Sunday, June 12, 2016

Sunday Afternoon Tea - Don't Give Up

I stood for awhile, looking at the bare space in the raised bed.  Wondering if I should or I shouldn't.  What the heck, let's go for it.  So I planted lettuce seeds.  That was it, the garden was now planted.  A few days ago.  Before the heat wave.

This year we had to rebuild at least two of the raised beds that were now rotting and posing a hazard to the gardener. They had served their purpose for seven years but it was time.  Another raised bed had to be moved.  I came down with a cold.  Life happened. 

In this mix there was preparation for my family visiting (a nice thing) and hubby was earning a little extra helping a friend get a house ready to sell.  All of which meant the garden could not be planted until this past week.  The flat of veggies waiting for planting had been kept alive a few weeks by constant watering.  The rainbow chard and herbs were planted into containers on the deck.  Which I actually like.  A lot.

However, last weekend this time I was telling my husband that I wasn't going to plant this year.  It was too late.  Why bother.  I was giving up.  He told me the raised beds were almost ready so I may as well plant what I'd purchased.  So I did.  Then I decided to plant the seeds I already had and see what happens.  So zucchini, two kinds of green beans, parsley, nasturtiums, and yes... lettuce... were placed in the soil the day before we reached 90 degrees.

Sometimes you have to take what you are given and work with it.  I am constantly learning lessons from the garden and the landscaping.  Like the fact that the forest will take back every bit of land you don't constantly wrestle from it.  That the curse of Genesis shows up in the attempt to grow things and keep order in nature more than any place else.  Except perhaps human relationships.

Sometimes I get so weary.  I'm tired of the fallen-ness of this world.  I want to stop the world and get off.  I long for Eden and and a world without thorns and thistles and weeds and the need for five shots a day to keep me alive.

There is a Truth to be found in the chaos, though.  One that I have seen over and over in sixty plus years of living on this planet circling the sun.  It is this... if you still have breath in you then God is not finished with your story.  You must not give up.

The Bible tells us God knows the day we are born and the day we leave this world.  If we are alive, we have a purpose.  Within the limitations He allows, we have a purpose.  Our work on earth is not complete.  He isn't asking us to do anything perfectly and He absolutely knows our  boundaries... although he tends to nudge us out of our comfort zone from time to time.

Last winter I was thinking of giving up blogging but as I prayed about it, I knew He was telling me to write without concern of the extras that can go with having a blog.  I don't jump through hoops.  I don't go after a book deal.  I just... write.  I currently am keeping the same old header and the same font and the same background.  Easy.

The only updates I've done to the blog were to change the Pages line under the header and add the extra Amazon widget on the sidebar that is a direct link to purchase Amazon gift cards.  That was easy and done as a service to those who had gone through the original widget to purchase them.  I can handle that.

We are told, "If you can't do anything well then don't do it at all".  A very wise teacher of my perfectionist daughter advised me to teach her that it is far better to do something badly and perhaps even fail than to not do it at all.  A lesson I'm learning every day.

I am learning to plant gardens a month late.  To keep the pretty dishes even if they are only used once a year.  To polish the silver service and make it sparkle for my own enjoyment.  To read new cookbooks when I'm too tired to cook.  To enjoy the beauty I've assembled on the front porch and the deck even if I don't sit outside in the summer heat. 

To have ready what I need to make art for those rare days when time and energy come together. To stop by the Farmer's Market on a limited budget and buy only one loaf of sourdough bread and wild strawberries.  To understand it is not all or nothing.

If one thinks they are too old or too tired or too poor or it is too late to do what is before them... it is worth not giving up and to at least give it a chance to succeed.  If I didn't plant the garden then there would have been no chance of it growing at all.  Sometimes we have to take that step of faith and just do something, especially those things He is nudging us to do.

You are here, you are breathing, you have life no matter what the limitations you are dealing with.  So that means your journey is not yet complete.  Do not give up.  Plant that seed.

Image:  Under the Sunflowers by Robert Duncan


Anonymous said...

Wow! Those are some powerful insights Brenda. Coincidentally they resonate with something I read this morning in Fr. Jean Pierre DeCaussade's work entitled "Abandonment to Divine Providence:" " ...He never impels anyone beyond his strength, nor in any way beyond his aptitude...All you who strive after perfection and are tempted to is for your consolation that God has willed me to write this." BTW I just planted beans and lettuce a few days ago, and they are starting to come up. I had my doubts though. Take care.


Thickethouse.wordpress said...

What wisdom, Brenda. Thank you so much. Thank you!

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

And I forgot to add, my deck is not planted yet. With bad weather and then going away for a week. I hope to do it tomorrow. You are not the last!

Anonymous said...

I love this and hope God doesn't say anytime soon, "You can quit blogging now." I would miss your words of wisdom so much. I DO wish you would write a book or that I had at least printed off all your writings so I could read and re-read them and underline and mark up my copy of thoughts I especially want to remember. Keep up the good work and word as long as possible (that's purely selfishness on my part, I guess, but I do so enjoy your blog and and am encouraged and inspired by it). Love and blessings, my friend, Sharon D.

lejmom said...

Inspiring words, Brenda. I needed to hear these today...I am facing a hysterectomy in a week by an oncologist/gyn. Hoping for a positive outcome.

Anonymous said...

P.S. Oh, and the header is just fine. It's the message that's important. I do love the photos of the inviting and cozy scenes from your beautiful home, and the tips on making it beautiful on little money. Blessings, Sharon D.

Mary said...

I think that that is Faith; I remember a wonderful Christian radio announcer saying, "Sometimes faith is just getting out of bed every morning.". Those who have been through this know how true it is.
He has gotten us the victory!!
You are a blessing, Brenda, and I'm praying for you and your loved ones.

Homemaker' said...

Thank you Brenda for this post - I HAVE given up on the gardening this year. We have so many bunnies this year, it seems like it's hopeless. I have lettuce seed packets that have gone unplanted, but now I WILL plant them! It's just going to have to take a little vigilance and fencing. : )

tealady said...

Thank-you, I really needed this. I am having heart surgery this month and have been sick for months now. Today I was having a HUGE pity party for myself and was just about to just sit on my rump and do nothing but your words have helped me see. I can do very little because of the exhaustion but I know now I can do little things that can help out around my home. Thank-you Brenda I'm feeling very grateful you are still blogging.

Anonymous said...

I am so thankful the Lord did not tell you to stop blogging. You have no idea how much I look forward to your posts! The "extras" are not necessary, your words, wisdom
and encouragement are the important thing.Thank you for taking the time and energy to write this blog, it is a comfort and blessing to those of us who read it. And you are so right, we need to each keep doing what we can, when we can, with the blessings and strength the Lord has given us. We are here in His time, for His purpose.
May God bless you and keep you in His care. Marsha

Marie said...

OOOOHHH! I am so glad you did not give up blogging! Love your posts. They are always a blessing. My favorite blog!

Ann said...

Encouragement I needed this morning. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is one of my favorite places to stop and rest my weary self. I love your heart, wit, wisdom and frugality.
Shine on!

Rachel H said...

A great post! I have fibromyalgia, and the exhaustion gets to me. I try not to look at what I didn't do, but at what I did do. I enjoy your blog so much!

Kim said...

I needed that today. Thank you so much! I hope you keep writing. You are such a blessing to me.

Mrs.T said...

I loved this, Brenda. It was a great encouragement to me today. "Faithfulness" is my word for this year.

skmanning said...

What a great post! Thank you!