Tag Archives: garden

The vegetable garden

Outside with a gentle breeze and the sun warming my dark colored Wellies, I realized it was time to update you on our garden.

Which wasn’t easy, because in my mind it’s not finished.

I much rather wait to post pictures when the seeds have popped out of the ground, the wood chip covered paths are complete and weed free.

But those things are part of the continuing effort to grow our own food.

The reality is the garden will always be a work in progress.

An excellent reminder of life.

For me, I keep falling into the lie that if I just…then things would be easy or smooth or something better.

This idea of getting things a certain way, then it will all be great is a myth.

For if we are constantly looking at the future it robs us of the truth and the blessings in today.

This being said, I felt I should post pictures of my garden although there are weeds everywhere, chips missing still, and visually empty containers waiting for the seeds to germinate.

Because life is a process not a destination, outside of the most important one: Heaven.

In this digital visual age of Photoshop and other ways to edit our pictures, I think we see what looks like perfection and it taints us to the beautiful realities all around us.

I wanted to share, in these unedited pictures, what God has blessed us with in today.

It’s a work-in-progress just like I am.

Isaiah 61:11 NKJV — For as the earth brings forth its bud, As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, So the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for being holy, set apart. Thank You for the blessings of Your Word and Your salvation. Thank You for working in us and through us. Lord Jesus, thank You that You don’t expect us to be perfect before You extended Your salvation, but You loved us so much You died for us when we were yet sinners. Lord Jesus, thank You that we can find so much joy and truth in Your ways so that following You is a daily choice to pickup our cross and walk in Your calling. Lord, thank You that You are not finished with me yet, but I am a work-in-progress. Lord, thank You that You have promised to cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all nations. With that truth in mind, help me to praise You throughout today and to cling to Your Word that I might walk in Your righteousness. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Gratitude not greed

It’s a fine line, this balance between gratitude and greed.

To be thankful for what God has placed in my care, but not to want more than He has supplied.

It isn’t an easy thing for me.

Because too often I’ve placed my security or my identity in what I had.

God doesn’t give me anything to replace His space in my heart, so when I find myself slipping into greed, it’s telling me my heart isn’t right.

As I walk with Him, I’m learning how to be thankful for the things and people He places in my life, but to treasure only that which is eternal.

Saturday was an opportunity for me.

Handsome, had brought home an old wooden ladder, which he intended to burn.

I saw it and told him I wanted it.

He was surprised, but didn’t burn it.

Our son put it in the garden.

I’ve been asking the Lord what to do about my herbs.

My plan had been to have them closer to the house rather than down at the garden.

Unfortunately, I reckoned without the deer in mind.

This past week they ate one of my roses and this caused me to rethink my plan.

When I saw the ladder it seemed to be an answer to my prayers.

I’d been asking the Lord what to do as I didn’t make a bed in the garden for herbs.

Pictures of old ladders with cute galvanized buckets full of herbs on each step came to mind, things I’ve seen on the internet.

When we needed to go to town for chicken bedding I asked my husband if we could get herbs as well, which he readily agreed to.

After picking out which herbs I wanted, I went to buy galvanized buckets.

They were tiny and expensive.

So, I signed to my husband, “What do you think?”

He signed back, “You should pray about it.”

I did, but I couldn’t get peace with purchasing those expensive buckets just to hold herbs on an old ladder.

I walked over to look at the plastic pots.

These were much more reasonable, but I couldn’t get peace about how many to purchase.

I knew my husband was waiting on me and I was getting frustrated with myself, so I just stopped trying to guess and asked God to tell me what to get.

Three plastic pots.

I felt a little concerned as I had six plants, but I grabbed three pots.

The color didn’t seem right, so I prayed again and put those back, picking up some light grey ones.

I didn’t really understand what God was doing, but I wasn’t going to buy something I didn’t have peace with.

We purchased our six herbs, three pots, and three packs of marigolds(I remembered I needed those too) and left.

At home, I started with the marigolds, because those were for the perimeter of the garden to deter bugs.

I’d planted seeds, but so far they’ve not come up and since the frost got my other seedlings I thought those might have died too.

I ended up with one marigold I wasn’t sure where to place, but felt I shouldn’t worry about it and to just continue with what I had.

I placed the lavender in the garden near the fence where it can spread out, because I want it to be a permanent resident.

Both oregano plants went in plastic pots as did the spearmint.

I still had two basil plants and wasn’t sure what to do with them.

As I prayed for direction I remembered the metal coffee cans left by the previous owners.

Placing each herb on the ladder was fun, but the top looked a little bare and I still had the lone marigold to deal with.

My husband turned up at this juncture and I showed him everything.

When I got to the leftover marigold, I asked if he had any old coffee cans I could use.

“No, but hang on. I have something else.”

He returned with an old metal bucket, perfect for my need.

I planted the marigold and added it to the top of the ladder.

Now there is this cute and functional herb space which is safe from the deer.

But it’s not a treasure, it’s just something I’m grateful to God for.

The real treasure is the lesson of trusting God and waiting upon His direction in something so unimportant.

Because I truly believe if I can learn to be faithful in the little things, that is a treasure.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19‭-‬21 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for continuing to remind me of what treasure truly is. Thank You for showing me another example of how You know exactly what You are doing and my responsibility is to trust and obey You. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit which speaks to my heart and leads me in Your paths. Lord, please continue to teach me what it is You have for me each day and walk me forward into Your truth in this day. Lord, Please help me to overcome worry, as I know it is a sin and not honoring You. Please continue to teach this heart how to surrender fully. Lord, please place a guard over my lips, that I might not sin against You or others. Please place a hedge of protection around me and my family, that we might not fall prey to the enemy. Lord, please continue to shine brightly to those around us, encouraging our fellow follower and giving hope to those who have yet to know You. I love You, Jesus. Thank You. Amen.

The desires of my heart

While sitting in the shade of our trailer I realized it.

I’m seeing the desire of my heart.

Even before I was married, I dreamed of having a garden to raise food for my family.

When we got married we lived in a one bedroom apartment in town.

No yard, no flowerbeds, nothing but pavement.

I hated it, but figured we had to start somewhere.

My heart overflowed with expectation.

We were renting a house in the country!

I planted my first garden there.

That was over twenty years ago and I’ve had a variety of small gardens since and through those years I’ve given my desire for a large garden to the Lord many times.

Psalm 38:9 KJV — Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.

I’ve been thankful for each opportunity to grow food, even if it’s only a little bit.

But since we’ve moved here, we’ve been able to put up the kind of garden I’ve dreamed of.

It’s not finished, but it’s such a blessing.

Hubby and I agree we want this to be dedicated to the Lord, for we know it’s all His, we are simply His stewards.

So, when it’s finished it will have a sign over the gate proclaiming who’s this is.

Until then, I’m praising God for His blessings and for fulfilling the desire of my heart.

Isaiah 61:11 NKJV — For as the earth brings forth its bud, As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, So the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the past blessings and the ones You’ve given today. Thank You that a garden is only a tiny example of Your amazing provision and the things which spring forth from the soil are a reminder of the righteousness and praise You cause to spring forth when we see our salvation in Your sacrifice! Lord, let the work of our hands be pleasing to You and continue to cause righteousness and praise to bloom and spread, that all may know the glory and the majesty of Your name and the salvation of Your death and resurrection. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

God’s blessings

While sitting at my desk this morning in prayer, I was suddenly overwhelmed by the change.

As renters, the back garden was a mowed yard with trees, their full branches of apples nearly touching the ground, and everywhere else was weeds.

Not a single flower or decorative plant was in the beds.

I remember feeling rather down about it.

We moved in the middle of September and my health was not going to allow me to do any yard work.

But I praised God for a yard and the lawn being mowed and the over grown apple trees.

(Anne baked us some pies!)

The following spring, one history will remember, was an interesting combination.

Despite the circumstances, the weeds were cleared away and we planted some seeds.

We were blessed to add some veggies.

It was a time of adjustment and the yard was definitely an “in progress” project.

Today, it’s much more of a garden.

There’s still things that need to be done and weeds are always trying to take back what they lost, but as I prayed I realized just how much God has blessed us with in the yard.

It’s a beautiful reminder that no matter what, God is still working.

His blessings are around us every day and all I have to do is take the time to notice.

Because I want to live with a grateful heart, I never want to miss a blessing before me.

I want to sing praises to my God and share of His generous works each day.

Because in the little bits of life’s blessings we can find the truths of God’s love, faithfulness, goodness, and grace which will carry us through the big things.

Romans 1:20 KJV — “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead;…”

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your Word. Thank You for creation which points us to You, the Creator. Lord, please continue to help me live a life of thankfulness to You each day. Please continue to hone and mold my heart into Your likeness, that others might see You and come to know You. Lord, I am weak and unable, but it is in my weakness You are strong. Please help me not to lean on my own understanding, but to trust in You and Your Word for every part of my life. Thank You for Your incredible blessings. Thank You for Your goodness and truth! I praise Your holy name, Jesus. Amen.

I thought I’d share pictures from the garden with you this morning as an added testimony of God’s blessings.

May you too see the blessings that surround you, dear reader. ❤️

The past two days

I’ve been in bed.

My health dictated a complete rest.

When I got up this morning and went out to water the garden, I was surprised.

It’s only been two days, but the garden has grown in that time.

I went back in the house to retrieve a bowl.

I was so thankful to pick green beans, peas, zucchini, kale, and lettuce.

This little plot is a far cry from our garden in the country, but I’m so thankful for it.

Whether it’s little or much our family is blessed to enjoy fresh vegetables.

And I’m so grateful for our son, who faithfully cares for the garden when I’m unable to.

He also took very good care of me.

He’s learning how to cook and made pizza from scratch yesterday, crust and all, without me.

It’s beautiful to see how God has used these two days to grow both the garden and our family.

What joy comes from resting in the Lord and His provision no matter what is occurring.

It brings to mind:

Psalm 41:1-3NKJV — To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. Blessed is he who considers the poor; The LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. The LORD will preserve him and keep him alive, And he will be blessed on the earth; You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies. The LORD will strengthen him on his bed of illness; You will sustain him on his sickbed.

Psalm 55:22 NKJV — Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

The Lord is good and He is worthy of our love, our trust, and our praise.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for providing for us. Thank You for the garden and the joy we glean from it. Thank You for our son, who cared for it and me these past days. Lord, thank You for sustaining me, no matter the circumstance. Lord, You are so faithful. My heart can safely trust in You for Your ways are perfect and Your truth is life. Thank You. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Good morning

With the heat, I’ve been watering as early as possible.

So far the garden is rewarding my efforts.

I’m writing from the patio this morning.

My tea beside me and a few whisps of wind ruffling my hair.

The sun hasn’t gotten beyond the apple trees and the robins are hopping about the lawn.

One in particular seems to have figured out that when I water the worms are easier to find.

It often trails behind me as I move the sprinkler.

I don’t always see it, so pretty often I scare it, causing it to fly away, because I was focused on my own thoughts.

God’s creation causes me such times of reflection and wonder.

To see His handiwork in something so temporary as flowers.

Yet, He chooses to.

Matthew 6:30 KJV — Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Jesus’s words come alive in the garden.

Where is my faith if I allow myself to worry over needs?

Where is my heart if I allow myself to worry over anything which isn’t a need?

Where are my thoughts if I’m feeling worried?

My life is far more precious to Him than these flowers are to me.

And I find so much joy in caring for them.

How much joy does the Lord find in caring for me?

Psalm 139:17 KJV — How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!

What joy!

To know the Lord is providing for my every detail.

To rest securely in His sovereign hand.

To walk with joy at just being loved by my Heavenly Father.

These are the things I’m learning in the garden this morning.

Praise the Lord!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for these lessons. At times I forget how to lean on You and why I don’t need to worry. I look at other things rather than focusing upon You. Please continue to patiently teach my wayward heart to have faith and trust. Please continue to speak to me through Your Word. Lord thank You for Your provision in all things. Please help me to hold life lightly, not setting my heart upon anything but You. Guard my desires and let them reflect Yours. Jesus, You are amazing. Thank You! Amen.

Just a few little words

The day wasn’t too warm.

For the better part of the afternoon a refreshing breeze blew.

Sis had come over for lunch.

After we ate, Jase and Anne went back to school work, I took our granddaughter out to pet the plants.

Sis joined us in a short time.

Bringing shoes for tiny pink toe-protection and to allow them the joy of walking the patio unassisted.

When she came out she commented.

“Grammy has so many beautiful flowers all over. This way you can go look at them.”

It was a small thing, just a few little words.

Sis wasn’t talking to me, but to her baby girl and I just grinned.

It was later, I was outside sitting on the patio, when I began to realize.

“Lord, thank You so much! The yard is such a joy.”

When we first moved here nothing was blooming.

The red rose in the front yard had wrinkled-brown, dried-dead rosehips.

But the back was mostly over grown weeds, in the beds and under the apple trees.

As I thought about the words of our daughter I was humbled by God’s grace.

He has caused so much to change in the yard.

There are flowers all over.

And I love it!

Flowers bring me so much joy.

Did I mention the vegetable garden?

The purple tinted kale, the lettuce, cabbage, and tomatoes all hold a certain anticipation and gratitude at God’s creation.

Although, Sis’s words were small, their impact was large.

I don’t think I’ve truly thanked the Lord enough for all the beauty He has grown in this season.

But thanks to our daughter’s well phrased words, I’m making it a priority.

As I water plants, I’ll be praising the Lord.

I know God didn’t have to give me flowers, but He chose to.

Flowers are His creation and they have been used for generations as gifts, things to show affection from one to another.

Which is how I feel about mine.

The flowers are a symbol of God’s love.

And it was a few little words which brought that to my attention.

My prayer is for others to look at God’s creation and praise Him too.

Isaiah 61:11 KJV — For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for the garden. Thank You for growing delicately designed things which point to You. Lord, I long to be grateful for Your many amazing works, but I don’t always recognize them. Please open my mind and heart to all Your works. Please continue to grow me in Your love and understanding. Lord, fulfill Your Word, let righteousness and praise spring forth! I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Rooting out

This beauty wouldn’t be able to survive if it wasn’t cared for.

It needs the proper amount of sun, water, and soil.

If I had planted it too deep it would die.

If it was planted too shallow it would die.

Nor would it thrive if we had left the weeds in the same plot of ground.

Of course, we didn’t.

We carefully turned over the soil to expose the roots of the unwanted plants and removed them before planting the rose.

Lately, I’ve been removing a lot of weed roots from under the apple trees.

It’s crazy how these weeds are deceptive.

When I dig down the root is three or four times the leaf size.

What looks like something I could easily pull out with my fingers ends up being a job for the shovel.

The Lord has been using this gardening lesson in my own life.

He reminds me that the cares of this world have long roots and take hold very quickly.

It can seem like such a small harmless plant, not really causing any problems, but the truth is unseen.

What I allow to grow in my life and in my heart will put down roots.

Digging them back out can be a much more difficult chore.

Some plants only need a tiny section of root to begin growing again.

The same goes for sin.

If I choose to pass over something the Lord wants to deal with, I may very well be allowing a noxious “weed” to choke out the beloved “rose”.

And just like the seeds of some weeds explode into clean fresh ground, so can the sins in my own heart spread to my children or my friends.

Praise God, there is so much more to the garden of my heart than just trying to keep it weed free.

Jesus helps me.

Often times, it is His Word which shines the light upon the weed in my heart.

But He doesn’t stop there.

He carefully laid down how to deal with sin.

He also, plants beautiful seeds in my gardened heart.

His Word brings forth buds of praise, peace, hope, and many more.

An entire kaleidoscope of beauty planted by my loving Lord Jesus.

And just like my rose bush, He knows exactly how deep to plant.

His Word waters it daily.

And of course,

He is the Son.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your work in my heart. Please continue to help me recognize those things which are weed seeds and to remove anything which would come between us. Lord Jesus, thank You for planting so many beautiful things in Your Word. Please continue to grow my heart closer to You, that it might bring joy. Just as a beautiful garden speaks of the ability and care of the gardener, Lord, please let my life bring glory and honor to Your name.

A few veggies

We were going to put in raised beds so we could grow a few veggies.

Because our family loves gardening, especially vegetables.

The shape and configuration of the back garden is very unique.

It’s similar to a flat topped triangle, beginning on either side of the house and tapering down till the back fence cuts it off straight.

Since the yard doesn’t face directly East, but is angled to the Northeast, and has trees on three sides, the yard has more shade than sun.

Just before he was supposed to purchase the materials for the raised beds, my husband came to chat with me about a change.

He shared what the Lord had put on his heart, and we knew.

It wasn’t God’s will to put in the raised beds.

I’ll admit it.

I was disappointed.

I spoke to the Lord about my disappointment, and He graciously listened.

Trust Me.

I know what’s best.

And I let it go.

I know it probably seems trivial and silly that growing veggies would mean so much to me, but it’s one of the things which I have done to bless my family.

It has always been a joy for all of us.

Although, I couldn’t understand why God wasn’t allowing it, I was willing to move on.

My husband even looked at me, hugged me, and said, “Don’t worry, we will grow flowers.”

Which has been a blessing as well.

We have lovely potted plants and the front yard is so pretty with the bushes already established and the plants my husband added.

Whenever I caught myself yearning for a vegetable garden, I’d ask the Lord to remove the desire, ask for His forgiveness in not resting in His perfect will, and I would thank Him for all His provision and blessings.

This Saturday, Anne and I were pretty much on our own, Jase and my husband were helping a neighbor move.

I mentioned to her the last section of yard which really needed attention before it became so overgrown we couldn’t get to it.

She put in a full day of work and I set timers on my phone in an effort to keep from over doing it.

Late afternoon rolled in and I sat looking at the progress when I realized something.

I’m certain it was the Lord.

One portion of yard near the back fence was in the sun.

It had been that way all day.

I told Anne, “We might be able to grow some tomatoes or something!”

She was thrilled.

When the guys were back, we shared our discovery.

And today, there’s a veggie garden in that same section of yard.

My husband had gone and gotten a load of top soil and plants.

The kids finished cleaning up all the brush, weeds, and branches.

Truly, it is a joy for all of us.

And once again, I’m amazed at God.

He knew what was best.

He allowed me to give up my desire to His perfect will, because He had a far better plan.

It’s just another tiny example that He cares for the details, far more than we realize.

Matthew 10:29 NKJV — “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for caring for the tiniest details. Thank You for showing me that surrender of my own plans and ideas is always best, and sometimes You allow a desire to linger in my heart, because You are still working in it and through it to teach me about myself and about You. Jesus, how I want to obey Your every Word! But I am weak and frail and often I make so many mistakes. Please use those things for Your glory and hone my stubborn heart into Your perfect will. Teach me humility and grace, that I might be loving, gentle, tender, kind, and strong. Not for my own gain, but for the testimony of Your goodness and mercy. Thank You, Jesus. I love You! Amen.

River

image

I got up early
to water my flowers.

I’d already made my hubby his lunch and decided that a little time with my garden might help.

(There’s just something about flowers that makes me happy.)

My sleep hadn’t been sweet and my dreams were nightmares.

So I was feeling out of sorts.

As I watered I gave into

airing

my worries to the Lord.

What about this need?
How am I going to get to that ?
When should I try to go there and..?

You get the idea.

Instead the Lord talked about watering.

Which plants need more water?

The young.

Which plants can handle a dry spell better?

The ones that are established. Their roots have spread out and can gather more.

Which one are you?

Stop.

Sigh.

Deep breath.

Thank You.

I am still young but wasn’t planted yesterday and I know Who it is that waters me.

If I feel a little dry I probably need to stretch out and search the Word again.

Like this morning.

I came in and read my Bible about gardening, and I realized even when God plants a garden it needs watering.

“Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden,…” Gen. 2:10a

Like me, I hope you allow Him to water you this morning.