Master Gardener

//Master Gardener

Master Gardener

Photo Credit: Eddy Boom on Unsplash

by Joan Kelley

A few weeks ago I was helping on a work day at a friend’s retreat center. Along with 4 others, I was put on the gardening team. The leader of the team was an incredible woman who had a certification as a “master gardener.” I watched as she led the team with skill, grace, and gentleness. There was no judgment when I trimmed the coneflowers too low. She just suggested at the next garden to cut a little higher. She knew her species of plants and even weeds by name. She knew where they would flourish and where they might be better suited to move to. She walked alongside us, visually watching, guiding and working side by side. We took our time, we stopped for breaks to enjoy the view and we delighted in digging and cleaning these gardens for fall.

As I thought about it later, this woman was a bit like our own Heavenly Father, the master gardener who desires to work with us, walk with us and show us the way. There is no judgment or shame, just gentle guidance back to the right path. He knows us by name and He knows where we flourish. I’m grateful when God gives me some glimpses of Himself with skin on as I learn the unforced rhythms of grace.


“Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.”
Matthew 11:29

Questions for Reflection

  • Where in your life do you have others to mentor and guide you?
  • What needs to shift in your current life to allow God to show you the way?
  • How do you need a master gardener in your own spiritual growth?

Father, thank you for being our Master Gardner – who prunes, weeds, trims our spiritual growth. Help me to let You show me the way. Let me surrender my control so I might more fully flourish under your care. Amen


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By |2017-11-07T15:36:43+00:00November 7, 2017|Categories: Life-Giving Rhythms|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

About the Author:

Joan Kelley is the Director of Facilitator Development for oneLifemaps and a facilitator and teacher using the “Listen to My Life: Maps for Recognizing and Responding to God in My Story,” a visual workbook to be used in small groups, mentoring relationships, workshops, retreats, classes, between spiritual friends, or individually to re-discover the storyline of the life they are authoring with God. More information is available at or Email Joan Joan is also co-founder of a ministry called Sacred. ( that helps people set apart space to be with God at guided solitude retreats. Joan also teaches a spiritual formation class on Thursday mornings at Willow Creek Community Church.

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