What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

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, January 21, 2018

You Are Now Entering The Secret Garden - Updated 1-21-2018 One Year Later

I can't believe it has been a whole year since the creation of "The Secret Garden".  I was looking at these pictures earlier today, and marveling at how green and lush everything was at this time last year...and that we were wearing shorts and t-shirts!!  Not so this past week! We had several days of freezing temperatures (yes! here in Florida!)  And the picture that I will show you at the end of these original pictures will show you how the garden looks today.  

Original Post 1/22/2017:

You are now entering The Secret Garden...


"Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
and into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name,
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
and His truth endures to all generations."
Psalm 100:4-5

This sign and the Welcome sign above were lovingly created for the Secret Garden by my sign-maker son!

For those of you who have been following this story, you will be happy to see that "The Secret Garden" is truly becoming a reality.  God has been blessing this sacred place...yes, I call it "sacred", because it has been "set apart for the worship or service of a deity" (definition of sacred according to the Merriam Webster dictionary), and in this case, the "deity" is none other than God Almighty, Our Lord and Creator.  And most definitely this beautiful secret garden is a place of worship and praise to our God, as well as a place of service, or ministry to His children.  I am His child, and the Lord ministers to me in this place as He speaks to me through His Word, His creation, and His Holy Spirit. Not only me, but to anyone who wishes to come to this place and sit in His Presence for prayer, meditation of His Word, and/or encouragement between friends.  That is my prayer and desire for this "Secret Garden".... may it honor and glorify God in every way.

So that being said, let me take you on a tour of the newest additions to the garden....
Oh, Hello Mr. (Mrs.?) Chickadee!  Welcome to The Secret Garden...

I believe she has already taken up residence here!  How amazing is that???  And I was concerned that because I could not put any bird feeders into the Secret Garden, due to the bears that roam nearby, that I wouldn't have much bird activity to observe....guess I was mistaken!!!

"Look at the birds of the air,
for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns;
yet your Heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not of more value than they?"
Matthew 6:26

Perhaps we will one day welcome a family of chickadees to the garden!

 Oh wait! This same chickadee flew over to the other birdhouse and deposited more seeds into this one as well!  Could she have two nests?  Two families?  Hmmm...we will have to watch these interesting developments...

"But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
And the birds of the air, and they will tell you;"

"Who among all these does not know 
that the hand of the Lord has done this,
in Whose hand is the life of every living thing,
and the breath of all mankind?"
Job 12: 7, 9-10

"Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth;
Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises."
Psalm  98:4

"How lovely is Your tabernacle, 
O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, even faints 
for the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young...
even Your altars, O Lord of hosts,
My King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in Your house;
They will still be praising You."
Psalm 84:1-4

(Jan. 2017) Meanwhile, back at the workshop, my two wonderful sons are finishing up the bench that was the inspiration for this marvelous Secret Garden project...

 Here they are putting on the crowning glory to the bench..."Mom's Secret Garden".... and I am in awe...

and then they placed it in the garden....

 and I am overwhelmed with the beauty of it all....

 Here's my "sign-maker son", who created all of the signs for the garden, including the "crown" for the bench...
And here I am with my other wonderful son, who found this bench in the dumpster and restored it for my Christmas surprise gift...setting the wheels in motion for the creation of this beautiful space....

"It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
and to sing praises to Your name,
O Most High;
To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning,
and Your faithfulness every night,
On an instrument of ten strings,
on the lute,
and on the harp,
with harmonious sound.
For You, Lord,
have made me glad
through Your work;
I will triumph in the works of
Your hands.
O Lord, How great are Your works!
Your thoughts are very deep."
Psalm 92:1-5

Thank you for joining me in this visit to The Secret Garden. I do hope you will come often and enjoy the peace and beauty of this sacred place...and give praise and glory to God.

Back to the future:
1/21/2018, one year later:

Yikes! What a difference a freeze makes!

All those lovely ferns were bitten by the frost...but actually the frost has done me a favor.  The ferns were getting too overgrown and I didn't know how I was going to thin them out...and God took care of it for me! And they will grow back in no time at all with a little rain and warm temperatures...which we had today!

This reminds me of the story in John 15:1-8, about the "Vine and the Branches"...

Jesus said in verses 1 -2:
"I AM the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away, 
and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, 
that it may bear more fruit."

Verses 4-5
"Abide in Me, and I in you.
As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, 
unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, 
unless you abide in Me.
I Am the vine, you are the branches.
He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit;
for without Me you can do nothing..."

This year  (2018) my "One Word" in Renew.  I think I am in a kind of "pruning" season of life...old things are being snipped away little by little, and God is renewing me and helping me to "bear much fruit" in the process...at least I hope that is going to happen. Just like these ferns, they have been frozen down to the ground so that all the old leaves have been stripped off and fallen into the dirt.  Out of that dirt will spring up new life, fresh, vibrant and green.  Old things have passed away, and they will become brand new.

Just like what it says in II Corinthians 5:17~
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new!"

I am excited to see what NEW things the Lord is going to do in my life in this year. 
How about you?


  1. This has been such a fun journey for you (and US!!). Your garden is beyond lovely! Wish I could visit it with you!!

    1. Well, come on up! You aren't that far away! Maybe after you retire! That would be fun!!

  2. How blessed you are with your garden! So beautiful, especially as it is set apart for communion between you and your Lord.

    1. Thank you Melanie!I am thrilled and blessed...and very thankful. God is so good. Also thankful that the storms passed over us last night without any real damage or problems here. I hope the same is the case for you?

  3. I love your garden and I have so wished for something outdoors for me. Unfortunately, we have no shade trees in the back yard and the bugs are so attracted to me as soon as I step outside. How do you combat that there in Florida?

    You are a blessed woman to have such thoughtful sons.

    1. Thank you Nonnie. I am very thankful for my wonderful sons...and for the large magnolia tree under which we have developed this lovely garden. I pray nothing happens to it...as we all know trees don't live forever! As far as bugs go, we have PLENTY OF THOSE HERE! Right now I have to watch for ticks as well as mosquitoes. I spray my legs in particular when I go out with a repellent. I usually don't go out after dark either, because the bugs are worse then. (And the bears come out after dark too!) So, my visits to the garden may be short and sweet, depending upon the season and time of day.
      Perhaps you could plan some kind of screened porch or gazebo in your yard. I know that would be more expensive, however.

  4. Oh Pam, your secret garden is looking so amazing--a quiet, beautiful place to be alone with the Lord. By the way, the bench looks amazing! As I read this post, the Lord brought to mind an old hymn, "In the Garden". "I go to the garden alone, while the dew drops are still on the roses..."

    Currently, the topic I'm attempting to cover with my adult Sunday school class is Heaven. It seems to me that Scriptures describe Heaven in many ways--one way is as a garden.


  5. I loved this visit, Pamela, and I'm blown away by how gifted your sons are. How special they have made this sacred space for you! If I'm ever down your way, know I would love to "set a spell" in this simple, yet wondrous, place of God's peace and beauty.

  6. Oh Pam...it is beautiful from beginning to end! You have two very special young men for sons. What a blessing. When I read "Mom's Secret Garden" on the back of the bench with the two of them pictured the tears started running down my face. I wish I lived close enough to spend time with you there in your secret garden. Maybe I should work on something similar this spring when the weather is nicer. xx

  7. Pam, I love your garden. What a wonderful place to sit and visit with our precious Lord.

  8. I'm glad your secret garden is not so secret and you allow us to come in and visit! I think everyone needs a place to meet with their Creator! Thank you for sharing your special places with us!

  9. I LOVE it all. What a precious couple of boys you've raised. They surely do love their Momma! The garden is going to be such a sanctuary for you to meet with the Lord.

  10. Is it a secret if you put up signs? ;-)

    To nests! Maybe that is a grandma chickadee and she is making a guest room.

    Love leaves on the bench!

    1. To...two...sigh. And I teach children!

  11. Pam, thanks for sharing this look back. A year can make a huge difference in many ways. I'm clinging to hope that this year things will turn around in a positive direction for me in a variety of ways. It's about keeping things in perspective and my heart, my mind, and my eyes focused on the Lord.


    1. Yes, a year can truly make a huge difference in so many areas of our lives. Praying for you that this year will indeed be a year of blessing and positive direction. God knows exactly what you need and He hears your heart...He will be there for you each step of the way.

  12. Oh, yes, what a difference a freeze makes, Pamela, but the day will come when it will be lush and green once again, renewed with the spring time. Have faith!

    1. Thank you...yes..."have faith!" This can apply to so many areas of life, can't it? I do believe the day will come when many things will be "lush and green and renewed again..." Thank you for your words of hope and encouragement. Blessings to you dear friend.


Thank you for visiting here today. I would love for you to sign my guestbook and let me know you stopped by. I always enjoy reading your comments and words of encouragement! May you be blessed as you go on your way. Please come back and visit again soon.