For many years, I've tended a garden in my heart. It is a gift from God that I treasure. It's a lovely place filled with flowers. I enjoy it quite a bit. I find it refreshing and restful. It takes a daily effort of connecting and maintaining so that it grows and matures. Naturally, it needs light, good soil, and water. It also requires weeding and pruning.

While gardening, I've learned that forgiveness and repentance are ways to weed and prune.  I make a choice to let go of offenses, so that I am free of bitterness and resentment. Then, I receive light, purpose, healing, joy, and more. New seeds of love are planted, and flowers and fruit grow.

I've also learned that forgiveness and reconciliation are not the same thing. Forgiveness takes just one person, while reconciliation takes two people. Reconciliation is possible once both people have come to forgiveness on their own, repented, shown remorse, and want to move forward and grow together. Forgiveness removes weeds of bitterness so that a garden can grow. Reconciliation allows for others to enjoy it too.

Over the years, I've added walls to surround my garden, and really just one rule. Be nice, or leave. I plan to stand firm on this. Those that seek to steal, kill or destroy my garden, are not welcome. I am a conscientious gardener and I intend to guard my heart, as everything else flows from it. The hard work is done. It is a beautiful place. It is time to celebrate, have fun, rest, and relax. I am content to be alone there. Trusted friends are welcome to enjoy it with me. I will continue to scatter joy far and wide from it. It is a gift to me and a blessing to others. It will grow and grow.