Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Garden of Blessings

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My family had a large garden for the six of us as I grew up. We ate organic back when it wasn’t the in thing to do. I was over ten years old when I had my first can of processed soup and I thought it was wonderful!  As an adult raising my own family in this busy world I strayed to the processed food track.

But this year, I realized all the health advice I had been ignoring was true. You really are what you eat. In my heart, I had known this but just didn’t have the interest, the time, or the wisdom to eat more healthily. In the rush of life, I had ignored what the experts were saying. 

“Fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7b NASB.

The reality of my foolishness hit when my own personal and very painful reality-check arrived­­ with dividends from all the processed and fast food I had eaten. My body was complaining with painful symptoms that would not go away and could not be ignored. Faced with the brevity of life and a host of precancerous cells, I stopped to listen. On my doctor’s recommendation, I am now paying more attention to what I eat. Taking better care of my health motivated me to find the time and energy to grow a vegetable garden.

To my delight, my four-year-old Grandson calls it, “our gahden.”  His excitement has been contagious for our family and made gardening fun. In late winter, during my health scare, the two of us planted trays of seeds and grew them in the warmth of the kitchen. Tiny boy fingers plowed furrows and scattered seeds. His big brown eyes widened in wonder and his face erupted into self-satisfied smiles as the soil rewarded us with rows of little green shoots. Laughing with joy he called me to see. “NeeNee, come see the wittle baby pwants!”

My son and grandson helped me build a terraced garden on the hillside by my home. On Good Friday, our wittle baby pwants, were lovingly removed from our kitchen nursery and transplanted with care to their new hillside home. Our tender seedlings began to grow, climb, and blossom. A symphony of bees buzzed their pollination chorus and before long, tendrils hanging with beans climbed up fences, yellow squash peeked out from under lush foliage, and the tomato plants popped out in little green tomatoes. The garden became a source of delicious and healthy foods for us and we enjoyed sharing with others.  Each time my grandson visited, he could hardly wait to go outside and check on them. It gave me so much joy to hear his sweet voice victoriously calling out, “NeeNee look, scrawberries and bwuberriess too!”

My family found gardening to be a fun adventure that yielded a bumper crop of tender memories. For me personally, I found it to be a deeply spiritual time. I looked forward to carrying my basket to the garden in the cool quietness of the mornings. The sweet spiritual times of reflection and praise nourished my soul as I worked to feed my body. Looking back on this painful time in my life, I can see that I am still reaping the harvests of improved health and of a deeper walk with the Lord. Both are richer to the glory of God.

“Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31 NASB

Copyright © 2017 Bobbie King Iliff. Used by permission.

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