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READ: Review, Garden Graces by Janice Elsheimer

During what’s proven to be a painful year, I’ve neglected the READ portion of my blog. I still did plenty of reading, but I haven’t reviewed many of my finds. I’m contemplating some changes in the way I post reviews, but in the meantime, I want to share some possibilities for your Christmas shopping this year. Today’s would be perfect for the green thumb or gardener wannabe on your list. Does a love for tending plants transfer at the genetic level? I’m not sure if nature or nurture left me with a love for watching and helping things grow. I do know my engineer father longed to return to his days on the family farm (and did so, to his great delight, for nearly twenty years in retirement). And my mother, who grew up in the city, is never happier than when coaxing seedlings to sprout or sharing the bounty of her vegetable garden. One of my earliest memories is of my mother giving me the privilege, at three years old, of choosing flowers to fill the area below my bedroom window. “Ageratum” may seem like a big word for a three-year-old, but I never forgot it or the fuzzy blue flowers that brought me such delight. This explains why Janice Elsheimer’s Garden Graces: The Wisdom in Growing Things (Beacon Hill, 2010) spoke to me right away. Janice has a wonderful way of viewing life through the eyes of a seasoned gardener. Her book allows us to travel with her through the various seasons, plants, and problems of her gardening life—and the rest of her life as well. Janice’s poignant, transparent voice allows both gardening and grace to become a shared experience of wonder. Practical gardening tips mingle with life truths in a way that encourages the reader to celebrate gardening as an organic, spiritual experience. The “Soul Gardening” section at the end of each chapter provides a gentle push toward self-examination, even pruning. I’m grateful I had the opportunity to read Garden Graces and absorb its reminder that life—and gardening—holds treasures best found by digging in the dirt. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have roses to tend. Do you have a family heritage of gardening? How does time spent in the garden enrich your spiritual life? Feel free to share in the comment section below.   Find a local Christian bookstore:  Find this book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or at Christian Book Distributors (FTC Disclaimer: I bought this book from the author, a personal friend. I was not required to post a review or a positive...

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