Who’s In Charge

Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.     Haggai 1:6

We like to believe that we are in control. Helpless is not a state we enjoy.

Sometimes we are reminded that God is in control and we are not.

Gardening is one of those reminders for me.

I can prepare the soil.

I can plant the best seed.

I can water and fertilize.

But I cannot make the plants grow or produce.

Only God can do that.

Last season I had a beautiful row of lima beans. They were loaded with blossoms that became pods but very few developed into beans that could be harvested. Why? I have no idea.

This season we put in a raised bed garden.


I prepared the beds.

I planted the seeds and watched for them to emerge.

I was expecting a bumper crop!

But sometimes things don’t go the way you plan.

One of the tomato plants developed strange fruit, really deformed.

So I pulled the plant.

The yellow squash and zucchini produced but then the plants wilted and died.

Then there were the critters!


Hungry grasshoppers.


And whatever is eating my tomatoes just when they are ripening.

Raised bed gardening still has its challenges but we have enjoyed the fruits of our labor just the same.

And there is always next year!

This experience has served to remind me that I’m not in charge.

But I do know the One who is and I trust Him.

Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:                                    Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.                                          Habakkuk 3:17-18

The Garden Story-The Harvest

To everything there is  a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven: 

A time to be born, and a time to die;

A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2



A few years ago Olin decided to grow a plot of corn and harvest with his antique equipment. Another year we grew a plot and harvested by hand. It was an adventure. Our neighbors came over to help pick the corn and then we celebrated with a picnic on the front porch.

The farmers in our neighborhood are beginning to harvest the corn crop. It is a busy time for them -hard work and long hours in the fields. We pray for good weather for the harvest season.

In the garden it is a different story. We enjoy a longer harvest season, beginning in the spring with the asparagus, lettuce, radishes, spinach, kale, onions, and peas.

Then the carrots, green beans, lima beans, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and squash.

We also have apple and peach trees, red currant bushes, and blackberries.


We are blessed! It does take effort but it is well worth it. Nothing tastes better than something fresh picked from your own garden.




The Garden Story – The Dream

And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden . . .


I love to ride the country roads in the springtime and see the ground being plowed and planted. Then all summer long we watched to see the progress of the wheat or corn or soybeans, or whatever the crop may be. Riding down the road I listen for my husband to comment “Too wet.”, “Need rain.”, or “Looking good!” Then in the fall we watch as the harvest begins and finally the fields are put to bed for the winter. The cycle of life is played out before us on those farms that surround us.

I guess that is why have always loved gardening. There is something special about planting a seed and watching it grow (or not – as sometimes happens with me). We have always had a garden. I started out small but over the years it has grown. Even though our children are grown with gardens of their own – my garden has not gotten any smaller.


In fact it has gotten quite a bit bigger. Do I really need five rows of lima beans? Maybe not – but someone can use them and I love to grow them.

These pictures are from our Garden of 2016. Everything laid out in neat long rows, although some may be a little crooked.

This year, however, we made a change. Last August I read an article about Len Pense and his raised-bed revolution. It sounded interesting so I made a phone call and he invited us down to Strafford, Missouri to see his garden and to learn about his system.


We had a great time touring the garden and listening to Len’s story of how this all came about and before we left he had converted us. We decided to try his system in our garden.

This spring we put down the black weed protection fabric and began building our beds.

I did make one mistake. The beds are supposed to be 4 feet wide by 16 feet long (inside dimensions). My first beds are 4 feet by 16 feet – outside dimensions.  A little smaller than his but they functioned well for this season!


These are the rice hulls which we mix with cotton burr compost, peat moss and trace mineral elements to make up the planting medium.

Olin bought a Feed Grinder-Mixer to mix our ingredients. It works pretty well as long as he doesn’t stick his head down in while it is running!


It made it easier and quicker to fill all those beds.


We used tubs for some plants – squash, zuchinni, peppers, cantaloupe, watermelon, cucumbers, and some tomatoes.



We spread mulch in between the beds to help with weed control – and it makes it look nice! Olin also made me three new composting bins.


And let the planting begin!


In addition to the benefits of fresh produce I also had a great exercise program lifting concrete blocks and shoveling mulch!

Stay tuned for the next installment of our gardening adventure!


A Lesson In Trust

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.                           In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.             Proverbs 3:5-6

In this past week I have been reminded of the importance of trust. And it was a tiny bundle of fur (only 12 ounces) who brought the lesson home to me in a personal way.

We live on a farm and our barn cats are an important weapon in the battle against the field mice. Our feline population ebbs and flows with the seasons. Last winter we were down to only five but this summer we have experienced an increase with several litters of kittens. One little kitten went exploring and managed to fall down between the slats of the horse barn. She was there for several days before my husband was able to get her out by removing a portion of the wall. He brought her to the house where we began “operation rescue” with an eye dropper and Kitten milk replacer. One week later she has moved on to a tiny bottle and is thriving. She is determined to be friends with our black lab but Ms. Pepper is not about to have her personal space invaded.


It amazes me that this tiny kitten has totally accepted the situation. She trusts me to feed her and care for her. What an example of faith.

Look at those eyes. She has accepted me as her caregiver and follows the sound of my voice.

And seek not ye what ye shall eat or drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.                                                                                                                                                                       Luke 12:29-32  

I have been reminded in this that my Father in heaven knows all of my needs and He will provide all that I need.        I can rest in the thought that He loves and cares for me. I need not be anxious for anything. My God is able!