Last Friday was yard work day. Not usually my favorite day, but at least we had some lovely cool weather for it. A light sprinkle of rain in the morning helped soften the ground and loosen the roots of all those weeds that had snuck into our front garden bed. We spent hours trimming hedges, cutting back boxwoods, ripping out flowers that had seen better days, and shaping up our maple tree. Tomatillos and eggplants were pulled out of the garden boxes. The monster tomato plant that was overtaking our little lilac tree was chopped down. We dug carrots out of cool black dirt. We filled an entire dumpster with yard waste.
It felt good. Good to work with our hands. Good to be dirty. Good to rip out the old and make space for the new.
Good to celebrate the coming of a new season in the garden and in life.
This summer had it’s highs and lows. And the low points often felt like they won. We experienced a lot of change and loss this summer. It wasn’t fun. In fact it was not fun at all. The good news is that wasn’t our whole story. Our kitchen was filled with pie and our table shared with friends. Our friends laughed and cried with us, made us dinner, and prayed for us. We celebrated new marriages, toasted to the life of dear friends, and snuck away for weekends of rest.
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the turning over from one season to the next and I’m hoping that this next season will be one full of joy. I’m so glad that even though the last few months have been hard on my heart, I’m still walking into the fall with a bountiful harvest behind me and plenty of good earth in front of me. My hope is not foolish because I know that my God is faithful, he calls me to live a full life here on earth, and he promises that when I seek him, I will find him. He promises to restore what is broken.
Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
(Jeremiah 29:5-7 ESV)
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
(Jeremiah 29:11-14 ESV)