Thursday, October 12, 2017

Irrigate My Soul

Oh my! It's been more than 2 years since I've written anything about anything. You might think that I've fallen off the planet or that nothing has happened in 2 years but that's just not the truth. Many, many things have happened and I'll see if I can resurrect some of the more lofty events. But for now, I  will share a story about a failed garden and a need for irrigation. (Notice I did not say 'irritation.')

I have been thinking about it.

John (the husband) and I have a home high on a mountain in Estes Park, CO. I realize it's an extreme privilege to own this and spend time there. A wonderful meeting up happens out there: our grandson arrives (along with his parents and uncle) and when he gets out of his carseat, he stamps his feet as fast as he can and shrieks and flaps his hands when he sees us. Oh, the joy of seeing all that joy!

(Perhaps that's what I will do when I see Jesus face to face... stamp and shriek and flap...)

There are days when John and I are at the house without family and guests to feed and we take on home-owner projects. This past trip we tackled the garden. It's not large, but it's not small either. The garden has been a special challenge because it is not located in Iowa with Iowa soil and Iowa rain and Iowa seasons; I have the Iowa thing down...
But this garden is at 8500 feet elevation with weather that is terribly Colorado unpredictable.

It has a 6 foot wire fence around it to keep out the deer and elk. Last year, 3 deer jumped the fence and lunched on the delphiniums. I duly chased them out yelling, "What were you thinking?"

Last year, I failed to take seriously the desert-like rainless quality of the summer and my plants died a slow, dry, painful death.

This summer, we fired up the existing irrigation system and watched to see what would come up. Most everything grew well but bloomed not at all. It was a garden full of weeds. I pulled out everything I didn't like as I discovered how ineptly this and that bloomed. Except for the poppies and 3 delphiniums, the garden grew weeds the best.

On one of our hikes this past summer, I dug up about thirty lovely blooming plants on a very remote trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. I gently tucked them into my backpack during the hike and then into the garden ASAP. Every plant immediately died. How rude. I later found out it is terribly illegal to dig in the Park.. it's a no-no.

There was one thing that grew exceedingly well - 2 giant mulleins. I found out through a neighborhood newsletter that mulleins are a terrible nuisance and getting rid of them is a priority. There went THE most beautiful and tallest grower in the garden; the one plant that grew really well was a terrible nuisance with no respect.

My only success: a small patch of poppies and 3 scraggly delphiniums.

Well... I have a dream! I have a goal of filling this garden with colorful beauty and I'm not giving up. We will see who wins this cause - the Colorado environment or me.

Step one: check the existing irrigation system. Does it work? Well no... Mostly it leaked. John dug up all the tubes, pipes and sprinklers for inspection and improvement. Most everything was replaced with new parts and given new locations. The goal was to irrigate every square foot to give all thirsty plants a fighting chance at life.

Step two: plant bulbs. I ordered over a hundred alliums and grape hyacinths and dug them in. Alliums are in the onion family and I'm counting on the tastebuds of deer and elk to reject these beauties. My grandson helped and it took hours to accomplish. Oh, we have... high hopes!

As I was fixing and planting and planning and digging, I couldn't help but think of my current spiritual life, the garden of my soul. It seems to be growing weeds as well. It's been neglected. It's been too dry. It needs cultivation and irrigation.

I need to plant some good stuff like God's Word... and some prayer cultivation would help me bloom. Regular irrigation by the Holy Spirit would nurture my heart into a more loving relationship with Jesus. It's not that I have given up my faith, it's there. It just needs to grow and do the bloom thing.

I WANT my faith to grow. I want to hear that 'still small voice' and feel the nudges of inspiration from the Spirit. I want to tackle each day with a dose of worship and praise, followed by labor that produces Kingdom blooms and Kingdom beauty. Oh, the joy of it! Abundant joy!

So come, Holy Spirit.

Help me see You at work in my life. Help me to grow and bloom. Pull out those weeds. Cultivate my heart. Plant Your Word. Irrigate my soul.

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