Growing Anticipation

For a month with only 28 days, February sure seems to be the longest month of the year. We’re all hunkered down, hibernating until warmer weather arrives.

Growing Pains

This is a month of anticipation for gardeners. In our house that means starting seeds!  Discussions have begun about what to plant and where to plant it. Much like life itself, that entails addressing successes and failures from the past.

I am not the gardener, so I can only brag about my husband, Neil’s successes. They included his delicious crops of lettuce, cucumbers and Delicata squash. The biggest failure, however, almost proved catastrophic. Because we had such a wet summer, the rain saturated the ground, then splashed pathogens up onto the leaves above. This caused a lot of disease and premature rot, particularly on the tomato plants.

Planting Plans
Max loves his oat grass!

Undeterred, Neil has spent months planning this year’s garden and has a plan in place to avoid similar issues. He is also taking full advantage of our “grand-bunnies”, Max and Charlie.  Throughout the winter he has been collecting their bunny beans. There is also a worm farm in our basement. Bet you didn’t know that worm castings are amazing fertilizer. From the outside, our home looks as normal as the others in the neighorhood, but there is a lot growing on inside!

While winter has kept my hubby from his vegetable garden, it hasn’t prevented him from trying out some indoor growing. We have enjoyed a variety of sprouts in our salads — radish, mustard, alfalfa, cress and mung bean. All were delicious. And now, he is harvesting . . . (wait for it) . . . mushrooms! Neil did a lot of research and has tried out two varieties: Shitake and Grey Dove Oyster. He is like a mad scientist with his “fruiting chamber.” But that is a post for another time.

Sowing Seeds of Love

Today as I was thinking about spring and the upcoming growing season, I marveled at the amazing abundance that comes from one tiny seed. What an awesome creation that sustains both man and beast!

Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so. (Genesis 1:11)

God was and is the greatest gardener of all time.

Have patience. The warmer weather will come, and with it the beautiful flowering buds and songbirds returning to nest. What a glorious gift that we can anticipate during the rest of the wintry days!

What Are You Waiting For?

Snow Days

If you live in a snow belt state, you probably know first-hand the unbridled joy every kid feels on a snow day. But the hours waiting for that official call always seem endless.

In our corner of Virginia, the Public Information Officer for our school district is a local celebrity. Parents and kids alike await his phone calls before every storm. His witty recordings have earned him a huge fan following, and dozens of memes have been created in his honor. Read more about him here.

Delayed Reward

When I was a kid, there were no robocalls announcing school was closed. There was no crawler on our black and white TV, and no website to visit. We turned on WBZ radio in Boston and listened while Gary LaPierre read through the list of towns with school closures. He read at the speed of a seasoned auctioneer — in alphabetical order. If you left the room, or there was static on the airwaves, you had to wait until the list began again. I felt sorry for kids in Yarmouth. That was a long wait for them!

If you grew up before there was internet, cable TV or cell phones, you get it. Waiting was a normal, everyday part of life. But today, we want everything now! We can’t stand waiting for anything.

Practicing Patience

In Romans, Paul writes,

“ . . . Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” – Romans‬ ‭8:24c-25

Personally speaking I’m not sure that “patiently” describes how I wait. But I try to be patient while I hope for what is to come.

But what does that have to do with snow days?

Ahhhh. Well, what if our personal growth is shaped by the hope we feel during all the waits in life, snow day calls included? Perhaps we grow by learning to wait for what we do not have. We gain strength by hoping for something we have not seen. If we have only heard about something, or perhaps experienced just a glimpse of it, then we anticipate how great it will be!

That is how I view eternity. Think of the best snow day ever, the best vacation, or happiest memory of your life. None of those can even begin to compare what awaits us at the end of our days on earth.

But rest assured, it will be worth every moment of the wait.