A sudden gust picked up the windchimes, crashing them into the fence. They clanged with such force that I startled. All-day the chimes rang, the wind forcing itself through the garden. It was the kind of wind that left me feeling uneasy, reminding me how chaotic life is at the moment.
A crow flew to the feeder, adjusting his wings to maintain balance as the wind blew him about. That’s what I need to do—make adjustments for these turbulent times.
“That’s right,” God said as another blast sent the trees waving about. “Set your sails to where you want to go. Let the chaos propel you to new opportunities.”
“I like that idea,” I replied. The crow turned and looked my way. “Thank you for the inspiration,” I shouted, even though I knew he couldn’t hear me over the roar of the wind. Later, after the storm had passed, I wrote down all the ways in which I can make changes to better navigate these rough times—I set my sails.
In the heat of the midday sun, two finches took turns at the feeder, flying in from a nearby tree. They caroled to one another, their sweet voices filling the garden with joy. I pushed my spade deep into the earth, turning over the dark crumbly soil, preparing it for planting. I turned over another spadeful of earth and another, inadvertently freeing earthworms from their dark places. I put them back on the ground and watched them wriggle until they disappeared, swallowed up by the earth. Nearby, a bee buzzed loudly inside a foxglove blossom, while all the flowers nodded their heads on the breeze. A bead of sweat ran down my face; I wiped it off with my sleeve, taking a moment to rest and survey the plants growing all around me.
“I want my life to be a garden,” I whispered to God. “Plant in me, your grace and wisdom. Make me the soil that grows the fruits of your Spirit.”
God put His arm around me, “You are my garden, Sparrow,” He said.
I stopped my digging and stood with Him, searing the moment to memory, lest I ever forget that in me, God is growing.
The wind woke me this morning, bumping up against the house, insistent that someone pay attention to it. I grumbled, not yet ready to leave the land of my dreams, but I got up and opened the blinds to see what it was going on about. The trees moved under its force, bending and bowing. One tree, in particular, caught my attention. It rose from the earth, but then curved and grew sideways, almost parallel to the ground. Why did it grow that way? I wondered.
“See how the other trees crowded it out?” God said, and came and stood by me at the window. “It couldn’t grow in their shadows, so it did what it needed to do to grow towards the light.”
I thought about how I sometimes stay in the shadows of others, intimidated. “I could learn a lesson from that tree,” I confessed.
“Be the person I created you to be, ” God encouraged me. “Step out of the shadows, and grow towards my light. ”
A gust of wind shook the window. “You don’t have to be so dramatic about it!” I grinned.
“You’d be surprised,” God said, and grinned right back.
My daughter told me that she can feel the baby moving now, and invited me to experience the small little flutters.
As I placed my hands on her belly, God whispered to me, “I yearn to be known. My love projects itself into form so that it can be recognized and made real,” God said.
“And we are happy recipients of that love, grateful that you want to be known,” I thought.
My daughter looked up at me, her eyes brimming with the promise of new life growing within her. I rested my hands upon her soft belly for a moment more and said a prayer for the newest member of our family as he or she continues to grow because of God’s immense love for us, and His yearning to be known through that love.
God gave us a spirit of power, love, and self-control.
~2 Timothy 1:7
“You’re thinking of tackling a new challenge,” God whispered to me on my morning walk.
“Yes. I am. I’ll need your help,” I answered. A pair of geese on the pond called out, then slowly rose from the water. I watched them until they flew out of sight.
“I’ll be with you every step of the way,” God assured me.
“I’m glad because it’s a pretty big dream. It’s a bit intimidating.”
“New ideas and endeavors often require you to stretch beyond your comfort zone,” God explained. “If you trust my Spirit, and you are willing to risk some stretch marks, let’s make your dream come true!” I could hear the smile in His voice.
I put my hands on my belly. “I grew four babies in here, two at one time even. I’m comfortable with stretch marks,” I said laughingly. The geese circled back and flew overhead, calling, calling. They sounded excited, eager to greet the new day. With a gentle sweep of their wings, they landed gracefully on the pond. I watched them as I stood in the cool of the morning, breathing in God’s sweet breath of hope and His plans for my future.