Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Trying not to be Naaman

Housework, my nemesis... I usually approach my tasks with a mix of dreadful procrastination and forgetfulness. Not the best mix for a job that you have daily to face!

I was having to force myself to choose to wash *part* of the mountain of dishes, and work some on the laundry instead of finding some new, useful information online. ;)  As I stood there trying to sing some praise songs to put my heart into it, these thoughts came into my heart.
I am not rejoicing in my daily work.
This is where God has put me for now.
This task is not too great for me. 
Am I working at it as unto the Lord? Sadly. No.

Am I being Naaman?
You remember Naaman, right? From 2 Kings 5
He had leprosy and came to Israel to be healed.
Being of great importance in his own mind, he was put off by the lack of ceremony the prophet Elisha gave him.  To top it off his healing remedy was one he felt foolish... to wash in the Jordan! when he could've just washed at home in water he felt was better!

But his servants came to him with a wise question:
“My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!”

 This changed his perspective and was what had changed mine, for the evening anyway. ;)

If He, the Lord, sent me to do some "great thing," some difficult thing, some sacrificial thing, would I not do that?  How much more the house work?  The disciplining of young hearts and minds? 
These are truly great things (though in the daily grind I loose sight of their greatness more often than I'd like to admit.)

So, with renewed vision, I seek to honor and rejoice in the menial tasks of my life.  

Psalm 150 ~revised

Praise the Lord.
Praise God in this home;
    praise him in the midst of dishes.
Praise him for his acts of grace;
    praise him for his surpassing patience.
Praise him with the sound of  singing,
    praise him with the mop and bucket,
praise him with tambourine and dancing,
    praise him with the wash load and iron,
praise him with the cry of babies,
    praise him with resounding laughter.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

The garden so far this year

It seems to be a bit behind... Looking at last year's pics, it is almost sad that we have no produce to show for all our efforts. 
This is before we even started to try gardening!

This is before we planted last year, 2011.

This is after we built the raised beds and planted the first baby plants.

These are our first sprouts.:)

After growing a bit...
And here's how it looked on July 9, 2011.

The "herb garden" bed.
Man! did that mint take over!!!  I forgot how small it started out!

Carrots (front,) Tomatoes (right side,) and 2 baby strawberry plants (back.)

We actually planted these sunflowers last spring.  The Susans that came after them were just so much prettier.

These are from last July 9th!  Look at those tomatoes in the background!
~Here's a close up~

And here ~ how large our cilantro & basil!

Pepper plants and a bowl of produce we were picking... still on 7/9.

The bowl we wound up with in the end.

 We expanded the garden area to have the raised beds, the round "asparagus patch" (which has had it's dead stump ripped out and has been made larger around,) and made an in ground garden area.
That is where most of our struggling has taken place.  There is a colony of large purple ants that lived there and we did not realize.  They are very adept at removing leaves from our plants until they are only dead stems! :(  We have replanted what has been mowed to the ground, but so far things are remaining smaller and struggling to keep up.
The mice had eaten seeds, and seedlings, and fruit, but the ants have taken all of those things and more!
These were taken around July 9th of this year.  You can see that it is not at the same point as last year during this time.

Some of the expanded bed.  This area is where the ants are hard at work!

Along with the peppers and tomatoes we've got in here,
there's corn, zucchini, acorn and spaghetti squashes, watermelon, honeydew, and cantalope.
We have drip hose buried a few inches down and watering 24/7, but some areas are a little swampy. :\

The raised bed this year with some peppers, basil, dill, rosemary and artichokes!

Black berry brambles & Susans by the raised bed.

Such a happy face! :)

The great Strawberry take over... followed by the great cucumber take over. ;)

This year we have had successes with things that failed last year, and vice versa.

In the background you can see the tall corn!

Turns out the the vine in the foreground is a pumpkin not a zucchini!  oops!

The bushy plant on the left side is a zucchini that planted it's self
from the homemade compost we mixed in!

The artichokes. :)

The progress made in a couple weeks... see pic 3 from the this year's garden above. :)

This is the "patch" that had a tree stump in it. 
The asparagus is lost in all those pumpkins!
Cutting back is hard to do! lol

The first of our pumpkins. :)

Our first cucumber of this kind!
While it is slow growing sometimes, it is still exciting to watch the changes everyday.
Reminds me of that Spiritual Fruit growing bit by bit everyday... even when it seems like there isn't much changing.
How is your garden growing?