Living in the Upper Midwest, we know that winters can be long and harsh, but as tough as winters are on our gardens, summers can be equally harsh, if not more so.Under a blazing sun day after day with limited rainfall, our plants can quickly shrivel and die. That is why it is important to take this wonderful opportunity spring time gives us to equip ourselves to be garden-ready.
Because there is much to know and do to keep a garden thriving,I try to read books that explain hardiness zones, soil types, fertilizers, and dead-heading. I'm also learning which types of plants require shade and which ones are sun-lovers.Yet, in spite of this, I find that I still need to seek out the wisdom of the experts. Be it magazines or Master Gardeners, I benefit greatly when I am willing to remain teachable.
Over the years I've learned that I am in an ongoing battle with garden enemies of all shapes and sizes. In the spring our pesky neighborhood rabbits assume the tulips and crocus that I’ve planted are for their snacking pleasure. Then when summer arrives slugs love to polka-dot my hostas with holes and aphids are continually trying to set up shop in my Russian Sage. This means I must make regular inspections and know what trouble signs to look for, as well as how to combat all of their destructive endeavors.
And then there is the less-than-pleasant duty of weeding. Each spring while I am out cleaning up my gardens, I am also on my hands and knees digging up dandelions. Why is it that weeds don’t shrivel and die during the cold winter months or under the duress of a hot summer sun?
Bottom line, gardening requires teach-ability, constant diligence and plain old hard work…and so it is with the garden of our hearts.
Although bitter winds of adversity roll in and out of our lives bringing searing pain that can oppress and sap our strength and spirit at times, we can thrive if we apply these same Gardening 101 principles to our lives. For we have the best source material around on the subject of our hearts in God's Love Letter, the Bible...we just need to pick it up and peruse it. When was the last time you consumed it with the excitement of a gardening magazine? And each one of us have godly folks in our lives that we can turn to when we have questions...we just need to be teachable and willing to seek their wise counsel. And diligently keeping watch over our hearts helps protect us from being caught off guard by the enemy’s wiles and will equip us to combat whatever comes our way.
Now is the time to roll up our sleeves and take advantage of this spring time opportunity to get not only our gardens ready, but, to get our hearts summer-ready as well.
*Updated and timely thoughts from Glimpses of God: Simple yet amazing ways God reveals himself to us
I love the comparison between our gardens, with all the pesky problems & our hearts, with all the trauma's.
Seems life is full of both. Good thing God is our Master Gardener!