Wednesday, April 13, 2005

How does your garden grow?

By: L.A. Kohl
April 5, 2005
(published in the Apr. 13, '05 edition of the Bullseye, Vol. 1, No. 25)

If you came to visit me sometime, you would see something that resembles a garden spot a few yards off the front porch. Unfortunately, it’s not a view worth bragging about most of the time.

Nevertheless, each and every spring, we get these tempting visions of 10 foot tall sweet corn, tomato vines sagging under the weight of red, juicy tomatoes, and cucumber vines loaded with potential pickles. This year was no different, and so we started by tossing a thick layer of “natural fertilizer” (pee-yew!) on the garden spot a couple months ago. The first Saturday in April found my husband spending all morning tilling it up, and then we actually planted a few seeds before the day was over.

Imagine...part of our garden was in the ground by the first of April. I don’t think that’s ever happened before. Since then, I’ve been wondering, “Could this finally be our year for gardening success?”

We always start out with these good intentions, but by the end of July (sometimes sooner) I’m usually saying something like, “Why do we waste our time trying this gardening thing every year?”

It would be easy to blame it all on poor soil. We live on a hillside that grows mostly cedar trees, so that is a good excuse...but I know it’s not all the soil’s fault. Any successful gardener out there knows it takes more than good soil. It takes time and effort.

There-in usually lies our failure. We have the best of intentions, but when it comes right down to it, we really don’t make the time to be good gardeners. I really admire those people who are successful gardeners, but I’ve noticed that they usually have already raised their children, or else they have smaller families than we do. My husband and I have to constantly remind ourselves that we’re in a “season” in our lives when our children are, and should be, our priority. That’s fine with us, but it means that sometimes we have to resign ourselves to the fact that we don’t have time to produce a bountiful garden, or create a beautifully landscaped yard, or maintain a spotless home or vehicle. Instead, we have all these active, rambunctious, sprouting and growing children all around us, needing lots of time and TLC.

Thus, the garden sometimes goes to waste and doesn’t get the attention it needs. Someday, Lord willing, our lives will slow down a bit and we will have time for such things. While we’re waiting for that day, and fruitlessly (pun intended) practicing those gardening skills, we’ll enjoy the little growing lives all around us that God so generously “planted” in our family!

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