Garden and Trust

The last month has been one of the most taxing and one of the most rewarding all at the same time. I’ve pushed myself harder physically, emotionally, and mentally than I have in a long time. And it feels good! It also hurts…a lot!

Our pasture, before

Last summer, God gave Andrew a vision to start a CSA garden on our property. When he came home and told me about it, I was skeptical to say the least. He was so excited and all I could think was, I didn’t hear that from the Lord! But over the next three weeks God clearly confirmed it to me and I caught the excitement.

Over the years of our marriage we’ve learned the hard way that if God speaks and we don’t listen there are consequences. Sometimes those consequences are really hard to take and make for very difficult times in our lives, sometimes it’s simply a removal of blessing. Either way, we’ve come to discover that it’s a whole lot better when we obey. It may not be an easy road, but there are abundant blessings on it!

So we chose to obey. We’ve been at work all winter researching and learning. We chose a no till, no dig gardening method to transform our pasture into a workable plot. The reason we chose that is because the grass is so think in the pasture that we knew we’d be fighting a losing battle all summer if we didn’t do something at the outset to combat the grass. And we definitely didn’t want to spray harsh chemicals.

One thing we’ve learned over the last few months is there is so much we can’t control. We can’t make spring come faster, no matter how much we want it to, we can’t make the rain hold off until we’re done setting all our plots, we can’t make the sun stay up longer, we can’t force our bodies beyond a certain point, we don’t even have control over when the seeds sprout.

Grow little plants!

I don’t think we could have imagined how difficult this process was going to be! And I’m thankful God didn’t reveal that part to us! He has been so faithful to give us strength and stamina for the day and has helped us to not worry about tomorrow.

He also provided in a big and unexpected way, like He’s so good to do! A month ago, a good friend called and asked if she could move in with us for a couple months. “You’ve got a bedroom free, I hear.”

Our bonus adult, Steph. We love you!

We’ve lovingly dubbed her our “bonus adult” and I’m telling you, if you have a large family and God gives you a big vision, you just plain and simply need a bonus adult. God is doing a big work in her life this year and I hope and pray we can support and encourage her while she’s with us. And I’m so thankful she’s willing to jump in on our crazy adventures.

Our pasture, in progress
2 lines of rows done, 50 planting rows

I knew this was going to be hard, especially on my out of shape body! But I had no idea how difficult it would be spiritually. There are so many things you can’t control when it comes to gardening! And I’m seeing how little trust I have in God. I’ve had to come face to face with my lack of trust, repent and all the Lord’s help over and over. I’ve had to walk myself through past experiences where the Lord has proven faithful and remind my heart and mind that He is still faithful. He has been growing my faith so much in the midst of this!

I’ve also been surprised at who is for us and who is against us. We’ve had so many amazing people support us and pray for us and walk with us. We’ve had people come and spend a day here working with us to help us accomplish this vision. And we’ve had those who tell us to quit and that is never going to work. Even in that we just have to keep going back to God and confirming that He wants us on this path. And He’s so good to do that every time!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Finished product photos to come!

Winter Workings

We’ve been hard at work here on CSA stuff! Even in the midst of frigid temps, blustery winds, and ice pellets, we’re thinking and working on spring plans!

First and foremost, Andrew has been building new shelving and hanging grow lights. Before long there will be lots and lots of little seedlings under those lights, hopefully growing happily in our basement!

In the dark and cold of winter we can feel a little tired and unmotivated. I don’t know about you, but I kind of go into hibernation mode and have to force myself out of my rocking chair and away from the fireplace to get things done. But before we know it, spring will be here! Even the other day I went out early and the birds were singing loudly and cheerfully and it brought vivid images of spring and warmth to mind.

So much is happening here and it always seems as though we’re running low on time. But I have to keep my mind on God’s promises that He is the one leading this charge and he won’t leave us alone, not even for a moment.

Here’s a great praise I just have to share! I’ve been worrying (I know I’m not supposed to worry but I was) about a specific aspect of the garden. Since we’re trying this weedless gardening method, there are certain steps we need to take to set up the land. And we need certain items for that.

We’ve been collecting newspapers and cardboard (thank you to everyone who has contributed) and we’ll keep collecting that. Did you know newspapers are really hard to find? Everyone reads online now. If you have attacks of old newspaper let me know!

The other part is mulch for the walkways and compost for the planting rows. The thing I’ve been getting over is the compost. We’ve called a few places and had no luck or it’s been so ridiculously expensive it’ll take any profit we try to make.

In the midst of this worrying I forgot to pray about it. I should know to turn worry into pray but I’m not always great at it. I shared with my milk guy that we were staying a CSA and asked if I could put a flier at his place. He was so excited about it and was happy to help.

After I left his place I had to drive about 20 minutes so I started praying about our CSA and specifically that the Lord would find us compost.

I bet you can guess where I’m going with this! I got to my destination and had a text from my milk guy. “Hey I have a bunch of compost and a friend of mine does too. I’ll check with a few more people if you want.”

Thanks, God! Not only for the compost but also for the reminder that when move and prompt us, you’ll provide every step of the way. Thank you that you answer prayers!

As in a Mirror Dimly

Many don’t know this, but for the past three months I’ve had trouble seeing. Early November something happened to cause a toxic reaction in my eyes and suddenly it was as if I was looking through frosted glass. I had to quit wearing contacts and haven’t gone back to them yet. I don’t know if I ever will. Glasses are an annoyance to me, and many days it didn’t matter if I had my glasses on or not. I couldn’t see any better with them on.

There have been days where they have been so bad I didn’t want to drive anywhere and other days where they’ve seemed almost normal again. I think they are progressively getting better now, after lots of extra supplements and eye appointments. I’m thankful for an eye doctor who has been willing to take a more natural approach and not stuff me full of prescriptions!

In the height of it, my kids asked, what if you go blind?

It actually was a concern to me for a while that I may never fully regain my sight and that it would possibly get worse and worse. I remember taking with them about how drastically life would change if I really couldn’t see anymore. No more driving to coop, band, parks, or the grocery store even. They joked that they would have to stop leaving toys laying around so they wouldn’t trip mom!

As they have improved I’ve been so thankful. I’ve looked at my family’s faces in a new light, with a new appreciation for their sweet faces. I’ve thanked God I can see their beautiful eyes from Elliot’s shiny green all the way to David’s deep dark brown. Recently I could see well enough to make these signs again that I’ve been wanting to add for months!

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! Psalm 34:8

I wanted this verse in my kitchen because I thought the “taste” was fitting. But I’ve come to appreciate this verse even more as I’ve struggled to regain my sight. See that the Lord is good!

I’m so thankful I don’t actually need my physical sight to see that the Lord is good. I know it from experiences and from the faithfulness He has shown me over the years. I know it through the prayers of friends in the midst of this trial. He is good and I see it with my heart!

This verse has also come to mind.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
1 Corinthians 13:12 ESV

Everything we see now is a if in a reflection and one day we’ll see clearly, when we see our Savior face to face. I’m thankful that whatever I may face here on earth, I have eternity with a perfect and wonderful Savior to look forward to! And I’ll see clearly like never before.

And even better than that, I will know fully all the things I can’t fully understand here in earth, like why I have to struggle with my eyesight. A promise, not to be forgotten in this verse, is that we are fully known.

Right now, wherever you are, whatever you’re facing, you are fully known! By a perfect God who loves you dearly! And He promises good to you. It may not feel good right now, but He is good and loves you so you can trust Him. Today, look into the sweet faces of those around you. See how they bear the image of a great and powerful and loving Creator and cherish them. Be thankful you can see the cloudy gray skies and the brown fields and spatters of white snow. Be thankful for the smiles you see today! I know I am!