“Sure, I can come do that for you!” the happy voice replied to me. My first ever garden was going to happen at our new house. Not too big, probably too small, but I didn’t feel bad.
The kind man came a few days later to till up my garden. “I won’t be able to fit the tractor in through the gate.”
My heart sank. I felt tears welling up inside me. Why does God give me a desire for something and than take it away?
A couple days went by and a dear man from church told Andrew that he could do it for me. Hope returned that I would have my little garden this year.
Garden is tilled, seeds are bought, sheep manure is spread and I plan out what’s going to grow in my tiny little plot.
This desire if new to me. I’ve never wanted to waste my time planting, weeding, watering and harvesting. This year is different.
The day arrives to head out and plant. I feel like a mom on a mission to show her kids how the Lord gives us food from the ground.
We plant some lettuce.
18 month old chaos ensues.
As we planted the second row I see the baby crouching in the dirt, his hands flying wildly, spreading around all the rows and seeds we had just done.
“NO! STOP!” I yell at him. This only makes him laugher harder and do it more.
I get him under control and turn around to try again at row number two.
My older children had tried to be helpful during the mayhem and started planting without me.
Nothing was in a row, seeds were mixed together. The directions on the seed pack, my only guide to this new territory, were not followed.
I sat down defeated in the dirt.
How have women done this for centuries? No, millenniums?
Hope fades. I leave the yard in search of something I know how to do. Baking, cooking. I can do that.
Weeks go by and my dirt path lays untouched. A symbol of my kids destroying all my dreams.
One day I see something from the dining room window. Is that a tiny shoot of green? Not from the garden of disaster, it should not be possible! Were there even any seeds left?
There in the rich dirt were new shoots of green lettuce, not in rows but scattered all over one part of the garden.
The lettuce grew strong and the day it was ready to pick, I still couldn’t believe that anything had grown in this mess.
More started to come up. A mass of peas, a wild grouping of beans, potatoes, little shoots of carrots and delicious, sweet smelling basil.
What had felt like a symbol of defeated dreams, suddenly arose to be this beautiful Garden of Grace. A picture of my chaotic life, that sometimes is turned upside down, sometimes is “helped” by little hands, and never follows the tidy way that things should be done. But somehow I grow. We grow. They grow.
Only by His grace.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)