Thursday, September 11, 2014

Failure #1

So when I said I knew gardening was hard, I didn't know how hard.  I wasn't sure how fertile the ground was in our raised plot, so I planted a couple onions, cabbage, and peppers there and planted another handful of assorted peppers, onions, and eggplant in a separate container with fresh garden soil.  Of course, things did not go as planned.

The fresh soil was so wonderful for the vegetables, but it was also the softest and best digging soil in the backyard, according to the dog.

Needless to say, all the plants that were rooted in the best soil were eaten before they had a chance to mature.  There was actually one red pepper that we later found buried in the raised plot. 
I wanted to include a couple photos of the progress, but I realized I failed to take a picture before weeding, round one.  If you can imagine, most of the weeds and grass were over three feet tall.  Here's the after picture:

Although I got the whole area basically grass-free, it didn't last long.  My beautiful plot of dirt quickly became a bed of grass, to which my wonderful husband commented about the beautiful grass I was growing.

I decided since I had only planted a few plants on one side, I would try to help them out and weed around them.  That has made life much easier, with a pretty decent result.

This morning, it was cool outside, and it rained last night so the ground was moist.  I went to check on my plants and found this one little glimmer of hope:

I'm going to continue weeding the garden a little at a time, so that by the spring, maybe it will be ready for a full harvest.  I was reflecting on what it was like to plant when the ground hasn't been prepared, and it reminded me of evangelism.  Someone asked me once what I thought the best way of evangelizing people was, and I told them that I thought it started with a relationship between two people.  Until that relationship is formed, your urging at accepting an eternal savior is premature.  If the ground's not ready, the foundation hasn't been laid, then you likely won't produce a harvest.  That is all to say, God is preparing people's hearts.  If we create a relationship, plant the seed, and check on the garden every day, we'll be ready when the harvest comes.

I'm going to try to protect this little guy from the dog, and I hope we can taste this little pepper one day, but for now, I'll stand by, tend the garden, and wait patiently for the harvest.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

First Steps

I've spent the last two years of my life as a missionary in Northwest Georgia, working with kids in a residential therapeutic facility.  Life has changed a lot in the last month as I married the man of my dreams, uprooted our lives and moved to Indiana so I could start graduate school.  One of my fellow missionaries worked as a garden coordinator at her placement, and I was blown away by all the beautiful metaphors created between gardening and our spiritual journeys.  Our new home has a beautiful raised plot in the backyard perfect for our gardening, so I'm starting this adventure.

I'm aware that gardening isn't easy, and after 8 hours pulling grass and weeds to prepare the land, I almost changed my mind.  During the weeding, I had lots of time to reflect and meditate, which I don't often do.  I realized that I'm really good at removing clutter, literally and metaphorically.  Step one is the easy part.  It's the maintenance and patience of growing that I still need to work on.  I'm still not sure I will be successful about growing food, but I'm excited about the journey.  I'm thinking about calling it Spiritual Gardening.  Let's go on the journey together.