"Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet,I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer's;
he makes me tread on my high places."
Well, there it is, I guess that waiting for everything around me to be"perfect" is not part of the plan for worship.
Consider my uh, garden-if that's what we'll call it.
When we bought this house 2 and 1/2 years ago, one of my main attractions to it was the variety of landscaping. It had landscaping. In one corner of the backyard, there was an area surrounded by a low picket fence. There was a contraption and an old grape vine stump. I was full of enthusiasm about my plans to raise food for our family. In my mind I pictured hours of togetherness spent working tirelessly on our hands and knees, then many days of fruitful harvest. The children being sent to the garden to gather vegetables for dinner, me being the awesome friend who always had some food to give away. Not just any food, home grown-pesticide free, pretty organic vegetables.
The first year we lived here, our 5th child was about 5 monthes old when we moved in, it was Spring. I was suffering from terrible low back pain and had no knowledge of the condition of my body(later I was diagnosed with issues)A good friend who is a landscape artist for a living, found a heirloom tomato hook up and not only did she give about 20 plants to me( I think more) I was too busy holding Ramone and feeling bad to be able to plant them, so she came over and made rows in my garden and planted them for me. I stood by with Ramone in a sling and felt mad and dumb and grateful. I let go of my dreams of planting stuff with the kids, it just wasn't going to happen. We had many unique tomatoes that year, we also had bug problems and some black spot and bottom rot, and blight-and some other fungus I can't think of. I couldn't work in the garden to ward off the bugs and weeds, no one else was into it and by the end of summer it looked like a Vietnamese jungle. There were giant spiders everywhere and you had to risk your life to go around inside of it to get to the fruit off of the vine.
In the fall we burned it and my husband recommended that next year we didn't plant so much.
I was diagnosed with lots of disorders and a need for surgery arose that fall and winter, but by spring I was ready to plant again. I planned more carefully, I sowed a variety of seed and small plants, my friend came with tomatoes again and this time we did them in pots on the outside of the fence. They were so much happier and easier to manage. I didn't plant enough sweet peas to even make a pound in total, but I loved that plant the most, it is so sweet and elegant. I lost the nerve to weed out the weak cucumber plants and ended up with an enormous amount of them. The fruit was bitter and the leaves got blight from overcrowding. The Okra didn't do as well as the year before. I picked the watermelons too soon and they were white on the inside. By the end of the summer, it was a jungle again-
we burned it in the fall.
I went through a phase in June, my husband was away with the 2 older kids for business and I decided to start weeding. Hey, I know it was late-other people were already reaping from their gardens, but I figured that I could wait since we live in the south and it is a long season. Plus, I wanted to avoid the whole jungle thing.I weeded, I dug and I turned over. I planned and I planted. The kids helped plant-I gave them each a row. They planted sunflowers. That is the only thing I seem to have any luck with anymore.
The watermelon is back, it volunteered. The sunflowers didn't do as good as usual and when I look outside-I am frustrated by my weedy looking garden. I have weeded and re-weeded so many times that there is a giant pile of dead, wet "compost" threatening to take over. There is a family of mice living back there somewhere and I guess no snakes yet. I am ready to torch the entire thing.
So, now what? I have a dream of having a successful garden.
I have many dreams of being successful at many things.
and though the weeds are plenty, though the bugs prevail...nevertheless-I must rejoice in the God of my salvation. He is my strength and he will make me tread on my high places.
Lord, help me rejoice in my garden, even when I see nothing but failure. Help me to remember that you will bring good out of it all, that you have already taught me so much. You are faithful, I pray to be faithful to you.