I spend a lot of time on my knees in the garden, digging little holes that become the new homes of different plants and flowers that arrive. When I build the brick sidewalks, I find the right size pebbles to fill each nook and cranny in some gaps between the brick. This is heavy knee work. I do a lot of talking down there with my knees planted firmly on the ground. And I do a lot of listening. Our lives are a conversation with our creator—you know?

My wife and I conceived our garden with prayer. I need to be honest with you, before this year and the pandemic, I have never gardened at all. Both of us had brown thumbs. But we asked God for what we thought was the impossible, to turn our brown thumbs green. By the way, God answers prayer.

I always said I had a brown thumb because my idea of plants was to just put them in the ground, add water, and “Wha-la, look-ee here, I grew something!” But the plants always fizzled out and never grew. My green thumb always browned. This was a good thing to pray for. And I did. Then God reminded me, I had always wanted a lush and peaceful garden to study, walk, and just “be”—in. And my wife had always said she wanted a butterfly garden. But we have brown thumbs. Even artificial plants die at our house! But I prayed. I asked God to show me the way. I knew it was a huge undertaking because there would be a million things to learn , a million stories to tell about God and about life, and the good thing is, there are also be a million memories that will last a lifetime.

Our garden is now being built with prayer. Here is a conversation I often seem to have with God, “Lord, help me, I don’t have a clue.” <<<pondering this in my head and allowing his words and thoughts to intersect with mine>> “So, all I need to do is care for each plant’s needs — that’s it?” << as I listen for his voice, I chuckle a little, shake my head and mumble, “It’s never simple, is it? >> “Okay, maybe that’s not all of it, but that’s a start. Show me the way, let’s go!” And that’s how I started this garden. On a prayer.

So many of my family and friends, and people I don’t even know, join me and God in the garden. At least in spirt they join me. Most have never been here, but there are many times I believe their heart listens when God and I talk about their needs, their victories, and their lives. Lifting you up in prayer is special in my life and I will be the first to say, I appreciate your prayers as well. I think through prayer; we join our hearts together with God and ourselves, even when we are apart. And you know what, God is there.

Under the hood of this garden, we are creating places that are uniquely designed for prayer. Let me tell you about a wonderful place to pray, that we are working on. My nine-year-old grandson came up with this idea on his own. We have a bush called a Fire Bush that we pretend is a campfire. Right now it is cooling here in Florida, and it is not fully in bloom, but when it is in bloom, we have a crackling fire the butterflies love. We love it too! We have two logs cut from old telephone poles in our garden that will be the seats around the campfire, one of the logs is there now. Of course, we have great pretend s’mores. They are so yummy! My grandson and I were walking through the garden the other night just before dark and he said, “Grandpa, I have a cool idea.” And of course, I smiled and said, “Bring it on, buddy.” Well, that little nine-year-old boy said, “You should take those logs and write the word THANKS’ on each one. And when anyone sits down, they have to say something they’re thankful for. You know, kind of like Thanksgiving.” Let me just say that I love his little heart!

Being thankful for anything, in my mind, is a prayer. God is listening, and I believe he is beaming a smile. Just like the smile I had when my nine-year-old grandson grabbed my heart with that idea! Prayers of thanks by the burning bush are coming soon. We sat out there this morning warming ourselves by the fire.

Yes, I spend a lot of time on my knees in the garden. So much, in fact, that my trusty knee pads are my delightful companion. I have a lot of conversations on my knees, and I do a lot of listening there. Our lives are a conversation with our creator, —you know?

“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD,” ~~ Jeremiah 29:12-14, God speaking to the Hebrews exiled in Babylon.