Hello from The Farm at Crowders Creek! In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2019-20 school year came to a close last week for us here in Gaston County. One of my favorite things about summer vacation is the opportunity I have to spend full days here at the farm. The warm weather ushers in a busy season for us. Hay has to be cut and brought out of the fields, the animals and pastures need attention and of course there is always something to do in my garden.
Thanks to the freedom of the summer schedule, most mornings I can be found in the garden with a cup of hot tea and my to-do list in hand. I am in my happy place. As idyllic as it seems, I often feel that I am in a battle, an endless war with weeds. No sooner have I carefully purged the beds and pathways than the green leafy enemies magically reappear. The cycle continues as I try all sorts of methods to keep the weeds at bay. Each year I think I have them under control, only to have them valiantly pop up among my plants. The silver lining in this never-ending fight is the time I have to quietly think, without interruption, while I am in the garden.
As I begin my beloved summer schedule, I have indeed begun the war on weeds here at The Farm. For a garden to be healthy and fruitful, it needs routine tending, with an earnest effort to remove weeds and even multi-legged pests. Sadly, I have become well acquainted with potato bugs this year, but that is a whole other story. Thus, I have declared war.
The other day, with each weed pulled, I started thinking about how a garden is like our hearts. Weeds can easily creep in and pop up, just like sin in our lives. Some of the weeds are deep-rooted and difficult to remove, some are easily pulled. Some keep returning. Just like a garden, our hearts need daily nurturing. We need to be guarding our hearts from the weeds of life in order to be healthy and bear fruit.
The Bible gives us all we need to tend our figurative gardens. It’s like a farmer’s almanac for life.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”Proverbs 4:23
There are so many examples of wise words for living a healthy, fruitful life in God’s word. In Deuteronomy 6:5 we read, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength”. I personally love David’s words in Psalm 9:1, “I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders”.
My daily battle with the weeds in my garden is a reminder to me that I have a daily battle with sin and evil too. Just like those thorny weeds that keep popping up among my tomato plants, the devil is at work on this beautiful earth we call home. The good news is that we have all that we need to fight this sin and darkness each day. See Ephesians 6:10-18 to read about the Armor of God if you haven’t read that passage in a while. As I start each day, I am comforted and strengthened by the fact that we are not alone. We are known by God the Father and we are equipped by the Holy Spirit to face whatever the day may hold.
With that in mind, tomorrow is another day to battle the weeds in our lives, both figuratively and literally. Just like I hope for a plentiful harvest in my garden, I desire my life to be fruitful as well. My hope and prayer is that I daily trust in the Lord with all my heart. Proverbs 3:5-6 are favorite verses of mine and wise words to live by each day. As you and your family make summer memories this year, in the midst of these most unusual times, may your gardens be as weed free as possible and may your feel the power of the master gardener at work each day.
Have a wonderful day!