Jan Roberson: The Strawberry Garden

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We have a “garmungus” garden, to quote one of my very young friends. My husband is an avid gardener. He does the bulk of the work (because he loves growing things) and I reap the benefits. It’s a pretty good deal!

 

My one responsibility is the strawberry patch. My husband transplanted all of the plants to the space where he formally grew vegetables. It was a bigger space so the strawberry plants can grow and expand. I am in charge of weeding and picking this patch.

 

Early on in that first season, my strawberry patch was full of “former occupants”. There were cilantro plants in profusion, dill, volunteer potato plants; poppy plants galore, and, of course, weeds. I worked at pulling these things out every once in a while…not being the avid gardener my husband is. I also left quite a few cilantro plants to grow and give away.

 

When the strawberries were ripe, I easily saw the reason for weeding and getting rid of the other plants. The cilantro was so tall that I couldn’t see the berries of some plants; the poppies multiplied in profusion and grew tightly around the strawberries; the potato plants had large, thick tubers in the soil; and the weeds were going to seed. I tried pulling out some cilantro and accidently pulled out some strawberry plants because they were so closely connected. Many of the berries were hidden under layers of different sorts of plant leaves.

 

As I worked on this mess, I thought about the phrase, “The good is often the enemy of the best”. Never have I seen this so vividly illustrated as in my garden! Dill is good, Cilantro is good, Potatoes are good, and Poppies are good….but they are not the best things in a strawberry patch! We grow those things in other parts of our garden…this patch is meant to produce strawberries in abundance!

 

I needed to concentrate on and care for the strawberries, because they were the crop we wanted in that space. The other “good” plants had become enemies to the “best” plant for this section of the garden.

 

Wow. How often in my life do I do this? Take on all sorts of things without evaluating them? Are they the best things to do right now? Time is a valuable commodity, which becomes more valuable with age (my age). I want to be about what the Lord has for me right now, right here. I want to follow His lead for my life. I want to keep my ‘strawberry patch’ pure and available for His purposes.

 

The good is often the enemy of the best. I want to focus and concentrate on the best that God has for me right now; to tend the garden He has given me and do it very well.

 

Jillian Morrissey – We Can’t Afford Any More Diapers

hands-purple-child-holding-largeWe can’t afford any more diapers

It’s a lie of course, but I am desperate. I’m not above lying to a 3 year old. If you have potty trained a child who just doesn’t care, you will understand. This girl knew how to use the potty a YEAR ago and now prefers to just pee while she plays. I’m developing a nervous twitch. I will say almost anything at this point.

Here is where I came up with this lie.

Apparently I have always been a very frugal gal. As the story goes, when my little brother came along about a year and a half after I was born, my parents sat me down for a talk. They explained that he needed diapers and there was only money for one child to wear these things. There were only a few left, then I would be expected to use the potty. Apparently this seemed very reasonable to my 1 ½ year old self. It seemed, if they would have just mentioned that stupid diapers cost money, I would have given them up long before.

I really tried to sell this lie to her.

“There is no more money for diapers!”

“The new baby needs to wear diapers.”

“You’re such a big girl!”

“I’ll give you treats if you just poop in the potty!”

Please, sweet Jesus, just let her poop in the potty. I really don’t know how many more times I can bring myself to wipe poop off her giant man-child sized bottom. I even upped the ante; “If we buy diapers, then we won’t be able to buy treats!”

All to no avail…

I’m really thankful it’s a lie. I’m thankful we can afford to diaper this 35lb child well into Kindergarten. Do I want to spend $2 a day to wipe poo off her butt? Heck No! But, we can afford to. When my parents said it to me, I’m not sure it was a lie.

In a week or so, she might call my bluff. The true test of the lie will be my willingness to start putting her in undies. That, and washing an extra two loads of laundry a day.

Say a prayer for me.