At some point in my life I realized that I could grow things. I’m pretty certain that my influence came from my grandmother, who put me to work when we went to visit her, as this very old picture shows. When my sons were small, I had plenty of time learning how to till, plant and harvest all kinds of vegetables while they were playing outdoors. I would watch shows like the old version of, “The Victory Garden,” and my favorite, “Rebecca’s Garden,” where I later earned her saying, “Get out there and get those hands dirty!” I loved to sift that dirt through my fingers and to see the benefits of what I was doing – this was definitely my, “thing.”
In Florida, our neighbor became my best instructor on growing things, and there I could get 3 seasons out of one summer! What joy it gave to be able to grow, pick and eat so many things. The boys learned that it was a special place, not one to romp in or ruin.
When we moved back to Michigan, I was truly afraid of the condition of the soil on our property, but without a doubt, this was good dirt! I began playing around with growing flowers, and they went crazy! I have never since grown anything like those. The vegetables were so huge, that I had to take some of my tomatoes to my Dad, to show him what a wonder they were. (He loved big slabs of tomatoes for sandwiches or just to eat right off of the plate!)
There has been a garden in every place I have lived, some very small, others large and abundant. When I moved to our current location, the ground has not been as kind to me. I have also been so busy that it has become harder and harder to take care of it. I’ve never been able to grow anything of much size in it, but it has still given me much pleasure. Due to the animals all around, I lose a lot of it, so my husband built a fenced in, small lot for vegetables while the flowers grow free 🙂
Gardening is in my blood. Even though it gets more difficult on my back and knees to get down and weed, and even though I do it less often, I still do it. I still love to gaze out upon the beauty that God has created, knowing that He gave this enjoyment to me. Just watching something sprout up through all kinds of situations gives me a thrill!
Some could say that since I can’t produce the BIG crops anymore, what is the point? They would just give up or write it off as failure and move on to something else. What if God felt that way about me? My life has its times of great success and its times of great lack of productivity but, most frequently, it is a steady line of, “normal.” If God only could brag about the way I serve Him during my successes, I would be left to feel a failure. If He condemned me during my unimpressive times, I would be minimized. You see, God cares about us at ALL times, good or bad. He is like the, “Footprints,” poem during our low times, carrying us through them, loving us even more, if possible. He encourages us in our day-to-day, “steady,” times, knowing that life is hard, yet we are trying to be faithful and live for Him in spite of our difficulties and stress. When the BIG times come, the successes and the joys, He is dancing right along with us, telling those around Him, “Look at that! Now THAT makes me a proud Papa!” So, whether you bear big fruit or small fruit, or feel like you aren’t bearing any fruit at all, remember that God is by your side, helping you each step of the way. Take some time to stop and smell the roses, (which I do, literally!) and go out there and, “Get those hands dirty!”
6 I planted the seeds, Apollos watered them, but God made them sprout and grow. 7 What matters isn’t those who planted or watered, but God who made the plants grow.
9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.