Slow Progress

So I’ve been reading Growing Food God’s Way by David Devine. It is a book unlike any other I’ve read. It’s part biography, part gardening/Q&A, and evangelism throughout. It’s been awesome, and I highly recommend it.

That book coupled with a renewed vigor for “relational permaculture” (relationship to the Creator and His design for growing food) has gotten me inspired to greater prayer and obedience as it pertains to gardening, and cultivation of my spiritual life.

The books makes a solid point that the state of a person’s garden can reveal a lot about their spiritual state. And as I reflected on that statement and our gardens over the last few years, I came to the conclusion that it’s a true statement. The times and seasons that found me most connected to God and to His ways were the times that connectedness and blessing were made manifest in my gardens. The times when I was lax in prayer, or service, or Bible study, those were the times where my gardens reflected that state of disarray, or lack of intentionality. Granted those times usually coincided with the addition of a new baby, or some sort of personal crisis/melancholy. And I was struck by the fact that I tend to withdrawal from the Lord and spiritual disciplines when I’m struggling in other areas.

That was a new revelation to me because it’s in those times that I am crying out to God the most, but I was made aware that the cries were whiny desperate pleas for my circumstances to change, rather than shouts of praise for God’s faithfulness and companionship through those times. Ouch. That was very convicting.

So, as all these things were being made known to me, I set about preparing the gardens. And I kept wondering why it seems that every single year, I’m having to add woodchips to some area. Why!? Should I not at some point hit a point of increasing returns? And when I took the question to the Lord, He said, “You have to keep feeding because your soil is starved and unhealthy; and inconsistent feeding yields inconsistent results.”

Wow! It made so much sense. My hungry clay soil cries out for nutrients and covering. And I haven’t been giving it as much as it needs. The soil keeps taking the little bit I give it, but it’s not enough; it needs more. I need more!

I want my life to be so covered and saturated by the power and presence of God that I can thrive in any conditions, even suboptimal ones. And I’ve only just been doing a minimum, scratching the surface of what it means to walk with God, and in the same way as my garden, I’m yielding inconsistent results, and I’m starved for more.

So I’m ready now to go deep and really walk with the Lord, and I’m aware of all the ways in which I need to be more intentional. The kids and I worked on wood-chipping the paths and perimeter of the market garden rows. It took literally all day, from 9:00am when we got started, until 4:00pm when we cleaned up for dinner; naptime and lunch notwithstanding. But we’re seeing progress! And the small acts of diligence, obedience, and faithfulness led me to praise God; Look what You enabled a waddling pregnant woman to accomplish because of the blessings of my children to help!! Yay, God!!! And I was so so so grateful for my children and their love of playing in dirt, and their desire to contribute to our family’s well-being.

First market row edged and weeded

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Praise Him all creatures here below.

Praise Him above ye heavenly host.

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.



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