The beans and corn are coming up nicely in our garden. So are the weeds. And you know what weeds do. They grow. Fast. Much faster than any good plant!
So, I went out tonight and got the tiller out of the barn. I adjusted the setting so the tiller would just loosen the top layer of soil and weeds. I followed that tiller, row by row, through our garden… Choking on exhaust.
Then I got out the good old fashioned garden hoe and went to work just like my Grandpa Tuck always did, pulling soil up around the good plants, choking off the little weed starts.
I threw countless rocks to the edge of the garden for the kids to collect later. I swatted mosquitoes. I got dirty, sweaty, tired, and sore.
Soon, the plants will be established enough to compete for their own nutrients and sunlight. Soon, they plants will grow big and tall. Because I have weeded them at this early stage in life, my plants will produce good food for my family. Soon, my garden will be worth all this hard work.
The kids getting our corn ready to cook last summer.
They are very motivated to work when it means getting to eat fresh sweet corn!
I usually end up thinking about life’s little problems while I work. Tonight, I was thinking about the hard job of disciplining my little ones. Though my oldest is quickly becoming very dependable and trustworthy, my youngest three are still at the stage where they need my attention and my correction throughout the day. I spend a lot of my time breaking up arguments, cleaning up messes made by the youngest, and praying that they will all soon have the “sense God gave a goose.”
It’s a lot of hard, hard work. It’s frustrating. It’s often exhausting. I’m praying it will soon be well worth the effort.
Somewhere between the bean plants and the zucchini, it all came together in my mind.
This early part of raising my babies is a lot like growing my garden. My babies are tender, unable to fend for themselves. They need me to keep them safe, provide for them, and help them know the good from the bad.
These early years are my chance to give them a good start. Just like my garden, my little ones need a rich environment. They also need me to do the hard work of weeding the things that will hold them back.
In due time, they will grow. As the years pass, they will become more and more independent.
But right now… Right now is my chance to make a difference in their lives.
It’s hard work. Some days, I wonder if I’m making a difference. I wonder if I’m doing the right things. Some days, I don’t see much progress.
Then suddenly, they grow. Just like my garden does, they grow.
And finally, I begin to see the good my labor has brought. And I know that the hard work I have done has been well worth it.
So, I’ll go on doing the hard work of weeding my garden and raising my little ones while praying they will thrive and go on to produce much good.