'The Garden'....Kaia's Big Debut!

I can hardly prepare this post without crying. With Easter right around the corner, it was our pleasure as a family to enjoy the musical "The Garden" this weekend with Kaia as one of the lead roles....The Seedling. A little background on The Garden...in my own words.

{kaia getting her makeup applied}

The Garden
words and music by Michael McLean and Bryce Neubert

The garden is a story, told completely through song, of The Garden of Gethsemane before and after Christ appears to atone for our sins. In the garden there are six main characters or elements of the garden. They are telling the story from heaven of the challenges they will face on this earth in hopes that we will learn from them. The Seedling, played by Kaia, is trapped underground unable to grow. A Barren Olive Tree has yet to bare fruit. A Ram is stuck in the thistle (his own sin), and A Mill Stone feels as dead inside as the things he is crushing outside. These elements of the garden are depressed, feel dispare and think they are all alone in the battle and fight over what is right. The Gardner enters the garden to nurture these elements. To give hope that someone greater than us all will help them. Can save them. While the Gardner tries to uplift and encourage, The Landlord enters. Satan. He likes the garden just the way it is. He challenges The Gardner to leave saying he is the only master and landlord there. That the Gardner has no place there. But the Gardner refuses to leave in fear. He will stay and nurture the elements of the garden until the one who can save them comes.

{kaia getting her mic on by the sound tech guy}

A battle in song ensues between the Gardner and the Landlord and the elements feel lost and alone again. The Gardner promises that a Man with Many Names will come and the elements trust in the Gardner. A man appears to enter the garden, his friends are sleeping outside the gate. The elements question each other wondering if this man is the Man with Many Names who will save them, but decide that he cannot be the One because he is not adorned in kingly fashion...they sing this song....

"Who is this man who comes to our terrain? Perhaps this is the Man with Many Names. Oh, do you think it could be? Dare we believe it would be? The Gardner said He'd come and life would change. Something about Him, though, seems rather frail. His body's strong, and yet his face looks pale. And, look, as he comes nearer, Could this be our deliverer, This man who's clearly filled with such travail? He's not at all what I imagined. He's not adorned in kingly fashion. He seems weighed down by human passions: This surely is not the One. I think we're safe in saying it's not Him. It seems he's known his share of grief within. Somehow, he's too much like us; He doesn't really strike us As one who'll fight for us and surely win. His friends outside the gate are sleeping. What is this burden he is feeling? It must be heavy, for he's kneeling and struggling to say a prayer."

It is then that they watch the Man with Many Names (The Savior) pray and submit to God's will to atone for all of mankind's sin. They watch The Landlord wage a war in song with the Man and the Gardner try to offer help, but can't. It must be done alone by the Man with Many Names. The Landlord leaves defeated and the Man with Many Names leaves to be nailed on the cross. Three days later a beautiful thing happens in the garden.

Each element recognizes the Man who entered the garden now. The Seedling feels sunlight and sways in the breeze as she recognizes that she has sprung up from the ground. The Ram is set free from his tangled web of sin. The Olive Tree bears the most beautiful fruit and the Mill Stone feels reborn. They sing of their testimony of Christ being the only one who could bring such beauty and bring them home.

We watched all four performances and I can say that my testimony of my Savior and what his atonement can do for each one of us is stronger. I sat and watched Kaia look over the Man with Many Names as he prayed in the Garden develop her own testimony of how Jesus Christ suffered for all of our sins. This weekend was a wonderful weekend for our family and a beautiful way to enter into the Easter spirit.

Kaia received cards and flowers after each performance from both big and little fans!

 Blake was so proud of his big sister and gave her a big armful of flowers after the last show.

And Kaia was loved by the cast made up of all adults! They made her feel so loved and welcomed. She is going to miss practices and hanging out with such a great group of people. To show them how much she appreciated all their help she gave them this little gift on closing night.

Little rounds of cake with a note that said 'Thanks for making this a piece of cake for me.'

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  1. Shes growing into a beautiful young lady...one you can be proud of mom!:)
    Great job Kaia!

  2. What a beautiful message! And what a sweet experience for a mom to see her daughter grow into a young woman of faith and testimony. Thanks for helping me get into the Easter spirit!

  3. What an awesome daughter you have :)

  4. That was a beautiful post. Kaia, you are an amazing young woman!

  5. She is beautiful and looks so comfortable up there. Congrats to your daughter! PS - The favors are adorable and what a sweet thought!

  6. she is adorable...what a proud moment for mama.

  7. What a sweet girl!

    I love your thank you's! So cute!

  8. That sounds so beautiful, I wish I could have been there.

  9. Hi! I am in the middle of putting together The Garden for a performance in Maine and ran across your blog post. Did you make any recordings of it? We are still deliberating about how to stage it and I found the pictures you posted very helpful as ideas. I'd love to see/hear a clip! Thank you!

    1. oh here i am a month later responding to your sweet comment. i'm so sorry. sickness has overcome our little family. we do have a dvd of it somewhere. and now after reading this post again...i want to find it to watch it. it was pretty much staged completely on the stand in the chapel. very simple decorations. if you are still interested i could probably get a copy of the dvd sent to you from the person who directed it. she is a very organized person and probably knows right where her copy is?! Just email me at davenapril@aol.com if you are interested!!


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