Liz Benigno

a view from the porch

Tending the garden

liz benigno1 Comment


Dirt matters. We live on almost two acres of old compacted dirt. We have renovated the house (almost done) and are now beginning to tackle the yard.The soil is hard, dusty and nutrient poor. At the moment the only thing growing are sticker burrs and weeds. When it rains the water rolls right off, it's more like watering cement than soil. What we want is a lush lawn, happy plants and a glorious show of flowers. In rich, soft soil, roots grow deeply so if we want the lush lawn and happy plants we need to make sure and prepare the soil properly. 

My spiritual garden isn't much different. In my garden my "dirt"can harden because of disappointment, a season of sorrow and pain, or a lack of (living) water. Because weeds adapt to grow in poor soil, if I'm not careful my garden can quickly get overrun with the sticker burrs of life. 

So how should we tend the garden? Take care of the soil.

First~ clear the area. Remove rocks or other debris. Dig them up and get rid of them. Jealousy, cynicism, old past hurts, unforgiveness, unconfessed junk. Second~ loosen the soil. I use a garden fork or a power tiller depending on how compacted my dirt is. Tilling the ground is difficult work and often times back breaking work. But good fruit doesn't come from rocky soil so be willing to open yourself up to the truth (tilling) of where you currently are and where you actually want/need to be. Lastly, improve the soil. When I nurture my prayer life, serve others, or am actively grateful I can feel my soil softening. And sometimes the best thing for dirt is compost. Compost is smelly business, but man is it good for the ground! In my garden the compost pile currently consists post chemo/radiation surgeries, an aging declining father, a recently widowed mother-in-law and a full time job.  

An He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, "Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root they withered away. Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear."

I want Jesus to sow seeds in my heart and life. And I want to have good, soft, ready soil so I can yield a crop for Him. 

How's your garden? 

Matthew 13:3-9