Garden vs. Life

It is a great honor for me to have the opportunity to share about my garden project here in California.  Thank you Arthur for that!

It has been quite an interesting journey so far.

The plan was to come to the States for three weeks and then go back to Europe.  BUT, because it is a journey, some things have changed in those particular three weeks, so I am staying longer.

Genevieve and I moved into our beautiful new apartment.  Not only that, but there is quite a big patch of land as well.  You can clearly see that this piece of land hasn’t had any nurture, love or care for a long time, something I enjoy giving and doing.

This “garden” is a special hug from God, because I love gardening, being outside and working with my hands.

I also would like to thank everyone who contributed into this garden, what a blessing!

First, I thougIMG_0623ht the whole garden would be done within a week.  We had plans when and how we were going to do it, but in the end, it didn’t work out that way. IMG_0755
We started by planting a few flowers, then nothing happened for a few days, some more flowers and again “silence” of a while.  Work in progress.

Last week, as I was sitting at my desk, looking outside, suddenly I felt God was saying to me “this garden is like your life.”  Those words have hit me deeply and I started thinking about it.

In the beginning I thought the whole garden would be very pretty within a week, but nothing like that happened.  The same is true in my life.  I like to do things, get delivered, get healed, the past is past and carrying on with life.  Some issues might be resolved quickly, but some are a journey and need time.  This is what I am about to learn at the moment.  In some ways it is frustrating, because it is not nice to stay in a sore spot for a longer period of time.  I want to get over and done with it, but God wants to go deeper.  He is not a microwave who finishes everything within two minutes.

So I started comparing this garden with my life.  A few flowers get planted, a little bit of progress, but a ways to go.  A week later again some more flowers in the ground, then two weeks nothing.  In the meantime I take care of the flowers, water them, take the withered off, . . .


But there is still a lot of “dead” soil all around.  The soil is so dry and hard that I even didn’t want to start digging a hole by myself, because I thought I would not be able to do so.

Last week, as I was pondering the sentence God spoke to me, I thought to myself, that’s being so powerless, of just waiting and doing nothing.  There are flowers in pots, waiting to get into the soil, but I think I am not capable of digging.  This just can’t be.  So I went outside, took the shovel and started digging.  First it was very difficult, but I didn´t want to give up and kept on digging.  To my surprise, it became easier and easier.  As I was doing the physical work, I was praying, and I know God is doing the same in my life.  He is digging, sometimes it’s harder, sometimes easier, sometimes it needs love and care, sometimes it needs a push, sometimes it needs to wait, sometimes it just needs water to sink in which makes it softer, . . .

Every time there is some progress in the garden I am more settled inside.  I wish the garden was completed already, just to enjoy, but it’s not.  It doesn’t look like it looked 4 weeks ago, but it’s also not finished yet and will never be, because there is always work to do.  The flowers need water every day, some are going to wither, those need to be removed, otherwise it takes some life out of the others and so on. IMG_0813

But even now, as the garden is not completed yet, I am able to enjoy it.  Today, after I did some more gardening, I made myself some coffee and sat outside, enjoying the colorful flowers and the different birds which are coming more and more to the feeder.

It’s not always easy to enjoy life when there are still sore spots.  I would like to be completely healed already, but it’s so true what Arthur always says, “Life is a journey.”  I believe God wants to teach me a lot through this whole picture.

I would like to add something.  From the very beginning, it was so important to me to get sod on the whole ground.  More important than the flowers.  Every time somebody asked me about the garden, I was just speaking about the grass.  I didn’t realize it by myself, but one day Arthur asked me what it means to me to get the sod.  It represents life to me, the freshness and the green color.  It’s almost like I am “hungry” for that.  I know when the time is right, the sod will be planted, and I am looking forward to that day.  But the time hasn’t been right yet, and so there are areas in my life which are not healed yet.

IMG_0807I would like to be further on my way than I am now, but I need to learn to accept where I am.  I can’t push God.  And as the garden doesn’t look the same as 4 weeks ago, so I am in a much better place than 4 weeks ago.  It’s quite exciting and interesting, and I am grateful that I could share with you a little bit of my journey.

I know God keeps on working “in my garden.”  For sure it won’t always be very pleasant, but at the end of the day, that is what it takes for the garden to become beautiful.  Not only for myself, but also for others to enjoy.


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23 Responses to Garden vs. Life

  1. Ellen Cooke says:

    In reading your post, I thought……you might be trying to dig through clay soil….I don’t know…..but that in itself is an analogy………in that we are clay in the potter’s hands……….the lily (oriental?) is just lovely, as are the other delights you have planted…

  2. Robert says:

    I started thinking about what has been written here and I read your post Gabi and all the comments and what struck me deep inside was this sense, How does God feel about the garden and your life. So I started to think and feel my own heart and I am going to write this response from the perspective of the heart of God, and I am just going to let flow what comes out. It’s just what is in my heart to do. The rest of this is from Gods perspective as I have felt it.

    My Child, I have been watching your garden project with a wonder and great amazement. I have been watching you ponder the whole thing and think through some things and feel though some things and I have been watching you struggle and then come through the struggles and most of all I want you to know that I have watched you discover. Yes Gabi I have been most interested in watching you discover along the way. Discovery from my perspective is not what it is in human terms. In human terms most are trying to find something through discovering, yet for me Gabi, I marvel at the beauty of the discovery process and the jewels that are being created. I see from the perspective of what you are creating in your garden project. Do you see what I see?

    Take a look and see. Look at the jewels that are coming forth, look at the beauty that is being created, look at how my design is functioning in you to bring forth utter splendor in my eyes. Yes utter splendor in my eyes at you dig and grow your garden. You see Gabi, I know what I put inside you the day I designed you and when I brought you forth, I brought forth something that came from deep within my heart. I knew that one day you would begin to see your design and begin to grasp the beauty and that your eyes would begin to see things you have not been able to see.

    Gabi, I love how I am growing you and I love your responses to the Gardener. You will begin to see me differently now and you will begin to feel a deeper pervading peace as you continue your garden. Don’t underestimate how I see what you are gardening. See with my eyes, the eyes of splendor and marvel at the beauty of the design that is coming forth to be seen. Oh – I am not in a hurry, but I am greatly marveling at seeing my jewel that I designed, shine forth. If you will ask me, I will help you see from my eyes the splendor with which I designed you and you will also begin to see the extravagant excellence of my design that I have put into you.

    I admire my design and I admire the process of shining that design and bringing it into being. And I love when you and I garden together……..

    • Gabi says:

      Thank you so much for those words, written out of the perspective of the heart of God. It moves me deeply!

  3. Amy Hansen says:

    There is a flood of ideas and thoughts I would like to write to you Gabi. But I will start by saying that I appreciate you, this post, your e-mails, and your journey. I relate to what you wrote here. I keep wanting to rush through my journey right now, but God keeps prodding me to calm down and let Him guide me. Your garden is currently quite beautiful and it is easy to see all the future potential from these pictures. I honor you for laboring in this area of your physical garden and you inner “garden”. Keep up the good work! I too am struggling with the labor of landscpaing at my own house and in my life.
    Blessing to you and in your gardening!

    P.S. As soon as I read the first sentence or two of this post, I recognized you in my spirit! I found that exciting because it let me know that even though I do not know you as a local contact, there is a way of knowing someone with your spirit and that it still counts. ha ha. It somewhat legitimized the fact that I do have more community than I realize even though my contacts can’t all live in the same area as me. (That has been an area of pain for me and likely others who are reading this blog).

    P.P.S. Thank you to Arthur for giving Gabi the opportunity to write this.

  4. Irina Rivera says:

    Hi Gabi, like so many others,I too really relate to your post. I planted California Native Wildflower seeds after pulling up our lawn. It was so fun to watch the neighborhood folks walk by and notice how the garden was coming along. I was nervous because I do Garden Design for a living, so I felt a lot of pressure (having never sown seeds like this before). But thank God, everything started to bloom! Now the flowers are beginning to fade. I had family visit me and I explained that the flowers aren’t at their peak, and that I’m going to plant grass seed in its place for the summer. To be honest, I was trying to cover what I considered a flaw. The garden wasn’t looking “ideal”.

    After reading your post, I realized how sometimes our process is beautiful and sometimes it’s waning before a new plant comes to take its place. God has naturally placed seasons in our life, so there is a natural ebb and flow. But with plants and sod ready to offer instant beauty, we have come to recoil at the more natural shoots, blooms, and fade. Your post help me to reject that atitude and embrace my front yard, and more importantly, God’s ways!

  5. Debora says:

    Thank you, Gabi – this is deep and very life-giving to me. God is doing am amazing job, keep moving with him!
    Liebe Grüsse aus Europa 🙂

  6. Jeremy says:

    This was beautiful. Thank you for sharing this timely word from the L-rd to you! It has encouraged my spirit.

    It reminds me of the switch in Song of Songs from the garden being mine to His. Song of Songs 4:16 says let my darling enter HIS garden when before she had been saying let him enter MY garden.

    He is faithful to complete the work He has started in us, and He has a personal interest in our garden being cultivated because its not just ours but His as well.

    Praise the L-rd!!

  7. Kristine says:

    May your garden fill your life and the neighborhood with a sweet fragrance of the Lord. The pictures make you want to grab a cold glass of tea and sit down and have a chat – so remember to take time to enjoy it!!! Shalom, Kris

  8. Rose says:

    Well done and work in progress. Judging by the replies here there may be another “garden” in the making. Love to you Gabi.

  9. Holt says:

    Gabi, I join you in celebrating your journey in progress! Your comments spoke deeply to me, as I also have a landscaping project in process, since last February. What has amazed me is the complexity of the project as it developed. The land told me what to do next, it seemed, step by step. I guess my spirit knew what would be involved, but my soul had no clue. MUCH more work than I might have signed on for. Thanks for the great perspective!

    • Gabi says:

      This is beautiful! Step by step and how your spirit has led you to the next.

  10. Alex Thompson says:

    It occurred to me that perhaps the issue here is the soil. Before seed can bear a fruitful harvest, it has to be planted in good soil, soil that has been prepared to receive seed, soil that has been so prepared to bear a very fruitful harvest. A harvest can be no better than the soil the seed is planted in; vegetables no tastier than the fertility of the soil; sod no greener than the minerals and microbes growing in the soil. A hard packed, dead soil, must be prepared and made to live before seed can bear fruit. So maybe soil preparation is the place for you to focus now.
    Perhaps that is just what Trinity has been doing in me these last several years, since there seems not to be much of a visible crop that has seen harvest recently.

    • Gabi says:

      Wow, this is a very interesting thought, thank you for that! Yes, the soil is so important for everything to grow.

      • cheri says:

        Along this same line it sounds very much like you are dealing with “dead” soil that has had the life suffocated out of it, Earth is highly complicated stuff – after all we were made from it – but it needs to breath, eat, drink and be nurtured so it can again share its voice. The soil was created to be a “womb” of life. It’s job is to nurture and protect and support life into its potential. Did you know that it is actually the DNA of the seed to “train” the womb how to nourish it for survival? In fact it takes an apple seed 7 years to train the soil to receive its DNA and support its ability to bear fruit. Each seed carries a different blueprint for its potential which it requires from its nurturing womb. The secret to abundant produce is to create “living” soil. It needs to be restored before it can bring forth life. This is as much a biological process as a spiritual process. What ever has caused its “death” has robbed it of its viability – its generative power. It cannot bring forth the full potential of each growing seed until it has been aerated, fed, rebuilt with microbial life, fluffed and loved and nurtured – then its creative design to nurture can receive the DNA of productivity and run with it. This project may be more about what you can give than what you can receive, it may be a door to unlock your ability to nurture the DNA of seeds in your own design and take you to higher levels of productivity. Study the soil, nurture it into health and you may be astounded at the results on earth and in heaven, your soul and your spirit.

        • Gabi says:

          Thank you for this insight Cheri! I didn´t know that about the DNA, which is really interesting. Something I will think about.

  11. Melanie says:

    Thank you for sharing fellow gardener, ( land anointing? :). ) may your garden and journey continue to bring you peace, healing and joy!

  12. Noeleen says:

    Thank you for sharing this, Gabi. It has been such lovely encouragement. I especially identified with the feeling of powerlessness associated with the idea of not being able to dig. For me in the last few weeks it was to do with having to write something. We have just had people doing our garden and it was recently finished. I can so see what you mean about the garden not having any grass yet being a sign of it still being a work in progress. It needed its first cut at the weekend – and so it goes on…

  13. Mary-Anne Simpson says:

    Dear Gabi

    thank-you for sharing this part of your journey with us. It resonated deeply with me, we live in such an “instant” age that we forget that we are a work in progress and too quickly we despair that we will “never get there.

    Your story evoked in me the memory of a very familiar passage of scripture, something well known from Sunday School but I felt moved to post it as it echos your story.

    Luke 5 – 16 “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. 6 Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When he said this, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” 9 His disciples asked him what this parable meant. 10 He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, ” ‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.’ 11 “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. 14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. 15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

    May you continue to present yourself as “good soil” and persevere to produce a crop.

    • Gabi says:

      This scripture is from the very beginning so important to me. It fits so wonderfully into my garden experience. Thank you!

  14. francyes says:

    I love this story. I’ve had a similar experience with the front room of my house my husband and I just decorated. From beginning to end its been a difficult work to do, very rigorous, and ive needed alot of patience. The way I chose to pay for the mini remodel was even a significant choice. For a couple days I couldn’t bring myself to look into the room because of feelings I don’t usually feel about a room- tension, unworthiness, fear. To summarize, I gave up a boring, mostly empty room for something more beautiful than I imagined it could be… And it’s still in progress! 🙂

    • Gabi says:

      Thank you for sharing this, it´s very encouraging! Even though it was difficult work for you it became so much more beautiful.

  15. lois says:

    thanks so much for writing ‘garden vs life’, gabi. i can so relate! so i think i’ll make myself a cuppa and reflect on what god wants me to know as i tend my own garden!
    blessings from sydney~

  16. Rebekah Scott says:

    Thanks Gabi for sharing your journey AND your garden! The pictures are lovely….. Keep up the good work!

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