I’m obviously not a doctor. And I’m obviously not talking about how they affect your health. They are good for you though. And I love them, even though they make my mouth break out in bumps and my throat start to swell. A fresh from the garden tomato on toast with mayo, salt and pepper? Totally worth it.
But back to my deep thoughts…
We always had a garden growing up. Everyone I knew had a garden. My maternal grandparents had one, and I remember watching grandpa out there working, and it being so exciting to get to help him even a little bit. Then I got older, and mom had a garden in both the main houses that I grew up in, and on several occasions our gardens were HUGE, and it wasn’t so exciting to work in the garden as I got older. But there came a time when I didn’t have room for one for myself. Unfortunately, that was when I found myself longing for one. I needed it. I needed to grow food to help with my family’s grocery budget, and I couldn’t. Which was hard. I hadn’t had room for a garden in 12 years. IN those 12 years lots of things happened. Things that weren’t great. Things that were scary. Things that just plain sucked. Things that were so amazing that it hurt. Things that blessed us. Things that were hard to see, and if I’m honest are still hard to see the reasons for. It’s easy to fall into a space of self pity and whining. It’s not so easy to climb out of that pit.
Then we were blessed with this house, which has a huge backyard and kind landlord who gave us permission to plant a garden.
So for the last two summers I have planted these baby tomatoes and hoped, waited, anxiously searching for the fruit to finally start appearing. For some reason I worry that they wont bear fruit, or if they do that something will happen to it: bugs, blight, etc… I know now that it’s an inward thing for me(not that I’m not actually worried about the tomatoes, I am. I check them for illness, cheer them on OUT LOUD when I’m out working in the garden, water them carefully, fertilize them, dust them for bugs, etc…)
Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
I worry that I am not bearing good fruit. That I am failing God, my husband and daughter, and all the people that are in my life. I let the bugs of worry burrow into my joy. I let the blight of bitterness attack my peace and kindness. I let the horn worms of everyday irritations and problems chew through the gentleness and goodness of my soul. I let weeds bring in the bad pests that breed and spoil my love and self control.
In short? I am a mess. But thank God Almighty that He loves me anyway, and He is filled with grace, even when I am failing. Even when I can’t see the good. Even when I question everything that life has thrown at me. Even when I wonder why ME?
Thanks Lord, for never giving up on me. Thanks for always refining me, and reshaping me, but most of all Jesus? Thank you for forgiving me. I need it.