Five Minute Friday: Should

Writing for five unedited minutes on the prompt “Should” for Five Minute Friday.


Garden work beckons me:

I should

plant the tomatoes

weed the flowerbeds

trim the blackberries

mow the dandelions

deadhead the daffodils.

Good work sometimes feels

like a curse

and there’s always more

once I’ve finished.

Just like sorting papers

cleaning bathrooms

washing dishes

paying bills

making beds.

I should

do a better job.


So long

I’ve been trapped inside

the tyranny of shoulds

their staring judgment

and unforgiving demands.


I will ignore my chores.

They can wait one more day.

I will sit quietly on the porch

listen to the happy bird song

watch the wind wave

through the maple leaves

marvel at the spring beauty

of golden alexanders, peonies, irises

touch the pansies’ velvet faces

to take in

all that’s lovely

and give my soul rest.


Questions for reflection:

How can time in a garden free you from your “shoulds”?

Even though work never ceases, how are you carving out time for rest?

Join me again next week as my blog series “Meeting God in the Garden” continues. In the meantime, check out the other posts in this series:

Take a virtual tour of my garden

Read my first guest interview with Barb Bailey

Check out my post on finding beauty in the garden

Visit with Michele Morin, fellow blogger and gardener

Read Part 1 and Part 2 of Weeding My Heart’s Garden

Read my post on the best soil for your heart’s garden

Enjoy a stroll through wildflower-covered woods with Leslie Newman

Read an excerpt from my chapter on “A Time to Plant”

My book The Fruitful Life is a study on the fruits of the spirit, and my book Newness of Life is about trusting in God’s perfect timing.  Both books are available now on Amazon.

Free resources for these books await you if you sign up for my email list below.  Sign up here to gain access to these free resources, plus lots of other exclusive content!

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This post will be linked up at #fmf, #dancewithjesus, #faithnfriends, #freshmarketfriday, #graceandtruth, and #faithonfire. Visit my linkups page to find links to these wonderful blogs.

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links.


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You might also like

Weeding My Heart’s Garden, Part 2

April 27, 2017
Newness of Life: Trusting God in Times of Transition

Meeting God in the Garden: Planting

May 4, 2017

Meeting God in the Garden: Beauty

April 20, 2017
  • “The tyranny of shoulds” – well said. Thank you. Very thought-provoking. Grace-filled blessings to you!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thank you Mari-Anna. Happy weekend to you!

  • Nice poem, restful

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thanks Annette!

  • Sitting on your porch while your soul rests is a big should. Good for you!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Debby, I’ll be doing that today since the sun is out after several rainy, windy days. Happy weekend!

  • Sarah Elizabeth Frazer

    Love this. Thank you for sharing! -Sarah (

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Sarah, thanks for your visit. By the way, I always enjoy linking up with you at #tuestalk!

  • Alice Nine

    I agree: down with the “the tyranny of shoulds,” so I can embrace the peace of obedience to the Lord’s commandments. Visiting from #17 at FMF today. Blessings on your weekend!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Alice! Glad you visited. Now I’m headed over to your site…

  • Houses, gardens, and blogs are “should” factories! Thanks be to God for grace to stop and be still.

    • Sarah Geringer

      “Should” factories indeed…I know you can relate! Happy weekend to you, friend!

  • Calvonia Radford

    Sarah, I’m completing my last semester of undergrad. I have a list of should haves to do now that course work does not fill my day. Thanks for the prompt to sit for a while and just be still.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Calvonia, I pray you’ll find a moment of rest with Jesus this weekend! Thanks for reading.

  • This too is how I feel about should – So long

    I’ve been trapped inside

    the tyranny of shoulds

    their staring judgment

    and unforgiving demands.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thanks for reading!

  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    You ‘should’ live on a mesa in New Mexico. No need to worry about the garden. It ain’t happening.

    Loved this post, Sarah. And it made me miss more temperateclimes, just a bit.

    #1 at FMF this week.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Ha! I love the green around here, even though I’ve visited Albuquerque and found it beautiful. Thanks for your visit!

  • Haha, Sarah! Reading about all those ‘should’s’ reminded me of blogging. So many things on my list that I should get done. But you’re right, there is a need for rest from all of it. Thank God for weekends!
    Hugs to you and blessings too!
    Marva | SunSparkleShine

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Marva, like Michele said below, the three of us definitely feel the “shoulds” when it comes to blogging. Yet I’m thankful to use this space to connect with others like you! Blessings on your weekend, and I’m glad to learn of your refreshment at the recent retreat. Hope I can join you someday!

  • Bettie G

    Your poem is beautiful Sarah! We definitely were thinking the same thoughts this springtime–such a restful time to be on the porch seeking God’s Rest! It’s so important to quiet those “shoulds” and just be with our Lord!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Glad you liked it, Bettie! Blessings to you.

  • Lynne Cole

    I always feel closer to God when I am cultivating my garden. Thank you for sharing – I enjoyed reading this. #fmf 77

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Lynne, I’m grateful for your visit! I will check out your #fmf link too. Blessings to you!