Late February… hope for the eve of Spring in North Carolina and today my garden was calling my name. The gorgeous afternoon gave me a chance to do a little weeding and raised bed prep for the upcoming planting season. Each time I walk through the gates, I am able to slow down for just a little while, forgetting about emails, to-do lists, and and the general busyness of life. The simplicity of gardening, that hand to earth connection, is such a welcomed distraction and a natural stress-reliever, unless I have to deal with squash beetles, but that is a different story!
So, on this gorgeous, sunny Sunday in Gaston County, I got my hands in the dirt, pulled some weeds, tilled some soil and removed some rocks from the boxes. Time in the garden is a time for reflection and time to add to my “Rockpile”.
Those of you who know me well know that I am a huge fan of the Buffalo Bills. Just last week, when I arrived in Buffalo to celebrate my dad’s 80th birthday, I had my mom snap a quick picture of me in the airport with a Bills display featuring QB Josh Allen. When I was working in the garden, I smiled thinking about my “Rockpile”. To Bills fans, the Rockpile means a couple of things. The first is the historic War Memorial Stadium which played host to minor league baseball teams and Buffalo Bills football games, including some playoffs! New Era field boasts of its own Rockpile, sometimes known as the cheap seats, which is home to some of the NFL’s rowdiest fans.
Yet, my Rockpile is quite different. As I tend my garden, when I come across a rock, I add it to my Rockpile on a large stump just outside the garden fence. Each rock represents a prayer lifted up for someone on my mind as I garden. Rest assured, if you are a part of my life in anyway, you have been prayed over and one of those rocks in the pile represents my fondness for you. Sometimes I smile and offer a prayer of rejoicing, sometimes there is a tear or two that accompanies the prayer for a loved one who may be suffering.
Today, I added the first rock of the upcoming growing season and offered up a prayer for my dad and for his comfort as he lives with dementia. It is indeed a terrible affliction. Yet, the rocks represent hope. God hears our prayers and he is faithful to answer them.
As I started to run out of daylight, I sat down in my she-shed and made some plans for the upcoming renovations. As soon as the new roof is on, the work can finally begin on the inside! I looked out at the garden and could envision the vegetables, the zinnias and sunflowers and the butterflies darting from flower to flower. The promise of spring is encouraging and beautiful. It reminds me of God’s promises and his steadfast faithfulness season to season.
As your week unfolds, know that you, my friends and family members, are lifted up in prayer. As my Rockpile grows during the next few months, I will count it a privilege to pray for those I know and even add a rock or two for those I have yet to meet. Have a wonderful day!
May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.2 Thessalonian 3:5 (ESV)
But as for me, my prayer is to you, O LORD. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness.Psalm 69:13