Welcome to my "Open Window"...a place of hope, encouragement, and adventure as we journey down the road from "Closed Doors" to the new opportunities God places in our pathway. I hope you will take the time to go back and follow the trail of mixed blessings and fears, failures and triumphs from the past and side-trips in the present. Perhaps it will conjure up some of your own special memories, and be an invitation for you to share with others. I look forward to spending this time with you!
What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!
Sunday, July 7, 2013
My Surprise "Secret Garden", or The Backwards Faucet
For those of you who have followed the developing saga of our "Camp in the Woods" house for the past year and a half, (Click here for a previous story about this), you will know that I love everything outdoors (and indoors) about this place. Even though it is far from being perfect, it is a place that I absolutely love to call "home". It seems as though every day God reveals something new and oftentimes exciting or unusual, if we just take the time to notice. I have also discovered that sometimes there are surprises hiding right under our noses, waiting to be discovered...if we would only take the time or make the effort to look at things a little differently. Today was one of those days...
It all started when I was discussing with our adult son who lives with us that I wished there were some better places in our yard to sit in the shade and relax in the afternoon. He mentioned that the area in our back yard under the huge magnolia tree is probably the shadiest spot and the most unnoticed and unused. I thought that was probably because we couldn't get any water back there to irrigate the grass (sand) and it is in the unfenced portion of the back yard that is devoted to the bear trails back into the woods (and our clothesline, which unfortunately doesn't get much use either). It is a lovely spot, however, just beyond our "Bird Sanctuary"
So, this afternoon I decided to test his theory and ventured out into this little used section of the back yard. I've always wanted to develop this area, but again, the lack of water access makes it difficult to water any grass if we were to try and plant some, and right now the ground cover is primarily sand and weeds. There is an old water faucet there under the magnolia tree, but repeated efforts by all members of the family to turn it on have failed. As a matter of fact, even the previous owner said he didn't know why it didn't work, but it just didn't. There is also an old homemade stone bird bath sitting there under the tree amongst the wild ferns, but it was filled with dirt and debris and I never took the time to clean it out and see if it would still hold water, since I would have to carry the water to it from quite a distance.
Until today...for some reason I decided to give that spigot one more try. I attempted to turn it in the direction it should be turned in order to open the valve and get water. It did not work. So then I turned it in the opposite direction, which heretofore had not worked either, at least I don't believe anyone had even tried to turn it that way. For some reason, today it seemed to have more turning radius that way than before. I kept turning and turning, and suddenly I saw a little trickle of water trying to emerge from the faucet! Then a chunk of dirt popped out (or maybe a dirt dauber's nest?), and "voila"! Beautiful water started to flow, hesitantly at first, but soon more than just a trickle...pure, clear, cool water flowed from that funny little faucet like it had just been waiting forever to be set free!
Wow! With this new inspiration, I looked again at the little bird bath sitting there in the midst of the decaying magnolia leaves, and it seemed to be calling to me to set it free as well!
I started scooping out the dirt (and uprooted a few juicy earthworms in the process), and then poured the fresh water into its basin over and over again, flushing out the sand and debris until it was finally holding fresh, clear water, ready for the birds to come and quench their thirst and freshen up their dusty feathers!
After these new revelations, I looked at this previously ignored, overgrown, richly composted area under the magnolia tree with new respect. Its previously unappreciated potential was now being revealed to my senses as a surprising place of beauty...a kind of "Secret Garden" that had been hiding right under my nose all this time. Of course, being the seeker of all things quiet and peaceful and relaxing here in this "Camp in the Woods" home, I knew I had found a new spot to sit and drink in God's creation and become inspired anew.
I wonder why it took so long to discover this gem in the rough? I know I had looked at this area longingly often enough, but had ignored the possibilities because it wasn't meeting my expectations for simplicity and perfection. It was causing frustration because the mechanical aspects of its development were not cooperating with me.
Makes me ponder further, how many other "gems in the rough" are we missing, not just here in our home, but perhaps in our families, relationships, jobs, and even in our spiritual life because things don't work the way we think they are supposed to work? Maybe the successes we are longing for are still out of reach because they don't meet our "expectations for simplicity and perfection". Could it be that we are looking at such "opportunities" the wrong way, and missing the beauty of the blessing because it doesn't cooperate in the normal way we think it should be?
Hmmm, maybe we should take a lesson from this backwards faucet and give it another try in a different perspective...and unlock the "previously unappreciated potential" that is just under the surface.
My "Secret Garden" Surprise
"But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty." I Corinthians 1:27
What things might God be revealing to YOU today?
My thanks today to my blogging/facebook friend Susie at Recovering Church Lady, for her words of inspiration that helped me see the potential in my little backwards faucet today. Thank you, Susie! God works in mysterious ways!
Postscript: I have discovered that "My Secret Garden" is a lovely place for a family portrait: