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Where's Your Harvest?

Spring gives promise of new life, of a better way, of new beginnings.
In spring, I start my garden. I have high hopes of fresh tomatoes, peppers, beans feeding my family.
I always buy too many plants.
I envision lush flowers, great harvests, calming landscapes…

But what do I get?
Fire ants eat everything. Dogs dig around my tomatoes to lie down. A gate left open once---and a cow mows the garden. A gopher eats a 50 foot row of beans in one weekend while we’re gone. Devil’s grass takes over when I turn my head. Chickens fly over the fence and peck anything red. Or if I get close to a harvest, we leave for vacation and someone else harvests all our tomatoes. A bizarre hail storm in summer knocks down all our corn.
Why do I spent hours, watering, weeding, preparing the soil, for this?

When my sons suggested some plant or revision to the garden, I tell them EVERY SINGLE REASON why they shouldn’t even try. It’s a wonder they even help me. I don’t want them discouraged later, I do it now. I don’t want them to expect too much, I’ve been there. I don’t want them to hurt.
When I asked my husband why I try again, he said, “Because you get a harvest.”
He sees only the harvest that arrives on his plate every night. He thinks it’s good.
I envisioned a harvest where I don’t struggle to bring it to his plate. I don’t see what’s there.

My harvest shows in other ways … with child discipline, with making my house a home, with my writing, with my life. Is there a harvest?
I recently had to instruct one of my boys, again, about the value of truth. I had praised him for how quickly and without whining, he had learned his spelling words ... until I saw his hand. He had written his spelling words there, then told me they weren’t his spelling words.
We had been there before.
This wasn’t about fire ants, or gophers, or weeds. This was about essential matters of life—truth, trust, living worthy of the God we serve. Where’s the harvest?
I wept.

I don’t like to struggle. I don’t like to fight everyone for everything. I grow weary. Why bother?
Maybe you’re there.

My husband gave me a card when I first started to write three years ago.
It said, “Life has two rules: 1. Never quit! 2. Always remember rule number 1.” Duke Ellington.
It hangs on my wall behind my computer so I can see it every day. It reminds me to keep writing. Even when books don’t sell. Even when I have no “following,” and my children don’t even hear what I say. Even when I must learn the hard way what I write. Even when I argue with God about exposing my heart every week. I write. I don’t see a harvest.

The grass is green. The leaves have budded. My lilacs fill my front yard with their fragrance.
Spring has come in my garden again.
And with it all the weeds.
I’ve bought too many tomato and pepper plants, again.
I dug up fire ants in every garden box that I own.
I spent a fortune on watering hoses.
But I try again.
Why? Because of the promise of the harvest.
As a mom, your harvest is obedient children who love God. Don't give up. Keep trying.
“Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” Galatians 6:9



What do you struggle with today? How do you remember the harvest?

I just love your writing, it is so encouraging! Don't all of us feel as you do and it is so good to know we aren't the only one? (Why do we always seem to feel that we are the "only" one going through the mess of life?) I'm definitely going to share this with Katrina, who also has a messy life with those boys. Thanks so much!

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Faith
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Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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