Last Updated on February 15, 2024 by Stacy Averette


A year from now what will you wish you had done today?


A few years back I found myself in a bit of a funk. (I always cringe a little when I say or write that “f” word. I’m pretty sure my grandmother would’ve considered it a cuss word.) But I can’t think of a better word to describe how I felt in that season. If you’ve ever been in a funk, you know what I’m talking about.

But just in case you’re unfamiliar with the word I Googled it for you. I’m glad I did because I found something interesting.

The North American definition of “funk” is a state of depression.  i.e. ” I sat absorbed in my own blue funk.”

No surprise there.

The British definition of “funk” is coward.  i.e. “I could have seen him this morning but I funked it.”


Here are a few of the things that collided to create my perfect blue funk:

  • A long season of loss and grief.
  • An emptying nest
  • Menopause

There were circumstances in my life beyond my control. This is why we say, “Life is hard”.  And for a while, I sat back and let life “be hard”. Pretty soon, my depressed mood wasn’t due only to my circumstances, but my thoughts and feelings about my circumstances. I rehearsed the hard-ness, the unfairness of life. I felt helpless and hopelessness crept in.

I wasn’t just in a funk ( a state of depression). I had also funked it (reacted like a coward to my circumstances).

Thank goodness I have a good counselor who reminded me daily to be kind to myself in the difficult season. To lean into the circumstances that were beyond my control and take small steps forward in the places I could control. I made time, in the midst of my other duties, to do the things I knew would refresh my body and soul.

  • Reading
  • Thrifting
  • Napping
  • Eating comforting foods
  • Spending time with dear friends

And I decided each and every day not to feel guilty about any of it.

But guilt crept in.

I felt guilty for reading when there were clothes to be folded or bathrooms to clean. I felt lazy when I closed my eyes to nap. Another trip to the thrift store was surely a waste of time.

But the season wasn’t all grief and guilt and menopause.


And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28


The season was also one in which The Good Shepherd was teaching this sheep how to rest. He keeps on teaching me.

He makes me lie down in green pastures, with a good book.

He leads me beside still waters, with a friend and a cup of coffee.

He prepares a table before me, with date night and Mexican food.

My cup overflows with creativity and joy at the thrift store.

Isn’t God kind?

Oh! How he loves us!

But even in all of this, I had a nagging feeling that I was missing something. I tried to figure it out but couldn’t.


The Missing Piece

One day my son announced that the coming Saturday would be a yard day. As the youngest and the only one still at home, I think he’d become a bit weary of yard work.

The thought of yard work made me tired and irritable.

But he wanted to do more than simply mow grass and trim weeds. He had a vision and needed some help to spruce up the yard. His enthusiasm and request for help were irresistible.

We woke up early, had breakfast and coffee, and dressed out in work clothes. I gave myself a good coating of bug spray and sunscreen and off I went with gloves and all the good nature I could muster.

I clipped branches, swatted flies, stacked bricks, dug holes, wiped sweat, and bandaged blisters. For hours!

As the late summer sun dipped behind the trees, and the sky turned pink-orange, we called it a day.

We stood back and admired our work, sipped ice water, and began making plans for the next yard day.

I stand in the shower, watching the dirty water run to the drain. I lift my sore arms and tilt my face upward to wash off the day’s work.

And He speaks.

“This is what you’ve been missing, dear child. The smell of fresh-cut grass, leaf mold, and honeysuckle on the vine is Creation’s aromatherapy. Remember all the days of your youth spent mowing and raking and digging and hauling and planting? They were hard, happy days, were they not? Exhausting and exhilarating. Life-giving.”

He was right.

He always is.

Now I know what was missing.

I need more than just good food, fellowship, books, naps, and thrifting. I need a stroll through the herbs and evergreens and fruit trees and ground cover. I need to weed flower beds and prune rose bushes and transplant hostas. I need dirt beneath my fingernails, a farmer’s tan, and a sweat-soaked handkerchief in my pocket. I need my own well-worn leather garden gloves and sharp pruning shears. I need stacks of thrifted, aged terra cotta pots waiting patiently to serve their purpose.

My yard, like my life, isn’t Pinterest perfect. But that’s not the goal, really. Gardening is sanctifying work. I’m reaping what I sow and water and nurture in my yard and my life.

The rosemary we planted years ago greet us with the loveliest scent when we gather the mail each day.

The yellow jasmine vine spreads out across the picket fence and tendrils of new growth reach for the sky. Knockout roses resiliently burst with blooms year after year even in our hard clay soil.

Black-eyed Susans are a perennial favorite. They come back stronger every year.

Last year’s Boston ferns came out of their dark-winter-resting-place with fresh fronds.

My grandmother’s old roses produce tender pink flowers in the morning sun.


Creating Space for New Life

Earlier this year we had 19 trees removed from our yard. (Mostly dead or dying pines ravaged by pine beetles.) It was a daunting and expensive task.


Strong wind and storms made us nervous. The dead trees needed to be removed.  Yet I’m still trying to adjust to the open spaces where the lifeless trees once stood. Change is hard sometimes.

But there’s sunlight streaming into places had that become dark and shaded. There’s room for new life.


“A year from now what will you wish you had done today?”


There’s the question again.

When it comes to my garden what will I wish I’d done today?

A year from now I want some of those bare places to be filled with life. I want to enjoy the aroma of a tea olive. I want to pick blueberries in my yard one day.

To have a garden I must plant some seeds. Or go to Lowes.

To harvest, I must sow.

At first, I was paralyzed by the decisions. There were so many bushes and flowers to choose from. I poured over Pinterest boards and imagined garden pathways and flower bed layouts. But the clock was ticking on planting season and the availability of what would work in our small yard.

We ended up with a few familiar favorites and took a risk on some new things, too.

Palace Purple Coral Bells–a mounding perennial that blooms in the spring and summer.

More Tuscan Blue Rosemary! We love it! It loves the full sun so it’s hardy and perfect for the new tree-less side yard.



White Pampas Grass loves the full sun, too. It’s a start to filling in the newly-bare side yard.
Chinese Fringe-flower– We planted three of these. This photo doesn’t do it justice!
Fragrant Tea Olive–a friend told us about this bush. It has very fragrant blooms in the spring and fall.
Lantana is one of my favorites! The “weed” outside the planter is actually lemon balm. A neighbor gave us a cutting a few years ago and we added it to the planter. Now is grows wherever it pleases. The leaves can be rubbed on the skin as a natural insect repellant.


There’s a lot of work yet to be done.

Weeding and clearing out. Pruning. Underplanting. Seeding. Mulching.

We’ll do a little here and there.

A year from now, we’ll be glad we did.

Beauty for ashes.


“A year from now what will you wish you had done today?”


Ah! The question again.

When it comes to your life, what will you wish you’d done today?

What do you hope to harvest?

What must you sow today?

A year from now you’ll be glad you did.

Beauty for ashes.




6 thoughts on “A Year From Now”

  1. Stacy, what a wonderful post ! You will be so glad this time next year you began your planting after the tree removal. I can’t wait to see it grow in! As always, your posts are so encouraging..

  2. As always, you minister to me right where I’m at. Thanks for this today! It’s just what I needed to hear.

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