Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday Afternoon Tea

Sigh... it has been a long week.  It started with me throwing my garden gloves on the table and declaring to my husband there would be no garden this year and ended with a fairly good (not perfect) garden planted.  Some weeks are only able to be transgressed when leaning on The Everlasting Arms... deciding one has less physical, spiritual, and emotional strength left so a transfusion of strength is needed if we are to continue.

Life is like that at times.  We have the best of intentions but between the first spark of imagination and planning and the resulting accomplishment of something done... real life happens.  In this case, a combination of my husband not being able to prepare the soil as usual and my own physical weakness from being sick all winter.  I tried and tried to prepare the garden and plant as planned until the formerly mentioned day when I just gave up.

Thankfully, the mood passed quickly and I went back to living life "just a little at a time".  I bypassed bringing new compost for the prepared raised beds, saved the lettuce seeds for late summer, and realized I may have to plant herbs in May in containers should hubby not feel like building the new raised beds.

I planted the cool weather plants in the area that gets less sunlight (keeping them cooler I hope), planted all the tomato plants since it looks like all chances of frost are behind us, and planted bean "seeds" in the rest of the areas.  When the cool weather plants are harvested, a few other plants will take their place.  Should the remaining raised beds be built soon enough, pole beans will be planted along with herbs.

How many times have I quoted Edith Shaffer's "If you expect perfection or nothing... you will always end up with nothing".  I came close to it this week... nothing showing in the garden.  There is a deep chasm between life as I'd love it to be and life as it is.  But to give up and do nothing because we can't have everything is to turn our back on He Who Created Us.

So... I take the energy given for the day (give us this day our daily bread), the available finances, the stuff of life necessary to do that which is set before me... the next thing... and work with what He has given me to make a life... one day and a little bit at a time.

Some can rule kingdoms and run marathons and raise ten children and make all their own bread and all their meals from scratch and grow a huge garden and raise chickens and butcher their own cows and have energy left over to hand quilt the most gorgeous Baltimore Album quilt.  I can't...

To whom much is given much shall be required says the Book but Jesus also pointed out the small, weak woman... unseen by the rest of the world as she gave all she had at the Temple... mere pennies by their standard... but worthy of the Master calling her by name and having her remembered by all who would read the Book in the years to come.

She could have stayed home and complained... bitter against God for her lot in life.  Instead she gave what little she had.  I want to be like her and not think of what is lacking but what little is left... and plant a garden.... and live a life.


Jan said...

Plant a garden ... live a life.
Absolutely! Great post.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

I share that Edith Shaffer quote with family and friends (I first read it here on your blog) because it is so so true. It fits well with my mother's saying that something is better than nothing.

I'm 65, have a lot of arthritis, and less stamina, but am working on that little by little philosophy of action, and rejoicing in what is accomplished rather than just sitting around all the time lamenting what has not been. I'm glad your garden has been planted and you can look forward to the satisfactions of growth and harvesting. And I hope your husband will be well. It's too bad that the busiest garden time must be coinciding with the most allergy inducing time for him. The tree pollen was bad this year!...My garden is not planted yet.But it will be over the next three weeks. And I hope we get more rain, though we've begun to have a little. I got my first spring share from the CSA farm I belong to last Friday. That was a wonderful joy...Brenda, I hope you can rest well today and enjoy the world of springtime!

Florence said...

Did I ever need this today!! I too struggle with chronic illness and there is so much I want to do. Frustration can so easily set it. Doing little bits; making myself stop and rest; appreciating what I can do.

Vee said...

FlyLady has an expression that fits here..."housework done incorrectly still blesses your family." I often translate that to "every little bit helps." You've got a garden planted and that is a beautiful thing!

Linds recently wrote of being controlling at Rocking Chair Reflections. Yup. I'm guilty. Whenever things really mess up in my life, it's usually because of my wishing to have control instead of yielding.

I really don't know why I am such a perfectionist; I am absolutely too lazy to pull it off. :D

Cheryl (Copper's Wife) said...

Home today with a sick little one, and so delighted to read your encouraging words! These are words I know and yet needed to hear again. Thank you for your faithfulness!

webmaster said...


Anonymous said...

Lovely post! Thank you. Juli

Mrs. Staggs said...

What a beautiful post this is for me to have read today, Brenda, for it has reminded me so much of my Granny, who always gave what she had to give. She lived a very modest life, but she was wealthy in friends who loved her so much, because she was true, all the way through. I miss her so much, but you've made me truly feel her today, and reminded me that a good life is found in the moments, and in giving. Thank you.

I think your garden will reward you all the same. I'm planting my herbs in pots this year. They grow well that way, and in the cooler months, we can bring them inside and harvest a bit longer.

You take good care of yourself.


matty said...

Oh Brenda! What a lovely post! God gives us each what we need, doesn't He? While you may have felt defeated, God took your lesson of acceptance and victory to teach us all. What a wise plan! :)

One of my favorite scriptures is Phillipines 4:12:

I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. (New Living Translation)



Catsngrams said...

Oh i did so need your post today. I am so glad that there is someone else that feels so worn out and just wanting to stnad by the wayside and just be. I think I am at that point in my life where I do the desires but the have to's are fewer.

gail said...

Hello Rhonda,

Like so many others today, I enjoyed reading your little note to us. I have times when I feel just like you and there is so much to do and I just can't get through it all. But the one thing that I think is wonderful for the ones that love our Lord is that we can always always turn to Him and He never fails us. He never criticizes or chastises just loves us and gives us sustaining words of advise and wisdom. Aren't we just so fortunate to have that kind of relationship. I have been blessed by all you have written today and I most sincerely thank you and will pray for you and your garden that you have abundance in all things.

Blessings Gail

It's Just Dottie said...

I'm blessed over and over by your blog! I pray every day for you lovely lady.

Vicki in UT said...

I so like your attitude. Life is hard, and for some it is harder than others. But you had your moment of discouragement and then went out and planted a little more. I am all too aware that it is very easy to sit and complain, but that complaining does not create a happy life. If we try to have a good attitude, we will have a happier life, simply by focusing on what we do have and can do, rather than what we don't have and can't do. Best wishes.

DebD said...

you said: "Some can rule kingdoms and run marathons and raise ten children and make all their own bread and all their meals from scratch and grow a huge garden and raise chickens and butcher their own cows and have energy left over to hand quilt the most gorgeous Baltimore Album quilt. I can't..."

I can't either. Although I do have 6 kids, I'm just not so good at all the other stuff. I *does* take a lot of energy.

You reminded me of a sermon I heard last week about the myrrh bearing women and how they really weren't doing anything "special" when they went to anoint Christ's body, but that God blessed them with telling the Good News! They were being faithful to what was normal for their society and God did bless them.

Take care of yourself. And, I'm glad you were eventually able to plant your garden. I think you would have been very sad if you didn't have even a small plot.

Connie said...

Brenda, your post is so well written and so true. As we age things get harder for us to accomplish all the things we want to do. It is so hard to slow down.
Thank you for the reminder of God's grace and love.

Anonymous said...

thank you Brenda for writing a post "just for me"....or at least it seems that way. My husband is suffering a bout with his bi-polar right now and I am fighting hard the "poor me" syndrome that often settles over me during these difficult times. I have been giving myself little "talkings to" the past several days and now I hear the same from you. It is funny but I (with God's help) reached the same conclusions as you did. I am grateful for what I have been blessed with and I will not dwell on things for which I have not. God is good all the time, all the time God is good!

Jodi said...

Brenda, your post today was an encouragement and an answer to prayer for me today. Thank you.

Heather said...

Brenda - your words went straight to heart this evening as I am struggling with my attitudes. Yesterday the pastor challenged us towards excellence - and I'm thinking I can't even do 'good enough' - where can I scrape up 'excellence'? You said it so well - 'to give up and do nothing because we can't have everything is to turn our back on He Who Created Us'. I won't give up - I'll tackle it just a little bit at a time, as I am able!

Cheryl said...

Brenda, this post was so encouraging! Perfectionism can certainly waylay me far too often. Yes, I will do what I can do!
Thanks so much for the reminder, the words of truth.

Shan said...

Dearest Brenda,

What a lovely post! I have been recovering from a severe illness and have been frustrated by my lack of energy...I am used to being able to go-go-go all day long.

I am finally feeling better and I wanted you to know that you are in my prayers as I know that each day you must do just a little at a time. After having just a little experience with the limitations of illness, I am even more inspired by your example of everyday grace.

God's Blessings,
Honey Hill Farm

Tammy G said...

Beautiful post--thank you.

Manuela@TPOH said...

An encouraging post as always! I've learned to relax and just do what I can do even though I know that there's so very much to do LOL!

Your plants will be just fine. Give them some extra fertilizer or side dress them with some compost when you get a chance. I have one bed that I didn't do anything to and my lettuc and onions are doing just fine. I'm also growing in more containers this year just because I've run out of room. You can grow everything in the right container!


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this! I am so far from being that uber-capable woman. I will never be her. I am having to learn that even in my weakness I am a blessing to others (even to my own children) because I belong to Jesus.

It is great to see the internet used for such encouragement to women all over the world.