I was completely opposed to having a garden this year. Last Spring, we toiled and weeded and fenced and sowed and grew....blackberries. We spent time and money and invested in our garden and those thorny berry bushes came back with a vengeance to swallow my beautiful garden up whole. This Momma does not have time for that nonsense. It was so frustrating to see all our work destroyed and then humbly come to the realization that growing and caring for a garden would take much more time and attention that we had given it. We got off to a great start, but lacked the discipline to maintain it and see its fruits. We counted our losses, we cleaned up the mess and we said to one another, "next year."
Well, this year is next year and my husband, in his ever increasing wisdom thought that my growing a newborn and a garden all in the same season might be too much. He was right of course, so the compromise became we will go small. We will let the kids pick a few plants each, we will water and maintain but hold off on our grand garden dreams for another year. With a sigh of relief, we took 3 very excited kiddos to pick out their starts and fill their planters while dreaming of filling their tummies with the spoils. It has been very exciting even if we are still waiting for things to ripen and grow.
The thing that I dreaded and expected to happen was that after the growing came slowly and the excitement wore off I would be left to carve out time for one more thing in my day. To shave off a bit more of my sanity and grit my teeth to finish a project left undone by those that had started it. As a Type A go-getter, I am not unfamiliar with this role. I am surrounded by dreamers and starters, and yet I seem to be left with the finishing. It is safe to say I began to loathe our garden. It is no longer beautiful and exciting, it is work. My oldest son has been a great help with watering and maintaining and I am so thankful that he can run down and water for me when minutes are running out and I am running out the door.
As I knelt down to take a closer look, I was surprised that there were many more areas that needed my attention than I had originally seen. For every weed I pulled, there were 2 more that had snuck up on me. And it hit me. My garden was as conflicted as my heart. It is easy to look at the big picture of things and see only the fruit. The big beautiful life giving parts of my garden were hiding small and potentially deadly weeds just below the surface. Those seemingly small and insignificant nuisances if left unchecked can choke the life right out of the most productive plant.
I have a life that is blessed and difficult and drives me straight up crazy at times and it is easy to take a quick inventory check of the fruit in my life and believe I am doing okay. But the truth is I very rarely dig into the deep, dark shady places underneath and when I do, there are always weeds to be dug up. There are hurts and sins and anger brewing just under the surface threatening to choke the life out of me. The Joy and Peace that is promised to me are powerful things, but they are not immune to the dangers of Discontentment and Bitterness.
I am so thankful for lessons learned and the growth that comes when we stop and listen, even through anger or difficult situations. The hard truth is, life is hard. Life is good and exciting and monotonous and beautiful and hard. Water your garden, guard your heart and don't be afraid to kneel down every once in while and get your hands dirty.
This post was originally written for and published by Douglas County Moms