This is my fourth time to set up a vegetable garden.The plants are barely in the ground and they already have things to say.
I like to plant in the spring and spend the summer and early fall in the dirt. By Thanksgiving, I’m ready for a break until it warms up again. I usually can’t wait for school to let out and summer to begin because that means life calms down and I can spend slow mornings outside. Of course, my slow mornings came early this year.
Garden in the Margin
If you were with me on instagram last year, you know I fought hard to move things out of my life and create margin for myself- for a #gardeninthemargin. I knew it was something I had to do. And when pillars in my life started to fall not too long after planting, I knew why.
Working in the ground steadies me, especially when everything crumbles around me. But I wouldn’t get down in the dirt if I wasn’t expecting to see things grow. The major question always is, “But what do I want to grow?”
Last year, my sunflowers and eggplants were the showstoppers. This year, I wanted more flowers nestled in between the fruit so I grabbed a couple packets of mixed wildflowers from the rack at my favorite organic nursery.
When I’m planting tomatoes, okra, and peppers, it is easy to know what goes in the ground. Two or three seeds buried at once and together. Then 12 or 24 inches away, another two or three. The planting is planned, measured, and intentional. So the rows of sprouts are spread out and they all rise the same. Same shaped leaves, same height, same texture. The weeds that try and come up in between stand out and are easily rooted out and pulled out. All that remains are what I want to grow.
What could our lives grow if we intentionally planted in them?
We aren’t always intentional in the planning, measuring, and tending what goes into and what grows out of our lives. We let things in we shouldn’t- weeds that waste good soil space or steal resources from plants that feed us.
When I planted the packet of wildflowers this year, I learned it’s more a seed scattering with them, not a coupling and burying 12 or 24 inches apart. No order. No measuring. Just blanket the earth. So when their stems first surfaced, I couldn’t tell what was what. Different shaped leaves, different heights, different textures. Were they all wildflowers? Were some of them weeds? I thought I recognized a few weeds because I have pulled enough in past years to know which ones have a habit of holding on here. But now with these new seeds, I couldn’t tell which were plants I wanted, or which were weeds.
Can we tell the difference between a weed or a plant that feeds?
If we aren’t intentional about what we plant in our lives, and if we aren’t aware of which are weeds and which are plants that feed, then we don’t know what we’re growing. If we don’t know what we’re growing, then we don’t know where we’re going.
Know What You Sow
All the growing and going starts with the sowing. Where are you headed? To a plentiful harvest and a full-measure of health? Or into the unknown with a half-wish instead of hope?
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
Here’s what I know about our enemy: he is real. And if he can’t get you to stay in your sin, he’ll make you too busy to see sin. When we’re busy, we don’t tend our gardens well. When we’re busy, we pay less attention to what goes in our stomachs and what comes out of our mouths. When we’re busy, we don’t worry what we absorb with our eyes or what we accept as truth that are actually lies. When we’re busy, we are not intentional about what we plan, plant, measure, or weed. When we’re busy, we don’t respond to what our soul or bodies need. When we’re busy, we aren’t aware of what we sow in our lives. So how do we know what will grow from them?
If we don’t know what we are fighting for, we won’t know what we’re falling for.
I know I’m fighting for growth, for a harvest. For fruit for us and for others.
Let’s fight to know what we sow.
Let’s plant fruit and pull weeds because we know what we want to grow: seeds of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
P.S. One of my friends took pictures with her boys at the pool this week after reading the Step into Frame post from last Saturday! Y’ALL. What a gift for her boys, for her, and for me. Happy day!