Monday, February 25, 2013

community garden

Love what you grow and what
 you love will grow.

Papa Bear would love being here right now. Although he would gruffly tell me it's too early to plant anything. 
He was a man of his own ways and his green John Deere tractor was his castle. He would have still pulled a chair up and sat there with us watching and laughing at his namesakes. He would be here...sigh I'm sure this ground misses him. The way he could drive his tractor without hurting one precious plant.
 Something about a farmer.

I miss him every spring more than any other time of the year. The place he kept his garden is now overrun with weeds and grown up tall. The ground screaming out his name and he doesn't come. Laid in dirt next to his mother and the ground grows more weeds waiting.

 Well I'm a mama who can't wait to get her kids out working in the soil that makes this farm our home. This dark soil that holds more than earthworms and plants. This soil is a major part of who I am as a mother and what I teach and hope to pass on to the generation that follows. God is so wise and the garden so relevant in our life.
So many lessons to be learned that I grieve the years I didn't have a garden even a small one.

To have a good garden you have to have good soil and good soil takes
work. good soil takes time. all winter we prepare the soil for the summer.It takes some vision on our part.  But growing something means you believe in tomorrow and believing in tomorrow means you do something today. So keeping our soil healthy takes a year around process of keeping weeds out and keeping the soil healthy.

When we plant our first plant it's easy. We're all excited when Tuck comes home with all of our new plants. The soil has been cared for and the winter has kept the weeds at bay. Everyone eats at our table so everyone works and in the spring everyone is happy to do it. They're fascinated with the soil and the plants and the long hours of winter have them longing to be in the boxes. I know as I look around how this goes. I capture their hands in dirt and I look at every worm they have unearthed from their winter hibernation. The smiles of little girls getting dirty is priceless. They love it now....but a few months from now weeds will creep in our little boxes along with ants. The heat will be too hot and the plants will need to be watered. The boxes will require a lot of work. Kind of like relationships.
Scott and I went to a marriage conference a couple of weeks ago and I loved the analogy of gardens and relationships the speaker gave.
      He reminded us that relationships are a lot like gardens. Easy to plant but hard to maintain properly. So that's why I like having my children work in the garden along side me so that they can experience the work it takes to maintain a garden and then reminding them that its worth the work when we can walk down our back steps and get things we need to cook supper or to be able to share things with others when our garden overflows. Its hard to share when you don't have an abundance.

 Reminding them it's easy now to run fingers through soil, attitudes are great but reminding them it will get hard and when it gets hard that says more about who you are than when it's easy. That's when your job as mom gets interesting. Teaching them to work through hard times and to see the payoff in the end. To remind them that life is not easy it's not meant to be easy and most of their life will be hard work. Conflict is everywhere. The brother you share a room with. The sister you shared a womb with. The very best friend you may have and the person you will eventually marry.. conflict is going to happen and our jobs are to set good examples of forgiveness and grace.

I was raised in a world of conflict and its by God's grace alone that I can even whisper these things to my children. He has taught me so much about weeding the garden of my own heart and I'm so thankful for His mercy in my life.  
Just because we don't grow up in perfect homes or have perfect parents doesn't mean we get to grow bitter and full of thorny weeds.
God provides a way. He alone is our shelter.    

"The soil is the gift of God to the living."
 Thomas Jefferson

Every day you must do the hard work of marriage and parenting to reap the benefits of an overflowing love between siblings and young adults for tomorrow.
 There is no short cut to either. 
Hard work and full dependency on Christ is the only way. 

God said, "don't let the sun go down on your anger" because when you do something about the nighttime makes your anger worse. Kind of like letting a few weeds into your beautiful soil. Your troubles not dealt with for that day spill over to the next and slowly the garden of your heart is overtaken with weeds of bitterness or resentment. None of us mean to let it happen but one day you wake up and the work of being a help meet to your husband seems like too much work and being a mother seems oddly overwhelming.
Problems from yesterday still weighing you down and the problems from today piling up the doorway to your heart and soon nothing can grow there.
So you give up and your heart cries out for you to do the work and you don't answer and so the weeds continue to grow.  

You heart becoming a tangled up mess of knotted weeds that you can't handle on your own. You raise your hands and God will rescue you and untangle that mess and remind you that you are not alone.  You can rest in Him and He will restore you completely and give you nice clean dirt:)

"The soil is the gift of God to the living."
 Thomas Jefferson

 To weed or not to weed is not an option -- you must weed your own heart and weed the hearts of your children until they're old enough to do this on their own. Teach them while you're in the garden, while you're on your knees how the beautiful things need the healthy soil that only the Lord can give.  

"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant." Everyday will bring new challenges and you should just come to expect the challenges and tell yourself  "I will handle these challenges of today and not give up because I believe things will get better."

 Each day has enough trouble of its own.

 You believe your plants will live and thrive so you plant... otherwise why would you plant??

A garden is a restful place even though there is a lot of work because I believe God gave us a piece of Eden and you can find much peace and healing within the layers of her. 

Now start your own garden today even if it's a small pot or a small corner.

Choose to believe that God will provided the harvest if you're only willing.  


Rachel said...

You have no idea how perfectly timed your message is today. No idea. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Karen Sue said...

so much and plants..
I was looking at the calendar this past week or so and the 'stuff' that is already crowding the summer and feeling sad. Will I be gone too much to love my garden? Will it suffer neglect? Will I suffer being away from the nest so much?? I'm more of a homebody than most people know. :o)


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