Gardeners Touch

Getting to the ROOT of Change

FRONT PORCH FRIDAY | I Abhor Dirt!

I couldn’t be more excited to share with you my re-structuring of the Front Porch Friday feature here on the Blog. My vision for this feature has always been to share conversations between “friends” around our faith, our journey as women, and the beauty of how diverse that looks in each of our lives. So starting this month, I’ll be sharing monthly articles from some of the most inspirational women I’ve encountered on my own spiritual journey.

Our stories are beautiful and must be shared. It’s in the sharing where we grow and nurture one another. Also, keep in mind that many of these women I have met ONLINE and our friendships have stemmed out of our struggles, empathy, and trust in God. So our hope and prayer for you is that you, too, will find a community of trust and understanding as you journey through this life. So sit back, grab a cup of tea and join us on the front porch.


Meet my friend, Andrea. Andrea and I met while taking a course together and I was immediately struck by her ability to listen deeply to another’s heart. Her clarity to articulate her struggles, through conversations with God, and her aptitude to hear His voice drew me in. Her mission in life is to help others “hear” on a deeper level. The story she shares with you will give you greater insight into her amazing gift.

I ABHOR DIRT

by Andrea Wenderski

I abhor dirt. Why? No clue. But I do. Gardening and yard work are not my forte, and being asked to go for a walk in the woods on a dirt two-track will often be met with a resounding, “Nope!”

Why am I sharing this little-known tidbit about myself? Well, it is somewhat of an important key to what I’m going to be sharing. Another important key to what I’m sharing is how I see God the Father—Abba—when I am with Him in prayer: I don’t, rather He is a shadow behind a veil; I can see His movements and rely on that “body language” to help my communication with Him, just as I do with people here on earth because I am severely-profoundly deaf and have been since at least age 3, but was forced to grow up oral without assistive devices; those I got in my 40s.

In mid-February—the longest month of the year in my mind due to the grey winter days of Michigan—I was kneeling on the carpet where it meets the tile in my house talking to the plaque of the Holy Spirit that adorns the wall. There had been a number of on-going incidents with other people—both family and friends—all communication related and dealing in some way with my deafness. I was tired of it all; I cannot give what I don’t have. What in the world did the Lord want from me? As I closed my eyes in prayer, I found myself—in my imagination– standing before Abba with my hands outstretched and they were empty but—to my horror—were covered in dirt.

“Abba, what do You want from me?! I swear by all that is holy, You just keep allowing more and more crap to be piled on me. ENOUGH. I’m done. I have nothing left to give You,” I cried.

“As your spiritual sister, the Little Flower, said, ‘And, even when I have nothing to give Him . . . I will give Him this nothing.’ You well understand mysticism as you gravitate towards that spirituality. Give Me that nothing so that I have it all. Allow yourself to just be. To just be My child. To just be surrendered. To just be rooted in Me, deeply, more deeply than you ever thought possible. To just be still. To just embrace the silence. No—do not twist the silence; I am NOT saying that it is okay for others to abuse you knowingly or ignorantly about your deafness and all of the facets involved. I have told you before: when that happens—whether it is family, which it often will be as they are your greatest means of sanctification, or friends, or strangers—that is when you cleave to Me and give Me your pain and misery, and let Me be your strength and comfort. The world will never give you what you need. You are made for another place that is not found here. By embracing the silence, I mean to shut out the noisy world around you without fear of missing anything and just being surrounded by the silence in which I am found. Do you understand, My child?”

“I think so.”

“That’s all you have to say?”

I was silent for quite some time, and then I responded, “Yes. There is no sense in saying anything else. You listen as well as the vast majority of people I encounter in my life, which isn’t saying a whole hell of a lot. The difference between You and them, besides the fact that You’re God and they aren’t, is that You don’t listen because You already have the solution and know the outcome. It won’t do me any good to tell You that I’m tired of feeling like I’m constantly being crapped all over, expected to take it, and have to learn to offer it back to You with love and gratitude. I’m sick of it. I just want to crawl into a hole and be left alone by You and everyone else. I’m constantly the one who has to change and adjust and yet nothing ever changes. So, no, I have nothing else to say to You.”

“I understand. Speaking of wanting to crawl into a hole and be left alone, I’m going to grant you your wish. As far as being buried in crap constantly, remember, manure helps seeds to grow. Go ahead. Your hands are already covered with dirt. Dig. When you’re done, cover yourself up. Rest and grow your roots deeper into me in the stillness and the silence. You will know when this season is over and the new has begun.”

Thus, while I was cleaning the tile floor of my hallway with my tears physically, in my mind and spirit, I was digging a hole, crawling in, covering myself with the dirt, and allowing Abba to place the remainder on me. Now, that’s not to say I have literally been buried—it’s really hard to explain—only a part of me was buried, the rest of me continued to function and interact as always.

Weeks passed and the season really shifted as COVID-19 made its appearance around the world. Suddenly, my comfortable “normal,” along with everyone else’s, was turned helter-skelter upside-down. Once social distancing became the norm, things really became rough for me because, despite my introverted personality, I do enjoy being around and observing people; but the fear and anger that emoted from people in public really disturbed my spirit. Needless to say, I began spending even more time with Abba, even if it was just learning to allow Him to sit near me while I was working without wondering what He wanted or feeling like I had to make conversation. I learned to be comfortable with His presence, and in doing that I began to talk to Him, rather than to myself, and while I nearly always recognized His voice, it was during this time I came to know it.

Once public Mass was prohibited, I really lost my center. I lived for the quiet morning time before daily Mass, seeing the beautiful white Host (and sometimes even more), and the quiet time after Mass. Gone was the peaceful pause and the day’s fortification. My nights were filled either with images that can only be from hell or visions of surreal glory, nothing in between, which didn’t make for very restful sleep. Finally, one night, I just got out of bed and went on the couch all wrapped up in my fuzzy blanket with my journal and cell phone to search Bible verses if any should come to mind in hand, and said, “Abba, I can’t take this lack of solid sleep much longer. What do You want to teach me? What are You trying to tell me, or others through me?”

He spoke and along with His words came images. He reminded me of the “burial” I just shared above which had happened 5 months previously, and then He equated me with a seed. Seeds are mentioned many times throughout the Bible and also have a very strong spiritual significance; the faithful are referred to seeds and the Word of God is also being referred to as a seed. The Word of God isn’t just sometimes alive. It doesn’t just die after several hundred years. It is always alive, living and abiding forever (1 Peter 1:23). But just like any seed, it also needs to be planted – planted into the heart and mind of each Christian. The seed of the Word of God is also always good–never bad–and what the seed produces is a matter of heart and mind of each Christian.

So . . . what does it mean to be planted? Open your mind and try and see with the mind, heart, and eyes of the Master Gardener Himself, Abba:

Have you ever considered the concerns of gardeners? They don’t just pick up the seeds and throw them anywhere; they prepare the ground, just like the parable of the sower in which the sower considers the ground. The seeds are purposefully and thoughtfully planted usually at a particular time of year and at a particular depth and spacing. Abba gives no less concern into where He plants us.

The Bible talks about us being planted by the streams of water that yield its fruit in its season. (Psalm 11:1-3, Ezekiel 47:12) Water in the Bible often refers to the Voice of God, and expecting a seed to grow without water is like expecting a Christian to grow without hearing the voice of God – it just isn’t possible. We are God’s fellow workers, but only God gives growth. (1 Corinthians 3:6-9)

A virtue needed by gardeners is patience. James 5:7 says “Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains.” How patient God is with us, as He waits to see us transform from the seed to the fruit of blessing.

Abba asked me how that little part of me that was buried was doing.  I spoke with brutal honesty, and despite the fact that I knew He knew, I shared with him that the part that was buried, was the main part of me that cannot seem to stay healed. From this part, I always felt like: I am in a place of darkness and isolation; feeling like I am not cut out for this life; dreams didn’t go as planned; things have happened I didn’t expect; and so on. Here is where I fight with the fears within me that I am not viewed as an equal by others, but as an inferior, especially when the triggers for the lies and doubts are poked daily. From here I still blame particular people or circumstances for bringing me to that place of darkness that I struggle to cast out of my heart, especially when I believe that their fear and jealousy caused them to strike me down to begin with, and they don’t want to see me rise. As I spoke, however, clarity began to fill my mind. I sensed Abba nodding encouragingly, so I went further in my thoughts with Him:

“Unknown to me at the time—when we talked in mid-February and I was ‘buried’—You placed me in the best place that I could be so that, just like a seed planted in a garden “proves” that is good by the fruit or flower it bears, I can prove Your faithfulness by growing through the darkness. Your Word is faithful and true, and Your Word says that we are born again, not of perishable seed, but rather it is an imperishable seed–through the living and enduring Word of God. (1 Peter 1:23) No circumstance or person can keep me buried, if I have the imperishable seed in my heart, because I, too, become an example of Christ that was buried and rose to life again.  John 12:24 says ‘Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.’

“Therefore, whatever it is in life that stops me from having a complete transformation in You, Abba, You want me to let it go. In fact, to be in a place of complete transformation is most likely exactly where You want me to be, because here I die in my flesh and like the seed being transformed into ‘the new thing,” that bears much fruit. But the fruit isn’t for me because when I die to myself, the fruit that I bear is not for my own reward or benefit, it is to show Christ to the world. ‘The Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.’ (Galatians 5:22-23) And, Your ultimate goal is to bring the world to Your Son where heaven is His throne and earth is His footstool and the only way that is going to happen is if there is a large number of faithful reflecting Your Son in this dark world.

“What two things does a seed need to germinate and grow? Water and Light, just as I spiritually need the light from the Word of God to penetrate into my heart and let You grow me.  It’s You, Abba, Who nurtures me in a way that allows me to grow spiritually; You are the spiritual light and water. (1 John 1:5) Additionally, Psalm 119:130 says ‘The revelation of your words sheds light, gives understanding to the simple.’ The water, also, is the living Word of God. Jeremiah 17:8 says, ‘They are like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream: It does not fear heat when it comes, its leaves stay green; In the year of drought it shows no distress, but still produces fruit.’ Just like the river in the Garden of Eden, I am planted by the river that is continuous refreshment. I am not to be reliant on the rain for I have what I need to keep me going through the constant steady stream of Your Word, Abba. How am I doing with all this so far, Lord?”

“This season has strengthened your wisdom and understanding, My daughter. Continue.”

…………Andrea’s story doesn’t end here. Stay tuned for a continuation of Andrea’s conversation with Abba, in next month’s Front Porch Friday, and what she’s learning in this winter season of life.

Andrea Wenderski
Andrea Wenderski

A little about me: I am a cradle Catholic who continues to be a work in progress in cultivating my relationship with the Blessed Trinity while holding Mother Mary’s hand as I follow St. Joseph’s example of obedience. My husband (and small manufacturing firm business partner) live in southeastern Michigan and have been blessed with three sons and three daughters, some of whom are still at home. Recently, I graduated from Franciscan University with a Master’s in Catholic Studies and am now studying life coaching through Professional Christian Coaching Institute with plans to find a niche in supporting people on their journey to learn who God has called them to be. I enjoy travel, reading, cooking, and serving in several ministries, especially in the role of intercessory deliverance. You can connect with me at:

2 thoughts on “FRONT PORCH FRIDAY | I Abhor Dirt!”

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: