When your troubles weigh you down, what better place to be than in the garden. Today’s guest Christina Lorenzen shares the soothing aspect of her garden with us. Welcome, Christina.
Last spring was a particularly tumultuous time in my life. As a matter of fact, it was around this time one year ago when it seemed like everything around me was unraveling. I will be the first to admit I don’t do well with change, and especially when there are several changes at the same time.
My husband had been dealing with health issues since late winter and here it was late April and he was still on medical leave from his job. As a person with health anxiety, the dozens of doctor appointments and medical tests were unnerving for me. I wanted to be calm for him. My daughter, a junior in college, was also dealing with health issues in the form of anxiety. She was struggling, unable to walk to class alone or stay home without one of us there. Though I knew I should have been grateful for my own health and good fortune in life (my second and third books had been published), the weight of their troubles pressed down on me.
If you’ve suffered from anxiety at some point in your life, you know that there are times when the weight of it can feel as if you can’t take a deep breath. I felt like that often, except for the times I went outside.
I had been reading articles about natural ways to cope with anxiety and most agreed getting outside in the sun and fresh air was a great way to be in the moment. While people who struggle with depression tend to live in the past, people battling anxiety tend to live in the future. Without a doubt, this is where I was. What if my husband couldn’t go back to work? What if something happened to him? What if my daughter couldn’t stay in school? What if her dreams were the future ended before they even began? What if I had to take care of two people when I finally had gotten to a point where I had time to pursue my writing? As I ran these scary projections of the future in my mind, it occurred to me that the ‘what ifs’ I was creating were weighing me down like the rocks in the garden outside.
It was that thought that prompted me to step outside that day. I hadn’t noticed before that how green the grass was, how the crab apple tree had blossomed or the way the petals had scattered to the ground below it. But what caught my eye was the cluster of rocks surrounding a small plant.
I couldn’t remember what kind of plant it was or when it had been planted. It was then that I realized I had been so frazzled and so consumed with the future, I had been missing the little things happening every day. I was deep in thought, marveling at how I had compared the things weighing on me to rocks and there I stood in front of a small border of rocks, Then I noticed a faint movement out of the corner of my eye. At first I panicked, thinking it might be the mouse we had seen last fall. I geared up to make a break for it when I saw a small grayish head pop out – of a turtle shell!
In the twenty plus years we have lived in our house we have seen an assortment of ‘wild life’ pass through our yard. Our children thrilled at the sight of rabbits, ducks, frogs, possum, raccoon and even a yucky mouse or two, but never had we seen a turtle. Since we don’t live anywhere near water, I thought this sighting was especially unusual. I inched closer and bent down to get a good look. Sure enough, the little head drew back in so quick it looked as if a vacuum had sucked it away. I stared at the shell, sitting there in full view in the green grass, and wished I knew how to tell how old he or she was. And being a worrier, I immediately wondered how this turtle, which upon seeing him my daughter named Vern, would find his way back home. Without even thinking, I whispered this verse.
Matthew 6:25 -26
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air: They do not sow or reap or gather into barns — and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
For the next week or so, no matter how busy I was, I stopped whatever I was doing and took a few minutes to spend time in the garden – and check on Vern. By the end of the week, he was gone. I searched the plants and flower beds around where he had been just to be sure. I could have stood there and thought the worst. I could have added another ‘rock’ to the load I was carrying. But I could still hear those words from Matthew. And somehow I just knew that wherever Vern was, he was okay. And with that reassurance, I let myself drop each of those rocks, doing as the Bible instructs us to do by ‘casting’ my cares, knowing that all would be well.
About the Author:
When I’m not writing or reading, I love spending time with family, my cats, taking walks with my Cocker Spaniel Yogi or getting lost in jewelry design, a venture that feeds my creativity as a writer. I am a member of Faith, Hope & Love, the inspirational chapter of RWA (Romance Writers of America) and ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers).
My most recent release is:
by Christina Lorenzen
In just a matter of days, Addie Mayfield’s life is upended. Through an arrangement her father makes, she sets sail on the RMS Titanic as governess to the two young Fairchild children. When tragedy strikes, she finds herself rescued alongside strangers on the RMS Carpathia, headed for New York City. Far from home, she is taken in by the O’Reilly family to wait for her family to send for her. With no money for her passage home, she’s brought to the small hamlet of Montauk to become a caretaker for a great aunt she has never met.
Captain Frank Shea is a man without a ship. Removed from duty as captain of the RMS Morrow, he’s come to Montauk to recover from a leg injury. More painful than the injury is his fall from grace after spending his entire life at sea. The ocean was his home and he has never needed anyone. Now faced with an uncertain future, he’s desperate for a way back to the sea. Until he meets Addie Mayfield, a woman who is just as lost as he is. Can these two people find hope for the future after all they’ve lost? Can an unexpected love heal two broken souls?
Available on Amazon:
I hope you’ll visit my home on the web www.christinalorenzen.com often and keep in touch.