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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Kingdom Garden



Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Matthew 13:8 (NIV)
 
Each summer, for the past three summers, I plant a garden.
It seems like a frivolous thing to do when I live within a five minute drive of Costco and three major grocery stores that carry a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables year around. Not only do I live close to supermarkets, I live in Calgary, Alberta. That's in Canada. And while it's true that Canada has regions renowned for their produce, Southern Alberta isn't one of them. With a 110 frost free days a year, my gardening season is shorter than the NHL's off-season.
Still, every spring I wait for the snow to melt and head to the garden centre where I pick up seed packets (anything with the word "Alaska" on the label will do) and sometime in the first week of June, after the weeds have been pulled and bagged, I plant my zucchini, pea, bean, carrot, beet, onion, and potato seeds in my 30' x 20' plot. The tomatoes and lettuce go in containers on my deck.
Then I hook up the timer on my sprinkler and wait for a miracle. Every year, if I water consistently and keep the weeds under control that miracle happens.

I harvest a crop that is abundantly more than I planted.

As the only vegetable garden in a square mile of suburban homes, my kids and the neighborhood children experience the wonder of eating peas right off the vine, learn to eat carrots with a bit of dirt still on them, and stagger under the weight of monster zucchini.

And I encounter, through my small garden, the truth contained in so many of Jesus' parables. When Jesus taught, he spoke to people who understood sowing and reaping. He used the basic metaphor of planting and harvesting to teach about the kingdom of heaven.

…[The] one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the person who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Matthew 13:21 (NIV)

Join me in my prayer this week:
Lord God, let me gladly receive your word so that you may produce an abundance of your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and, faithfulness in me. Help me know that it is you multiplying my small efforts. Amen

 
I look forward to reading your comments, but as I'm on my way home from Denver today, I won't comment until tomorrow. For sharing your gardening experiences and leaving your email address (like this: you [at] yourmail [dot] com) you could win a copy of Dakota's Child by Linda Ford. I’ll pick a winner at random on September 23rd.

14 comments:

  1. Wenda, what a lovely image of you and your garden. Thank you for sharing this with us. While I can't produce a vegetable garden, I long to be someone who can produce an abundance of love, goodness and faithfulness through Him. Thank you for summing it up so well in that beautiful prayer.

    Have a safe trip home from Denver!

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  2. I not really much of a gardener. It's something that I think I should like, but never end up enjoying. Probably because I have too many allergies and always end up feeling itchy and prickly. Hmm, I wonder it there is a metaphor in that somewhere.

    I enjoyed reading your experiences, though. Lovely devotional.

    Dina

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  3. Wenda,
    We have a mutual passion, if you can call gardening a passion when I've done it one summer!

    What did I learn?

    To only plant one or two cucumber plants. They are prickly and monopolize everything to the point of choking out life.

    Keep the onions all in a row or they get lost in the midst of all the other leaves and shoots.

    Draw your own analogies from my experiences!

    Blessings, and thanks for the lovely post!
    Patti

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  4. Such lovely descriptions. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Wenda, thank you for the lovely devotional. I appreciate the prayerful reminder.

    I am currently reading Dakota's Child and am thoroughly enjoying it!

    Safe journey home!

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  6. Hey Wenda,
    I think I might have a better appreciation of this post now that I've met you in person. I'm not at all surprised that you long for and work for the joys of a small garden. We don't really need the 'groceries' as you say, but for me it provides food for the soul.

    Granted, it's not for everyone but I do so miss my days of vegetable gardening at our old house. It was my pride and joy. Good hard work, dirty fingers and toes, but there is just something to be said for being that close to the soil and seeing our efforts come to fruition.

    What's better in the winter than something you've grown and 'put away' that takes your thoughts right back to summer?

    I hope all the Denver Inkies are having a good rest at home or are nearly there. (Okay, not Anita who is off on adventure still!) And I sure hope you all got more sleep last night than I did. As in I got zilch sleep last night. I should be in bed and here I am. Gotta get my daily dose of fresh ink!

    Genesis 2:8 'And the Lord God planted a garden in a place called Eden, which was to the east, and put the man in it'
    As a horticulturalist, I consider it a highly esteemed profession.

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  7. How lovely of you to share. Unfortunately, I have a black thumb. I even killed a cactus once to give you an idea of how bad I am. I am in awe of anyone who gardens. One of my dear friends plants vegetables every year and shares some of her produce which is such a blessing. It just makes me feel loved since I know how much hard work and effort she puts into her garden.


    cherierj(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  8. Our growing season is supernaturally short, too! Every year I get up enough verve to garden God teaches me some new spiritual lesson... like don't try to dig up your seeds to see if they are sprouting or not, and this year, sometimes what you plant is not for you, it's for someone else... deer ate my entire garden this year, down to the stubs.
    Wouldn't it be lovely to have a greenhouse?

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  9. Loved the post Wenda. I love our garden too and love taking my granddaughter to pick carrots to eat for ourselves and, as an extra benefit we sometimes pull some out to feed the horses. I'm always amazed at how much comes from such a small amount of seed. Blessings and thanks.

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  10. Wenda, what a beautiful devotion. I'm home now and catching up, so I apologize for this being so late. I am a Costco/Sam's Club gardener. For, with a true in-the-soil garden comes not only God's delicious foods, but also God's flying and crawling (not to mention slithering) bugs. And they, to put it mildly, bug me! It was wonderful to meet you. You are one of God's treasures.

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  11. Thanks for this, Wenda. I live in AB too, but don't garden - tho' I'm always envious of those who do at this time of year, when the harvest is in!
    :)Marcia AT vinemarc DOT com

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  12. Wenda, it was great meeting you at conference. I love gardening as well, though there never seems to be enough time.

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  13. Isn't that the joy of a harsh climate - how well appreciated spring is? I live very close to a field that is half community garden and half prairie. So without a garden of my own I can enjoy the sight and smells of the garden bounty all summer. Nature still reminds us of what's really important.

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  14. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I thought I'd left a message earlier today, but figured out later that I wasn't logged in!

    Duh! Talk about TSTRAC (Too stupid to run a computer).

    I love the garden stories. No matter where we live or what we do, our nurturing instinct just likes to make things grow, whether it is plants, veggies, children, pets, knitted scarves, finished pages on a sudoku book... Okay, I'll quit now.

    But I love how Jesus taught using the simple, everyday things.

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