Friday, June 23, 2006

RIpped Vacation

Next week begins our vacation time. I have not taken any vacation time off since last year. I really have not had any time to think about vacation or what I will most enjoy, want to do or take along to read.

This date had been on my calendar for about six months. The original plan was to vacation in Colorado. We had a reservation. We planned to see friends. We planned to meet my parents and my sister and brother-in-law for a week away from everything a mile high. But then came the adoption. We canceled the Colorado trip in favor of an adoption party in Kansas at some undisclosed date. The entire family was thrilled.

That's when things fell apart. I got a call from Kelly one Friday that the mother had the baby early and was considering keeping the baby boy. We prayed. It was my son's idea. We prayed. The end result was that the birth mother chose to keep the baby.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Excavation of Selfishness

On Thursday evening a few weeks ago, Donna and I were talking about our front flower beds. Scratch that . . . I should say that Donna was talking about flower beds. I was listening (sort of). Ever since we we have lived in Denton, she has wanted expanded flowerbeds. We were again in a conversation of how "we" were going to tear out a very small section of grass, tear out two Holly Trees, uproot most all the plants, haul in better dirt and completely redo our landscaping.

This conversation was more like a dialogue from one person (Donna) with a whole lot of mumbling, grumbling and head shaking on the other end (Brady). For whatever reason, I was not interested. The flowers and trees seemed perfectly fine. Probably more because they were already planted. They were fine because I did not have to do them. They were fine, well except for those Holly Trees. We both wanted them out. The little red berries are poisonous. Do you have any idea how hard it is to tell a 1 year old and 4 year old that little red berries are not candy? Nearly impossible. Nathan seems to get it because we have told him that his life would end. This first little lesson in death (not by punishment, but by poison) seems to have connected with him. In fact, he is our extra pair of eyes to keep Lizzie from eating them.

And then I realized Mother's Day was coming. I was sitting there basically a non-participating party to this conversation of what my wife wanted to do. I changed my entire approach and begin talking and participating. We made a plan on that Thursday night to start on Saturday morning. Together we were going to do the work. Remove the trees, uproot the plants, till the soil, haul better soil and make it new.

The next morning Donna called from work. Her work schedule had been shifted and we were ready to begin work a day early. The work stretched on several weekends. We had fun with it. We got dirty, sore and sunned. The weather was great and the kids were cooperative. We had friends and neighbors who loaned us what we needed. It was pretty clear that we could not do this on our own. A lot of people helped make it possible. Gardening is not something you do alone . . . even if you are kneeling alone in the garden.

Nathan was thrilled when the plants went into the rich, new soil. He asked Donna what each plant was called. He announced that he was going to begin praying for the plants to do well. I told him that was a great idea that prayer was an effective means of gardening. I had read that "scientifically" plants prayed for did better than those not prayed for. Funny that we are more likely to trust "scientific proof" than actually living "spiritual lives."

Our friend Steve, who is an expert gardner degreed from Texas A&M and a deeply spiritual man, agreed. Here is an exerpt from an email that he willingly allowed me to post.
May 29, 2006

Speaking of prayers, Nathan has already discovered the secret to successful gardening. It's prayer. I pray over every crop that I plant, no matter what it is. I plant it, and then I give it to God. Only He can provide the growth. I just consider it a privilege to be allowed to pretend I'm helping by watering, weeding, fertilizing and grooming the plants. I hope your new garden is a fabulous success. There's just something so wonderful and fulfilling about seeing a well-grown, mature plant that you've nurtured from just a pup. I look forward to seeing the before and after pictures. If you don't see the quick summer color that you're looking for pretty soon, I've got some ideas about some great annuals that just might fill that niche.
I hope you had a safe ... enjoyable ... holiday weekend!
I suppose that the real gardening has been the tilling of my own soul. To care more for the needs and interests of my wife than for my own needs. To realize that anything we do is never done alone, but done with the help, encouragement of support of others.