You’re my Promised Land

“In all my grievin’, I’m still believing You’re my promised land.”   I love this sentence of the song, “Promised Land”.  In fact, I like everything about this song.  My soul is soothed by this song– the music, the singing, the lyrics.  it starts out wondering what I often wonder—“Where’s my promised land?”, and then ends up proclaiming God–You are my promised land.

So often in the hardness of life, I forget, I have a soft place to land–that place is God–He is my promised land.  He never promised me an easy life, but He did promise that He would walk with me through the difficulties.  So, “through all these seasons, I’m still believing You’re my promised land.”


Head down as I punch this clock

The hours roll they never stop

And I can’t ever seem to get ahead

Always tryin’ to do what’s right

The straight and narrows getting tight

Don’t know how much longer I can stand

And I’m wonderin’ yeah I’m wonderin’ where’s my promised land

Out here on this dessert road

It’s hot as fire but I’ve grown cold

Circlin’ like a plane that never lands

And even though the questions change

The answers always stay the same

Maybe someday I will understand

So I’m wonderin’, got me wonderin where’s my promised land

Yeah I’m wonderin’ still I’m wonderin where’s my promised land

Well I’ve run this earth for many years

And there’s one thing I know

There’s nowhere on this side of heaven

Where streets are made of gold 

I’ve long laid down my grand illusions 

Lookin toward the day that I’ll be home

I won’t give up on this race

Broken but I still have faith 

That this old life is all part of a plan

And I can feel it in my soul, one day I’ll stand before the throne

With nothing left but hope in these 2 hands

Through all these seasons, I’m still believing, You’re my promised land

In all my grievin’ I’m still believin’, You’re my promise land.

Garden Party Delayed?

Yesterday I was supposed to have a tea party for some lovely friends, however I was ill, so my wonderful friend–who is also  a part of this tea group, hosted the tea instead.  I am so, so very grateful for this.  I am also so very grateful for this group of International ladies and American ladies who have forged firm friendships with each other.   I hope by writing about our Tea Group to inspire other similar groups to spring up across our country and across the world.

 I took pictures of my flowers to send to the Tea group today, as I was not sure my lilacs would still be in bloom by the time I was hosting the next tea.

I thought I would share these pictures with you as well.   Enjoy!!

This lilac bush is from a cutting from my Great-Grandmother’s garden–isn’t that amazing!!

My white lilac tree, just starting to bloom. The bird house is a gift from my late mother-in-law, and as you can tell–is very, very old. 🙂
Baby Apple Trees–a gift from loved ones.
a hint of color–in the beginning of the gardening season.
This is the deep purple lilac tree, pruned a few seasons ago, and also just starting to bloom–the scent is magnificent!! 🙂

These are all early days for my garden– as every gardener knows–there is much to be done–but I hope these glimples will inspire you to garden and have garden parties!! AS always,

May We Be Encouraged!!

Alan Jackson sings, “In the Garden”


I wrote this blog a few years ago–I still love it–as I recall plants and the people who gave them to me–I feel as if I am giving a tour of my garden. When I wrote this blog–2 years ago, my mother-in-law was still alive, and Aunt Rosie had just passed. I hope you enjoy this tour of my garden–and the memories it evoked for me.


Spring—flowers are starting to stick up out of the ground. Bushes are getting buds on the ends of their limbs. Birds are in the yard, chirping away. All around us, the world is coming to life!! 

Winter was such a time of sleep— all these things covered up and hidden, gone from sight.  But they were not gone from hope.

My husband and I like to watch gardening shows together. Every spring, something calls to me, and I am outside, working in my garden. I do not really know what I am doing. I just like to grow things.

When I first started gardening, I was a young mom, with no budget at all for buying plants.  My mom and dad would give me plants from their garden, and so would others. The border of purple geraniums now surrounding my garden are from my parents.

I received Shasta daisies and black-eyed susans from my neighbor.

I have lilies from the library. They tore all their lilies out to make room for other plants and were giving away their lilies for free.

I have a lilac bush that is from my great-grandmother. Imagine that!!  My dad gave it to me when we moved into this house. He had one from his grandparent’s farm and started one for me from a cutting.

Another friend gave me a Rose of Sharon bush that has had many babies, which are now bushes in my landscape design.

I have some lovely purple irises from my mother-in-law.  (I brought them all the way back from the Beach House wrapped in wet paper towels and put in plastic bags.)  They did not bloom for a few years, but now I have separated them several times and they are all over my garden.

I have some purple salvia from one of my best friends, and some yellow whorled tickseed from her as well.

I love adding to my garden in this way.  Every plant has a memory and a person attached to it.

My Aunt Rosie, my Uncle Don’s sister– died this winter.  She lived a few blocks from the first house we lived in when we were first in town, and I would often visit her.  She gave me several of her plants from her garden, including a variegated ground cover plant, and some yellow lilies, and when I weed them or separate them—I think of her. 

Gardening for me, is a time to meditate and think of many things and people. When I was a young mom, I started gardening while the little ones played outside, so I could be with them. As they grew older, I would seek solace and alone time in my garden. I found my children left me alone there, as they did not want to weed. 🙂

I have many conversations with God in my garden. I find there are so many analogies for life found in a garden. The Bible has so many stories that involve seeds, plants, trees, planting, and harvesting. I am sure most people gardened back in Jesus’ day, and could relate to stories about gardening.

 We also know—God made the first Garden.  The Garden is our first habitat. So, even though, many, like myself, do not know what we are doing—we may find ourselves drawn to the garden and to the act of gardening.   We may find it is the perfect place to think, to be rejuvenated, to converse and walk with God, just as was done all those millennium ago.


Listening—-one of the best things one can do for someone who is grieving–is to listen to them–just listen–just be with them. So often, people don’t know what to say, and so they say–well–really stupid things–  Things to try to “fix”, things to try to make the one grieving, “feel better.”  Perhaps there is a reason one can’t think of what to say–perhaps the reason is–that nothing needs to be said, but instead listening needs to happen.

After we lost Sean, some dear friends who were in the Pastorate, met with us once a week, for over a year, and they listened to us–and they gave us books to read, and they “were there” for us.  During one of our times together, I was telling our friends–that I could sense God’s presence with me, but God was not saying anything to me–He was “silent.”

Recently, I was reading a friend’s blog–and she discussed this idea of listening, and she discussed how God is listening to us.  Suddenly, it hit me.  When I sensed God’s presence–but He was silent–He was listening to me.  He was just being with me.

He wasn’t trying to fix my pain.  He wasn’t trying to “make me feel better”, He was just listening.

Even as I write these things–I cry.  Lord knows, I need to be fixed.  Lord, knows, I need to feel better.  Yet God listened.  And in the listening, it was communicated, “ I am here for you.  You are accepted by Me.  You belong to me.  You are my beloved.  You belong to Me.  You are accepted by Me.  I am here for you.”

All these things and more were communicated in the listening.

Listening—sometimes it is the best thing, it is the only thing….that is needed by the one who is grieving.