As you may have noticed by my lack of posts, this has not been the wildly productive season I had hoped it would be. It's not like there is any one, big disastrous event that kept me away from what I wanted to be doing, but there was a whole string of smaller things that kept me out of the garden and away from the computer when the garden really needed some "love" and the blog really needed some posts. Some planting happened late and some not at all. Posts were few and far between. Mulching the beds, adding compost where needed, tilling up the plots, all the normal early garden maintenance just didn't get done and, as a result, we ended up with the weediest garden we have had in a lot of years. Your blog posts came and went, occasionally unread. Obviously not "the end of the world as we know it", but still a bit disappointing. And yet, yesterday De and I went to our weedy garden and picked green beans, harvested tomatoes, carefully plucked egg fruit plant off the spiny stalks, broke off cabbages, and pulled up onions. And I'm posting again! Even though the weeds are still everywhere, God has given De and I an abundant increase.
I couldn't help but think, as we were pulling our harvest out from among the weeds how similar the garden this year has been to our life this year. Our lives, from winter on, have not gone as we had hoped. There was no single 'big' thing that went bad, but it was a season (or two) full of "weeds": Illnesses major and minor, family and community obligations and challenges, lots of extra work at the 'day job', bad weather when the few 'free times' came along - all "weeds".
Lest I give the impression this has been a season of misery let me assure you we have not been miserable at all. Frustrated at times perhaps, but never unhappy. Some work was completed and some was not. Some hopes were realized, and some were not. A few goals were reached and many will wait until next year, or perhaps the year after that. But when we stopped to look, we could see the growth in amongst the weeds. Children and grandchildren alike are maturing even through, and perhaps because of, the tough times. The 'day job' seems to be secure for as long as I want to work. The church is growing, and our small group is growing closer. De and I are both slowly finding physical healing. There is produce coming in from the garden.
Through all the 'weeds' we see God's hands not only revealing the growth but providing an abundant increase. As we sort down through all the 'weedy' things and look carefully, we see not a just a few meager things barely surviving, but an abundant harvest of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, and occasionally a beautifully ripened, perfect red tomato. We are blessed.