Focal verse

“Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them. Full of honor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever” (Psalm 111:2-3).


By the time August arrives, our garden is usually full—of both veggies and weeds. The cucumber vines wind around our trellis, large fruits hanging. Red tomatoes are ready for picking. The zinnias and sunflowers dot the garden, with bees feasting in their bright colors. Squash vines meander through the yard. We spend our summer mornings as a family watering and weeding. My kids fight over whose turn it is to water first while the other one jumps in and out of the spray. We make rainbows with the water over the garden, and we wave to our neighbor as he tends to his plants.

There are many lessons from the garden that I’d like to teach my children. I hope that cultivating a small piece of land shows them the wonder of God’s creation. We marvel at how the garden has transformed overnight and at the bees and butterflies collecting their food. We delight at picking a ripe blackberry and tasting its goodness. In every pulled weed, splash of water and survey of bug-eaten plants I try to share with my kids the gift of creation.

You may not have a garden, but perhaps there’s something you’re tending as a family. Maybe it’s the ministry at your church for which you provide food or the neighborhood parents’ group you’re coordinating. There are places and groups in our lives that need tending, prayer and patience. God joins us in the work of caring for creation and creating community. Look around and see the gifts before you and where God is using you to bring forth beauty.


  • Go to a local farmer’s market as a family. As you greet your neighbors, ask how they cultivate their land. Get to know them and give thanks for the people and places who provide food.
  • If you have a garden, or even just one plant, take some time to look at it together. Be mindful of how a seed turns into the flower before you. Notice the colors and textures. Marvel at the work of God’s hands.

Service opportunity 

Get together with friends to do a neighborhood or park cleanup. Bring trash bags and pick up garbage. As you work, pray for the people who come to these spaces.

Prayer practice 

Practice breathing and reflecting on God’s word with Scripture this month.

Breathe in: May you be blessed by the Lord,
Breathe out: The Maker of heaven and earth.

Kimberly Knowle-Zeller
Kimberly Knowle-Zeller is an ordained ELCA pastor, mother of two, spouse of an ELCA pastor and co-author of The Beauty of Motherhood: Grace-Filled Devotions for the Early Years. She lives with her family in Cole Camp, Mo. Her website is

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