Last week I started the Beloved Society devotional by Beth Cupitt found in the Print & Pray Shop. It’s beautiful! You should really go check it out. The devo is based on hymns & this particular one revolved around “In the Garden,” which is a favorite from when I was a kid. I grew up in a really small church in a rural area. The kind with old wooden pews & original stained glass window panels in the sanctuary. And during church, we didn’t sing any new age Christian praise songs; we sang hymns. Old songs out of old hymnal books to go with the old pews. Every time we sang that hymn, I used to actually imagine walking in a garden with Jesus. Usually the kind of garden with ivy draped over an archway & tall lush hedges & wildflowers. Magical.
In the devotional, Beth urges the reader to accept a challenge of taking a few minutes outside in nature each day to sit in quiet & really meditate on who makes it all possible. Challenge accepted! That day, I was walking across the property of my apartment complex to my mailbox & I found myself stopping on a corner by a tree, closing my eyes, & listening to the wind blow through the leaves. It was about to rain, so it smelled so wonderful & there were kids outside playing at the apartment across the lot. And I stood there on that corner with the sun shining on my face & thanked Him for everything. I literally prayed “Thank you for everything.” I thought that about covered it. :)
I’ve never had much of a green thumb. I mean, I can keep a plant basically alive through much of the spring & summer, but they usually end up dying a slow death. It’s not that I don’t LIKE plants– I really do! We have a balcony that has what I call an “urban garden” on it because we fill lots of pots & planters with succulents, snake plants, Impatiens, Hostas, things that don’t need a ton of sunlight because it’s pretty shaded during the day. The reason they usually die is because I don’t have the patience, dedication, & passion for gardening. I want to walk out on my balcony & have it be pretty & lush & inviting without having to prune the plants & water them & dote after them. It’s dumb, I know, because if you want something to thrive, you have to nurture it.
God takes the time to nurture each one of us. We’re each a little teeny tiny seed that He’s cultivating & growing into something beautiful & unique. It sounds cheesy but it’s totally true. He’s 100% dedicated & passionate about growing each of His “seeds” to their full potential. Think of all the time & patience & resources He pours into each of us… It’s humbling. I don’t have the discipline to keep ONE plant alive through the seasons, but He has BILLIONS of them that are growing exactly as they’re supposed to. #wowgod
That hymn, “In the Garden,” really resonated with me when I was standing outside my building with the wind blowing through the leaves.
The realization I had was profound: we’re not just walking through the garden with Him, we ARE the garden.
Illustrated Faith Print & Pray devotional “Beloved Society: My Nannie’s Songs” by Beth Cupitt | Illustrated Faith Blessings or Lessons stamp set by Stephanie Smokovich | Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd Treasures & Text in “She Blooms” | Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd alpha stickers in “Mini Mrs. Blueberry” | Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd enamel hearts in “Hey Sugar Sugar” | Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd washi tape in “Criss Cross” | Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd stickers in “Say It- Colorful” | Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd Homespun alpha stickers in “Olive You” | Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd pen | Illustrated Faith by Bella Blvd Date It Stamp | Recollections gold foil labels | Staz-On ink in “Jet Black” | Tim Holtz Distress Marker in “Shaded Lilac” | Artist’s Loft acrylic paint in “Portrait Pink” | Master’s Touch acrylic paint in “Purple Red” | Liquitex acrylic paint in “Brilliant Yellow Green” | navy polka dot washi | white card stock | kraft paper | graph paper | craft sequins