Thoughts on life from Pat Oaks
In the first book of the Bible, Genesis, God gave Adam and Eve a beautiful garden and told them to "tend" or "keep" the garden He had given them. The Message Bible says "to work the ground and keep it in order." (Genesis 2:15)
I started thinking about that verse when I was out watering my flowers the other night after the sun started going down. I love that time of day, when the sun is starting to set and the night creatures start talking to each other as they settle down to sleep. I was thinking what a blessing it is to have a garden to "tend." A garden left unatTENDed, won't give forth beautiful flowers, or vegetables. The weeds eventually choke out all the beauty and all that is left is ugliness and chaos.
The next day, Tommy, John Thomas, and I were cleaning the house and that verse came to me again. As I've mentioned before in my posts, each of us have a particular job for our day of cleaning. I thought to myself that once again, we are "tending" what God has given us to enjoy. If we don't tend to our living space, it soon becomes chaotic and downright nasty. Little germs find lots of good hiding places and are just waiting to jump out and attack us the first chance they get.
Things that are not "tended" get lost in all the mess. One finds oneself spending more time looking for things than it would take to put them where they belonged in the first place!
When our living space is tended, we always have a nice straight bed to crawl into at night, because we made it first thing in the morning.
We have clean dishes when it comes time to cook a meal and we don't have to take time to wash dishes before we can even start to cook.
We don't run out of underwear because we washed and dried our clothes instead of letting them pile up so deep on the laundry room floor that we have to wade through them to get to the washing machine.
Once I let my mind go in that direction, I could think of all kinds of tending that goes on in this world that God has given us. Helping our neighbor who has no one to help. Taking care of children in other countries so that they have food to eat and clothing to wear.
Sometimes our mouths need tending, and I don't just mean the dentist. Although it could be that as well! We have a dentist who comes under the bridge almost every week to pull teeth for the homeless. Many times I have had to talk to someone and persuade them to go ahead and have their teeth pulled, because if they don't "tend" to their teeth, it could poison the rest of their body.
I want to be more aware of what I can do to tend the garden that God has put in my care. If all of us do our part, what a wonderful world we will have!
I love to say the names of seasons. Each one feels good in my mouth, as Tommy would say. Some words DO feel better than others when you say them. For example: HOME, BABY, BABBLING BROOK.
Some words don't feel good! ANGRY, VOMIT, TRASH.
When you say the seasons of the year, though, they not only feel good, they sound good. WINTER, SPRING, FALL or AUTUMN and, of course, SUMMER...the season in which we now find ourselves.
I always go back to the summers of my childhood. The sounds of summer are easily conjured up, as well as the smells and just the overall feel. Summer says watermelon, picnics, flowers, hummingbirds, and blue skies. It smells like newly mowed grass and hamburgers on the grill. Sun tan lotion and citronella candles. It sounds like wind chimes and Cicadas. It feels like a new friend you haven't seen in awhile.
If you haven't done it this summer, run outside, just for a minute, barefoot. Stand for awhile in the grass and remember when you kept asking your Mother if it was time for you to go barefoot once more.
"Summertime....and the livin' is easy."
This has been a busy 3 weeks!
First of all, we had 2 shows at a dinner theater in Indiana, and one show at a church. We got home from there, and had one day to get ready to head out again. Jason rented a house in Florida and wanted us to join him so we did. I believe it was the nicest weather we have ever had down there! It was in the mid 80s all week with a nice breeze. Our friends Joey and Cathy told us we needed to go on an air boat ride in the marshes, and after stopping in one day to see us, they left enough money on the table for all of us to go! So we did! It was wonderful. I highly recommend it. We saw gators and turtles and species of birds I had never seen before. They could walk on the marsh grass as if they were walking on water...which they just about were! We would plow through water lilies and even go across the grass and mud of the swamp. It was truly amazing.
We came home and had one day to pack to go to our annual Memorial Day retreat in Gatlinburg. We had a good crowd (around 40) and the weekend was just perfect, as it always is. We came home, unpacked, put everything away, and went to bed exhausted.
We got up this morning with a full day's activities planned. First of all, we had laundry to do. Then, beds to change, floors to mop, bathrooms to clean and on and on. You know the drill. I came into the kitchen to decide what needed to be done first. Tommy and John boy always have their jobs - Tommy vacuums, John boy cleans the bathrooms, I change the beds and wash and dust and any extra stuff that needs to be done. As I stood there I thought to myself, "I need to get my priorities straight here, and do the most important thing first, then work down from there."
So, I grabbed my scissors and marched out into the dewy morning in my house shoes to a bed of Bachelor Buttons I planted last year, which have exploded with blooms this year! In my world, flowers always top my list of priorities! After carefully arranging my Bachelor Buttons, I was ready to face whatever else the day might decide to throw at me!
I hope that you will keep your priorities straight today!
A real picture of the priorities Prisha picked!