Kelly and I woke this morning at the crack of dawn. Our grandsons are on their way to spend the day. What a blessing! When they arrive, the room fills with hugs and warm greetings. I didn’t even have my coffee yet, and I was still nice. Actually, I’m the one that often crawls out of the bedroom on all fours, first thing in the morning, to sneak up on the little guys and start a game of “gotcha”. It’s a blessing being a grandpa.

The first thing my wife and I did was go to the garden to check on our butterflies. We saw that our Monarch chrysalis that was dangling outside inside a concrete block had turned from the most beautiful green to clear, revealing this beautiful butterfly inside. We knew that he would soon join our world. Then my little 4-year-old grandson came out onto the back porch, we grabbed some sunflower seed, and walked from special place to special place, leaving little gifts of food for our friends in the garden. Each feeder and each place we tuck some seed in — is special. Especially to our feathered and little furry friends. It’s a blessing to be a blessing.

I love calm mornings as the sun comes up. I can hear cardinals singing, waking in the trees. The doves descend on the garden to walk about and look at me like I look at them. Their flutter when they take off or land in the garden is a beautiful sound to the backdrop of the morning. These sounds calm my soul. Do you ever really sit and listen to the morning? You should. God is in every sound. From the ground doves to the squirrels, and the cardinals, to the distant sound of someone mowing their grass, yes, even the sound of creating beauty out of tall grass. God is in every sound. But you really need to listen. When you do, I promise, you will find blessing.

My little grandson and I finished our early morning work leaving food for our little friends, so I made and my way inside and got my coffee. Then we sat outside at the table, talking, and looking for our special guest. I read Psalm 34 softly aloud, and as soon as I finished, the little guy said, “Grandpa, let’s pray.” I was kind of taken aback, he’s only four, so I was a little surprised and proud at the same time. We bowed our heads, folded our hands, and took turns thanking God for the blessing in our lives. This was a special moment for me, the little guy and I, talking to our creator. We thanked the Lord for each person in our family, naming them one by one. Then he stopped, peeked over at me through one eye, and said, “Grandpa, what about the dogs?” Oh, how I love this boy! We prayed for our dogs and cats. His little heart spilled out into mine, and everything just fit perfectly with our peaceful morning in the garden. When we prayed, I wonder if God, as he joined in our little conversation, I wonder if he said to himself, “I love being a papa.” What a blessing it is to talk with our heavenly father, especially with my grandson.

I have a big mound of sifted dirt in the yard that is a temporary waystation as I shift soil from one place to another in the garden. As the sun appeared, my grandson ran up to the mound, climbed to the top, dug his hands in, and said, “Grandpa, let’s play!” Oh yeah, let me tell you, boys love dirt! I’m not afraid to say that I love playing in the dirt. Sometimes we dig in the mound, sometimes we replant plants. Last week the little guy and I planted our first tree, a six-foot magnolia. We added layers of compost, potting soil and native dirt, surrounding our magnolia in God’s water, to give it a good start in the garden. Yes, even the sand and the dirt are a blessing.

Our little Monarch emerged from its chrysalis on the concrete block. But unfortunately, his wings are crumpled and misshapen. This happens when a parasite invades their body. While it is sad for us, it is part of the circle of life. We will still be the blessing to this little butterfly. We care for him while he is with us and yes, there is a little sadness later in the day. Even in sad times we can be the blessing.

Yes, our garden is full of blessing. We are blessed, and we bless. We bless Jesus when we walk with him and the blessing we receive is deeper than that. It’s a hug that last forever.

“I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!” ~~ Psalm 34:1-3

“Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” ~~ Proverbs 11:25