God in the Yard: part 2

A Story

My turn with L.L. Barkat’s book, God in the Yard is drawing to a close. I could toss my womanly self onto the floor and pitch a royal hissy-fit, complete with thrashing legs, a wailing mouth, and pounding fists. Or I could thoughtfully pluck some pretty things from my yard, sandwich the flowers and leaves between waxed paper, write a little note, and repackage the bound beauty in its original mailer and send it on its merry way. Since I am a grown-up, I obviously will choose the latter reaction. But, I may kick my legs just a bit en route to the post office.

One should really take at least an entire week for each chapter. Hmmm. That would make it a three-month journey. I had one month. I skipped the activities and the majority of the writing prompts so I could read it in its entirety. Although the previous borrower suggested I take it slow, I didn’t listen to her.

You see, I was really hungry and I needed to eat this book, cover to cover. Sure, I may have passed on some of the appealing appetizers and skipped the fanciful desserts, but I did eat the main course, even the sprigs of parsley and curly kale underneath… It was when I most needed a yard to call my own that I started this book. What I found was a poetically written recipe, free from concise measurements and mandates, but oh so full of nourishing ingredients, enough to replenish a starving woman’s soul.

On this trek, L.L. took me to the woods’ edge, sometimes she even pulled along a red sled. I felt like a miniature joy-rider stealing away in the author’s pocket, peeking over the edge to spy upon her God in the Yard revelations. I even learned about trading in my bossy green pajamas for something more comfy, more individual and form-fitting.

In the midst of some power reading yesterday afternoon, I looked upward and then I wrote…

I see God’s magnanimous
awe as it rolls
on the edge of
a cloud
that expands and contracts and morphs
in His wind,
like fluffy fireworks of billowing
white Truth and love and redemption
that reach
across the beautiful
blue sky
enveloping me
from above.

Also in that chapter regarding hospitality, I did something rare and I ceased my greedy gobbling and exchanged my fork for a pen. I did the activity…

God, are You in my summer river sandals, waiting for my cracked heels, scratched feet, and paint-less nails to walk along Your path? Are You really in those grooves of dried dirt or are You only in the clear, beckoning creek, that gurgles with delight and whispers words of love over rocks, where You carry wild currents of communion?

Because this has been a borrowed book, I have written many quotes and scribbled lots of notes (and even whole paragraphs) in my own notebook. This is quite simply not enough. Although I kindly, kindly thank you, miss L.L., for this sharing book opportunity, I am going to have to buy one for my very own self. I need my pencil and pen marks next to your worded heart. I need to dog-ear the pages. I need to hold it in my hand.

Despite gaining a most delicious insight about God’s presence from this splendid book, I remain fraught with questions…
  • Why do I struggle with submission?
  • Why do I submit differently with different people?
  • Why does taking even five minutes to sit in solitude hurt? How could L.L. have done it for an entire hour?
  • What if the shutters of my house really get hungry and eat everything inside?
  • Can I be reflective without a pen in my hand and paper on my lap?
  • How do you spell “kerrplunk” because that is the noise I heard while listening to my yard and the creek yesterday?
  • What can I do to keep Sabbath in a way that pleases God?
  • What is my temple?
  • What do I see in the ashes?
  • What is an ordinary day?
  • Who decides what is beauty?
  • How can I push back from the table completely satiated, but stand-up with hunger pains for more?

I found some guidance in L.L.’s own words from God in the Yard, “..I’m thinking I’ll continue to develop hospitality not as a prescriptive set of recipes and decorating ideas but as a welcoming state of mind.” (p. 117 in Week 12/Home: hospitality)

Yes, me too. I will open the gate of my heart’s yard to God’s Truth. Just a second, let me smooth out this woolen blanket before I open the picnic basket. Now, let the feasting really begin!


7 thoughts on “God in the Yard: part 2”

  1. "Although the previous borrower suggested I take it slow, I didn't listen to her." –That cracked me up. She's not the boss of you!This post reflects everything I love about your writing — humor, honestly, wonderful imagery and daft writing skill.

  2. Hey Katdish, I consulted with my pocket-size Webster dictionary and found that "daft" is an adjective meaning "silly or insane." So, which is it? Silly or insane?And I cannot even hold still long enough to be the boss of me…Blessings.

  3. Oh, wait…I misused the word. I thought "daft" meant "excellent" or "very precise". Not silly or insane. That would be MY writing…

  4. This post really makes me want to read that book…and, what is the age threshold for good hissy-fits? I never knew…

  5. I recommend getting your own copy. It's one to go back to time and time again. In fact, I gave away my copy of Stone Crossings–to someone I'm glad to have, since God told me too–but I miss that book too. Anyway, this is good stuff.luv you.

  6. I got this book from Amazon the day before we left for our trip. I brought it with, but my mind hasn't been in the right place to start it. I have it sitting right next to me, right now, in a coffee shop I am in, but it's so loud in here, you can't read. I do want to get started, though!!!Why does taking even five minutes to sit in solitude hurt? How could L.L. have done it for an entire hour? I can relate. I have a difficult time allowing solitude & complete quiet into my life. If I do, my mind is drifting all over the place and I find I have gone from the grocery list to the to do list to what sounds good for dinner to wonder what my hubby is doing to wow, those flowers really need weeded…..you get the point. Quieting my mind is a huge challenge for me!

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