Tuesday, July 29, 2014



“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden." Matthew 5:14 NLT

Gardening is.............

Knowing what to plant where. At a distance or a large area, lighter flowers draw the eye and add light to dark backgrounds.  I have a large back yard in front of woods, so I plant light impatiens, dogwoods, roses, and azaleas.  I'm happy with these choices against the dark woods.

Having and following a plan.  Fast growing Leland Cyprus provide privacy. And they grew quicker and bigger than I expected. In my opinion, they're ugly, but they serve a purpose, providing privacy. We live on a corner lot, and it would be a tragedy if I couldn't drink coffee on my deck in my pajamas. The solution to the ugly but useful Leland Cyprus was landscaping with different textures and colors. And since the ugly but useful Leland Cyprus are dark, I added light: pink roses, flowering almond, and two white crepe myrtles. Light against dark, my plan was a good one.

Leland Cyprus
Crepe Myrtle
Making Mistakes and Learning. Trial and error.  As the white crepe myrtles grew, so did the dark Leland Cyprus.  The optimal place for crepe myrtle is full sun, but the Leland Cyprus hide the sun for part of the day. I fed both crepe myrtle trees equally, but one is in a place where it receives more sunlight, so it grows faster and produces large white blooms, light. The other is hidden from full sunlight my more Leland Cyprus, a large shrub, and it's closer to the woods.  So, it hasn't grown much and barely produces blooms, light. But, it's still a white crepe myrtle, still alive, growing slowly.  It  serves a purpose, adding texture but giving no light.  

Reevaluating for a better plan. I could hang a sign WHITE CREPE MYRTLE on the smaller tree.  Then, everyone would know its blooms should be giving light against the dark.  I could cut down the Leland Cyprus, but they serve a purpose.  They're not my favorite, but they work.  I could keep feeding the small crepe myrtle year after year and see if it eventually gives light as it grows.  I could move it, while it's still small, to a place where it will not be hidden from the full sun and replace it with something suited for that spot.

No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. Matthew 5:15 NLT

Do we show up in a dark world? Are we reflecting the Holy Spirit within us? When others see our actions, do they see Christ, the true Light? Are they drawn to live a life that glorifies God? OR, do we rely on signs to let them know: t-shirts, bumper stickers, quotations OR BLOGS ?  I hope you know I don't think those signs are wrong; in fact, I'm grateful for the verses and thoughts others share. They minister to me. But not everyone sees these signs. Not everyone reads what I write, so how do they see Light?

Snowball bush from
Diane Leary's yard
Will we offer more light as we are fed and grow?  Yes, definitely, Yes.  When others seem to offer more light, we often compare ourselves and become discouraged, but we're fed differently and at different times, and perhaps our world doesn't give us much light, maybe it's darker. Showing Christ is our purpose, so if we desire to reflect His Light and allow Him, He will use us. 

Can our Light be hidden under a basket? Can something block His Light from us?  I believe sometimes we can simply be in the wrong spot, not always a bad or sinful spot, but maybe a spot that's not optimal.  Moving, changing, giving up a plan is difficult, especially when realizing we no longer offer light even with the best intentions.  God may have another plan, different means, and a better, more optimal spot for us to reflect His Light.  And there's no mistaking that Light when it shines.  Whether close or at a distance, it's clear and noticeable to those walking in darkness.

Yoshino Cherry
"Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly father." Matthew 5:16 NLT