When I picked up our garden statue from the nursery, I did not anticipate the graces Our Lady would bestow on us through this small cast-stone image of her. I did not realize I would repeat the words above every time I caught a glimpse of her through my kitchen glass patio door, through the window in the dining room where I eat all of my meals, or when I play outside with my girls. She is a constant reminder, with her outstretched arms, that every good and beautiful gift I have comes from her Divine Son through her own hands - the loving hands which held and nurtured the Savior and then surrendered Him to us so that we might one day join both of them in Paradise.
She makes me happy. When I wake in the morning with coffee in hand I greet her smiling, and ask her to help me through the day. When I am scrubbing my kitchen floor she watches me like a loving mother, reminding me that she once cleaned a home for her family. When I eat lunch with the girls we sit facing the window so that we can see her, and we will soon enjoy summer dinners outside as she watches over our picnic table.
Our Lady's garden was blessed by a priest the first day we brought her home. We had been planning to host a dinner last Saturday for two Norbertines, one a priest and the other a deacon. When I learned the statue arrived at the garden shop the day before we would have these holy men in our home, I made sure she would be there for dinner at six!
I knew I would love having a special garden in honor of Mary. I knew I wanted my girls to grow up planting special flowers for her, crowning her head in May, and bringing occasional gifts for her to enjoy (so far these have been toys and sandwiches!). But I never considered how much she would give back through this small space we have made for her. It makes perfect sense, though, for she is indeed "full of grace".
A close-up of her aged cast stone patina finish.