Saturday, June 18, 2011

Garden Pleasure

I have many interests, which depending on how you look at it, may be a blessing or a curse! But I'm certain several of them will make it into this blog at least once, probably more.

Here's an example: I love to garden. I have to admit it is challenging for me physically because of my CFS and energy limitations, and I hate weeding with a passion, but it's still worth it. What can I say? I'm addicted to playing in the dirt ;-) I love to see things grow. I love the freshness of it, and watching the growth with each new branch, bloom and baby veggie. There is a sense of satisfaction I get from working in the ground, planting a seedling and then harvesting and preserving it's fruit for the winter. Every year, I wonder... should I grow a garden this year? It takes so much time and soooo much of my energy. But every year, I do it...gladly (well, except for the weeding haha). An added bonus? Spiritual lessons. You see, I learn a lot about God through gardening. For instance, the way he patiently works, nourishes the soil, plants, and weeds, and toils all for the joy of seeing the fruit...

Flowers bring me special joy. Along with my perennials (which I like to add to each year), I like to plant containers and set them on our porch. It just makes our home look cheerful and welcoming. The bright colors, the fragrance, the delicate petals -- it all makes me happy. Summer just wouldn't be summer without flowers.

I take special pride though, in my vegetable garden. I love that this is a way I can provide good and healthy food for our table. Last year, was a disappointing one for our garden. We began to wonder if our garden plot in back of the house was getting too shaded by our huge oak tree. So, this year we planned an experiment. I planted one of each kind of plant in the old garden spot and one in a container situated in a place in our yard that gets almost constant sun. The tomato plants still seem to be doing pretty well in both places, but the eggplant and pepper plants are a different story. Can you guess the winner? ; )

Garden Eggplant
Container eggplant

This year, I also tried planting lettuce for the first time. I put Boston in one container and Romaine in the other. As I planted a little late, I wasn't even sure if the seeds would do anything. I was very surprised! I have actually been pulling them up by the roots for now to keep thinning them out. Oh and they are delicious! I see a lot of yummy garden salads in our future!

And speaking of the future, since our container garden is doing so well (at least so far haha), my dear sweet husband has offered to build a raised bed in that area for next year. I can't wait!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Why a Blog?

So why blog? It's really not that I think my life is so fascinating and important that others should just want to read about it. Really, I'm not planning on this blog having more than an audience of one. Ok, two -- God and me. Well, ok...God, me, my husband, my mom and maybe a handful of family members -- haha.

I decided to blog because I too often take for granted God's blessings for me. When you live with daily challenges such as I do, I'm afraid it's far easier to live in negativity and what you can't do, and what you don't have, and what is "seemingly" taken from you, than the blessings that you are surrounded with every day. I am ashamed that is the truth. So, I am starting this blog to encourage myself to look for those blessings and appreciate them, and be grateful to my good God and Father because of them. His Word says He DELIGHTS to give good gifts to His children, so I am going to look for those gifts each day. Hopefully, I will focus more on my positive side again. haha

I decided to call the blog "Simple Gifts" firstly because I've always liked that old Shaker song, and I try to live out it's message. I am learning the gift of being simple in my heart, the gift of coming to the Lord with a child-like faith (still very much a work in progress), and I continue to learn and strive for that simplicity in my life and in my home. The fact that life is very hard (and no mistake it is), and it can be very painful, God STILL gives good gifts to His children. Even when it doesn't seem like it, He does still show us His love through simple gifts -- His blessings to us. Deciding to start this blog has already helped me re-focus on looking for them. I hope to continue and post regularly here how God has shown me His love and care.