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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Gardening...Living (organically)

 I precisely remember the day I was given the gift of the term “organic planning”. I call it a gift because it enabled me to have one less reason to be self-critical.

At a couples retreat our small group was sharing our passions and call, and I was “complaining” that even though I love gardening and landscaping, I didn’t have the ability to imagine a bed in its finished form but did my work over time and moved things in an out until it eventually met my goals for the space.

A woman in the group said simply, “Oh, you’re an organic planner.”
Huh? There’s a name for that weakness? The way she said it didn’t make it sound like a weakness at all! She made it sound like a style.
I love that day! I love that woman.

After a gloomy weekend in Nebraska, the weather turned glorious, and this story came to mind because I spent yesterday taking bedding plants around our gardens trying to find spots for them. Laurel and I couldn’t say no and over bought at the giant Statewide Arboretum sale last month. We have lots of ground but not much sun.

But the nugget is this. Some things are planned out front, but lots of things are “organically planned” during the process. Both seem true of how God has been in my life. I am especially thankful for the messengers God sends to all of us to say the words we need at given moments. I try to be mindful to be the messenger when I can.

Do you have a story where the gift of a word or concept has set you on a new course?

What is your story of being God’s messenger to someone?

Tom Pappas


  1. May 2, 2009 I received a phone call that my 46 year old son had died of a sudden heart attack. My world spun out of it's orbit. I was already reeling with the care of a husband, 16 years my senior, who was dying of cancer. Weeks after my sons death I read of the death of an old flames wife. Not even knowing that she had been ill. It had been 55 years since we dated....."should I call him?" Yes, I did and talked and listened at Panera Bread. He listened as I shared my memories of raising my son. Went to his grave and looked through photos of his years from grades 1-12. He understood my caretaker role of someone in the dying process, as he had just been there. In 2010 after my husband's death we continued to delight in our newfound relationship after all those years. We married October 30, 2010 as we move forward to form new memories and find joy in living despite our losses. We both still are in awe of the synchronicity of our ever meeting again and thank Spirit for this newfound LIFE in our latter years.

  2. Pat: Your story was SO sad then it completely changed. I'm glad you said yes to your question, "Should I call him?" When my spouse died I became acutely aware how much I didn't want to spend any more days saying, "Why didn't I?", or "I should have."

    I know what you mean about and celebrate your newfound LIFE!