Thursday, November 7, 2013


The cold is creeping in.
A view from my parents back side yard,
around this time of year in America

It's funny, it's not really cold at all for what I've known all my life. But my blood really thinned this summer. I remember realizing how acclimated I was getting when one day in the heart of summer I woke up saying "Wow, it's so comfortable! It's cool!" and I looked at the temperature... and it was like 93 or something.

So now I'm shivering and it's 70s during the day and 60s at night. Now, part of this is definitely the pregnancy, as feeling the hot or cold acutely is a symptom. But also, I'm thinking how cold this winter will be if my body doesn't adjust soon! However, since the summer was such a crazy adjustment, surely my body is up for a much more moderate one? Last year's low was 32 degrees, which happened just once over night, and that was in January so I have a while before it gets that low.

I got online and checked my inbox, all shivery as I did, and I get these devotionals emailed to me daily. And today it was talking on God as the Master Gardener, tending the spiritual garden. This has me automatically thinking about what I wrote this February about being pruned. It was a definite divine revelation type thing that let me know pruning was what was happening.

In this devotional today it mentioned other activities of the Master Gardener including "protecting from frost." And I'm not sure yet if that is exactly what was is going on or if the only reason it resonated with me was because I'm so chilly, but it did resonate with me.

My mom actually is a Master Gardener, she took courses and everything and she's been a devoted gardener all my life and I remember her protecting plants from frost. She'd bring the ones in pots in, so our home would be temporarily invaded by a vast number of plants my mom would happily name if I asked while looking at me like "Haven't you picked this up yet by now?" She didn't normally keep houseplants. I remember elephant's ears in particular for some reason. She had these black ones and if they got nipped at all by the frost they'd start dropping their large black leaves all over.

She'd also go out and cover some plants. I remember her throwing blankets of the hydrangeas and putting plastic sheeting over other plants. I don't remember what was what. I remember once or twice she made me help her because she'd just seen the frost as such a sudden thing rolling in if we didn't get out there and save stuff it'd die.

And so just like when I was dwelling on the metaphor of pruning so many months ago I really began thinking "What would it be like to be a plant being protected from frost?" My first thought was dark. Covered up, out of the air you're used to being around. A little warmer, but stuffy. The plants being brought inside probably feel displaced. They'd likely rather be outside, but they don't know that outside is now a dangerous place for them.

Plants don't really think, so far as I know, but I do know they look for optimal conditions. You see this in how they follow the sun, for example. You don't pull in a plant when frost is already getting it; well perhaps you do, but a perfect Gardener like God wouldn't. You'd save it in advance of the danger. But that means that the plant likely wouldn't be able to recognize the inside of the house or under the blanket as the preferable place. It'd rather be outside, soaking up the last rays as the sun sets behind the horizon...

One of my mom's gardens
Yet tucked away, in a foreign and stuffy place, there is safety. In the morning the Gardener would come and take off the cover, but if the cold snap continues, put it back over it again in the evening. So it could seem like a constant roller coaster of conditions, wearing it out, but not killing it the way the frost would.

Another thing happens during the frost. In searching on how gardeners handle this I was reading people warning others about certain plants, saying cover up if it gets really cold, but don't take them in... otherwise they won't be fruitful. Some plants need the cold in order to prompt the blossoms the next year that lead to a fruitful season. I actually read in some plants not getting a frost at all can result in consecutive years of fruitlessness. Yet, being exposed to the brunt of the cold may kill it outright.

I desire to be fruitful again. I do think I bore fruit (which came through Christ alone, I just bore it as a branch, He is the vine) and that's why I was pruned. And I do think my little tender shoot of a branch is growing back... slowly, weakly. I don't feel the fire I used to feel, but I know my heart hasn't changed. It's a heart God put in me, and I believe He preserves it. I'm just trusting Him. I'm not sure if it's a frost season now or if that's just the fancifulness of a chilly pregnant woman, but regardless the season in the spiritual garden, I know He knows what He's doing. He cares for me, and I must trust Him.


  1. Your Mom's side yard looks like it could be here in these Ozark hills. The leaves have really been falling the last few days.

    I read your latest post also. Hope you are feeling better!

  2. @kebhari- thanks!

    @Esther Joy- yes, it's in the upstate of South Carolina, but I visited the Ozarks once and was struck by how similar it looks. The vegetation in the Ozarks is a little bigger (bigger leaves, bigger blossoms, etc) but it's the same sorts of plants. We're in the foothills of the Appalachians- actually on a clear winter day when the trees have lost their leaves you can see the mountains from my mom's yard. So it's probably fairly similar to the Ozarks for that reason.


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