Life is a Garden Party

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Out of Hibernation


Yesterday a winter wonderland
as snowflakes piled up like white sand.
Creatures hibernated outside
as people hibernated inside.

Too cold to venture out.
A snow day so stayed put.
Traffic minimal.
View sensational.

Everything’s covered in white -
a pretty, peaceful sight.
Looks like a white Christmas
has descended on us.

Tree limbs frosted white.
Evergreens now iced.
Like frosting on a cake
while creatures hibernate.

Quiet and still.
No movement spills.
No birds are seen
in the evergreens.

Today, though, many black birds flock
in the crab apple tree out back.
Ravenous from yesterday’s fasting
they feast then are seen sharing.

For more birds wait their turn
this sunny winter morn.
Hundreds seen descend
to sup and then lend.

They seem to share this offering
found under the snow’s covering.
Listen. Joyous chattering.
No longer hibernating.

Ever thankful they sing grateful praise
to their Creator as songs they raise
for God provides their daily bread
as each and everyday they are fed.

Crows are now heard cawing in the distance.
God must have provided them sustenance
for God’s eyes are on each and every sparrow,
blue jay, cardinal, chickadee, and crow.

As God is concerned about the least of these,
then certainly He will your needs and wants appease.
In the meantime, thank Him for His faithfulness
and in His daily blessings everyday rest.

* * * * *

Thank you, God, for the beautiful snow.
It comes as a blessing bestowed.
Thank you, God, for the birds that teach me
everyday your faithfulness to see.

God's voice thunders in marvelous ways;
he does great things beyond our understanding.
He says to the snow,
'Fall on the earth.'
Job 37:5-6a

Look at the birds of the air;
they do not sow or reap or store away in barns,
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not much more valuable than they?
Matthew 6:26

Life Is a Garden Party is available via Amazon.

Thursday, January 3, 2019



Every December temptation arrives
when Burpee's, Gurney's, Garden's Alive,
Jung Seeds and Henry Fields fill my mailbox.
Each year my mailbox is stuffed with lots.

There's Brecks, Dutch Gardens,
Parks Seeds, Roots & Rhizomes,
van Bourgondien, Bluestone Perennials,
Oakes Daylilies – my favorite of all.

This year there was also a Shumway's, a Thompson & Morgan,
a Pinetree Garden Seeds and a Totally Tomatoes.
But because it's December filled with festivities
there isn't a minute to look at flower nurseries.

My dream of purple bearded iris interspersed with orange poppies,
of an oak leaf hydrangea - which would make me very happy,
of walla walla sweet onions and more asparagus
will have to wait until after Christmas is over, I guess.

Today's the day!
Hooray! Hooray!
I want, I want, I want...
each heartbeat seems to pant.

Today as I take time to look,
each catalog becomes a wish book
and in each wish
there's a promise.

A promise that spring will come
after the cold snow is gone.
A promise that life will go on
as each plant matures and blossoms.

I dream of what my garden could look like
if I were to buy whatever I like.
As that's not possible the dream will continue
for many years as I add more plants to view.

In my mind I limit myself to one item on each page
which I'm sure would add up to more than a yearly wage.
Though the temptation is great
I've learned I'll have to wait.

Because a lesson I have learned
that quite often for what I've yearned
is shared when someone gives to me
making a lovely memory.

When all is looked at today
I've ordered vegetables for May
and some helpful organic insecticides
for in organic gardens insects abide.

My dream still lives of a sanctuary,
without weeds - which are quite contrary,
where my Eden would grow weedless turf,
where every plant is picture perfect.

Dreams keep ones hopes alive
for don't we often strive
for perfection
in our garden.

* * * * *

Life will never be perfect,
as no one is perfect.
If not for God's unfailing faithfulness
we'd all give up under daily stress.

Focus on God and His faithfulness
versus on your personal mess.
You'll find you'll have much less stress
when in the Lord you find rest.

O Lord, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
you have done marvelous things,
things planned long ago.
Isaiah 25:1

You have been a refuge for the poor,
a refuge for the needy in his distress,
a shelter from the storms
and a shade from the heat.
Isaiah 25:4

Thank you, everyone, who took time to read this story.
Should you need a gift for a gardening friend,
Life Is a Garden Party is available as follows:

Life Is a Garden Party, Vol III
is available via CreateSpace.

Life Is a Garden Party, Vol II
is available via WestBow Press.

Life Is a Garden Party, Vol I
is available via Amazon.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Our Light


More than two thousand years ago in a stable one night
cow and donkeys were witnesses to a holy sight.
A baby was born to Joseph and his betrothed wife.
They named their son Jesus, a boy, who brought such delight.

The animals shared their own manger that night
for the baby needed a place to sleep tight.
The cows and donkeys shared their manger with delight,
reminding us all to share, which is also right.

God told the new parents they would have a son who would become our Light.
They cared for him the best they could in a stable that first Christmas night.
He also is called Immanuel, or God with us, that's right.
God provided a way to guide us in our journey through life.

Nearby there were flocks of sheep bleating in the night.
To these shepherds, everything seemed to be all right.
When suddenly the sky was filled with a bright light.
The shepherds never before had had such a fright.

“Do not fear” the angel said with delight.
“Good news of great joy" I bring to you tonight.
Then many angels appeared singing with all their might:
“peace on earth, good will to everyone.” Meaning no strife.

The shepherds prepared to go see this Light,
who was born to save us all from our plight.
They found the baby in the city of David that night
with Mary and Joseph who were filled with so much delight.

The shepherds then told everyone with delight
a new king is born to us, He is our Light.
Everyone who heard this new news that night
were amazed and also filled with delight.

The shepherds returned home praising God for the Light,
born in a lowly stable that first Christmas night,
for everything they had seen and heard with delight
happened just as the angels told them that dark night.

Meanwhile wise men were searching far and near for the Light
riding humped camels who clumped over the lowlands and heights.
They followed a special star way up high in the sky so bright.
The star was so bright, it lead them all the way night after night.

The humped camels clumped on and on with all their might,
following that star which lead them right to the Light.
The star stopped over the house where Jesus was, that's right.
Then the wise men, also, were filled with so much delight.

The wise men bowed down and worshiped Jesus, the Light,
and gave gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh that night.
Gifts meant for a king, who was born on the first Christmas night,
King Jesus, who came to save us all from our sins, He's our Light.

He came as our Light to give us life:
eternal life in heaven so bright
and on this earth abundant life without strife
for Jesus will carry our burdens in life.

You can live you life free from strife and with delight
when you believe and make Jesus Lord of your life.
For He is a close as a prayer, so just sit tight.
Do not fear. God is with You. Jesus is your light.

Jesus said, "I am the light of the world."
John 8:12

"I am the light of the world."
John 9:5

"I have come into the world as a light."
John 12:46

Thank you to all who have taken the time to read these Christmas stories this busy month of December.  You are a blessing!  I'll resume posting gardening stories come January.  Life Is a Garden Party is available via CreateSpace or Amazon.  For those who plan ahead, it would make great Mother's Day gifts.

Friday, December 28, 2018

A New Way


Miles and miles of dry, sandy terrain behind them
with miles and miles to go still ahead of them
the wise men had come a long, long way from afar
being led along the way by a bright star, His star.

No map to guide them along the way.
Just a star in heaven leading the way.
Their goal was to worship the newborn King of the Jews.
Not something they questioned. A fact they just knew.

So by looking up they plodded along
through many days and starry nights long.
Stopping for direction in Jerusalem along the way
they learned Bethlehem had been prophesied,
so off they went on this NEW WAY.

This special star led them
to a house in Bethlehem
where they bowed down and worshiped this child-King
who came to earth with a NEW WAY of life to bring.

Worshiped by adoring Jesus Christ the Lord.
Worshiped through praising and glorifying in word
just as the shepherds had earlier done
when announcing a "NEW WAY" had come.

This NEW WAY of life for mankind brought needed salvation
and as Simeon spoke of, "a light for revelation."
This NEW WAY of life now ensures us
that Immanuel or God is with us.

After weeks of searching for, then finding the Christ-child,
the wise men were ready to return to report to King Herod
except they were warned in a dream not to,
to return home by a NEW WAY hereto.

A NEW WAY, the opposite direction, both figuratively and literally.
This NEW WAY is also available to each one of us personally.
So off these truly wise men (and humbled shepherds) went
though never again the same
for a NEW WAY of life was available to them, and to us also,
as God's Word claims.

* * * * *
Do you need to make a U-turn?
It's never too late to return
to seek God's way, His plan and purpose for us
by living a life of believing faith and trust.

As the Bible is written for our example
the Old Testament records many examples
of Israel turning to the Lord in times of trouble
after finding going their own way got them into trouble.

Where did they turn to when they repeatedly got themselves into trouble?
It was always the Lord they depended on to get them out of trouble.
God is always ready, willing, and available to help us in our times of trouble.
Do you need to return by going the opposite direction? God is still available.

If you truly know the Christ of Christmas
you'll find your way will be different
as His presence will go with you
as you travel a way that's new.

And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod,
they returned to their country by another route.
Matthew 2:12

Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
"For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all people,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel."
Luke 2:28, 30-32

Come, let us return to the Lord...
Let us acknowledge the Lord;
let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises, he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth.
Hosea 6:1, 3

"Even now," declares the Lord,
"return to me with all your heart..."
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity.
Who knows? He may turn and have pity
and leave behind a blessing.
Joel 2:12-14

"Return to me," declares the Lord Almighty,
"and I will return to you."
Zechariah 1:3

Here's some verses to contemplate as you go your NEW WAY.

Teach me your ways so I may know you.
Exodus 33:13

What does the Lord your God ask of you but to
fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him,
to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul,
and to observe the Lord's commands and decrees
that I am giving you today for your own good.
Deuteronomy 10:12

Show me your ways, O Lord,
teach me your paths;
guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
Psalm 25:4-5

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you and watch over you.
Psalm 32:8

Your ways, O God, are holy.
What god is so great as our God?
You are the God who performs miracles;
you display your power among the peoples.
Psalm 77:13-14

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

Whether you turn to the right or to the left,
your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying,
"This is the way, walk in it."
Isaiah 30:21

I am the Lord your God,
who teaches you what is best for you,
who directs you in the way you should go.
Isaiah 48:17

I am the way and the truth and the life.
John 14:6

I worship the God of our fathers
as a follower of the Way.
Acts 24:14

And we pray this in order that
you may live a life worthy of the Lord
and may please him in every way
bearing fruit in every good work,
growing in the knowledge of God,
being strengthened with all power
according to his glorious might
so that you may have great endurance and patience,
and joyfully giving thanks to the Father,
who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints
in the kingdom of light.
For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness
and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,
in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Colossians 1:10-14

Thursday, December 27, 2018


composed by Judy Janowski
December 1, 2010

For weeks and months they hike
persevering countless days and nights
with only a star shining bright
as a beaming, guiding light
wise men or magi alight
persevering camels that fight
sandstorms at night
and windstorms quite
harsh and not liked.
Whatever their plight
they persevere with might
keeping that star in sight.

These camels, stately like a knight
or a steed, persevere day and night
plodding along keeping one bright
glorious shining star in sight.
Persevering these wise men are right
to persevere and not give in to fright.
It is their hope, this shining star so bright,
of which poets across the ages write.
That star, His star, in the sky, so bright
unbeknownst to them will bring delight
for it leads them to the one who is the Light
the Light of World, in fact, is in sight.

You know, it's only God who could write
a story with such intrigue and delight.
Who would ever think that a star shining bright
or camels that plod day-after-day and night
would be part of the greatest story ever told, that's right!
This story that guided countless civilizations alright.
A story that unfortunately has become an oversight
for many keep Christ out of their Christmas celebration night.
The greatest gift you could give your family tonight
is to read this true story one December night.
This story that never grows old and will delight
when you persevere in doing what is right.
* * * * *

What if the camels had gone on strike?
What if the wise men had given up their flight?
What if there had been no extraordinary star?
This story would have had a different ending, by far.

Have you ever felt like giving up?
Do life's hardships seem like too much?
Perhaps it's because you're not looking up?
Perhaps you need to feel God's loving touch.

If you fix your eyes on your circumstance
then you are not giving the Lord a chance
to perform a great and good work in you.
Is that the reason you've been feeling blue?

Consider that circumstance a test
that is sent to grow your faith
then look to the Lord who has your best
interests – always – in His heart.

Don't give up.
Keep looking up.
God will be there for you
with a good plan for you.

In fact, something extraordinary
that He can only accomplish through you.
So that circumstance, less than ordinary,
is sent to perfect, mature, and complete you.

View it as a gift.
Then you'll see your spirit
within you lift.
Doesn't God give good gifts!

Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith,
who for the joy set before him endured...
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men,
so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1b-3

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete,
not lacking anything.
James 1:2-4

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God,
you will receive what he has promised.
Hebrews 10:36

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Wise Men


In the Bible story of old
a story of Wise Men is told.
We read about them in Matthew 2.
They appear to have been well to do.

These Wise Men were said to be scientific astrologers
who for a living studied the night sky for special stars.
Perhaps the first horoscopes
came from these mysterious folks.

They recorded statistics
and were somewhat mystic,
foretelling of future unknown events -
perhaps calamity they would circumvent.

Traveling by camel caravan
eastward over strange and distant lands
they were following a unique star.
One which led them night after night afar.

They knew the star belonged to the king of the Jews
for the prophets said a king would be born to rule.
The star led them to the house where the Lord Jesus,
Christ, the Savior, with his mother, Mary, was.

These wise men bowed down and worshiped the Christ-child
then presented him with gifts they had compiled.
Do you know what made these men wise?
Was it the stars in the sky?

Was it statistics and supposition?
Was it financial gain and man's wisdom?
These men were wise because they followed the light
that led them to the one who could give them sight.

Sight to see their need of a personal Savior
where heaven's destination wasn't through labor.
Sight when they met the Light of the World
who was born that first Christmas Day we're told.

* * * * *

These ancient wise men of old went searching.
Today men and women are still searching.
Searching through worldly thrills that bring a degree of pleasure
but in the end leaves an emptiness beyond measure.

Stop searching,
start reaching
toward the everlasting light
that brings hope and delight.

You will become wise, too,
if you end your search anew
and discover the Light of the World.
It's the greatest story ever told.

Wise men
still seek Him.
Become wise
in God's eyes.

...Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked,
“Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?
We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him..."
They went on their way,
and the star they had seen in the east
went ahead of them until it stopped
over the place where the child was.
When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.
On coming to the house,
they saw the child with his mother Mary,
and they bowed down and worshiped him.
They they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts
of gold and of incense and of myrrh.
Matthew 2:1-2, 9-11

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

The Christmas Gift


On that special day that baby Jesus was born,
Joseph and Mary had traveled to Bethlehem.
With taxpayers the town was crowded,
so all the inns and lodges were filled.
The one place lodging was available
for them to spend the night was a stable.

It came to pass that dark night
when the stars were shining bright
that baby Jesus was born.
His crib was a manger loaned.
Borrowed from animals so kind
that they had used to eat and dine.

Meanwhile shepherds around the firelight
keeping watch over their sheep that cold, dark night
saw an angel appear in bright light.
They were afraid when they saw that sight.
“Do not be afraid,” the angel said,
I'm bringing tidings of joy instead.

“Today your Savior has been born.
His name is Jesus Christ the Lord."
Go find the baby in a manger.
Shepherds, go now, don't be a stranger.
Then many more angels appeared praising God.
Singing, “Gloria in Excelsis Deo.”

Which means “Glory to God in the Highest.”
For with God you will find peace, joy, and rest.
After the angels returned to heaven,
the shepherds said to one another, “Men,
let us go and see what the angel told us,”
for they knew in his words they could surely trust.

The shepherds did not wait, with much haste they hurried.
Just as the angel said, they found baby Jesus.
They told others what they had seen and heard
and today that news is passed down to us.
The shepherds were witnesses to God's good news.
Good news now available to me and you.

Wise men had heard about a new king's birth.
They began their search for Him on the earth.
Herod, the king, didn't like this new news borne
and asked, “Where was this new King to be born?”
His council advised, “Bethlehem, for certain,
according to what the prophet had written.”

Herod sent the wise men to Bethlehem to find the child.
Atop of humped camels they rode mile after mile.
A bright star appeared and guided them on their way
until it stopped over the place where Jesus stayed.
When the wise men saw the star in the sky, they rejoiced -
with exceedingly great joy. They were overjoyed.

They found the young child-King with Mary, His mother,
and at once fell down to worship Him, Jesus, the Savior.
Gifts were given to the young King.
Treasures that the wise men did bring.
Gold and frankincense and myrrh were presented to the Lord.
Causing us to ask, “What can I bring Him, my God and Lord?”

“What shall I bring to the Lord, the God of heaven,
when I come to worship Him?” Micah (6:6) had spoken.
A question at Christmas to ask ourselves: “What can I bring?
What would He desire from me, He who has everything?”
My daily surrender to God to transform me
into His image – for my good and His glory.

* * * * *

Everyday is Christmas in our heart
when Jesus Christ is a part
of our daily thoughts,
actions, and words.

Or as Micah states: act justly, love mercy, walk humbly.
Three acts of obedience that will magnify
Christ as Lord of your life; displaying Christmas in your heart
each day of the year. Let's keep Christmas' joy and peace in our hearts.

With what shall I come before the Lord
and bow down before the exalted God?...
He has showed me, O man, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:6, 8

Stop doing wrong, learn to do right!
Seek justice, encourage the oppressed.
Isaiah 1:17

An upright man gives thought to his ways.
Proverbs 21:29

Each one should test his own actions.
Galatians 6:4

Pleasant words are a honeycomb,
sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Proverbs 16:24

May the words of my mouth
and the mediation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Psalm 19:14