Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Last weekend I got the special treat of having a few hours to work in my garden kid-free.  (Those boys are good helpers, but sometimes a girl just likes to go at it alone!)  The day was warm and sunny and the strawberries desperately needed to be transplanted to their new raised bed, so I clipped on the ipod and went to work.

Now, for those of you who don't know me is a huge part of my life.  I find myself remembering and even defining certain seasons of life by the songs that went with them.  As I worked away in the strawberry patch I began to realize that I get the same feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment from creating a nice garden as I do from making or listening to great music.  And then it occurred to me that it's also the same to me as decorating my home, finding beautiful art, or watching healthy cows and chickens in the pasture.  Perhaps this sense of satisfaction comes from something very fundamental in us as creatures made in the image of God, as stated so plainly in the Westminster Shorter Catechism...

"The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever."

When we view our occupations as gifts from God; as means to bring Him glory and to give us enjoyment only He can give, our "work" takes on a fuller, richer, more satisfying quality.  Even mundane things like pulling weeds or sifting rocks out of garden soil can be a joyful experience (albeit a reminder that we are definitely not living in the garden of Eden anymore)!  Have I completely "arrived" with this attitude?  Absolutely not.  Just last night we were moving our first batch of chickens out to pasture.  The boys helped me load them up 12 to a crate.  As I was carrying a stack of three crates (which was surprisingly heavy) out to the pasture, I felt the warm drippiness of chick poop trickling down my pant leg.  Then on the next load the stuff landed right on my foot, which wouldn't be so bad except that I was wearing flip flops.  I was grossed out.  What began as a fun family work activity turned into a burden to me, not because of the circumstances, but because of my attitude.

We probably all need a constant reminder from 1 Corinthians 10:31: "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."

With that, here are a few little bits of music/art/poetry that inspire me (or at least makes me want to sing along!)  What inspires you?

Happy Thought by R. L. Stevenson
"The world is so full of a number of things,
I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings."

"Cutting the Weeds" by Daniel Ridgway Knight
And lastly, a few of the tunes that were keeping me singing (with headphones on!) during my afternoon of garden work...

Diamond in the Rough--Jennifer Knapp

Long Time Gone--Dixie Chicks  (yes, yes, I know...good conservative Christian Republicans aren't supposed to like them anymore since their little incident with GW Bush but seriously, this is one of THE best sing-along songs.  Ever.

War in My Blood--Fiction Family  From an album that should have gotten a lot more attention than it did...a collaboration of Jon Foreman from Switchfoot and Sean Watkins from Nickel Creek.  Stellar combo.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jill! Was so happy to see this post! Smiled my way through the art and music and inspiration. Haven't listened to Jennifer Knapp in a long time, maybe time to go back. Dixie Chicks-fun to sing along with them, no matter the song, I like their cover of Dylan's Mississippi. Never heard of Fiction Family, but am a fan of Nickel I'll head over to iTunes and check it out. All the best to you friend, Ch :)