Courtney mentioned something last week that I thought would be good to talk about. On Saturday’s entry I asked, “What keeps you from making bread?” Courtney shared that it is the fear of failure and listed some trials she has had in her garden this year. Ladies, gardening is about a lot more than bringing food into our homes. It’s about spiritual lessons that we learn about ourselves and those we teach to our children who work along side us.
Gardening gives us real life moments to train our children and to examine Biblical principals for ourselves. Here are just a few I have learned through the years.
My first year gardening, nothing grew- I was inpatient and decided to uncover all my seeds to check on them. In my checking, I somehow kept most of them from ever coming up. There was nothing to harvest for the table yet, for my heart I harvested a lesson of patience and trust in God. The quote by John Quincy Adams became real to me, “Duty is ours- results are God’s”.
A few years later I stopped gardening- Three years after the experience posted above I still had nothing to take from our garden. Why you ask? Because we always moved before the harvest. I became so discouraged that I decided to just stop planting! My mother came to my home and found boxes that I still hadn’t unpacked. I’ll never forget her “scolding” when she told me, “Jeanette. It is your job to bloom where you are planted no matter how long you are there. It is your duty to leave behind you a better place for the next person.” I came to realize that it didn’t matter if I harvested from the garden or was the one to see the flowers bloom. My service was to the Lord! I have been bought with a price, I am not my own. It was up to Him to decide who would plant and who would harvest!
Four years into my gardening experience and after many thoughts of throwing in the towel, we had a beautiful harvest! Flowers were blooming, birds visited the garden daily, neighbors stopped to compliment the sight that offered refreshment to many sore eyes. I was delighted each day to work in the garden, I sat at night, after the long days with my Bible and read with the mist of the sprinkle system and the shade from the trees. I began having tea time with God each morning out in the garden. There was so much thanksgiving in my heart for what I was given by His mighty hand. So many lessons for the children on weeds/sin, seeds that fall on rocky soil, the fool that won’t harvest in summer, and the list could go on!
Years after that our garden attempts grew. We continued to learn through books and others that had been gardening more than ourselves. The children learned the value of “bending down thine ear to hear wisdom.” The older generation has so much to offer us if we will only stop to listen! We’ve learned about companion planting, using nature to fight pests, keeping predators out of the garden by learning how God created them to think and by being diligent to keep on doing what we know to do!
Last year our beautiful garden that I spent over 250.00 to plant was washed away in a ingle night by flood waters. Failure? Oh, quite the contrary! Again, it was another lesson for the Wood family. The Lord gives the Lord takes away but I will say blessed be the name of the Lord! As a family we stood in awe as a man we didn’t know, drove down our drive way to tell us how he planted a 2 acre garden just to keep busy and didn’t want it. He wanted to know if we would like to have all the produce from the garden?! We visited, set times to go work and then did so faithfully! Each day we picked the harvest we would try and leave them some yet rarely would they accept it. They were just so excited to have our family there, working and using those blessings! There hasn’t been a conversation since that one of the children, Joe, or myself haven’t talked about the time our garden flooded but God gave us a garden we never planted.
This year, all is well in the garden. The children and I continue to learn both practical skills and Spiritual Truths as well. So, what year do you think was our greatest failure? Each year there were funds invested, time invested, and dreams invested! As I ponder each year, I am confident that not one has ever been a failure! Oh, maybe I had nothing to put on the table but I always had something to carry in my heart. I saw God in a new way, I realized how fragile life was, how vain my best efforts are, and how great and faithful our God is!
Courtney, my heart is truly filled with love for you. I am so thankful the Lord has let our paths cross! There is not one moment that we have ever talked or prayed for you and not been filled with thanksgiving for your life testimony! Sweet Sister, you have not failed! You have learned! You now know what doesn’t work, what does need to be done and I am sure there are things you’ve learned that I am not even aware of! Keep trying! Keep learning! You and your family will be blessed for it!
With much love,
Mrs. Joseph Wood