My friend, Liz, is an inspiring photographer who participates in a monthly photo challenge.  I once participated with her and had a blast finding unique ways to photograph the prompt for the day, but since I've yearned to blog again - and can't seem to figure out how to start back up on my own - I'm going to use that monthly photo challenge and turn it into a blogging challenge for the month. 

See?  Genius at work, folks.  Step back.

If you want to play along, let me know in the comments, and I'll make sure I come read your blog that day.  :-)  Here's the August List.

So.  Landscape.

We've been saving up for landscaping around our house for the past four years, now.  We thought we were going to have enough to be able to put it in this coming spring, but circumstances have conspired against us, and we had to use that cash on an emergency situation that came up this summer.  Apparently, my brain is still processing that loss because I dreamed about my landscaping last night.

I was lying in bed when Liberty and Mercy came running in with their arms full of unplanted greenery, spilling dirt all over my bright white bedspread.  "Mommy!  Mommy!  Come outside and see!" they shouted at me in my half-wakened state.  Only the threat of dirt everywhere forced me to open my eyes.  "No!  Take that outside!" I tried to command forcefully, but my voice wouldn't obey. 

I shakily, still mostly asleep, followed their dirt trail across the carpeting to the front door, and when I stepped outside, I found my neighbor and friend, Trina, just standing up from planting the last bush in front of my house.

"Hi!" she smiled.  "I brought over some clippings from my landscaping for you." 

I glanced around.  My yard was littered with odd pots and plastic buckets all filled with dirt and spindly stems cut from flowers and bushes.  I started to thank her, but then I noticed a small plow with fresh, beige, Indiana clay clinging to its blades.  That's been used recently, my brain realized.  I looked around for evidence of its disturbance and found that all of my areas set aside to become garden beds had been tilled up and mixed with rich black dirt, then covered with peat moss and, in most places, planted with flowers and bushes.  "Wow!"  Trina had done more than just bring over clippings.  She had done all the hard labor to get my landscaping put in as well!

"Thank you!" I told her.  "Would you like to come in for a drink?"

"Sure," she followed me to the kitchen sink for a glass of water, and as I looked around my house, I was suddenly embarrassed to have her there.  The rooms were devoid of furniture, I'm not sure why.  Paint was peeling in large strips off the walls.  The ceilings were made of those square tiles you see in old office buildings, but apparently, our roof leaked badly because there were terrible brown stains on every tile, and some were hanging from the ceiling by their corners.  Our carpet was old and thin, worn bare in spots, and smelled awful.  Every light bulb in our house had been burned out, so I kept flicking light switches with no results.  I looked around, horrified for Trina to see the state our family had been living in. 

Trina just hugged me.  "Looks like we need to work on the inside, next!" she said cheerfully.  "I have leftover paint from when we painted Cait's room."  She bent down, pulled a crowbar from her back pocket, and began pulling the carpet up at a seam.  "Help me out with this.  I'm sure everything will look and smell much better when this is gone." 

I bent next to her and began pulling, grateful for this wonderful friend.

When I woke up, the dream lingered with me.  My brain was having a hard time telling fantasy from reality, and I began doing math in my head, trying to figure out how much we could spare in the budget for paint and new flooring.  So I was pleasantly surprised when I entered my bedroom closet and noticed the walls and paint in good condition.  Whew!  One room that doesn't need to be included in the remodel.

I walked out to the kitchen to start breakfast for the girls, and the presence of furniture and beauty surprised me.  I took a good assessing look around.  "Wow!  My home is beautiful!" I said out loud.  The walls are in good condition.  The carpet is stain and odor free.  The ceilings are a perfect white, with no ugly squares to be found anywhere, and we have plenty of furniture.  It honestly shocked me, and I've been periodically stopping my activity all morning to look and admire what God has done for us materially.

I've been going through about a month of ungratefulness.  In fact, just yesterday I told my friend Denissa who I bumped into at Walmart, that I needed to copy her habit of updating her facebook statuses with thankfulness.  I hoped making a practice of that might encourage thankfulness in my heart and help change my attitude in general. 

Looks like God took care of that.  With one dream He changed the landscape of my heart.

(Like how I tied that in?  Landscape?)

(Uh-huh, I'm that good.)
1 Response
  1. Okay, love your take on this! Also, great story. How wonderful that God took that dream and turned it into thankfulness in your heart!

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