"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling."

This is a blog about widows,
mothers and daughters,
facing change and challenges
and receiving ordinary, everyday blessings that don't seem quite so ordinary anymore.
It chronicles the journey from grief into the restoration of what has been lost.

*** I am no longer actively posting to this site, so please come visit me at my new site ***

http://www.jrrmblog.com/ - "Starting Over ... Again"

Showing posts with label garden. Show all posts
Showing posts with label garden. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lesson #3 from the Garden - Sometimes You Just Need to Start Over

I had such high hopes for my garden this year.  I started planning for it in January.  I went to the local farmers co-op and get seeds, and Youngest Daughter and I spent a Saturday afternoon planting seeds in little paper cups and plastic trays.  We set up a cardtable near a sunny window, and kept the soil moist for the seeds to germinate.

Sprouts started growing from all the cups and plastic trays.  Everything was going fine.  But then I wasn't able to get a garden plot tilled up for awhile, with the weather so wet.  By the time I got the soil ready and got the sprouts in the ground it was too late.  They didn't survive.  I had such great plans for a big garden, but they all just withered and died.

So now I had a choice - give up on a garden for this year, or try a different approach.  Off to the farmers co-op again, this time for 4" vegetable starts.  I came home with two cucumber plants, two cherry tomato plants, two "pear" tomato plants, and two canteloupe plants.  Put them in the garden and prayed for the best.  And they took off and grew!  Everything grew and then outgrew the space I had alloted it.  The cucumbers took over, the tomatoes outgrew their cages, and the canteloupe plants are spread everywhere.


So what has all this taught me?  I see a parallel with my situation - having to "start over" in many ways.  Seeing something you have planned and work toward and hoped for wither and die.  Like my future with Robby.  We had so many plans and dreams for the future.  We were working so hard to put together a good future for us and our daughters.

When Robby proposed to me, his question was "What are you doing for the next 50, 60, 70 years of your life?"  We had planned on spending a lot more time together.  We only got 20 years.  A lot of people would say to be thankful for the time we had together.  That is one of the things that people say to those who are grieving - thinking that "looking on the bright side" will somehow make it better, and the grief will be easier to bear.  And I am thankful for the time we did have - but I still grieve the time we DIDN'T have together.

But having to start again in the garden has made me realize that sometimes you just have to begin again in other areas of life.  And sometimes when you being again, your harvest is even greater than it might have been originally.  I am still waiting to see what kind of "harvest" God will bring about in my life.  :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Lesson #2 My Garden Taught Me This Year

Well, I told you about the cucumbers in my garden yesterday ... today it's the tomatoes.  I love tomatoes, and this year I planted four tomato plants.  And they are growing great - the best they ever have before.  They have totally outgrown their cages, and are expanding everywhere.  And they are loaded with little green tomatoes.  But here's the kicker - up until yesterday, they were all GREEN.

Loads of little green tomatoes, covering the branches and vines.  It's there - so many little tomatoes, just waiting to be harvested.  But they aren't ripe yet.  And I hate waiting!  I can remember the taste of those fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes from last year, and I want to taste that again.  But they aren't ready yet.  And I have to go out, day after day, and look at little green tomatoes.

Can you guess what this is teaching me?  Yup - patience.  Two weeks of waiting patiently (more or less) for the tomatoes to ripen.  Hearing how everyone else is seeing their gardens come alive with produce, and trying to be patient.  Waiting for these tomatoes reminds me of having to sometimes wait for God to work in our lives - seeing the work begin, knowing that there will be "fruit" produced, but having to wait for the end result.  Wanting so much to see the "harvest."

It's like waiting for the restoration that God promises us.  The restoration from the grief and the pain.  God promises that He will restore to us what has been lost.  We know it will happen - we trust Him to keep His promise.  But we must wait.  And that takes patience.  Unfortunately, something I have in short supply too often.

So God uses my garden to teach me stuff.  :)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Lesson #1 My Garden Taught Me This Year

Here is the first lesson in which God used my garden to remind me of something important.  He used cucumbers to do it - God can be SO creative sometimes.  And He has to be creative when teaching me - sometimes very random things get used by God, and that's all part of the fun of being His child.  :)

This year my cucumbers have been growing like gangbusters.  Last year it was zucchini, this year it's cucumbers.  I only planted two plants, but they are taking over the garden.  I don't have much planted in there - at least, not much that has survived to grow and produce anything.  I have four tomato plants (two cherry tomato plants, and two "pear" tomato plants), a couple cantaloupe plants (which right now have about six little melons growing on them) ... and the two cucumber plants which are conspiring to take over the world.

So I went out there about a 2 weeks ago, and started looking for cucumbers.  I'm thinking there HAS to be some produce in amongst all those green leaves.  There had been so many little yellow flowers, and there still were many there.  So of course some of them had to have matured into cucumbers by that time, right?  I started poking around the edges and lifting a few leaves - nothing.  I'm not seeing anything that resembles a cucumber.  So I get discouraged and go inside, wondering what's going on.

Next day - go back out to the garden.  This time I am really curious - where are those cucumbers?  So I get more aggressive, starting to move the vines around and getting into the center of the plants.  There they are!  I had to get down in there, because there was so much growth (it seemed to be all leaves and vines) but there they were - three perfect cucumbers.  Well, as you can see from the photo they weren't really perfect.  But they tasted perfect in a salad that night!  :)

OK, so here's what those cucumbers taught me - since you've stuck with me through this blog thus far.  I learned that even thought we don't see the "fruit" (or veggies) that we are expecting to see in our lives doesn't mean it's not there.  We may have to look a little closer and investigate a little harder - but it's there.  It may remain hidden for awhile.  We may not be sure it's there, or we may not see it there on the surface.  But it's there.  Just like the work that God is doing inside us as we walk through the hard times that we experience.  We sometimes get through a tough time, and having been told that God is using this season in our life to produce the fruit of the Spirit, we start to ask God, "OK, Lord - where is it?  I don't feel any different.  I don't see this great and wonderful work You have been doing in my life and/or in my heart.  What gives?"

Maybe we just need to be patient ... which brings me to my next blog for tomorrow; lesson #2 that my garden has taught me this year.  :)