The Colorful Rocks
By Elizabeth Evans Wolfe
Monday, June 10, 2013
I have another true story to tell.
It still amazes me the way God has of using everyday situations turn into Bible lessons.
Two different Pastor’s wives that I met told me they enjoyed the way God helped me see something about God in almost every situation. I would some times get an opportunity to tell them that a Pastor’s wife that I dearly loved had helped me see things that way.
Once I started looking for and praying to see God’s touch I believe He opened my eyes to see how things in every day life match up to Biblical teachings.
My Jeff died over a decade ago. Unbelievable to think he’s been gone from us that long. We went through the years of tears and the years of acceptance and we finally hit the years of acceptance with joy. Our joy was found when we learned to simply be happy God allowed us to have Jeff as long as we did. I still think about Jeff in wonderful ways. He was a very unique individual. I am sure there is no one exactly like him left on this earth.
I always thought about how we were told no two snowflakes are exactly alike. We were also taught a person’s fingerprints are far from being identical. I believe that no two individuals are alike. I’ll never know anyone exactly like Jeffrey William Wolfe again. He’s gone and I accept that. Yes, I still miss him at times though.
A person may ask what this has to do with colorful rocks. Ha ha . . . I have to laugh because the part about Jeff being gone and how snowflakes & fingerprints have no twins has little to do with colorful rocks. It’s just the precursor to talking about what happened in my life before I got involved with those rocks.
You see, when Jeff died the two children that were still living at home with me prayed with me and talked with me about whether or not we felt it was time to leave Florida. We all agreed we would finally make the move to return to the land where Jeff and I were born. Jeff and I had talked about that return many times but it didn’t happen for us as a team. There I was a younger widow wondering what I’d do with my life now that Jeff was gone.
We made the big trip. There were things that were not easy about the move but we just did what we knew Jeff always did. Jeff was the type of person that kept moving to accomplish any task he set out to do. He sort of had a motto that a person needs to “Make a decision and do it.”
We made our decision then we set out to do it.
We got to Ohio and wondered where we were going to live. We searched many miles and looked at several homes. We ran into a few snags. The wondering where we were going to live was quite stressful. We just wanted to settle and get on with life somehow.
A friend mentioned a set of homes that were being built not so far from where we were renting. That spot ended up being the place where we’d find our next home. It was only about 3 and a half miles from the rental. Funny to think that we traveled many miles in search of a home to end up 3.5 miles from where we started.
I called my friend, Genevieve, to tell her about the property. She was excited for me and for the new beginnings. She was always trying to help me keep uplifted and positive even though she knew how stress filled my life had been especially during Jeff’s last year or so of his life. I told Genevieve about the colorful stones that were on and around the area where we lived. We had family members that had some colorful stones at their place, too.
I would guess that 80% of the people that talked to me about the colorful stones had good things to say about the stones. I knew I liked the colors on those stones. I liked the assorted shapes, too.
I had been living in Florida for over two decades. I had seen a lot of sand where I had come from.
Who would have imagined rocks could be bring joy to someone’s life?
I’d place a rock around a favorite flower. I purchased some rocks to experiment with using them as a ground cover instead of mulch. I don’t really like working with mulch. My youngest son, my youngest daughter, and I moved heavy rocks from one place to another.
I totally loved working with those rocks. When I worked in the garden I usually liked it best if no one bothered me so I could have moments of prayer or just try to figure out how different gardens are in Ohio compared to how I worked with them in Florida.
One day a person visited my home and they sort of burst my bubble when they gave me a negative opinion about my rocks. They said something like, “I don’t like rocks. I try to get them out of my yard.” I thought that was not very kind for them to say that about my rocks. I didn’t go to their home and tell them what I disliked about their garden. Some people are just rude. If it’s not your garden then why would the owner care if you don’t like their rocks? Why say something that is rude?
Imagine my surprise a year or so later when I found they had started to add a few colorful rocks to their garden and they mentioned the fact that they found out that landscape rocks can be expensive.
There came another time when another person let me know they didn’t like my rocks. I felt they overstepped their bounds many times telling me what I should be happy with on my property. It was my property after all. It was not kind for them to put down my rocks. Isn’t it funny how you can get irritated by someone that steps on your toes and your way of doing things especially if they have no business telling you what you can do on your property? The other funny thing about that is that person did give me rocks they no longer wanted. They sort of snarled about how they didn’t like the rocks then they’d give them to me. We meet all kinds of people in our world. It takes a lot of grace to love the ones that sort of nit pick about things that don’t pertain to them. It’s nice when you find out that even if those people get under your skin sometimes they find a way to be helpful at other times.
Some people gave me rocks to do with as I please. They would mention that they really didn’t want those rocks any longer and if I wanted them I could have them. Some people would tell me they liked my rock garden. I worked hard to try to make it look as nice as I could but I knew I was always finding room for improvement. My son gave me a lot of rocks from his property. I always told him to take some back if he wanted them.
On a nice day I’d go outdoors and simply enjoy life working on my plants or those rocks. Naturally there were days that I’d have to pull weeds. There were times when I’d find a new way to tend to making grassy areas and weeds disappear by taking a tarp and placing it on a spot of ground in order to complete a particular task my way rather than handle it the way other people may handle it. I could put some landscape rocks on the tarp to let the ground underneath it become a garden spot a year later. I didn’t have to dig the sod away. I’d just move my tarp and rocks and let the year long process begin. I am not sure anyone else ever did it but I was happy with the way things turned out.
My grandchildren helped move rocks. I’d call it a job and pay them some money for helping me. The grandchildren and I would walk on the larger rocks. We had fun with it all! Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do with rocks? Aren’t you supposed to skip rocks across the water when you go to a lake? Aren’t you supposed to examine the assorted rocks in your garden and walk on the ones that are flat? I didn’t have a babbling brook but I had rocks.
There is a passage in the Bible that talks about colorful and pleasant stones. See these KJV passages from Isaiah 54: “In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer. 9 For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. 10 For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee. 11 O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. 12 And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.”
I am certain that the Scriptures made me appreciate those colorful stones more than I would have if I had not read the passages. I had been afflicted with pain due to the loss of my husband and there were times during the first few years I wondered when the pain would end. God allowed me to be in a place where fair colored stones were a part of my life. I got a form of therapy from working in the garden and working with those rocks.
It did not really matter if anyone else liked my garden. It mattered that I found a measure of joy and therapy by working with my hands instead of crying for days on end. I went to my garden alone most of the time. I usually loved it when no one else interrupted my tranquil moments.
I have spent over a decade at the home we finally found after Jeff‘s death. It seemed it must be time for me to prepare to sell the home and move on. I am seeking the will of the Lord asking Him to guide and direct my steps again. His Word speaks of our steps being ordered by the Lord. I am placing my trust in Him and I am preparing to move.
I told the children to make sure they picked out any plants and/or rocks that they want before I sign a contract on the home. I don’t think they took me seriously at first. When they found out they should probably do what I said they got busy working on the project I had given to them.
Only a few people had made me feel as though they mocked me for working with those rocks. The few negative remarks did stick with me sometimes. It seemed like a sad spot in my heart to know that someone placed no value on something that had given me so much pleasure. I couldn’t understand why someone would care so much about whether or not I had rocks or how many I had in my garden. One person would tell me that I’d better be careful or I’d get hurt working with the rocks. I’d grumble to my daughter or tell the Lord that it felt like that someone was trying to place a nasty negative set of thoughts on me and I really didn’t want the negative in my life. Hadn’t I had enough negative things happen? I couldn’t live my life to please someone else. As long as what I was doing was not against God’s loving way of doing things then I should be able to proceed with joy.
I did get hurt with one rock one day about nine years ago. It was my own fault. I had a warning within my mind about trying to move the rock a certain way and I did not heed the warning. That was my own fault. I was extra cautious since that time and I warned my children to be extra careful when they moved the large rocks. Just because you have had one bad experience do not believe that is a reason for giving up!
My parents would come to my home and get some rocks from me, too. I think they took a couple every year. There was a time when they had given me at least one of those rocks. They got in on the fun. My children and I helped them get a few of their favorites over to their home a number of times. One time they told my daughter they took a rock from my garden and they didn’t think I’d miss it. I wasn’t home when they arrived. They were right. I didn’t know which rock they took. It’s not like I named them or anything like that.
Oooops! I did give some of them titles. One would be called the large flat pink colored rock. Dad told me he wanted that one but I let him know I wasn’t giving that one up yet. He noticed it a while back when he saw it at my daughter’s home. I had plans for that one. There was a large green one that I placed by a favorite plant. I told my daughter she should get the plant and the rock. She did end up getting that rock and some of her favorite plants moved to her home.
There was the rock that fit in the children’s swimming pool when we filled it up with water. The sides of the pool kept trying to cave in while we were filling it up. That rock came in handy to help keep one side up that we were unable to hold. We also saved that rock to remind the children of the day they all asked if they could baptize one another. My oldest daughter’s four children had made a decision that they wanted to be baptized. They were adamant about getting that done last Summer. We sang songs about the Lord and let them do what they wanted to do. We witnessed their adventure with joy in our hearts. It was fun. The rock that was in the pool is somewhere in our possession.
Okay, So now you know a little bit about my adventures with the colorful rocks. I spent nearly a decade with them and don’t know if I’ll ever work with them that much again.
I pray there are no bad feelings between me and the negative ones if and when they found out that I got a bit of joy in my heart when I found out there are a lot of people that really like the rocks. I gave many of those rocks away before I signed a contract on my home. The younger children that spent the most time with me working on those gardens made sure they did get some of the rocks in their possession. I was overjoyed to find out once again some people appreciate things I like even if other people acted like my rocks were things someone should just toss away.
I prayed I could be forgiving towards the negative people and that I won’t be boastful about the blessings that came our way.
It seemed as though I heard the words, “I will not be mocked.” I heard those words go through my mind when my son was moving rocks about a week ago. I felt the good Lord wanted me to be mindful of the fact that God sees when anyone is mocking.
I was given the same message about two times during the past two weeks. I can’t say why it was so important for me to hear that message but I am happy the Lord helped me recite it and remember it.
Do you want to know another reason why I like Rocks?
If you know God’s Holy Word you know that the Bible says these things about The Rock.
Someone in the Bible lightly esteemed or mocked the Rock of his salvation. Jeshurun mocked God. You can find that in Deuteronomy 32:14-16.
We do not want to mock God in any way. We do not want to take the Lord lightly by giving God low value in our lives. Here we find ample warning about making a mockery of God.
Some do not give God the proper place in their lives. If they knew how important God is they would make Him Number One in their lives.
The Bible declares many times that God is the Rock of my salvation. Blessed be the Rock. The Lord is my Rock.
I cannot fully explain at this time but I can declare that somehow God used those rocks during the past couple of weeks to remind me to tell other people that God will not be mocked.
Our God is a strong tower. He gives a place of refuge to those who follow after Him diligently seeking His ways.
Those who mock the Lord and the power of His name will reap great sorrow for the things they have done that are displeasing in God’s sight. They will miss out on eternal blessings if they continue to walk on the unholy wide path that leads to destruction.
There is only one way to be saved. Jesus is the Rock of salvation. Turn to Jesus and be saved. ~ Elizabeth Evans Wolfe ~
See below a short note added on July 15, 2013;
The home with all the rocks is no longer in my possession. This morning I sat down to do a bit of Bible study.
I read from Isaiah 26. Verses 3 & 4 in the NIV say, “”You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.”
God is our high tower. He is the ROCK that lasts forever. You can always put your trust in God & His Holy Word.