Garden Time

Judith C Evans:

See what’s new in the garden at John Evans’ blog!

Originally posted on John Evans :

I spent some time in our garden this morning. Posted are some of the photos I shot. Something very clearly spoke to me this morning that told me, “Go into the Spirit of all things (Spiritual & Natural), and there I will show you the wonders of your heart.” The beauty was all around me.

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Book Review: The Girl In the Road, by Monica Byrne

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The Girl In the Road by Monica Byrne begins as one of its main characters, Meena, finds snake bites on her chest. She flees India for Ethiopia via an energy-harvesting bridge that spans the Arabian Sea. In a parallel story, Mariama travels in a truck caravan from her home in Africa toward Ethiopia. Both women undergo fantastical, violent ordeals and meet mysterious characters until their stories clash.

Monica Byrne writes this futuristic novel with dazzling detail. In fact, the rapid-fire prose can overwhelm as the reader delves deeper into the story. Along with stunning descriptions of the landscapes and skies, Byrne allows us to see the darkest aspects of each main and minor character. As they flee from the past, Meena and Mariama journey through political and personal upheavals and tragedies as well as natural and man-made disasters.

This debut novel’s greatest asset is its unending, roller-coaster detail and narration. I found, however, that the shocking plot twists and vivid dialogue came at such a dizzying speed that the story became incoherent in some places. I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Girl In the Road by Monica Byrne, but I sometimes felt as though I wanted the ride to slow down a bit. Still, I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys an imaginative, futuristic tale. I look forward to reading more from this author.

Visit the Random House website to find more information about Monica Byrne and The Girl In the Road.

FTC disclaimer: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review. I was not obligated to write a positive review; all opinions in this review are my own.

When You Can’t See Past Monday

Mondays loom large in our lives. It’s a return to business as usual, and a sign that says “open for business” can mean “open for a repeat of all the anxieties of last Monday, and the Monday before that.” The brain knows it’s Sunday afternoon, but  the knot in the stomach knows it’s almost Monday.

Monday doesn’t just have to be the first day of the work week. Any day can feel like Monday: a dreaded appointment, a high-pressure presentation, a final exam. Sometimes we can’t see past Monday because all we can think of — and feel — is the stress of the previous Monday. And then we read or listen to the news, which can feed the anxieties of the most optimistic, tranquil person.

But do we really have to replay to this inner “oh no, not again” recording?

“Forget the former things;

do not dwell on the past.

See, I am doing a new thing!

Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

I am making a way in the wilderness

and streams in the wasteland.”

Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)

God reminds us that every moment is brand new! We sometimes have to turn down the volume of our worries so that we can hear that still, small voice. We may feel as though our worries and bad memories are in control, but our God is in control — our God who loves us and created us for a purpose. So when that tape loop starts to replay, remember that that your Creator has a better idea.

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord.

“They are plans for good and not for disaster,

to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

“I’ll Be in the Garden”

So nice to be able to say “I’ll be in the garden.”  The irises have bloomed and faded, and it’s time to do some deadheading and cutting back. I take out a bag and a pair of pruning shears, and step onto our patio and yard.

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The Idaho sunshine is more direct now, and it isn’t long before some beads of sweat appear on my forehead. I can’t believe I’ve been wracking my brain trying to think of something to do outdoors, to break out of the exercise doldrums. I’m so used to living in an apartment on a major highway, I have forgotten how much I love a back yard.

“But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree
    planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
    and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.”

Psalm 1: 2-3

I see many things I would have overlooked on any other day. As I clip back spent stems, I have a closer look at the ground covers that wind their way through the flower beds.

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I look up and see the plums on our tree, and the blossoms on the Japanese honeysuckle planted by the previous owner.

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I fill the bag with plant debris and head back to the patio, where a new bunch of daisies are blooming.

“The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them;

and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.”

Isaiah 35:1

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I shrug and wipe the sweat from my forehead with my arm, and gather some of the roses to take indoors.

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“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace;

the mountains and hills will burst into song before you,

and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”

Isaiah 55:12

If it’s a Saturday afternoon, I’ll be in the garden!

 

Five Minute Friday: Hands

Five Minute Friday

 

I’m happy to link up with Lisa Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday, where we write for five minutes — no editing or second guessing. This week’s prompt is hands. Here we go…

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By this time in the afternoon, the hands begin to ache. It starts in the fingers and works its way through the palms, pounding with every key stroke. The hours go by faster than you’d think, and these hands are more grateful than it sounds, but they do ache. Days of typing, scrolling, clicking and then the same all over again.

But is the ache from the hundreds of keystrokes and clicks? Are these hands aching for their true work, the work that You created them for? Hands can serve, embrace, comfort and write verses that draw tears. You wait for these hands to reach out not only to You, but to Your people with love.

At first I keep my hands in my pockets, wondering if I can really reach these people. Then the heart speaks and the words flow from the heart as I reach for the pen and write the true words You have burned in my soul.

Wordless Wednesday: More Treasures


Now that the hectic pace of moving is behind us, we can enjoy the garden that was planted by our home’s previous owner. Every few days, we notice new treasures!

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We’ve added some fruit trees, including cherries and these apples. The kitchen will smell amazing later on!

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Shared with Wordless Wednesday at Create With Joy.