush I discovered hiding in the mess of it all.
It was hidden in the very back corner, with volunteer trees suffocating it and so I moved it to a better spot and now it will have more sun. I’m anxious to see how it has weathered the winter and whether it will thrive in its new location or not.
I also am trying to figure out what to do with about 20 volunteer redbud trees in the space. They are thriving, but will need pruning and support in order to grow into proper trees. And they simply cannot thrive so close to one another, so the majority will have to be pulled. That is still a project for another day.
In the space I cleared, I also tried to plant wild ginger. Yet, it seemed to yellow and fade as the summer went on.
Just because we want to cultivate certain things, doesn’t mean we can.
As I build a rule of life, these lessons are helpful. There are all sorts of things I might want to plant, but I simply don’t have time or room for it all. Focusing on a few things that can thrive and will help me thrive in my journey of discipleship is wonderfully freeing.
Some things I think can thrive:
- Intentional Sabbath: setting firm boundaries between work and home/rest
- Blogging as a spiritual discipline: a place for reflection upon the Word, our faith lived out in the world
- Prayer time and space: physically creating a space to spend time listening to God both at work and at home.