How Does Your Garden Grow? Simple Ways to Nourish the Seeds You've Sown


My mom's dad was a farmer. He cared for nearly 100 acres of land until his passing about 10 years ago. Growing up, it was just part of my mom, aunt & uncle's daily life to help in the gardens, tending to crops & taking care of the farm animals. It's no surprise that I love to garden. I always loved helping my mom work in the yard and was so pleased to see plants bear fruit in the summer.

My husband is familiar with my love for gardening. I'm of the opinion that he finds it mostly endearing, as long as he doesn't have to work too hard to help me keep up with my efforts. When I was pregnant with our son (B) in 2010, Sacha built me a lovely raised veggie bed, which we fully utilized and loved for several seasons. When I became pregnant with Baby S in 2015, exhaustion took on a whole new meaning, and things haven't been the same for me (energy-wise) since.
Eventually, we scrapped the veggie bed, because it was taking up space in the yard, and we just didn't have time to keep up with it. 

This year, we wanted to try our hand at growing some veggies again, so we decided to work with a different bed, and even do a little container gardening.

For weeks, we've watched as zucchini, tomato, and strawberry plants have put out big, beautiful leaves and blossoms, only to see them fall off with no return. We've tried to remain hopeful, knowing that if we wait long enough, eventually, we'll start to see some fruits and veggies. Those big blossoms have opened up, only to wither and fall off, leaving us wondering what we did wrong? Were the plants too wet? Too dry? Were they simply not being pollinated due to lack of busy buzzing bees?

Frustrated, I wondered if we should just give up. Maybe my green thumb had passed its prime, and I was terribly off my game. Maybe the 'leave it alone' method wasn't such a good idea after all. As I stopped to think about how I had been caring for my garden, I realized- I hadn't been caring for my garden after all, at least, not as well I should have been.


How Does Your Garden Grow?

It's been a busier-than-usual summer for me. Strange to say, because last summer (2017), we traveled so much, we were barely home for a week before the next adventure came about. I'm working much more than I am used to (which is a blessing), the kids are out of school, hubby is off of his usual schedule (because he doesn't teach during the summer), and the busyness and craziness out it all has thrown me completely off balance. Our schedules seldom sync. We're everywhere in a day and back, and my garden is suffering.

How does my garden grow? My garden is used to flourishing, but right now, it's dry, it's weak, it's thirsty. I haven't been nourishing the seeds I have planted. I haven't been watering my roots. How could I expect anything more than desperation?  Why would I ever just 'leave my garden alone?'


John 15:5

“I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing."

I suppose I haven't been fully joined with the Vine lately. It's far too easy to let the busyness of everyday life strip away leaves, leaving nothing but broken stems, unable to look past a mess of toys around the house or dishes in the sink, severing an opportunity for an intimate moment with a child, a spouse, a friend. Oh, if we would just stop for a moment and hone in on the things that matter most. 


Simple Ways to Nourish the Seeds You've Sown

If we take time to care for ourselves and one another, beautiful things can and will happen over time. Bonds can form, relationships can strengthen and grow, and hearts can be softened.

Disconnect

Disconnect from technology for a while. I've witnessed how too much screen time seems to alter my son's mood and behavior. The quickest way to a happy heart is to take a break from screens.

Connect with Nature

God created such beauty all around us. When was the last time you stopped to enjoy it? Take a walk, plant some flowers, or just get out of the house or your place of work to breathe in the fresh air for a few minutes. I guarantee it will make a positive difference.

Feed Your Soul

You know how your body feels sluggish and just plain gross after you take in a bunch of junk? That's exactly how my heart and soul feel when I'm constantly feeding it with junk. I'm talking negativity here. Surround yourself with like-minded people who have a positive outlook on life. Get involved in charities or causes you believe in. Volunteer your time in a way that is pleasing to God, and also lifts your spirit. If you find yourself in a volunteer position which is causing you to be negative, it may be time to take a break. 

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

You've heard it over and over again, and yet, you might still be making mountains out of molehills. I'm am guilty of doing the same, so I've been trying to be better about asking myself- Is that really worth my time, energy, anxiety or tears?

Learn to be Content

Always wanting more in life? There's nothing wrong with being a go-getter and goal-setter. I tend to be both of those things. However, I know all too well that wanting more, more, more can leave one feeling guilty, resentful, greedy, and can truly blind you from being able to see the many blessings and joys God has already bestowed upon you. When we can learn to accept the things we have and be happy for others, we can truly live in peace and fully enjoy life.


Back to my garden...

Over the past few days, my husband and I have been better about tending to our garden. We've been watering, removing dried stems and leaves, and watching. We've also been spending more time with our kids- just playing, being silly, and having a good time. And... we've been spending more time together... quiet time together, just talking and praying, and being in relationship with each other. This is something that often gets lost between work days, shuffling kids about, running errands, and all of the other stuff of life. It's been really nice. 

Our zucchini plants have put forth four zucchinis, we have a single strawberry, tons of Roma tomatoes, and lots of aromatic herbs growing & waiting for us to use. Funny how things tend to grow so well when we stop & give them what they need in order to do so.

How is your garden growing these days?

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