Of Gardens and Churches

Falling silently and nearly invisible, the rain soaks deep
into the grass. Slow, steady, unchanging. 
The effect at first is almost negligible. What good could
come from this small amount? But subtly quietly, it continues. Water seeps into
brittle grass, bounces off grey weathered deck planks, and into freshly dug
raspberry beds. The soil blackens slightly, softening. 
For the first time last night in this new group, we circled
on couches with other couples, while our children ranged free outside and
nearby. Ice cream puddled in styrofoam bowls over brownie and peanuts, and conversations
were tentative. We’re joining a new small group, and feeling hesitant, careful.
Guarding our calendar and family time is the main focus, not wanting to be too
busy, but there’s more, I know. Coming out of a painful church split these last
few years, I am still in a quiet phase, carefully choosing my words, trying to
be spirit-led in my words and attitudes, and silently recovering emotionally. 
My dad and I jumped on shovel edges this week, rocked garden
pitchforks, and swung fearsome yellow mallets, erecting four raised garden
beds and a raspberry trough. Side by side for three days, we pulled sod, shook
dirt, and blackened our hands and feet. At one point, in my folly, I
shoveled-jumped in sandals, slipping and slicing my foot open on the sharp
shovel edge. Pain and blood flowed to the surface, and I hobbled inside. Later,
cleaned up, bandaged, and wearing safer shoes, I returned to the hard ground
and work. Gripping the handle, I jumped high again, cutting into the clay
ground, creating room for new life. 
This morning, rain falls silently and unceasingly, seeping
into the hard ground. The changes are minimal, but noticeable over time. The
ground is softening.

Linking with Imperfect Prose, and Scribing the Journey. 

Share this post:


  1. Unknown on September 21, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    This gives me goose bumps, Jennifer. We ready the soil. But heaven sends the rain. Blessings in this growing–this new place.

  2. Wise Hearted on September 21, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Jennifer…we faced the same thing when we moved into our condo in California…the yard had huge bare spots in it. It now is all green but it took faithful watering from March to now. I love to see things grow, always gives me hope that I did not waste my time and sweat on something not worthwhile.

    On your question, if ever had malaria…no, even though I am sure I got bit by that blood filled female mosquiteo. I like to think they looked at me and said, no way I am going to bite her, she will bite back. Ha.

    The last two years in Papua New Guinea I did not even take the prevention meds. Ace always had to take them due to his weak heart and he got it often. He should be free from the parasites now, yet we know there is a 25 percent chance it could come back, all it takes is one parasite in the blood stream still living taking housing up in his liver. We never feared it though, it was just part of living there. We both decided a long time ago our life was not our own. I think both of us thought we would die over seas serving our Lord. But God had other plans for us.

    What were you doing in Africa…missionary? I bet you could tell some interesting stories about your time there.

    It's easy to tell by your post Jennifer that you seek the Lord in everything, even planting and waiting for result. Life is so full of "waits", they never end. Blessing my sister.

  3. Anonymous on September 22, 2012 at 7:14 am

    I don’t get it

  4. Anonymous on September 22, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Your post today makes me want to go out and plant something. And the blood….well to me that shows how pain is always involved when there is new life.

    May your garden grow and your ground soften and may God keep sending you rain……

  5. Jennifer Dougan on September 24, 2012 at 5:11 pm


    "Heaven sends the rain" — yes! So stalwart and encouraging, huh?

    Thank you.

    Jennifer Dougan

  6. Jennifer Dougan on September 24, 2012 at 5:21 pm


    Thank you for seeing Jesus in me, and in the waiting too. That blesses me.

    I lived in Liberia and Cote d'Ivoire with my family, learning language and loving peoples. Yes, I loved my time there and share stories of baboons, termites and civil wars.

    Have a great week.

    Jennifer Dougan

  7. Jennifer Dougan on September 24, 2012 at 5:23 pm


    "Pain is always involved when there is new life" – I love that!

    And, yes, here is to garden and grounds softening by His rain.

    Thank you for stopping by here, V, and joining the discussion.

    have a lovely week.

    Jennifer Dougan

Leave a Comment