Wednesday, June 18, 2014

In the garden with Mary (part 1)

When we first bought this house ten years ago there was a garden out back that the previous owners had called the “moon garden.”  All the plants had either white flowers or silvery gray-green foliage.  Supposedly, during a full moon the garden was supposed to glow.

It was all a bit too new-agey for me, so when the garden became overgrown with thistle and Queen Anne’s lace I decided to reclaim it.  It soon became our Mary Garden with plants invoking images from her life.

The last week I spent a lot of time in that garden weeding, moving plants around, adding a couple of new roses and mulching.  I always seem to find a lot of inspiration when I am working in that garden, much more so there than in any of my others.

Some of it is insightful and some I’d just rather not hear.  This last week was full of both.  As I think about it all I think I need to go over it in reverse order.

Saturday morning Himself and I had a discussion that really annoyed me.  It wasn’t anything terrible.  In fact, much of what we talked about was Himself wanting to encourage me about the writing I like and want to do.  But I was annoyed and upset, so rather than say something I would probably regret, I went out to the garden to finish what I had started earlier in the week.

As I was working I was wallowing in self-pity, a bit overwhelmed by some of the things that have been occurring in the last few weeks.  I kept telling God that they (whoever that might be) want too much from me.  “They” need more than I have to give.

Now, get this.  No one is demanding anything of me.  It is more my feeling of needing to do “stuff.”  That stuff is either trying to live up to what I perceive as someone’s expectations of me or living up to my expectations of myself.

On Saturday morning I moaned that it was more than I had to give.  And, when I finally let my mind be quiet, I heard I want all of you.

I want all of you.

Really, God?  Really?

Yes. All of you.

You don’t want to know my response, but I’m going to tell you anyway.


Yep.  I suppose that it isn't something that you are supposed to say to God, but I did.


Whiney, wallowing-in-self-pity me said that.  And, what’s weird, I felt better.  Don’t think that’s supposed to happen.  Nope.

I went about the rest of the weekend doing what I could.  I finished the garden, and it looks lovely if I do say so myself.  My sister and niece came to spend the night with us while BIL worked a late shift.  Dad and BIL came over Sunday afternoon and we celebrated Father’s Day with a really great dinner and dessert.

After everyone left but before we had things cleaned up, the phone rang.  Fr. Ed was in the area, could he stop by for a visit?  Of course!  I’ve written about him before.  He is one of those incredibly brilliant people who just make your head spin trying to keep up with what he is saying.

During the course of our visit I told him about Saturday.  Well, I told him about most of it.  I might have left out the F.U. part.

His response was simple.  Our “everything” we bring to God is who we are at that moment.  Broken, overwhelmed, imperfect people.  We give Him that.

We work on getting better.  We work on becoming more whole, fully formed people.  Until then, we bring to Him what we are at that very moment.  Nothing more, but nothing less.

Suddenly, everything I had thought about earlier in the week made much more sense.  More on that later.



  1. Such a great insight. Thanks for sharing!

  2. It is OK to be angry with God sometimes. He can take our anger. He took our anger when on the Cross.

    God bless.

  3. Your FU was what you had to give God in that moment, all of it. Nothing more. Nothing less. Even a prayer in anger or telling God to go away is still a prayer. (I might have prayed a few prayers like this. Maybe. ;).)

    I'm very much looking forward to reading more as I had a pretty intense week with Mary last week myself. I am still processing it all, deciding what shall be public and what shall stay in my journal, but yea, it was a week. I'm also wondering if your words will not become part of my processing. (NOT at all putting pressure on you, just awaiting the Holy Spirit's next move.)

  4. Given that I've been feeling whiney since Friday, this was a great post for me to read today.