I had a huge list of fruits and vegetables that I wanted to be able to fit into our spring and summer garden. Joel and I dug and hoed, dug and did more hoeing. We prepared a pretty large garden plot, especially considering that we dug all that hard, dry soil by hand. But still, there wasn't enough room for all I had hoped to plant. We dug an extra garden plot for the corn. Still not enough space.
I planned and mapped out the garden, planting everything as close as possible according to the directions of the seed packets. If it said to plant something 2 to 3 feet apart, I was sure to plant it 2 feet apart. As a result, my tomato bushes are like an overgrown jungle. There is no way to get into the center to pick the fruits. Will the plants become so immense that they overwhelm and harm one another?
The peas are crowding into the beans; the beans are trying to overtake the carrots. There are no longer aisles to walk down and the plants are certainly still growing! How will we reach the vegetables that are ready to harvest? I'm a novice gardener. I'm learning as I go!
I'm a novice parent too. I've never done it before. Hopefully I'll be a fast learner when it comes to raising my kids! It would be easy for me to "sow" the lives of my children in much the same manner as I planted my garden. I would love for them to be taking swimming lessons, piano and voice lessons, art classes, gymnastics, karate, soccer, Spanish, Sign Language, Latin... The list could go on and on. Perhaps God had a distinct plan in limiting our transportation and finances in this season of our lives?
Anna and Arik are so happy at home. They enjoy playing together, using their imaginations, exploring the mud and bugs in the yard, listening as I read countless stories. They like to go places from time to time, but they always seem so overjoyed to be home again.
Plenty of relaxed time at home really does seem to be the best "garden" for young children. I plant seeds of learning; my kids soak it all in due to their natural curiosity and fascination with everything around them. Childhood to adulthood is one long growing season. It can be easy to become concerned about what my harvest will be. Am I providing enough fertilizer, water, sun, and shade? Am I providing too much? I can't plant everything I want to in their lives. So what is the most important? I want my children to know and love Jesus. I want them to love and help others. I want them to love learning and reading.
It was important for me to prepare the soil for the plants in the garden. I need to provide water and pull weeds, and train a few of them to grow in the right direction. But mostly, I need to leave them alone and trust that as God provides sun, the vegetables will grow. Gardening and parenting may just have a lot in common!