Tending the Garden

Growing Through God's Grace

31 Days of Tending the Garden

31 Days of Tending the Garden

Throughout October, I’ll be participating in The Nester’s 31 Days series. 31small

Scroll down to read Day 1. I’ll add links to this page each day as new posts go live. May they be an encouragement and a blessing to you.

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Day 1: Tending the Garden (see below)

Day 2: Learning and Relearning

Day 3: Taming the What-Ifs

Day 4: For When You’re “Fine”

Day 5: Overcoming the Grumpies

Day 6: Purr More

Day 7: I’m Grateful, But…

Day 8: Prescription for Life – A Book Review

Day 9: Whose Responsibility Is It, Anyway?

Day 10: Rethinking the Five Love Languages

Day 11: Home Alone

Day 12: Room to Think

Day 13: Celebrate Small Victories

Day 14: Less Weeding, More Relaxing

Day 15: The Cure for the Perfect Life – A Book Review

Day 16: Avoiding the Ugly Voice

Day 17: On Shutting Down

Days 18- 21: Grace please, I’m sick

Day 22: After This, I’ll Be Able to Catch Up

Day 23-24: Still Sick

Day 25: Small Beginnings

Day 31.5: 31 Days Later

 

I have a beautiful garden. {Truth be told, I have two of them, but – mercifully – one goes on the market this weekend.} I suppose that makes me a gardener.

My husband laughs at my inability to embrace the ‘gardener’ title even though I whole-heartedly embrace the workload.

I’m not sure what makes one a real gardener. All I know is that I just do what comes next.

When I see weeds, I pick ‘em. {Or I fret and fret, and just before – or sometimes after! – they go to seed, I pick them.} When there’s been no rain, I water. When I see interesting plants at Home Depot or the nurseries or the neighbors’ yards {did I say that?!}, I plant them.

{NO! I have never stolen plants out of a neighbor’s yard! That’s crazy talk. But I have on occasion struck up conversations with total strangers and walked away with starts they’ve gifted me. Gardeners are like that. They love to talk plants and they love to share with other gardeners. Uh-oh. Two more pieces of evidence that I am a gardener.}

So yes. I have a beautiful garden. And I am a gardener.

Perhaps it sounds like bragging, but it is so not. In fact, people who say “you’re so lucky to have such a beautiful garden” get a warm “thank you,” but a smidge of you don’t get it grows in my heart toward that person.

Because a beautiful garden is not much at all about having one as it is about creating one. {I am blessed beyond measure that my husband is a gardener – a real one!, much better than me – and that I get to enjoy the fruits of his labors as well!}

But being a gardener is truly all about doing gardening.

A garden must be tended. It has different needs at different times.

Planting and watering.

Weeding and dead-heading.

Mowing and fertilizing and raking.

Sometimes it entails picking a stray weed as I rush to take my kiddo to school. Sometimes it involves days of wheel-barreling bark-o-mulch to every corner of the expanse.

Yes, gardens don’t just happen. They must be tended.

Life is like that too.

I am a parent because I have a child. I am a teacher because I have students. I am a wife because I have a husband. But mostly, I am a parent and a teacher and a wife because I perform the tasks of parenting and teaching and… wife-ing?

But I am more than that. Because I am a daughter and a sister and friend. A step-mother and an aunt and a niece. A coworker and an employee and a mentor.

Each of our relationships is a garden that requires tending.

Some days beg for plucking little weeds on the way out the door: a quick phone call to say hi, an encouraging email, a piece of chocolate cream pie to share.

Other days require hours in the hot sun installing a drip system to keep the garden from becoming scorched beyond repair: picking up the pieces of a broken loved one, initiating an unpleasant conversation, screwing up the courage to forgive and move on.

For the next 31 Days, I’ll share small and large ways we can tend some of our many gardens. I hope this series encourages and inspires you. And more important, I hope it points you to our greatest role as a Child of God.

It is through His grace and strength and wisdom that we gather the ability to tend to our many gardens.

Blessings!

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