Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Garden Ramble

2009 was like a golden jewel in the crown of gardening. It was lovely, it was beautiful, it was productive and so inspiring. Go here and here for visual reminders. It now stands out as the measuring stick with which to measure all future garden successes/failures. And let me just say, I've been on the latter end pretty much ever since that year.

I can grow hydrangeas. I can grow mint. I can grow weeds. The end.

But, there is something about gardening - I am eternally optimistic that planting those tiny little dried seeds of life in the ground will somehow live up to my glory standards.

I am also greatly humbled in looking back that this was also the year we had a Garden Blessing Family Night. Isn't that like life? I know gardens succeed and gardens fail, but what a picture of committing it to God and seeing it flourish and thrive so much.

God controls what grows, what blooms, what produces in my garden. I am merely the vessel.

The mint, blueberries, blackberries and hydrangeas are all succeeding because God has allowed them to - certainly not because of anything I have done. God programs growing things and weather and all the necessary conditions.

There is still this hopefulness when you hold seeds in your hand and pull weeds and turn over dirt in your garden. It is the hopefulness of life and beauty. I told David that a prepared garden is like a blank canvas waiting to be made into an expression of creativity and beauty.

Gardening is one of those things that I want to be good at. I want to make it a priority. I want to pick flowers and food for our family to enjoy. I want the experience, the slowing of the work, the waiting and praying, the reaping and harvesting, the tending and caring.

And, I've convinced myself that I am doing all of these things but in the souls of our children instead of in the soil of the earth. Yet, there is still a longing to dig and plant and cultivate. So, I put aside failure after failure after failure and I venture to try again. I see the hope of anticipation in my children as they each want their own "square" to tend.

Isaiah 61:11,
"For as the soil makes the sprout come up
and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise
spring up before all nations."

So, in humility - here is what the inside of my garden looked like Saturday morning:

After lots of raking, week pulling and general getting-rid-of-every-green-thing we now have this: 

Better - we need to unearth the walkways; they are covered in dirt/leaves - but it is major progress.

My littles totally got into it and I gave them each their own square to plant, so a zillion seeds have been sown and now we get to practice gardeners patience :)

My goals for gardening:
- littles to have fun and learn and just get to dig in the dirt
- zinnia bouquets; please!
- help my littles learn the value of work and effort to receive a harvest
- watch God's hand at work right in front of our eyes

And, so in closing, I have lowered my expectations {generally a good idea!}, had fun in the process and surrendered it to the perfect Gardener!