The Sunday/Monday Thing – in which I do not go to church at all…

Joining up with Michelle this time, over at “Graceful,” one of my favorite new discoveries as I sift through literally hundreds of blogs – who knew? There is an entire world out there, filled with interesting people, good writers and photographers, lovers of words and the Word. So…here’s what I did this weekend:

I am a number one daughter from a moderately conservative church-going, Bible-believing family. I am the wife of a number one son from a moderately conservative, church-going, Bible-believing family, the mother of three grown children, all of whom attend church at least semi-regularly and the grandmother to 8, all of whom have grown up (or are presently growing up!) in church-going families.

But this last Sunday, there was no church for me.

My husband had a birthday at the end of March and our children came up with a brilliant idea for a birthday gift: a kitchen garden. Something we have never really had and now – in our early retirement – seemed to us like a great idea. Thankfully, my husband remembers things like watering new plants and seems to enjoy getting his hands dirty. Me, on the other hand? Not so much. But…I’m willing to learn and I’m more than willing to harvest!

Plans were made for a weekend in mid-March to do this work, but the rains that soaked California for much of the month made that date completely unworkable. So we checked the weather forecast, found a window between storms and agreed that Sunday, April 3 was going to work the best for the most of us. We’re talking 15 people here, so scheduling anything is often a minor miracle.

And of course, it rained on Saturday. Not all bad, because the ground was damp enough to work with but not wet enough to consider planting rice. We have this long narrow lot because of all kinds of interesting easements and our house is fairly close to our neighbors to the south. The side yard there is narrow – and until about 3 years ago – was almost entirely composed of large squares of pebbled concrete. When we did a kitchen remodel, we yanked some of those squares out and planted some sea lavender and penstemon, added a small bird bath and garden art and gave ourselves a pleasant view from our new kitchen windows.

An ideal spot for veggies and herbs, right?


So…here’s what it looked like before we started:

And here’s what it looked like about midway through: (Can you believe it? They even brought tomato cages, a bean teepee and all the equipment to install a drip irrigation system with a timer! I think maybe they know me too well!!)
And here’s what it looked like at the end of a long, fruitful (pun intended) day.
Everyone worked well together, I kept the food and cold drinks coming (and watched the one-year-old) and we had a great time together. We ate a simple supper, thanked God for the food and the family and the joy of good work and celebrated my husband’s birth with his favorite – lemon meringue pies, made by our middle daughter.

It wasn’t church – and it was. In the best sense of that term – community, thanksgiving, the work of our hands – all of it offered to the God who gave us each other.

“Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:14-17

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  1. that is lovely Diana! I appreciate your heart- I too also have a late March birthday (29th), and I’m hoping for a garden sometime soon here on the EAST coast! Bless you!

  2. Wow, you guys made phenomenal progress on that beautiful garden. I can’t wait to see what it looks like in a month or two!

    And I wholeheartedly agree. Church isn’t necessarily sitting in a pew with our eyes on an altar. I say digging hands into God’s good earth, celebrating with loved ones and thanking God for his great gifts is the best kind of church any day.

    Thank you for linking up this beautiful story…and for your kind words about Graceful. This blogging world is a gift in itself, isn’t it?