We Need the Gardener’s Care

Dear Reader:

What a difference a day makes! My first incoming message, yesterday morning, was from wonderful Stephanie, my Horace Mann agent, who informed me my settlement check would arrive Friday by Fed-Ex. Now I have something to look forward to as I dream about my car and and even more… freedom of the road again…a personal independence!

Doodle and Lassie arrived and we set up the “surgical table” for today since the wound has to be cleansed and packed. We are ready for the procedure which must be done every other day. It is worth it, however, because as badly as the cleaning out of the wound hurt me at the Wound Care Facility Tuesday afternoon…today my foot has been pain free. It doesn’t feel like it is going to explode when I step on it. I am walking naturally for the first time in weeks.

Doodle and Lassie went to the store for me and we are putting an emphasis on protein since Bobbie, the nurse, said that protein helped cells reproduce best of all. We are going to give those cells every chance to start over with no infection.

A shower! I got to take a shower today after sponging and sponging away until I could hardly stand myself. I got my leg and foot covered completely with a CVS water-resistant bag and it was the most luxurious feeling in the world! Isn’t it funny how much we appreciate it when suddenly we don’t have something or can’t do something in our normal daily routine for awhile? Now I feel more like Becky.

I could have stayed in the shower until my fingers were pruney… but I reluctantly got out….knowing how much longer it takes me to dress now. *Little did I know that “pruning” would take center stage.

To top off this amazing day Donna Rae Williams, a fellow teacher and friend, called and said she had a surcie and wanted to drop it off if I was home. I told her “Home is my name and home is my game.” I can’t go anywhere even if I wanted to…so she could count on me being there.

When Donna Rae arrived her surcie was this beautiful book called “Gracelaced” by author and artist Ruth Chou Simons. Besides containing Simons’ beautiful floral paintings…the focus of the book is on the ever-changing seasons of our relationship with God. It is about flourishing under His Guidance.

Suddenly right in the middle of our conversation,  I idly opened the book and said out loud “God Wink!” The more I read the more Donna Rae and I just stared at each other.

The chapter was on Pruning and the question the reader was to answer was ‘How is God pruning us for good’?

The story in this chapter began with the author telling the story of a friend of hers who prunes her rosebushes every year and when she has finished, it looks like a massacre has taken place. She knows, however, if she doesn’t trim them their growth will be stunted. So, out of love, she grabs the shears and brutally chops away.

Even thought the briars and thorns fight back she is relentless because only she, the gardener, knows that what looks like destruction now is really the beginning of the beauty to come.

Simons connects this story to our own fight against God to place us in painful situations which we would rather avoid…when sometimes it is merciful of our loving Father to prune what chokes us.

*Suddenly the scene in the Intensive Wound doctor’s office came to mind. As hurtful and painful as the procedure was yesterday…today my foot has no pain and I can walk normally for the first time. From my perspective it is nothing short of a daily miracle.

Simons says: ” It is merciful and good of our loving Father to prune what chokes us, to remove what entangles us, and to cause us to be exposed and laid bare.”

I know God was in that room with me yesterday…knowing the pain was great at the moment…but the lasting benefits outweighed the temporary hurt.

Job 5:17-18

17 “Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. 18 For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.”

The last caption in this chapter concludes with


“It may not feel like it now, but you will survive. You will look back and remember with discomfort how it felt to be stripped of all that felt safe but really stunted your growth.

…We were created to bear fruit. Today’s painful pruning paves the way for tomorrow’s blooms. 

So until tomorrow…Pruning season is ” For His Glory and Our Good

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

* You see how much I miss my garden but I promised Doodle and Lassie (pinky-promised) that I would not step off my deck…still I can wave and blow the garden a kiss.


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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8 Responses to We Need the Gardener’s Care

  1. I can understand you missing your garden. We visited two amazing gardens in Spain, and they touched my soul with the different plants and colors eveywhere. I wrote my last post on it and put a lot of pictures in there to show the beauty that touched me and seemed to make my problems so small. I don’t think you can be mad in a garden. A student gave me a cross to put in my garden that states, “You are closer to God in a garden than anywhere else.” Keep healing.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      I certainly believe that…creation started with a garden and Jesus returned to life mistaken for a gardener…it is certainly a central theme in scripture.I miss my garden because I do feel God closer there among His beauty of the world.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. bcparkison says:

    Sounds like a wonderful book…pretty too.
    I’m so glad to hear (read) your foot is better.Prayers from all your friends count. Yea!


  3. Becky Dingle says:

    No doubt prayers are keeping me from harm’s way and getting me to the right doctors at the right time as instruments of God. Thank you so much for your prayers and keep them coming…it is going to be a long process.


  4. Donna Rae Williams says:

    I loved our visit yesterday, I’m sure I stayed much longer than I should have. I am so pleased that you are enjoying the book and that your pain has gone. I will pray for a painless bandage change today and continued healing.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      The first part of your wish came true…it was a painless bandage change…unfortunately soon after the skin around the wound started hurting and just won’t stop. One big Ouch! Hopefully today I will wake up to blessed relief from the pain and the foot on track again.


  5. Jo Dufford says:

    I am so grateful to hear that your foot is pain free today. Doodle, Lassie and you make a wonderful team of sisters. I’ve known those Dingle ladies since they were girls, and they have always been two of the best. The book Donna brought seemed to be just what you needed yesterday. God certainly sends the right people at the right time. Hopefully, this too shall pass and soon be just an unpleasant memory. I am praying for you as are so many people so I know God will give you the strength you need each day.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      I have definitely put God in charge now that the foot is acting up and it is a real puzzlement as to why…but tomorrow is another day…hopefully a much better and pain-free day. Thanks Jo!


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