It all started with lupines. The beautiful wildflowers had captivated me on a summer trip to coastal Maine. But when I saw the tall spears of blue and pink waving in my neighbor’s perennial garden, I knew I had to have them in my yard! I remember kneeling on the ground by the side of our little bungalow; digging out the grass and creating a bed for the tiny lupine seedlings my friend had given me. Digging around in the earth was not a specialty of mine. But it was, somehow, deeply satisfying.
My lupines caught on and soon I added day lilies and various other perennials to my expanding garden. I was hooked. The splashes of color from spring through fall were a source of comfort and joy. But more than that, the kneeling, the digging, the pulling and the planting gave me a sense of belonging in that place. I felt more rooted as the plants that I added to our garden took root and flourished.
There is just something about digging in dirt. At this same time I was struggling with the uncertainties of parenting teenagers while raising toddlers. I wanted to be the perfect mother but pretty clearly that was not going to happen. Every morning I would make my way downstairs to our basement for my time with the Lord. At the same time I would work away at the never-ending pile of laundry the seven of us produced. The sound of the drier tumbling covered my conversations with the Lord. I would pour out my frustrations with myself, and our kids, and also give thanks for the victories and celebrations.
In Colossians 2:6-7, Paul says, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”
Being rooted in Christ for me at least in part means that I need to get on my knees and dig around in the dirt of my life with Him. I can be honest with the Lord. I don’t have to pretty things up. I have to recognize the weeds of pride, unbelief, bitterness, and unforgiveness, and at the same time open my eyes to the blooming of His goodness and faithfulness in the midst of the messiness of life. In this way my roots go deep into Him and I am built up and strengthened in my faith.
Kneeling. Digging. Good times.
What helps you live your life in Christ, day by day?
Elizabeth Schenkel has been actively involved in Christian ministry on four continents over the past 40 years. After a violent attack nearly ended her life in 2000, Elizabeth became a spokesperson for the persecuted church and for fulfilling Christ’s Great Commission through bold steps of faith. Elizabeth co-wrote the evangelistic, follow-up film series for the “Magdalena” film entitled “Rivka.” After serving overseas for sixteen years, Elizabeth and her husband Erick moved to Orlando, Florida in April of 2012, where Erick is serving as the Executive Director of Jesus Film Project®. The Schenkels have five grown children and three grandchildren.