Through The Garden Gate

Years ago, my friend Julie, told me to pray. 

Pray not for money or specific things,  but pray for the essence of what I wanted.  
I thought to myself, "Wouldn't that be selfish?"    
...Then she said "God wants to give us the desires of our hearts."  

"the desires of our Hearts."
At the time, I was recovering from a painful divorce.  
It had been a very difficult time heart was broken.
Working full time, juggling a career, I was busy taking care of a 4 year old child.  
I always prayed for my son, I prayed for our needs…but never for "wants".    

Short on money, in reality there were so many things we needed...   
like a new roof for the house.   

Like many mothers, I had been neglecting myself,
neglecting my soul and the things I needed or wanted.  
So, I thought about what my friend had said.....
What were the "desires of my heart"?     

A husband?   
No, I kind of messed that one up and 
I knew I should focus on my son....
a new roof? 
No, that was a need, and too specific.  

I really wanted a garden...
but, I couldn't afford a beautiful garden.  
(I am picky picky picky.  It would need to be an extraordinary garden, with texture and color and year round interest.  Not an ordinary garden.  No, the garden of my dreams would be way too expensive and frivolous to even consider. There was no way I could ever justify or afford the garden of my dreams, especially now after a divorce.  I would just have to give up that dream...

but the words of my friend kept playing in my mind...God wants to give us the desires of our hearts.) 

I decided to pray for a beautiful garden.  I wanted someplace where I could pray, and nourish my soul.  A garden offers results from ones efforts. 
I felt close to God in my garden.   Plants made me happy, there is something about tending a garden that makes your soul feel joyful and healthy.  It also inspires my work.

 It seemed selfish to pray for a beautiful garden,
 but it was on my heart and was an authentic desire.  
I prayed for a Beautiful Garden.

The next day, a wind storm knocked down my fence.
The storm caused a huge tree to fall on my house and garden. It put a big hole in the roof. The tree, limbs and damage crushed most of my plants.  My garden was a mess, and now my roof and house were a mess, too. 

Discouraged,  I thought,
"God, this wasn't what I had in mind".   
I cleaned up the broken branches.  
The good news was that insurance covered a new roof.   
I gave thanks to God and thought,  
" how creative is God ".  

Then thoughts turned to my mess of a garden.
I was lamenting about the garden problem to a friend, a man I had just begun to date.  
He said he could help me rebuild my fence.  He told me to design the fence of my dreams and he would build it.  This man was kind and creative .....and could fix things!

I love design.
Thoughts turned to the large window in my living room.  The view from this window was a huge dark wooden fence.  I'd always wanted to see the garden from my living room.  

Doug suggested a see through design, 
an open fence design with a big open gate 
to view the garden from the living room.   

We designed an arts and crafts style fence with an interesting pattern, see-through  with copper detail.  We designed it so that you could view the garden from the living room. 

The Gate.
I called iron companies.  It cost a small fortune to have a gate made like the one I had envisioned. Doug suggested we go to Architectural Salvage, a local shop for old salvaged materials.  We found a gorgeous iron gate with beautiful scroll work, it was embellished with birds and vines had a beautiful patina.  No one had wanted this oversized gate. It was on sale!  The gate fit our design perfectly.  Doug built the fence around the gate. We found vintage hardware that complimented the gate.  Again, I called around and found companies that solder, but they wanted hundreds of dollars put the hardware on the gate.  Finally, we found a man soldering parts for Autos.  We took the gate to him.   He said the gate inspired him and renewed his spirit.  It made him excited about metal work again.  It was such a beautiful piece of work he told us he would solder it for free.  (Doug tipped him well ; )

The gate really was breathtaking.   

Kind friends had heard about what had happened to all my smashed plants.
They brought divisions from their gardens, bulbs and clippings.  
It was fall and I had pruned my damaged garden to the ground. I planned to put these new plants in the ground just to survive the winter, then replant them in the spring when I could see what was what. Plants were randomly put here and there, depending upon where I could see an opening.

I cleaned up tree branches, and cut back all the broken bushes and plants.
Trees were trimmed so they wouldn't become diseased.  

Winter came.  
Through the garden gate,  
I enjoyed looking at the snow covered garden through the window.  
The trees began to have beautiful willowy shapes, 
of dark branches against the pure white snow. 

One spring morning as I sipped coffee and gazed out the window, I saw a beautiful light streaming into the garden.    I couldn't believe my eyes.    

Spring growth!  As I walked into the garden I noted how shockingly gorgeous, full and breathtaking was the new life that surrounded.    It was not ordinary.....  It was extraordinary!

I breathed a prayer of deep gratitude.  "God, Thank you!  This garden is amazing!"
Light was streaming in, birds were singing....the trees had been pruned and had taken on beautiful shapes, letting in more light, and blooming plants in an amazing array of color filled the garden.
It was as though the most talented designer, the most brilliant artist 
in the world had hand painted my garden.
...I became profoundly aware of how God is the most amazing Artist.
God is the designer of all good things!
God hand painted my little garden!
It was perfect. 

God had pruned my garden and caused it to thrive! 
God's creativity is limitless.  

God knew my plants had needed more light.
Now, the colors and textures were truly breathtaking.
Soft grey greens contrasted with the dark greens, beautiful against vibrant yellow greens.  I knew I could never have planned this garden.  The trees were pruned to allow for more light, yet they had the exact amount of shade needed to flourish. Plants and flowers were thriving.

I couldn't believe my eyes.  Not only did I receive this beautiful garden, but it served as a reminder of how God is working, pruning us, taking away the bad, allowing the good to grow, even when we don't see or realize what is happening.  

God is there, working for our best good.  
We just have to trust.  

And the great guy that built my fence?
Yep, that cute guy is the one I married.    
Through this garden gate I not only received a beautiful garden, 
but God's blessings.

...and a wonderful, creative, lovable, giving husband.

It was a reminder.
In the midst of adversity, God is working.

You may have just had your fence knocked over, your garden crushed, your limbs pruned….
but just wait and see what God has in store for you.

"Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart."  Psalm 37:3-5

~Becky Kelly 

I married Doug in 2002 and moved to a new home....I wonder? 
Yes,  I will pray for a beautiful garden.    

I wonder.... if I had prayed for something specific? Like a lilac or a rose bush?  
Would I have limited all that could have been?     
I've learned to pray for the essence of joy.  
To pray for good friends, family, love, good health, beautiful a beautiful garden.

God's creativity is limitless.     



Unknown said...

I just love your garden story. So many wonderful things came out of it! :-)

Unknown said...

I love how your garden came to be. So many wonderful things,positively impacting people. He does amazing things, doesn't He! And, such a great way to be reminded of that.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Unknown said...

I love how your garden came to be. So many wonderful things,positively impacting people. He does amazing things, doesn't He! And, such a great way to be reminded of that.

Amy said...

Becky, I love this story! You have given me HOPE-Yes, going thru a divorce is painful and you just want your NEEDS taken care of let alone wants-ha! But you are right and I have always wanted a peaceful, fragrant, beautiful garden! Thank You-I was going to say-grab that guy! What a sweetheart! Hey, does he have any brothers :)Amy

becky kelly studio said...

Amy, I know God will supply All your needs and give you a beautiful garden, too. Doug does have a brother- but he is taken ;)
Your note gave me a big smile today!