[god in the yard] woods: invitation

Written by Crystal Rowe

Crystal has a heart for making the church and the Christian faith real and relevant to the world around her and is passionate about serving others in the name of Christ. Crystal is married to her perfect match, D and is Mommie to A and the two sweetest kitties on earth.

May 13, 2011

The Feeder by Crystal Rowe


There’s something about nature that makes it a holy place.

The quietness.

The peacefulness.

The freedom that comes from no distractions – no TV, no computer, no phones. Just birds chirping and leaves rustling. Maybe a buzzing bee here and there.

In the midst of my crazy world, nature feels like a safe place. The woods. The beach. Or a mountain. Or a lake. No matter how great technology gets or how many books we read or classes we take, there’s nothing more inspiring than raw nature.

I gaze out the window and watch the birds at the feeder. They come … they go … happy to eat the small seeds we’ve provided for them. The trees behind us are filled with new life. They are home to birds, squirrels, and the night owl that comes out promptly at 8:00 each evening. The beauty wraps me like a blanket, urging me to stop and stay awhile. It’s a shame that I’ve never stopped to notice the beauty that exists right in my backyard.

I wonder how my life would be different if I allowed myself to play in these woods for just an hour each day? Enjoying the company of the animals and the passers-by. Throwing out the “stuff” of life and re-living the days of free play and imagination.

That’s the journey L.L. Barkat invites us to in this chapter. A journey of self-discovery. A journey of finding the creative possibilities that God has planted in each one of us. An invitation to break out of the same old, same old and try something new.

Today, I am grateful for the invitation. And timidly, I accept.

Come on, try it. Come and play. ~ L.L. Barkat


  1. Crystal Rowe

    @google-29732ee3c0b1c1e77a24952fc9cf3077:disqus How cool is that?! I’m glad you were able to find the project … and I look forward to your thoughts along the way!!

  2. Anonymous

     In our busy world, it can be almost impossible to slow down, and listen. About 15 years ago, on a Mother’s Day the children insisted on preparing dinner to celebrate. Work was not pulling at me so I stepped out into the back yard. Eventually I went to lie in the grass. When I was finally relaxed, I was thunderstruck by the thought that I was working so hard, and so many hours that this was the first time in five years that I had laid down in the yard of my big house on the lake…and it was time to make some serious changes in my life.
    God and nature are always calling to us; we’re just not always listening.
    Thanks for the invitation @crystalrowe:disqus 

  3. Nancy Franson

    I love L.L. Barkat’s description of playing toward God. I have a piece written to post on my blog, but Blogger isn’t playing nicely today. Guess I’ll put it on my Facebook page. Thanks for being a part of this group project. It’s providing a good incentive for me to work at my playing.

  4. Catherine Love

    Perfect synchronicity!  I began re-reading this book last evening, and was pondering who I could read with … I just love it when God provides the answers for me.
    Blessings and thank you 🙂

  5. Laraj

    This invitation to play has really changed my life. I love how you describe nature here, Crystal. Bird-watching is one of my favorite things! Enjoying this journey with you so far! 

  6. Llbarkat

     I hope to hear more about your play. This whole post has a lightness and a hope to it that feels so encouraging. 🙂


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[god in the yard] woods: invitation

by Crystal Rowe time to read: 1 min