Can You Grow Flowers in the Desert?

Did you ever dream of living in Barbie’s Dream house? I think most all of us did. I believe at one time I had quite the detailed mental picture of my perfect home.

As I grew and gained a better understanding of money, the cost of things, and my call to follow God, my list dwindled to a few basic desires. Or should I say list of “I’ll take anything but…” 1)No place Hot  2)Hate Subdivisions  3)Didn’t want a cookie-cutter house  4)No where near the city  5)And please no tiny back yard.  Sounds reasonable…Right?

Guess where I live? You guessed it. Phoenix (area) so yes, 120 in the summer is very hot, I don’t care if it is dry or not. We do live thirty minutes from the city, but if the cities between there and here merge into each other, yeah it is still too close for me. And yes, subdivision with the tiny back yard and cookie cutter house and all.

I am not trying to lament or play Eeyore here. We have been here for seven (almost eight) years. Why? Because that is where God has called us right now. But the great thing about God, even if he calls us to a difficult place he never leaves us there, forgotten.

As summer is nearly upon us I have found myself loathing the desert in a way I haven’t for a long time. I found myself humming the happy tune of “I’ve gotta get out of this place, if it’s the last thing I ever do” as I did dishes or folded laundry. I smelled the sweet fragrance of Lilacs in a Yankee Candle store and burst into tears.

Then yesterday as I walked around our petite back yard I took in the beautiful flowers that have been doing a number on my allergies and remembered the verse God gave me a few months back.

“The LORD with guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden. Like a spring who’s water’s never fail.” ~Isaiah 58:11

Wow! What a gentle loving God we serve. With God even here in the desert I can bloom, I can thrive. I still hold out hope to leave my desert wanderings, and I hope it doesn’t take forty years. But if it does I will hold on to the truth that even here I can bloom like a well watered garden with Christ at my side.

What about you? Has God placed you somewhere or in a situation extremely challenging? How is God watering your garden?

(photos from our Desert garden)

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Joyce
    May 09, 2012 @ 03:06:58

    Funny, God gave me a similar verse a few months ago. “Forget the former things;do not dwell on the past. See; I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the dessert.” Isaiah 43:18-19 Prayers!


  2. Dave
    May 09, 2012 @ 15:45:37

    I hope that God gives you the desire of your heart and that you land somewhere near us! But it is not about me and I what. Its about following God’s leading. And like I have always said, “You go where God leads you and I will find you and visit you.” (even if it is darkest Africa!)


  3. Mary Busha
    May 10, 2012 @ 12:02:17

    Hi Tari. Perhaps it’s in the wilderness where God will continue to add the richness to your writing. I truly understand though. For the vast majority of our journey, I have lived in places not on my dream list, where my soul has felt like a shriveled up sponge. It is hard to find contentment when your heart wants to be somewhere else. But God got me through and I know He will get you through too. And what better way to create surroundings for your characters than to be able to write with passion and longing based on your own experiences. BTW, I’d love to hear an update on your book! Thought I was out of the writing business forever, but now that I’m not editing anymore, my own writing juices are beginning to flow. And it looks like a small writers group may be forming here with a couple of my writer friends. Go figure.


    • tarinoel
      May 10, 2012 @ 14:40:18

      Hey Mary, so good to see you here. Your words ring true and I know God is continuing to use it to challenge me.

      I’ll email you what’s going on in my writing world soon. I do appreciate all your support. Sorry I won’t be in Michigan this summer to see you.

      A writers group sounds great!! Is it just Spring Arbor or Jackson? Glad you are writing again.


  4. Mary Busha
    May 11, 2012 @ 05:56:12

    Sorry to hear you won’t be coming to Michigan this summer. I’ll watch for your email update. Right now, there are only three of us, but I imagine it will be Jackson area. Still to have our first meeting. Will be sometime this summer, I’m sure.


    • tarinoel
      May 11, 2012 @ 07:46:51

      I’m sorry I won’t be coming home this summer too. But alas 4 tickets is becoming quite expensive. I will work on the update soon.

      Group sounds great! Can’t wait to hear how it goes.


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