Lessons from the Garden
I originally wrote this post in 2011. I have to say the changes I made for my home and family were exactly what I needed. Today life is very different for me. My homeschooling journey is complete, we are an empty nest and enjoying more freedom. I'm grateful for the time and energy I did spend on focusing more intently during that season of my life. It was very much worth it!
After 2 days of rain the sun came back!! And so did the weeds in my garden! I spent hour and half in the garden weeding today. My son Isaac helped me as well, so together we made great progress and I think the weeds are under control (at least for right now :).
You know I use to hate weeding with a passion, so much so that I rarely did it and my garden always ended up a jungle by the end of the season. Then one year I decided it was important to me have a well tended garden. My dad use to say, “Any job worth doing is worth doing right”… that may not be his original saying, but that is where I first heard it. So I took on a new attitude with weeding.. what good things come from it? For me this is the list.. I get some quiet time to think! Weeding is mundane work and it provides a great moment in my day to just think. I can also pray! I can be productive, have solitude doing this homemaking chore and spend a little time talking to the Lord. I am one who loves the sun and what a great time to enjoy it. Again I can be productive and soak up the rays and a little vitamin D while I am at it. Weeding and hoeing a garden my size takes a bit of physical strength. I do feel those muscles having been given a workout when I am done, so I get some exercise as well. Each time I spend an hour or two in the garden I always say when I am done, “Who needs a gym membership when you have a garden!”.
During that time I also decided that doing anything in my home required me to do it well. That is also when I realized I had way too much on my plate. So I started downsizing and not taking on new projects. I had these goals… I wanted a home run well, I wanted a home that was neat and orderly (as much as is realistic with a house full of children), if I was going to have animals or gardens or any other project or diversion in my life than they needed my utmost attention. Well, I am not super woman by any means so I got rid of a lot of goats, I don’t have chickens any more either.. I currently buy my eggs from my friend/neighbor and am happy to contribute to her efforts. I also wanted to give more to my homeschooling. I have been homeschooling now for more than 20 years and it gets tiring.. but I realized .. I had to press on as I am not done yet! I wanted to make sure my hubby was getting the best of my efforts in his life as well.
So I scaled down the farm animals, I did not start any new projects in my life, I made curriculum choices that worked better for me and gave me a little inspiration while still giving my children a good education, and I worked to keep my home in better shape. I figured when I had this all under control then I could take on more if I wanted.
Jump forward a few years and I am still pretty much in the same place. I guess it taught me what my strengths are and what my limits are. I can now easily say yes or (more importantly) NO to other things in life because I know I have found the equilibrium for my life that works. I also know my tendencies to take on too much and so I have to watch this all the time. The results of this so far are.. my house has not looked better in a long time, my goats are doing great, my garden not only looks pretty but provides us with a lot of food each year, my kids are doing well in their studies and staying focused (a focused mom = focused kids I have discovered), my hubby is happy (he was always happy but appreciates all my efforts over the last few years even more), and I am more content and less stressed.
It all started with a garden and time taken to weed and think and pray and make better choices overall for my life and the life of my family!