I admire my friends who grow healthy food gardens. I treasure the jars of jam, sauce and pie filling that arrive in the fall. Every bite is a gift. They work hard to tend their gardens and haul in the produce. Transforming it into delicious preserves is a big job too.
I know how hard it is because I’ve kept gardens too. Some of them were lost causes. I can blame my poor results on heat, caterpillars, fungi, and drought, sure. Ahem, my friends deal with those things too. I can also blame it on a lack of expertise, which is true. But the internet offers plenty of sage advice about growing food, so ignorance is easy to resolve.
The baseline reason my gardens fail to thrive is that I fail to commit to them.
Beware of busy
I get busy with work, family, church, errands, reading … stuff. Meanwhile, the garden is out there soaking up sun and rain. It’s busy too. A week can go by and I scarcely think about it. But it’s been there, and it’s been growing. It’s great to go out on Saturday morning and see bigger tomatoes or snap peas ready to pick.
What’s not great is to walk over and see how much bigger the weeds have gotten.
Weeds are what get between me and gardening bliss.
It never has to be this way. In spring, when enthusiasm is fresh and the air is crisp, it’s fun to rip those tiny weeds out of the ground. It only takes a few minutes!
But as the weeks press on and the temperature goes up, the novelty fizzles. That’s when trouble starts. Once I decide to put weeding on the back burner for a week or two, my next trip to the garden is a bad scene. Two weeks worth of rain and sunshine turn into weeds high and thick enough to make me feel overwhelmed.
Being overwhelmed breeds procrastination. Inertia, passivity and undisciplined neglect are the offspring of procrastination. I know this too well.
As my garden goes, so goes my mind. The best time to pull negative, self-defeating, false or injurious thoughts out of my head is when they pop up. I need to do it when they’re small and their roots are shallow. If I let them go, they grow.
Learn to spot the most dangerous weeds
Upsetness, misunderstanding, bitterness, offense, self-pity, selfishness, unforgiveness, resentment, withholding, withdrawing, anxiousness. Those thoughts set up root systems and proliferate.
If I don’t eradicate my unruly thoughts, they’ll overtake the good ones. They’ll drain the soil of my soul and ruin its fertility. My mind will get choked and fail to thrive. Emotions will overtake reason. Poor choices will be made.
Unwanted seeds can lay dormant for a long time, only germinating in ideal conditions:
- Being hurt or mistreated, feeling hurt
- Failing or perceiving failure
- Being oppressed or feeling oppressed
- Dealing with difficult circumstances beyond one’s control
- Negative peer or cultural influence
- Believing lies
Weeds can ruin a good garden.
Last season, I actually kept up with the weeds. It was touch and go after we returned from vacation — it rained 12 inches while we were gone! The weeds were tall and I was disheartened.
My husband knows my tendency to give up when weeds get out of control. He mercifully pulled out the tiller and thrashed my weed problem. I loved those cleans rows and I love him!
I got back to my weekly weeding routine. It wasn’t long before I was rewarded with healthy plants and ripening food.
I have a routine for weeding my mind, too. It took a few years to establish and wholeheartedly commit to it, but it works.
God had a brilliant idea when He appointed Adam to tend the Garden of Eden. It’s such a great teaching tool!