Contact Me

If you enjoy my blog and would like to contact me, you may reach me at this email:

Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Gardens of Mercy

I had hurt my neck and the doctor told me to "take it real easy" for a few weeks.
Weeks stretched into months and despite physical therapy and pain medications, the spasm in my neck was unrelenting and agonizing.
Spring arrived, but because my neck had not yet healed, I couldn't bend over and work on planting or tending all the plants in my garden. I had always loved working outdoors. The scent of flowers and freshly mowed grass brought sunshine into my heart.

 But now, I felt so helpless and useless. I even needed help taking care of my young children.
Friends from church took turns coming over each day to cook, and clean and tend to my two little boys.

One day, when my loving husband, Bruce, could see how depressed I had become, he said, "Dena, I think you'd feel a lot better if you could fly out to California to see your parents and your brothers and sisters."
A few days later I stepped off the plane in Oakland, California wearing a neck brace and carrying little but my purse and a tiny over-nighter.

The next couple of weeks passed quickly. My parents, in hopes that a little fun would take my mind off my physical misery, arranged visits with aunts, uncles and cousins who all lived in the San Francisco bay area.
It was wonderful to see my relatives, but after my two-week visit I missed my husband and children and my friends.

Even though I still felt very depressed about my painful neck, it felt so good to return home.

Bruce carried my bag upstairs. When I stepped into the Master bedroom, what I saw stirred my heart with delight.
Sitting everywhere were pots of live plants and flowers: miniature rose bushes, geraniums, mums, ivy, ferns, impatiens, lilies, and daisies.
Their gorgeous scents mingled and swept into my nostrils. Tears welled in my eyes as my husband wrapped his arms around me.

Bruce explained that my friends, knowing how sad I'd been that I couldn't work in my garden, had tried to bring me comfort by creating an indoor garden for me.
That afternoon, God seemed to whisper in my ear, "Your friends love you, and so do I."

There is something sublimely healing in the knowledge that you are thought of with love and affection.
Years later, my hearts still warms at the memory of the friendship and concern represented by all of those wonderful plants.
This kind act seems like a small thing. After all, no one donated a kidney, or sent me on a cruise to the Caribbean.
But that my friends knew me well enough to recognize that my soul longed for the beauty of flowers, spoke volumes to my heart.
That evening, as I settled into bed amongst my indoor garden, my pain eased a bit.

(This blog post was written in honor of Wayman Publishing's quest to encourage readers with true stories of how we can bring comfort and healing to the hearts of those we love by little acts of kindness.)

If you buy any of Wayman Publishing's books you will automatically be entered into their sweepstakes. For more information, visit this link:


  1. Great story, Dena! Your husband and friends ministered not only to your physical needs, but also to your emotional needs.

    The idea of an indoor garden appeals to me. All the bending, kneeling, and stretching that gardening requires is getting to be a challenge.

  2. Susan, my grandmother had a small indoor garden and, as a child, I was fascinated by all the tropical plants, the delicate perfume of the flowers combined with the scent of the moist soil.