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a chronicle of tips and recipes on everything from gardening to canning and baking your produce, even if you're planted in suburbia...in fact, especially if you are planted in suburbia.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sabbath Rest and the Inspiration of Lettuce

Seeing that by thee we enjoy great quietness, and that very worthy deeds are done unto this nation by thy providence, we accept [it] always, and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness. Acts 24:2-3

Consistent thankfulness, such a challenge for mankind.
We embrace it enthusiastically on those rare moments when Beauty reveals herself suddenly and unexpectedly to us. But this is only momentary.
We just as easily and lustily embrace our complaining--leaving ourselves completely uninformed regarding timely thankfulness. But at least these are honest.
We can get much worse.

We can be greasy with gratitude, as the verse above bears witness, using it as this orator did: to coerce a politician we consider too dull to perceive our manipulations.
Rarely do we pause to steep in the inspiration that colors the hottest waters of our lives, steep toward a state of genuine thankfulness.

I prowled about my garden yesterday. As I deal with some health issues that have lessened my strength and capacity for work this year, I am easily tempted to pout while I'm there. My first thought as I looked at the half that is enjoying a year of rest under a tarp was one of kinship with my garden in its limitations: I too feel like half my soil is on involuntary rest under a tarp, and shall remain so for a long season. At such times, I am tempted by feelings leaning toward gloom, but my will raises up a standard against such pouting, and actively searches for the things of gratitude.

I still have a garden after all--a smaller one, but a garden nonetheless. Might not gratitude still find its inspiration here? I began to assess.

Strong young hands are willing to help me with this garden on days I don't feel well. "Just sit on the step, Mom, and tell me what to do." There's that.

And, there is the fact that my snow peas grew quickly from this:

to this:

with very little intervention on my part. A most easy crop to harvest, clean, serve or freeze.

There is the lettuce that simply grows, without raising self-absorbed complaint. It quietly trusts that if I felt well enough, I'd surely keep its bed properly weeded. What's more, not only is lettuce growing from this year's seeding, but a couple of these chose life on their own initiative, born of last year's plants gone to seed and left littered on the ground as an experiment with in-garden composting.

Flowers, too, fit in this miraculous resurrection category, for while some were expected to return:
...and others were hoped-for returners that did indeed come again:

...a few were great surprises:

"Hmmm, those are annuals. They aren't supposed to return on their own."This observation was given by neighbor when I casually pointed out how a great many plants were making a repeat appearance all on their own initiative.

Even that little bit of meditation is enough to bring me around again. Despite how my body betrays me, I can all the more comprehensively--for a day anyway--embrace the "whatsoever" of this command:
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Col 3:17

The Lord Jesus. Is He not the one who said, "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:29-30)

Certainly my garden bursts forth with that message to me!
If I need further inspiration toward gratitude, I have faith that I'll surely find it.

Happy heart songs!


  1. Bachelor Buttons are one of my favorite cutting garden flowers. The color is beautiful. It was nice to find a photo of them here. :)

  2. When we planted that "carpet" of wild flowers last summer, the package carried the statement, "...some flowers may even return the next year." From the pic of my kiddo dressing them with eggshells, I think it's pretty obvious conditions were right for a prolific return. I've been loving them!