The Garden That Was

Last week my husband helped to transplant this clematis before it could succumb to the shovel of the Landscapers tearing out its old home. And so, the clematis has moved again.
Yes, this is the same clematis, from  this post.


I had told the story about the unhealthy rose roots that had to be removed, so that the healthy clematis could then take hold and bloom profusely in My Butterfly Garden.  That Garden Bed was installed by the previous owners, and was one of my favorite parts of this home that we purchased back in 2004.  I labored over that Bed, added many more plants through the years, and enjoyed the hummingbirds, and butterflies, and even the hummingbird moths that sipped the nectar of the blooms.

But there came a day when my limitations and the garden’s limitations collided.  

My husband is the one who pointed out the inevitable to me this spring:  That Garden Bed cannot continue.  The landscaping blocks cannot be shored up any longer. Certainly not by this limited gardener. It must be removed.  THE WHOLE BED HAS BECOME UNHEALTHY.

But I don’t understand! How could I have learned such a beautiful lesson about “Unhealthy Roots,” only now to learn that the WHOLE BED IS UNHEALTHY?


It reminds me of the words with my Counselor this week.  

There are ways of learning that serve us well for a Season. But when that Season is past, if we cling to those old ways of learning, then God has to dig up the whole foundation. I have had many such uprootings throughout my life.  Each uprooting brought with it a time of surrender and letting go.  I loosened my grasp and grieved at the partings, knowing that what is given to God is never truly lost.  Trusting that was the case, but never seeing the results of those surrenders, I pushed on to persevere in my walk with Jesus.


But here in this place of Finding Spiritual Whitespace, where I am learning a new way of being still with Jesus, some days it feels like my entire foundation is being torn out.  Spending time with Jesus, just to be with HIM; finding new ways to create, just to bring HIM pleasure; and resting my painful body just to preserve HIS Dwelling Place in me??  …  Finishing the work, and working to be the giver served me well in the past.  But clinging to them now has become another form of Pridefulness.  AND THAT FOUNDATION IS CRUMBLING.

The NEW Garden Bed that will come after the old is torn out, will be much smaller and on level ground.  No more hillside tottering, and no more JungleBook plantings of excess.  And the NEW Garden in my Soul?  I will be content to wait and see what God brings, up from the QUIET.



I praise Thee while my days go on;

I love Thee while my days go on;

Through dark and dearth, through fire and frost,

With emptied arms and treasure lost,

I thank Thee while my days go on.



“The Lord knoweth the soul of His servants; and none of them that trust in Him shall be desolate.”

Psalm 34:22 KJV 


7 thoughts on “The Garden That Was

  1. Bettie,
    I love how you correlate your thoughts to God's work in our lives! Your words about seasons and uprooting strike a chord with me because I often think a season is wasted if whatever was learned or gleaned from that season doesn't find a permanent place in my life. But God moves us through seasons and through trains of thought and through uprooting, just to move us closer to him, to a newer side of him that we haven't experienced. And I'm hoping a new flower takes root in your garden! 🙂


  2. That uprooting and surrendering can be so painful, can't it, Betti? This is such great advice for me – to let go of that way of learning in the old season of life and to be more open to what Jesus wants to teach me in the new season of life. Thank you for this encouragement.

    I've been thinking of reading Finding Spiritual Whitespace again. I went through it slowly the first time as there was so much to take in. It's hard to “be” Jesus' beloved instead of feeling like I need to “do” something.

    As Valerie says, I, too, hope a new flower takes root in your garden! Blessings and hugs to you!


  3. Hi Valerie,
    Yes, isn't God so good to keep moving us closer to Him? That is what I want to keep reminding myself through all of this. Thank you for hoping for a new flower! I like that thought! And thank you for stopping by here with your encouragment today! **Hugs**


  4. Hi Trudy! Yes, I am so thankful that the Lord brought me to “Finding Spiritual Whitespace.” It was just the right timing. I'm glad the Lord used it in your life also. There are so many ways that He shows us about “being” and not just “doing.” I feel like I need a lifetime to learn that! And thank you & Valerie for hoping for a new flower! I've been so concerned about how the old ones are going to be moved & thinned out, that I hadn't even considered a new one! Thank you for your sweet thoughts! **Hugs**


  5. Bettie, so much in this post spoke to me, but these words most of all: “Spending time with Jesus, just to be with HIM; finding new ways to create, just to bring HIM pleasure; and resting my painful body just to preserve HIS Dwelling Place in me??” During a painful unearthing season of the soul, I sense God calling me in just this way. And sometimes I resist because 'busy' remains my refrain and way of feeling connected to the world, even if it looks more like sitting still to others.
    I hear you, friend. I also sense God nudging my memory of laying 'Finding Spiritual Whitespace' aside some months ago when it became too painful to revisit my childhood and journal about it. Maybe it's time to work through it again.
    I hope and pray you can still have joy in your garden, experience new growth and the hope it engenders. It's hard when we have to live according to our limitations rather than our desires. But God tends to plant new ones in their place. May He do so for you. I'm discovering that quiet contemplation yields its own good fruit. Blessings and hugs. 🙂 x


  6. Thank you for stopping by Joy! It's so good of God to bring us to places where He shows us Kindred Hearts who are traveling paths that are similar to our own. He knows that we must “sit still” in the eyes of others, so that HIS stillness can bring us those new desires that you mentioned! Even though I am new at this blogging way of “meeting” friends, I am so thankful that God pointed me your direction, and for the encouragement that your words have brought me already. Blessings and Hugs to you today!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s