The Victory list


Eden must wait.

The Back to Eden garden I began laying out in January while the ground was still frozen, came to an abrupt halt in February when the sod thawed (hey! that rhymes!) and RAIN began to fall. All. Month. Long. That is, when it wasn’t SNOWING! And melting. And SNOWING. And melting. And just this morning, another inch of snow was there to greet us!

Will it ever stop? Should I build an ark instead, Father? Rather than complain, I thanked God for the snow and whatever it is that I’m supposed to learn from this maddening delay to my plans.

“Eden wasn’t created in a day, you know”, says the Lord “and I have power far beyond your abilities.” Right. I get the message, Lord.

Do not despise the day of small beginnings (Zechariah 4:10).

Another lesson God had for me is a simple one, which often seems to be the most difficult to grasp. He said “you’re frustrated because you’re trying to do work out of season.”

For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1). 

Still the bare-root fruit trees need to be in before they break dormancy. So I cut and removed the sod where they’ll be planted; a task more easily done when the sod is wet and made even easier by an idea the Lord gave me to impale the sod with a fork hoe and pivot to toss it into the tow cart. It was poetry in motion, let me tell you! Not having to bend over to scoop it up was cause for heart-felt praise from this old bod!

While finishing up the last of 13 holes, the neighbor, bless his heart, offered to help move the compost and mulch with his front end loader until he saw how wet and muddy the yard is now. This time of year, the plot to the north where the B2E garden is going in, is a lovely mix of grass, weeds, and moss – mostly moss – which, of course, swells up with water like a sponge. Squirting out from beneath my feet, like walking through a bed of razor clams, would normally make me laugh with glee but for the fact that the mucky mess has utterly halted progress on my garden.

Perhaps that’s one of the lessons? Learning to enjoy, have fun, and laugh while I’m working? A career in aerospace manufacturing certainly taught me that work is not at all fun, and play is most definitely separate from work. So to combine the two – work and fun – is a concept foreign to my way of thinking. Yet how often has my earthly father suggested to me “slow down, rest, and have fun” wherein I’ve assured him that I will “just as soon as the work is done”. Such advice I’ve considered loony-tunes until a few weeks ago when the Father showed me from Genesis 1-2 that Adam’s work tending to the garden of Eden was done while at the same time enjoying God’s Sabbath rest (link). If the concept of work and fun was a stretch for my pea-brain, work and rest blew my mind! But ain’t that the way it is with God?  Ideas I once considered wholly divorced in my own mind, are beautifully married in God’s kingdom!

In times like these, when my plans have been interrupted daily, even to the point where frustration gives way to heart-felt laughter of the sort that cries “OK! OK!!! You have my UNDIVIDED attention!”, I have learned one sure-fire thing. God is protecting me from my self, my hardheaded stubborn self, by throwing everything and the kitchen sink at me to keep me tied up long enough that the blessing He’s planned for my future finds me still waiting. Experience has taught me as often as one of these “comedic interludes” derails my plans, God’s blessing is always just around the corner.

That doesn’t mean I’m any less frustrated because I love to garden and I want to get it done. Trays of seeds are sprouting under the grow lights, a dozen fruit trees are heeled in awaiting the time to plant, another 5 have yet to be shipped, 70 native plants from the county conservation district await the landscaping project, along with 50 five foot tall aborvitae stacked beside the house for a hedge.

All that and there’s Jack, staring out the window in disbelief at a field of mud and half melted snow.

So this morning the Lord gave me a brief vision of sorts. The image of a boulder on a slope that could not be moved for all the little stones wedged beneath it. At once, I understood moving the boulder was as simple as chipping away at the small stones that secured it in place. He also reminded me of an experience in the grocery store last week where the cart I was pushing came to a grinding halt when one of the wheels ran into a small pebble. It’s a marvel how something so small can hold up something so big!

With that image in mind, He prompted me to make a list of all the small unfinished jobs around the house that I can do while waiting for the yard to dry out enough to resume laying out my Back to Eden garden. I brainstormed with Karen a list of jobs which she suggested I call the “VICTORY LIST”. We posted it on the fridge with a pencil nearby to cross off the jobs once completed. After lunch, we got started and just this afternoon managed to cross 3 jobs off the list.

Wouldn’t it be just like God when we’ve checked off the last item on the list, that it’s dry enough to resume putting in our garden? And wouldn’t it also be like Him to provide help moving the remaining 40 cubic yards of compost and mulch into place? Perhaps a friend with a tractor to make quick work of it all? Maybe even an angel army to get it done while I rest?

So guess what the weather forecast is for tonight on the north face of the Olympic peninsula?

A. Minimum. Of. Two. More. Inches. Of. SNOW!

Well … PRAISE the LORD!