"If the God you believe in as an idea doesn’t start showing up in what happens to you in your own life, you have as much cause for concern as if the God you don’t believe in as an idea does start showing up. It is absolutely crucial, therefore, to keep in constant touch with what is going on in your own life’s story and to pay close attention to what is going on in the stories of others’ lives. If God is present anywhere, it is in those stories that God is present. If God is not present in those stories, then they are scarcely worth telling." ~ Frederick Buechner

22 January 2013

Completely Rich

To be poor and without trees,
is to be the most starved human being in the world.
To be poor and have trees,
is to be completely rich in ways that money can never buy.
Clarissa Pinkola Estes, The Faithful Gardener

We spent a good portion of this weekend working in our backyard. There are many bulbs, rose bushes, and other plants back there, but there is also a mess of various vines, weeds, and leaves. 

Oh, boy, do we have leaves.

One of N's dreams growing up was to someday live in a house that was surrounded by trees. 

Well, that dream has more than come true. 

Too bad it wasn't in a place where the leaves don't ever fall off the trees.

Like in Africa.

Oh, wait. Wrong dream.

Really, though, I'm glad that dream came true for N, because I can't imagine living without any trees. Growing up in a rain forest, north Texas is a shock to my system. Sometimes, I ache for mountains (or at least some hills!) and greenery. 

When we first moved in, we raked up all the leaves into huge piles. We bagged the leaves in the front yard, but we left the ones in the back yard in four giant heaps (we ran out of bags).

So over the weekend, we started bagging the piles in the backyard, and yesterday, B and I spent most of the day outside, working. There are many more leaves to bag, lots of weeds to pull up, rocks and plants to move. He was such fun, running back and forth between the yard and the garage, bringing me this and that, riding his toy car around. Every time I created a pile of leaves and weeds, he would come over with his bright yellow rake and "help raking pile" (which really means scattering the pile I had just made, but I love his desire to help!). 

There are many days of work and backaches for us, and sometimes, I wish we had friends to call over for help. This would all go so much faster if we had more hands. 
I mean, some of those rocks are HEAVY.

Then I remind myself of how this house is an example of God's provision in our lives. That we wanted these trees. This yard. 

Truth be told, the more time I spend back there, with my little helper and my Big Helper, the more I am reminded of the importance of renewal. Of clearing out the bad stuff and giving the good stuff room to breathe and grow.

These are good lessons to learn ... and to teach.

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