Monday, April 21, 2008

Glory Beyond Borders

As I told this funny gardening story to my friend Holly, God began to speak...
He often uses my everyday surroundings and happenings to speak loudly and clearly to my heart.
Maybe this will touch a chord with someone else out there.
First, the story:

Since Ontario has decided that we ought to go straight from winter to summer...skipping the ritual of Spring all together. The girls and I decided to take advantage of the weather and purchase my beloved pansies for my front garden....they never last long because of the heat, but I figured with the early start, I might get to enjoy them a little longer.

Maria shopped with me, and at the check out, picked out a package of Morning Glory seeds.
I love to see these little flowers peek over my neighbor's fence and greet me every morning as I prepare breakfast or wash dishes.

We purchased gardening gloves for each of us girls...because if you are going to dig in the dirt, you MUST be fashionable! (I also have an EXTREME issue with worms). We also bought replacement hand tools, as it seems my dear Michael has taken my new ones from last year off to the fort...never to be found again.
Despite my hiding places and warnings, Spring and new gardening tools go hand in hand in our home.

After planting our pansies Maria wanted to know if she could plant one of the seeds. She chose a spot that may not be in the best interest of this little seed, next to the basketball net.
I filled her in on the "plan", we would plant a lovely row of these seeds at a later date, all along my back fence. I have a bordered area there that is my "battlefield"...I tend to be victorious until about mid July, then ultimately, the weeds win.

Tonight I was tired and I had a few allergy symptoms from my gardening yesterday, so decided to stay inside. Jianna felt it only fair that she get to plant a seed as well. I agreed, and filled her in on "the plan".

Soon, both girls donning their lovely gardening gloves were at the door, seeds, tools, and watering can in hand. Could they plant the rest of the seeds?
I had a few thoughts on that...why stifle this "budding" urge to garden when they could very well prove to be the answer to my gardening prayers?
Besides, they couldn't do any worse than I would do, right?

10 minutes pass, I decide to check on the progress.
I look out to find that the girls decided to plant these climbing beauties in some very interesting front garden...the one that actually looks pretty good most of the time, also beside the step where a small plot of land sits....which is already home to a LARGE bushy tree thing.
So, I praise the girls for their creativity and go over the "PLAN" again, I send them to the back yard with clear instructions to plant along the BACK fence.

As with most kids, the girls got tired of gardening before all of the seeds were planted, I check to see that all of the gardening tools are back in their hiding place. They are not and as I discover the tools, I also discover that the girls planted their seeds against the SIDE fence. Now this would be fine, except that this is an area that was once lovingly gardened by someone who actually had a green was just one more "battlefield" for me, so last summer, we killed everything in there, and completely mulched the was now an extended patio where I would keep a bird bath and some potted plants.
Maria also decided that since these Morning Glories were climbers, she would plant some around the Shepherds rod that was situated to hang prettily organized baskets from.

Depending on the color of my little girls' thumbs, I could be completely surrounded by Morning Glories come mid summer....instead of the well thought out, well planned little bordered wall of  climbing flowers, I had anticipated.

Suddenly God began to speak to me about HIS GLORY. 
How often do we have plans and organized ideas about where His Glory...His Manifest Presence, should come?
Carefully thought out, walled in locations that seem logical to us.
Areas that have been prepped and plowed for this purpose....maybe even areas that are boxed in and controlled, or quite possibly, a little out of view of the passer bys.

He began to speak to me of how His desire is to SURROUND me with His Glory, to come to the areas that were not even set a part for this purpose. The areas where He might seem "out of place"...the unexpected places.

Places like In front of millions of viewers on a secular TV show like "American Idol"....hmmmm, all a little "out of my box", how about yours?
The question then becomes, "Am I prepared to embrace and enjoy Him, wherever He is, however He chooses to show up....or will I try to maintain my organized plan...trying to transplant or even tear out His Glory that is not where and how I expected it?"

God help me to see and Love you and all that you are...even when it doesn't fit my "plan", help me to embrace your "Glory Beyond Borders".


Mona said...

Jen that is a great story and God is so good. Yes this does strike a cord within me.Thankyou for sharing.I was reading word for Today this morning the scripture was
For we are the sweet fragrance of Christ which exhales unto God…” (Psalm 42:1).
He is also our Sweet Fragrance and has now surrounded you and your family in the places you least expected.
By the way How is Michael feeling?
He didn't look so hot on Saturday.

Jen said...


When Michael came home early from convention, he slept for a few hours and then all night, he was still pretty warm Sunday morning, but is now the scripture you shared, thanks.

Holly said...

Great story and great thoughts Jenny.

I love HIS Glory and I want to be surrounded by it!

Roxanne said...

Sounds like gardening is an adventure at your house.
I like how you state, "Suddenly..."
Many of life's teachable moments seem to come when we least expect them.

Rhonda said...

Your home should like quite spectacular this summer with the Glory all around it!


Amy said...

Love this story Jen! Reminded me of my "don't quite stick to the PLAN" children!! Love the analogy. God often speaks to me through my daily activities too. He is such a loving father, meeting us where we are.