Monday, July 1, 2013

Oh My Garden

Somewhere along my happy little oblivious road of life I was introduced to a book that turned my life upside down made me stop and think about our western culture.
If you have never read 7: AnExperimental Mutiny in Excess by Jen Hatmaker and you are tired of feeding the American machine then I’m gonna tell you- Go. Get. It….right now! I’ll wait….

Okay, so I joined some ladies from our church to do a study on this book, and I {very weakly} copied what Jen had done during her fast from 7 areas where we tend to overindulge {food, clothes, possessions, media, waste, spending, stress!} We spent 2 weeks fasting from certain elements in each category, and we each determined exactly what we would cut out or allow. It was a good, painful growing experience, and if you have a few gals to walk through this with I highly recommend it.
The reason I’m introducing it is because through this book and also through Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food, I learned many things about the “foods” we’re eating. I cannot even begin to address the literally sad state of the SAD {standard American diet} and I’m not going to attempt to here in one post. I do encourage you to educate yourself in this area. As they say: You are what you eat!
I digress…
Now that I was educated {just enough to be dangerous} I had to force my husband into slave labor include my husband in determining how to make and obtain our own food. He was beyond thrilled with my new knowledge!
 He was all like “Oh precious wife, thank you for showing me the light, and how awful these processed poisons are- I will throw them in the trash where they belong and never, EVER feed them to our kids again”
Well, maybe that’s only how it happened in my dreams.
Reality check: He’s still kicking and screaming…but who can blame him? Even I had a little melt down over the weekend when I realized that Cheddar Fries contain MSG. My life is ruined yet again.  
Cheddar Fries aside, we now have a garden which is {hopefully} going to produce some really nutritious goodness for us soon. Of course I’ve been thinking 'soon' for months now, and can we just say "THIS GIRL IS DISENCHANTED".

Let me explain.
{Remember- this comes from a girl who grew up on fast “food”- so a little grace please. I didn't know anything about plants. Nada. Had never even kept one alive before this year. Total idiot in this department. Got it?}
It’s truly so amazing how working in that garden has taught me so much, and how on a very real and basic level I reach a fuller understanding of myself. Just like my plants have needed me to tend to them physically, I’ve relied on God, cultivated new soil, removed weeds, and grown deep roots spiritually.
But for all of the work we’ve been doing {God and I}, today I’m so stinkin' discouraged.
Here it is: I feel stuck, I feel emotionless, drained, tired, cranky, and like I’m never going to get “there”- wherever “there” may be. Granted, I do have some trials that I’ve recently walked through/am walking through- I get that. But still. Shouldn't I be at least deep enough to maintain my composure and withstand these tests? It’s almost as if I’ve taken one step forward and so many steps back in my walk with God, and I’m a little disappointed.
And funny enough, as I was walking around my garden today I noticed that I feel that way about my plants too. For months they’ve been growing- each in their own way. Some climb on vines, others grow on stalks, and still others expand across the ground and branch out wide until I can hardly get in there to weed them.

For months I’ve been amazed and thrilled and in awe as this tiny seed sprouted and grew.

Taken back when I was an excited novice gardener...who had NO idea what was going on.
 But I’m so tired of this waiting stage now.
To the yellow and white blooms that showed up a couple weeks ago- I’m over you. Yes, you were exciting at first…now our relationship is just whatever.

Horrible right?

I just want the things to bear some fruit, or some vegetable, or something besides yellow flowers!
And I just want my life to bear something besides what it is right now. There. I said it. While it seems that others are bearing fruit I feel like I’m stuck over here with my little yellow flower that isn’t worth nuthin'. 
I know that it is not from God, these thoughts, this overwhelming fear of messing this whole thing up and never seeing a harvest. I’m trying to choose not to feed those thoughts, not to let those weeds that I’ve worked hard to remove sprout up again. I’m waiting. I’m hoping, and I’m holding on to this promise:

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9
Because I'm sure that is right where the enemy wants me to be. To get me off course, to distract and discourage and dishearten. I have to choose to remember, just because the things I'd like to see brought to fruition may not be happening, there are still so many blessings.

How quickly did I forget the good things, like the lettuce and radishes and green beans that I HAVE been able to gather and feed to my family?
It's so easy to slide down that slippery slope and forget the blessings.

But you know what? I'm not giving up. I don't "feel" positive, I don't "feel" like I'm getting there, but I know that I am. Just like my plants, in due time there will be a harvest and those seeds that are sown in tears will be reaped in joy. And I can't wait.

In the end, there is no way to describe the joy that will be ours when our lives are done, when we lay down our tools and stand before our Creator and we look behind us and see the harvest from those seeds that we toiled so hard over, and from those we didn't even realize we had started in someone else's life.

I just want to encourage you today. If you are feeling discouraged with your situation. Don't grow weary. Give yourself some grace, look to His word and absorb the truth as you weed out the lies. In due time my friend, you will reap in joy.
Sow something beautiful.