Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Paving the Way

Finding a Way to Heal a Marriage
Awake, north wind, and come, south wind!
Blow on my garden, that its fragrance may spread abroad.
Let my lover come into his garden and taste of its choice fruits.
Song of Songs 4:16

When we moved into our new house, the back yard looked barren. It had been neglected and left to grow at will... the clay ground hard and sparse, patches of grass choked with weeds and the many trees blocked life-giving rays of light.
We attempted to fix it up some, adding a covering to the porch, then building a small deck to set the bar-b-quers on. Yet, it still lacked.
Unfortunately, over the past year, we found our marriage lacked as well. Our relationship looked no better than the back yard, hard, sparse and dark. We sought counseling.

The counselor told us that we needed to find something in common. We needed to restore our friendship. He had his hobbies and I had mine... and hardly ever the two would meet.

After trying a few activities... I remain a avid hater of bowling...
and card games...
and sports activities make me nauseous, too...
we prayed for God to show us. Then we both looked out the back door.
So began the Castle's Backyard Pathway Project

Both of us hate mowing. We pay the man for that pesky task. The backyard, small, narrow, and not worth the energy to pull the mower cord just to shave down a bunch of weeds.
But if we could create walkways and bordered gardens...

And true to our independent, different natures, we picked our different jobs, based on our different skills.

We'd obtained a bunch of white bricks for free. So...

Brick cleaning became his job.

Brick laying mine.

Arguments cropped up along the way.

"You can't do that. It wont work." I often said.
"Sure it will. This is how it needs to be done." His tight-lipped reply.
"It needs to be done right!" I'd even stomp my foot for emphasis.
Then, after sitting and thinking about it, I'd realize, "Drat, he's right! Ugh!"

I hate when they want to grab a tape recorder... It's just not right.

And throughout the process, everything began to grow...

Beauty sprung up. Appreciation. Teamwork.

Then we ran out of white bricks and had to find a compromise...

Yet, in the end, it worked out. The result is so much a semblance of a Castle creation.

It's quirky with the red and white mixed in together. And it dips and bumps. It doesn't match up in some places.

A true Castle creation, no doubt.

Yet, it did something for us. It did something for the yard, as well, that now is springing with life and beauty and produce!

So are we.

In this, we've found a connection, a common goal and something that causes us to work together, talk and laugh much, even in the arguments.

This "project" has paved a way to healing in so many ways.

"So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide.

And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided."
Genesis 22:14

Father, when we call out to you for help and direction, you provide. When we knock, you open. When we seek, you help us find. Thank you for providing ways to bring healing, restoration and new life to this garden that is our family.

photos from our walkway project.


  1. Thank you, Jackie for being open and honest. I love what you both did for your yard, and I love how God is working in your life. Praising Him and praying for you!

  2. Thank you Patty and Lisa. The yard has been fun. The experience priceless...


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