|my snow peas and beans|
This is the third consecutive year I have attempted to plant a vegetable garden with varying degrees of success. After year one, I gave up on Chinese lettuce, carrots, and beets. During year two I once again tried green onions, without much yield, so they were left out this year. The only things that seem to really grow well are tomatoes, snow peas, and zucchini. Last year I tried growing green and yellow beans, but only a few yellow ones grew. I planted them in my raised planter in front of the snow peas in late June this year and they really took off! All my tomatoes, beans, and snow peas are in blossom and I’ve even picked a couple handfuls of snow peas – they taste so good!! The green/yellow beans are just beginning to grow tiny little pods so there should be a bountiful harvest.
|my unruly snow peas|
Since I have arthritic knees, I grow as much as possible in the raised bed so I don’t have to bend down. This works well, except for the snow peas which grow 2-3 feet above the netting. Last year, they all flopped over and became a tangled mess making it difficult to find/pick the peas. So, I had hubbie help me tie some netting across the top hoping I could train the plants to hang underneath. Sounds good in theory, but snow peas have a mind of their own. The past couple weeks, every time I would go out and try to guide the little tendrils to curl around the top netting, by the time I was done at the other end, the first ones were already peeking back above!! The vines are so tender, that they easily break or bend when I try to pull them through. After several days of trying to train my unruly snow peas, I finally realized they were just not going to do things my way. Their natural tendency is to grow upwards and no amount of coaxing on my part was going to change that. I’m just hoping now that if they get too tall they will fall over on their own so I can still reach them.
That got me thinking of spiritual analogies and I wondered, “How easily do I respond to the Lord’s training and discipline in my own life? Am I sometimes resistant to His gentle guiding and prompting me in the right direction? How often do I stubbornly refuse to listen and decide to do things my way?” Hebrews 12:11 says, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness for those who have been trained by it.” Only when I follow God’s good and perfect ways am I able to bear the kind of fruitful behavior that He desires for me.
|My poor rose bush!|
When I returned from PEI a couple weeks ago, I also realized I had an unruly rose bush. Now, it wasn’t completely the bush’s fault as we had very little rain until this past Tuesday and it obviously had been infested with some pest, probably aphids. The leaves had all turned brown and were falling off and there was one tiny pink rose clinging to a bare branch. What had been an absolutely beautiful bush loaded with miniature roses had become something truly sad and pathetic to behold. So, armed with gloves and pruning shears I began to cut off all dead branches back to any sign of new growth. Many scratches and thorn pricks later, the poor thing looked even more pitiable! What the bush didn’t realize, and I knew from past experience, was that this drastic pruning would allow it to put all its nutrients and effort into sprouting new leaves and buds. When I looked at it yesterday, it was already coming to life again and several new buds had formed. Even a few roses had bloomed – all this in only about ten days!
|New growth coming!|
|Tomatoes are coming early this year!|
I thought of the verse in John 15:2 which says of God’s work in my life, “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He trims clean so that it will be even more fruitful.” What great lessons we learn about God and our relationship with Him from the things He has so lovingly created!
Of course, I’ve also had to deal with unsightly weeds (which seem to grow no matter how dry it gets), especially the ones which creep up between the inlaid bricks of my backyard patio. And the huge tree in our front yard needed all the bottom branches trimmed so we could mow the lawn without having to duck to avoid the thousands of various bees that are feasting on the blossoms! A few plants in the garden benefited from some transplanting as well because they had become too big or would look better in a different location.
When I was done with all this, I felt tired but I’m very happy now with the results. I took some pictures yesterday to compare with ones from previous years and it really is amazing how beautifully things grow when they receive even the most basic care.
|A few of my lilies|
How much more complete is the work God does in us as He transforms us into His beautiful image!!
Until next Sunday,
P.S. If any of you have any tips for my snow peas problem, I’d love to hear from you!