Posted by: karanoel | November 2, 2017

A kitchen, a garden and a book

I am absolutely terrible at following directions. Cooking is a prime example. Maybe it’s because I am usually paying attention to more things than my non-multi-tasking brain can handle, like managing text messages, listening to the news or looking at Chase’s newest creation. Or maybe it’s my tendency to skim a recipe, rather than actually read it (apparently all the steps are important and sometimes it even matters which order they go in). And it certainly doesn’t help that I rarely look beyond the list of ingredients before attempting to cook, which often results in unforeseen obstacles, like “marinate meat for at least 4 hours” when my family is hungry now. Lastly, I tend to blow off what doesn’t seem important, often realizing later that there was a reason that particular instruction was included.

When I started my garden a couple years ago, I ran into the same problem. After frequenting local garden shops to a rather obsessive degree, I quickly gathered an abundance of vegetable seedlings to plant and nurture. Each little sprout came with instructions (presumably written by someone with more expertise than myself) that gave me all the information needed to make it thrive or, at least, to keep it from dying. As with recipes, I gave the instructions a quick look-over to get the basic idea and then jumped into the good part – getting things into the ground! Not just a few things, mind you. I wanted to use every square inch of that plot to reap a legit harvest. So, after a brief mental struggle with the spacing part of the instructions, I entirely blew them off. I just couldn’t see how that tiny, little zucchini plant, no bigger than my palm, could possibly require 3 feet of precious space around it. How then could I possibly fit all the other vegetables I wanted to grow? As you may have guessed, that tiny little zucchini plant grew to gargantuan proportions, crowding out all the poor surrounding plants and creating a minor garden meltdown.*

CrowdedGarden2.jpg

My takeaway is this… We have the freedom to do life willy-nilly like my cooking and gardening, but following instructions from a wiser source will give us a much better chance of getting the outcome we want. The best set of instructions I know of, by the wisest source possible, is in the Bible. I’m not going to say I always follow all of it, because I don’t (clearly this is an issue for me!). Forgiveness is one of the hardest mandates, especially when I have been deeply wronged… and loving my enemy? Well, let’s just say that doesn’t come naturally. Trusting God in all my ways and not leaning on my own understanding is so very counterintuitive that my temptation is usually to disregard it. But what I’m coming to understand – by decades of seeing the results of my way and His way – is that the Creator of life knows far more than we do about how to live it well and can see far beyond our limited vision of a circumstance. Like a seed growing to maturity, the fruit doesn’t always show up overnight and it’s sometimes hard to trust that the instructions are right. But as we continue to follow them, we will find that our lives begin to look like the beautiful feast or fruitful garden that our hearts have been yearning for and have been unable to achieve. I won’t say that it is always easy, but I will say that it is simple. Try it and see!

*My cooking style has yet to improve, but I now garden with a tape measure to get my spacing right!


Responses

  1. Wonderful!!!!!

    • Thanks Pam!

  2. So true

  3. Loving this! Beautifully written, as always!

    • Thanks Kriste! You are the best ❤️

  4. HI KAREN, THIS IS COUSIN JUNE PEDERSEN GORDON IN NJ. I’M TRYING TO FIND OUT HOW YOUR DAD IS DOING. LAST FROM HIM HE FOUNDOUT HE HAD AHEART ATTCK, BUY OKAY ANDPLANNING ON NECK SURGERY. HAVEN’T HEARD A WORD SINCE THEN. TRIED CALLING AND LEFT A MSG CAN U PLEASE ENLIGHTEN ME?? I DON’T KNOW WHERE TO GO FROM HERE

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

    • Hi June. Dad did have a heart attack but his heart checked out okay after that so no surgery was needed. He had his neck surgery last week and the doctor said it was successful. He had a rough couple of days in the hospital, and is doing a little better recovering at home but it’s still consuming for both him and mom. I think mom got a special laptop desk for him today so that he can use his computer without straining his neck, so I’m guessing he will start catching up with emails soon. Hope that helps! Kara


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