In the Summertime my neighborhood comes alive with blooms. Sunflowers lined the fences, abundant hydrangea bushes, climbing roses, manicured and professionally landscaped perennial beds, and down the street was the most beautiful veggie bed I ever saw. Beautiful gardens that are lovingly tended to by my neighbors.
Then one day my walk around the neighborhood turned from gratitude to envy and comparison. Suddenly my humble patio garden & flower beds seemed insignificant and simple. Instead of appreciating the hard work of others, comparison grabbed hold of my heart. I came back home restless and unsettled instead of inspired and encouraged.
A few weeks after my comparison walk around the neighborhood gardens a dear friend made the comment “Your back yard is such an oasis”. My reflex was to point out all the things wrong and everything I wanted to improve. But her tone caused me to stop, take notice, and see my patio garden with fresh eyes.
I began to notice the beauty of my humble patio garden. Instead of noticing the absence of a perfect landscaping, I saw fresh basil to add to my pizza, zinnias to clip and share with a friend, and tiny lemons growing in the sunshine.
Just like envying my neighbors garden causes me to miss the beautiful patio garden oasis I have, when I spend to much time on social media viewing other people’s highlight reel, I can forget the beauty in my life.
“The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.” Psalm 16
Psalm 16 is a reminder to delight in the boundary lines that we currently have. Boundaries often get a bad reputation. Healthy boundaries help us focus on the important things in our life, and let go of the rest.
Boundary literally translate “something that indicates bounds or limits” (Dictionary.com)
Boundaries in our relationship help us nourish and grow closer to our friends and families. Boundaries in our time and schedule cultivate space for what matters. Boundaries in our physical property keep us safe and secure. Boundaries in the garden keep out unwanted predators and pests. Boundaries declare ownership and bring clarity to land or property lines. Boundaries can help us make sense and delight in what we have been given.
What does it look like to delight in the land we have been given? For you it might mean embracing the small 300 sq ft apartment and painting that wall or start a window sill herb garden, even if it’s temporary. Or to pause and reflect on where you are, savoring the goodness and beauty of your current season (student, newlywed, working mamma, single gal, empty nester,…) instead of looking ahead to the future.
There is a deep longing in my heart for marriage and mamma-hood, but that is not the season I’m in. When I compare what I think my life should look like or what I hope it will be I miss out on the unexpected joys of today. Joys like last minute road trips, quiet mornings on the deck with my bible and coffee, girls nights, and solo-adventures. There are so many unexpected joys in this season of singleness, and I’m choosing to delight in the beauty of it.
Nourishment for your Soul: Pause and Ponder
Pour yourself a tall glass of cold brew or ice tea, sit back, and savor the land you have been given. A single window sill with a pot of herbs, backyard with a glimpse of the lake, or a 50 acre flower farm, take the time to see the beauty and joy in your space.
How can you cultivate joy and beauty in your season?