Sabbath Equation in the Garden

my perennial bed

I drag my green plastic chair across the lawn out to the garden.  The orange bucket is upended and covered with an old towel–my ‘end table.’  I place my fresh cup of warm coffee on top and settle in with my camera over my shoulder.

I am waiting for the hummingbird.

I’ve noticed her from my kitchen window, stopping at tall spikes of Cardinal Flower, relishing the nectar feast as she drinks from red trumpets.
I am determined to capture this in a photo.

There are so many other things I could be doing–organizing papers and kid files from school, entering the obligatory data in the computer program for teachers.  Computing, typing, printing, copying.  Necessary school tasks that have spilled over into the weekend.


However, it is an amazing, glorious, sunny last day of summer day.  And there is this book, ‘God in the Yard’ by LL Barkat–which I’ve written about here and here.  Because of what I read…because I am learning to slow and listen, I hear a still, small voice say, “just stop.”
Get off the wheel–savor this Saturday sunshine, sit and soak in the sights and sounds. The work can wait.

The hummingbird never comes.

But oh, there’s a show–chickadees swimming through the air, breast stroking their way from the trees to my deck.  Clusters of busy bees swarming the purple asters, feasting and gathering, doing their bee-like job.

purple asters

A dragonfly zooms close to the ground, his right angle flight pattern cutting the empty space above the grass.  He’s landed and I lose him….probably on the rhododendron.

From this vantage point I can easily glance up at the trees.  My eyes register movement.  There are two young gray squirrels playing trapeze with the clusters of maple tree “helicopters.”  The seed pods provide handy hanging places for playing.  Suddenly the young’uns are stopped and stretched on a branch, their feathery tails at rest in the shadows.

My eyes drink it all in–I snap photos up close and personal of the summer-end colors in my yard.

Not once do I think of the work I must do that awaits me inside.

coreopsis (tickseed) and seed pod




cotoneaster berries
I am fully in the moment, confident this Sabbath time is the rest and refueling I need for the task ahead.

There’s an equation in LL’s book which makes no mathematical sense but works ‘on the Godward side’ (Spurgeon? Murray? Edwards?).

“In a way, this is how Sabbath works.  One day out of seven, or 1=6 is an unexpected equation,
but it seems to work miracles in our lives.  Still, many of us have difficulty
granting even one day of rest to our six days of work.
Just why do we shun giving up one day? 
Are we in need of claiming all the accomplishments for ourselves,
when Sabbath suggests they might come from God and open space as well?
Sabbath relieves us of our illusion and burden
that we are the center of all our accomplishments.” “God in the Yard” p. 79

So how did all that weekend work work out in with this new math? Tasks accomplished? Jobs completed? Welllllll….
Pretty much all the t’s were crossed, all the i’s were dotted, AND I had time left over. I found the equation held true with God in my yard….and my Sabbath stop was the proof text.

How about you?

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11 thoughts on “Sabbath Equation in the Garden

  1. I love the garden pics! It would have been a shame to miss them. I'm thankful you took the time to rest in your garden, and share the pics with us.

  2. I love lingering at the window, and in the yard. God never fails to meet me when I am slow outside. Beautiful, Jody.

  3. I'm so glad for what you found (and shared!) as you waited for that wayward hummingbird! I'm still learning from God in the Yard. Maybe I need to read it again? Beautiful thoughts here, Jody.

  4. Thank you for sharing your garden with me! It is beautiful. When I picture death? I see myself running through a field of wild flowers 🙂 So awesome. Flowers are a favorite thing of mine 🙂
    Love, Patty
    (from the (in) courage group)

  5. I love this Jody! I am so glad you spent time there…with God….instead of all the other places you could have been. I say it all the time….laundry and housework can wait…I have a date with the Creator and there's no place I'd rather be!! (I wait for the hummers as well). Beautiful post dear friend!!


  6. Jody, thank you for these beautiful pictures from your yard�� I look forward to your next Sabbath when you catch the Hummingbird picture�� I love how God works our days when we give them to Him!

  7. Thank you for letting us rest in your garden. Beautiful flowers and beautiful thoughts ..Tami from (in)courage group

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