I've always been fascinated with 'front yard vegetable gardening'. I've seen front yard vegetable gardens in urban areas and have always thought it is such a good use of space.
When we moved into our home just over a year ago, there was a large perennial garden in the front yard. I tried my best to keep the weeds at bay, but it was hard to do, since everything was so overgrown and I didn't really know what plants were what, or what should be where. It seemed to have been neglected for a while and nothing I did, seemed to make it look like anything but an old overgrown perennial bed. I didn't have the same vision for it that the previous owners did.
Since our house is on the river, the traditional 'back yard' is actually treated more like a front yard in our neighbourhood. Most homes have their sheds in the front yard and put little effort into the landscaping of the front yard. You live on the river and put your efforts there. So, we decided that changing this perennial bed to a vegetable garden would be our best bet. There is too much shade to have a true vegetable garden behind the house. With the help of my dad, we started transforming the perennial garden into a vegetable garden. We did it in stages, so there are portions of the garden that were only planted two weeks ago.
Because I have the vision of what I want our front yard vegetable garden to look like, I know where there should be no weeds. This means I spend a lot of time trying to keep those weeds at bay. It has been so theraputic to spend time weeding. Who knew, that this dreaded chore would bring such peace to me. Last night I was pulling those stubborn weeds out, thinking about the 'weeds' that are in my life. What are the things that keep creeping up, threatening to take over the beauty and potential bounty in my life? What do I need to 'weed out'?
This brought be to thinking about the parable in Mark 4, where Jesus taught His disciples about how the growth of seeds sown, depends on the soil that the seeds were sown in as well as the amount of thorns allowed to choke out the potential fruit. Spiritual fruitfulness or barrenness depends on the type of soil the spiritual seeds are sown in. There are pesky weeds that hinder the growth of fruit-producing seedlings and suck the life right out of the good that could be harvested in time:
13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? 14 The farmer sows the word. 15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.” Mark 4:13-20
Jesus warns us that there are thorns that choke out the fruitfulness that He has ready for us. When I read what these thorns are, I quickly realized that these are very easily the weeds and thorns that choke out abundant joy and peace in my life:
- the worries of this life
- the deceitfulness of wealth
- the desire for other things
Hope your 'gardening' brings about much fruitfulness.