In 2009 Heather and I moved to an old farmhouse just outside of Lancaster. That year after 7 years of marriage we attempted our first garden. We just kind of dove into it. Thirty, 100 foot rows of flowers and vegetables. Zinnias, sunflowers, corn, beans, tomatoes, potatoes, beans, peppers, onions, carrots, peas...you get the idea. Along the way I realized that I love to work in the garden. I love tending the garden. Especially the flowers. I discovered that evenings working in the garden with my children playing around me was one of my favorite places to be.
Last week as we planted our garden I thought back to that first garden. We are on a different farm now, but we still love to put seeds in the ground and watch them sprout and bloom in July and August. Our garden is very different now than it was in 2009. That garden helped us to realize what we loved and it also helped us to realize what we didn't. As I look around the garden now it is much smaller, more simple and more of an expression of the things that we love.
Four Simple rows of flowers, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, beans and a tiny row of corn. We set up our garden the way that we wanted it to look. It isn't a half acre of weed-free perfection because that isn't what brings us life. The way that we set it up and the seeds that we planted in it are the the things that we love to see on this property. It is a perfect fit for our lives and our family as we savor life in this place that we call home.
Heather and I were talking to friends last week and they were sharing about how they realized that while they enjoy canning and freezing they don't like gardening or the process of it at all. So they decided this year that they were just going to buy produce from the Amish farms all around them and not carry around the pressure of doing a garden. It made me think about our lives. I wonder what it would look like if we took away the pressure of what other people are thinking and the way that things have always been done and just lived from a place of being who God has created us to be. What if the things that we invested our lives in flowed out of the things that God has put in our hearts? Our garden isn't a typical Lancaster County expression of productivity - it's not supposed to be. It's supposed to be something that provides life and beauty to those who experience it.
So as you head into a long weekend think about what's in your garden and why it's there. Is it filled with things that bring you life while bringing beauty and nourishment to those around you? Is is planted in passion, vision and anticipation? Or is it tilled in heaviness and expectation that comes from age old voices in your head that are designed to steer you away from the passions of your heart?
Here's to tapping into what's in your heart this weekend and investing in what is there. It's going to produce something beautiful.