To Be Spiritually Minded is Life and Peace …
PEACE AND QUIET
Some years after purchasing our house we were offered the choice of buying certain land behind ours extending our property line, which we accepted with glee. My desire was to turn it into a personal park and then into a landscaped garden. In total, it was about two acres including our house.
We began by clearing eight foot high blackberries section by section. Then we planted grass. Tall cedars had grown among the blackberries and now they took shape as decorative trees. We purchased a riding lawnmower. We formed gardens; edged, weeded, bark dusted, and planted flowering trees and many flowers.
The far edge of our property ended at the power lines, barely visible within the one hundred and eighty foot fir trees which towered around them. The deer traveled up and down the power lines. They knew our property well as they wandered in to lick up the bird seed left for the birds. We threw out peanuts for the squirrels which the birds ate. If an abandoned cat showed up, we put out cat food.
DEDICATED AND ANOINTED
I dedicated the land and house to the LORD. We put stones in each of many corners of the property. We anointed each stone with olive oil. We prayed.
I also dedicated the land to the animals.
AKIN TO THE SQUIRRELS
For me, it was a place I spent with the Holy Spirit where many miracles would take place. Once, my husband and I returned from a date; we had hardly pulled up in the driveway when we heard the strangest sounds of pandemonium. We rolled the windows to the car down and the racket was louder. “What’s that?” I asked my husband.
He was as clueless as me.
We got out of the car and walked toward the doorway of the house.
From nowhere approximately seven squirrels suddenly surrounded me on the sidewalk, chattering in urgent angst, each one straining their necks upward to look me in the face, dancing on one foot and then the other.
Amazed, I told my husband something was wrong; go look under the firs by the house. He found a baby squirrel that had dropped to the ground.
I remembered not to touch a baby animal, instead, for baby squirrels, just wrap it in a towel and tie each end of the towel to a branch, creating a hammock.
When we did this, the squalor silenced … all was well with the world again.
That was not the only strange incident. Another happened when I was working between two six foot tall, larger than saplings, flowering trees. As I stood between them many birds descended and flew around and around me, some stopping to rest on the branches and then fly again with the rest. That incident gained me the title Snow White from one of my daughter’s friends.
On another day I was weeding, stooped over in the typical gardener’s stance, thinking about God and reality. I was working right around the deck on the back of our house. Beauty filled my soul with the sun streaking through the morning grass. Ivy poured over the lattice behind an empty bird bath which Missy, my cat decided to curl up in and watch me work. A strange sense of silence seemed to make its own music. I stood up and surveyed my beautiful yard. I scanned back and forth admiring the arbor, the garden flags, the lilies, the outline of large landscape rocks … when from another dimension the shape of a deer suddenly appeared not more than two feet from me. I held my breath and blinked. How could I have missed it? Just as suddenly two more appeared. I waited calmly until the trinity chose to mosey off.
Did I miss seeing them because I simply didn’t believe they were there? Is that the way it is with God? I decided God is always there in plain view but we don’t see Him until we choose to. Then His pattern takes place right before our eyes and He shows Himself. That is faith, choosing to believe.
GIFTS OF TRUST
Years later, as my daughter grew; she was sitting on a chair under the archway of the front door when a squirrel nervously approached her. In his mouth was a three-pronged filbert, he cautiously made his way around her to the bottom of the door stoop and dropped his filbert there.
I was in the kitchen when she walked in and announced, “Mom! The squirrels left a gift for you.”
It was about this time when the doomsday letter came. BPA was powering up the power lines and their plans were to take half of our back area or more. Even worse, the towers would be nine stories high. Our house would be like an ant under the massive arms of robotic monsters marching across the landscape like alien giants.
All home owners in the path of these proposed monsters were in an uproar: they marched, protested, wrote letters, and had meetings.
But I knew what they didn’t know. I had seen this kind of thing before and it never ended well.
- My husband’s uncle owned a multi-million family business located just off the main highway in Portland, Oregon. The front half of the property was the business and the back half included the family home. Years of blood, sweat, and tears went into growing their clientele, trust, and name.
Before we had received our Doomsday letter, years earlier, we were present when they received their “Day of Domain”. A government employee came into their business and announced that the roads were going to be redirected, which meant blocking off their clients as well as taking most of their land.
The motel behind their business sued them and in return the motel was condemned; they received nothing.
My husband’s uncle was far more cooperative but his payoff was to have a massive stroke. They had to close business and move. He spent the rest of his life drooling uncontrollably into a towel on his lap.
What I had learned was that once the process of imminent domain begins, it is a giant steamroller that flattens everything that gets in its way. One of the tricks is to begin the process early, allow the protests to go on until people wear themselves out, and when the protesters become exhausted and things are quiet again, then they move in to do exactly as they want. In other words, you can’t fight them and you can’t allow yourself to have a stroke.
Therefore; I joined the protests for our property only as a matter of encouragement to our neighbors. During the protest I told others how I had dedicated my land to God. If He wanted BPA to have it, they would have it. If God did not want them to have it, there would be nothing they could do to get it.
The protests continued, the hot and heavy meetings grew, and then as expected, the people grew weary. Silence took over as time passed. By then my sister had moved in with us and was looking at putting up a structure in our back. I warned her that imminent domain would soon raise its ugly head and if she planned on building too far in the back, they would tear down anything she built.
Time passed. My sister moved out. More time passed and more time passed. Then the second letter came. This time they said they had changed the direction of the pathway. Wow! We missed the bullet. Then more time passed. A third letter came. This time they changed their minds again. Now we were confused. We called to find out they were using new technology and no land was to be taken.
- I guess God didn’t want them to have it. It was over. Just like that.
- During all that time I did not bury myself in anger or excessive thinking. I simply gardened.
- All that time Satan busily stirred the souls of men, boiling his stew of malcontent and pride.
- All that time God already knew the end.
- Today, the deer still visit, the squirrels still scramble and fight with the blue jays for the peanuts, the birds spread the word that this is the place to get the goodies. We still rescue abandoned cats. We have room for dogs to come and run, fetch sticks and lay in the sun.
- Today, I still study the Word of God and learn how He turns the tables on Satan for those who trust Him … as Romans 8:6 says: to be spiritually minded is life and peace.