Is It Time to Jump the Fence?

Dear Reader:

Yesterday I met my new yard man, Tim, who works with Ernie, the fireman, at his fire station. Ernie had started installing garage doors last summer and was working three jobs. He decided since the garage door installation business had taken off…that he would give up the yard work. He asked his fireman co-hort, Tim, if he was interested in taking over my yard and he was.

So yesterday he showed up at my door. Girls…what is it about firemen that literally take your breath away?…He is a hunkie cutie…(he had the job before we even finished walking around my yard 🙂 He is also very nice, married with small children…a good family man, and seems to be right on top of the knowledge needed to keep the yard looking good through the growing season. Hired!

He kept commenting that he couldn’t get over how large the acreage is in this neighborhood…with big back yards. I told him that originally everyone’s lot looked like a piece of pie…but we bought the “triangle slice” from a neighbor after moving in so the yard is now rectangular and it is big. That is why I need help with it!

(… these are photos of just the backyard…a lot to keep up)

His sister teaches at Westview Elementary and having worked with clinical interns there I knew many names he mentioned through educational organizations. Six degrees of separation…or as we say in the South…just three degrees.

As I was showing Tim around the yard yesterday…once again the blessings of calling this place home flooded me with pride. I was proud to show him my sanctuaries inside and out.

I am also so lucky to have an empty lot next to me surrounded with a fence. It makes our street look so open and country-style living.

As I was reading some devotionals I came across one from Quinn Caldwell, one of my favorite devotional authors. He had written a short devotional on and God-created. It seemed to echo what I was feeling about my home and daily boundaries.

“The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
I have a goodly heritage.” – Psalm 16:5-6

For some of us, the boundary lines of the world fall in pleasant places.  We sit in the midst of our domains, scanning their acreage.  We can’t even see the edges of our territory, our lots are so big.  Who cares what color the grass is on the other side of the fence?  We have all we need right here, and we can walk for days without leaving the space we’ve been granted.

Others of us receive smaller lots from the world.  Some receive so little it’s not even enough space for our bodies to occupy.  Some can’t take a single step, or occupy a bathroom stall, without being called transgressors.

Where are the boundaries of the space the world has handed you?  What is the size of the estate you’ve inherited, by virtue of your sex, your skin, your gender, your nationality, the kind of body you have?  How far are you allowed to go before somebody with power yells, “Halt!”?  Is it far enough?  Is it enough space to hold, to maintain, your life?

There’s the lot the world gives, and then there’s the lot that God gives.  There are the boundaries the world sets, and then there are the boundaries that God sets.  Rarely are they drawn in the same place.

So today, look around at the space the world has granted you.  Do you have enough room to maneuver?  To live?  To thrive?  If not, then the boundaries that hem you in were not set by God.  And it may just be time to jump a fence or two.


How lucky that I am not hemmed in by military, political, gender bias boundaries in my life. Instead I am incredibly lucky to born in the United States, free to be me, and live in the most wonderful place in the world.

So until tomorrow: “God of great inheritances, let me claim the space you’ve promised me—and no more.  Amen.”

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Beautiful evening last night at Lachlan’s birthday party- pizzas, salad and s’mores over an open fire pit! It has been a long time since I ate one! More pictures tomorrow but here is how the evening ended

Thank you Walsh and Mollie for all the fun!

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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