Summer Fun Part III

Our Garden BLOOMS

So, I have a garden now. It’s not simply a small raised bed with some strawberries and zucchini. No, I mean about half of my back yard is a big, giant garden.

When we bought the house back in April, it was clear the yard was going to be something spectacular. The problem, of course, was seeing the vision of “what could be” back then. After suffering from years of neglect (the previous owner was an older woman) and a very late winter (we had six inches of snow on May 2!!!), the backyard had certainly seen better days.

It’s design was beautiful, with an open Pergola covered with grapevines and a sprinkler system for almost every section.


The problem, of course, was in order to revive and maintain its beauty, i would have to work…a LOT. I mean, really, what mom to a toddler has the time or ability to put EVERY SINGLE WEED that pops up. And I’ve tried making it a game for Leo…he thought that was as much fun as nap time and poopy diapers.


So I had an idea: KILL IT ALL. Yep, just throw down some grass and weed killer, put mulch over the sites and just keep it simple. Maybe down the line we’d plant some bushes or use our vegetable garden, but for now I just needed to clean and debris and KILL. Simple, easy, fast.

When I told my husband my brilliant idea, he looked like he had just been punched in the gut. My sweet husband grew up with the most incredible garden, cared for by his mom. Every detail is beautiful, and constantly providing the family with fruits, vegetables, and just simple eye candy. So I could understand his hesitation, but I was determined. “I’m not your mom,” I would say. “I just don’t have the patience for it.”


But Ryan is persistent, and incredibly convincing. He told me just to give it one summer. “Let’s see what pops up and blooms, then we’ll know what we want to keep or not keep for next spring.” Fair enough. Leo likes being outside, and even though I knew some of the work would be a bit back-breaking (I HATE MULCH), it wouldn’t hurt to at least see what popped up from our new mystery back yard.


If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my three years of marriage: my husband is incredibly wise. I am SO grateful we went with his suggestion instead of mine. At certain parts of the summer, our yard was a colorful wonderland. It seemed every week something new would pop up. Plants I dismissed as dead or simple weeds would blossom into absolutely gorgeous flowers. Purples, pinks, yellows, the surprises never ended.

I’ve been thinking about my garden a lot the past couple of weeks as I have attempted to enter more deeply into my spiritual life again. In the midst of summer craziness, moving, travel, etc, somehow it’s my relationship with the Lord that always gets put to the side. As I attempted to re-engage, slowly offer up some wounds of my past, God decided to get serious. But my efforts were kind of like how i approached my garden. “What quick, easy solution could I make to ensure these wounds never pop up again?” Apparently, it’s just not that simple.

There’s good reason scripture and Tradition makes comparisons with the spiritual life and the abundance of life provided by nature.  Each part of our souls has been carefully crafted and thought-out, but we humans tend to mess with the beauty of it all. I realized quite quickly that in order to experience the beauty of ‘what was meant to be,’ I must simply sit and allow God to do the necessary work (I, of course, am participating in this work too). It is a long, tedious and sometimes painful process, but–like my garden–I am already witnessing its potential beauty.



And so to my final point: TRUST. How hard it is for us to TRUST that, in spite of how difficult or challenging a task may be, that it is beauty awaiting us on the other side? And to my delight, as the summer went on, I found beauty unfolding through my garden in ways I didn’t anticipate. There is nothing more wonderful than watching the joy my son has in helping to pick beans from mommy’s garden, or watching the delight on my husband’s face when he sees not one by FIVE pumpkins spring forth unexpectedly (I have such a great Fall menu planned!)


God is a God of wonder, amazement and surprises. He showed this to me with my garden. I can’t wait to see what He does with my heart.

Blessings dear friends, Jules 🙂

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