Gardening and my Incorrigible Soul


.    Firmly rooted; ineradicable: incorrigible faults.

.    Difficult or impossible to control or manage: an incorrigible, spoiled child.

American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

Have you ever felt like your soul was incorrigible? I have. In fact, this personal awareness is one of the reasons I enjoy gardening so much. Breaking up the fallow ground in my yard mirrors the seemingly impossible work God’s Spirit has to do when it comes to dealing with me.

He shovels, I wince. He racks, I moan. Circumstances and people enter my life whose sole purpose (I’m convinced) is to unearth me. Yes, my soul is definitely incorrigible if I’m left to my own devices.

Recently my husband and I decided to redo a section of our back yard. We yanked out all of the bushes and plants. The process of pitchforking to remove deeply embedded roots took weeks. Repetitive stabbing and turning, stabbing and turning strained every muscle in our bodies. The scripture “Break up your fallow ground” took on new meaning. I also wondered what my part was in the process God takes me through when He wants to soften my incorrigible soul.

After the churning, turning, racking, and straightening was complete, my husband formed planters and a place for a path.

I began to envision my future garden and then the excitement sprouted.

Eager to plant, I loaded a metal flatbed cart full of sand, decorative rocks, moisture control mulch, and flowering plants. People snickered as I passed them in the gardening section of Lowe’s.

“You know it’s going to be 103 degrees today. I sure hope you’re not going to do that all this afternoon.” One kindly gentleman said with a smile.

“Wow, looks like you’ve got your work cut out for you.” Said another passerby.

Their counsel did not deter me. I returned home and spent the next six hours mixing the soil additives and planting. I heard that marigolds kept squirrels and insects away so I lined the flowerbeds with these happy flowers. The next morning I took pictures like a proud parent on graduation day.

Then the battle with the squirrels began. I returned home yesterday from my birthday lunch only to find several marigolds uprooted with roots nibbled. They munched my Shasta daisy petals as well.

Other vermin of soul come to destroy my spiritual garden. I know I shouldn’t gossip but I do. Chomp munch, chomp munch. Negativity eats away my conscience.

What a metaphor of life! I muse. We work hard at planting positive thoughts into our minds and generous feelings into our hearts. We endeavor to use our talents as the good Lord directs but there’s always little pests waiting to upturn and chop on our efforts.

Yes, gardening reminds me of the challenges that tempt me to remain crusted and hardened. Yet, every morning I wander along the little path and believe that together, the Lord and I will conquer my incorrigible soul.

16 Replies to “Gardening and my Incorrigible Soul”

  1. I don’t think I have an incorrigible soul. But now you make me examine the fallow ground stuff. I mean I live not to be the source of anyone’s misfortune. but that is quite a bit short of having a spiritual garden. I think I need to focus on being a little more indulgent and sensitive to family and friends. To be more available. Not only to break up the fallow ground but to plant something as well. I think I’ll start with grand kids. They are off now from school and I ought to drive over and take them to the beach or something. Grandpa needs his nap but maybe the Spirit will shock a little energy into me. I have much to offer them and receive delight just with their presence. Good post.


    1. Carl, your comment delighted me so much that I giggled. You definitely have a way with words. It was as if I got a peek into your thoughts and they are delightful. Yes, take those grand kids to the beach…and then take the nap. I’m enjoying the lull between children leaving the nest and having grand-baby chicks. Lots of naps now…


  2. I can relate to the squirrel thing.

    I’m waging my own war on the tree rats. They have already broken one bird feeder, now I have a metal caged one and they got in it! They peel off duct tape better than we can. I feel like Bill Murray vs the gophers in Caddyshack.


    1. Rusty, I just told my husband the same thing. I feel like Bill Murray waging war with rodents. We’ve spent sooo much money on poison pellets that they eat and then lounge around the yard as if they’re mocking us, “Feed me, feed me.” I went to Lowe’s today and a crowd of people were gathered around the poison pellets grabbing them and complaining about their squirrel infestations. Apparently it’s become a valley wide problem.


      1. JoDee…I have the answer to our tree rat problem. Tonight I witnessed an owl hammer one about 20 feet outside my window, remember it doesn’t get dark up here in the summer. The owl flew off with it before I even knew what was happening. Never seen that before! One less squirrel to eat my birdseed. I’ll have to stay up late more often.

        So, does Lowe’s sell live owls?


  3. A lot of work producing a lovely garden. This is earth. Squirrels live here, too. I guess it wouldn’t be right if we didn’t have any challenges. Great post, JoDee. Thank you for sharing. Blessings to you…


    1. Carol, you are so right. The squirrels see my gardens as their gardens. I found out today that our city is having an infestation of them. People are coming into Lowe’s trying to find solutions. There’s got to be a spiritual metaphor in this somewhere besides just a lesson in determination for me 🙂


  4. I like the metaphor, and you all did a great job.

    I can also relate. The Mrs. needed to move some of her tall grass plants so we could redo our patio, and wow who knew those plants can have such strong roots after only a few years. I had to borrow the neighbor’s battle axe for the job.


  5. Sissy,
    This is beautiful, as usual. Your words say it all, and your photos get better all the time. Remember to let me download onto my external drive when I see you because there are several I’d love to frame and/or paint. Also the ones of your kids – I need those to print and frame. Looking at the ones of Josiah and Elya then and now, I just can’t believe how time passes,
    Your garden looks like it’s coming along beautifully, just like your heart.
    I hope you and Lee Lee are having a perfect time of rest and creativity.
    I’m getting geared up for my summer of painting.
    I love you so,
    Sissy G


    1. Thank you sissy. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. We are having a wonderful time here in Colorado writing the days away and talking about our artistic dreams. Yet like you, I’m looking forward to a summer full of painting. Yes, you can have any pics you want.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: