Worship, Perennials, and a Sailboat

We have had some good family discussions lately and in response to a negative statement someone was to have said about worship, Clark said “It is what we bring to our worship time that makes it what it is.”  I agree. Our own attitude and willingness to learn and listen makes all the difference. To pick apart what’s happening because of our personal unmet expectations is to admit ingratitude or discontent of our own. Frankly, when the negative statement was made, it felt unkind and untrue because my take on the same event was one of my particular happy things. It inspires me again to remember how important it is to be encouraging.

         We are trying to improve Elv’s health and sense of well-being by giving more attention to what we are eating. It’s challenging right now because he is eating out of a cooler four days a week working away from home. And I’m at home defaulting to what’s to eat as usual, which is only bad because of portion control. Our larder is rather simplistic and balanced for the most part. Except I like ice cream too much and Elv likes bread too much. But now we have to make changes.
So I’ve been strategizing his grub into balanced, healthy, daily packets to be kept in his cooler. What an interesting project! He needs protein: eggs, cheese, meat, and beans. And only a few carbs: chips and whole grain breads. I can add milk, nuts, fruit and vegetables. But we don’t want any added sugars (corn syrup appears everywhere like nobody’s business where it has no business to be!), and we want low carbs in general. And how do we do meat? We spend a little more money buying decent hot dogs (real beef) and cheese sticks. Home formed hamburgers? Hard boiled eggs can be a good source of protein. But who wants hard-boiled eggs every single day? How about hummus in small containers of different flavors, is that a thing? Could do the same with some fruit dip made of real cream, cream cheese (which is fattening but good) and that yummy, expensive, real-peanuts-only peanut butter. I’m trying to stop just short of being radically “quack” here by not falling for vegan, non-dairy or gluten free, to boot. Elv is not impressed at all by fads and fancies, food-wise.
Another happy thing for me is planning a perennial flowerbed where now the garden attempts to be. Since I can’t seem to have a good vegetable garden: rust in the zinnia row, blight from the store bought squash plants, meager soil nutrition, sand, and in general a silly, little, pretend garden, I shall now turn it over to hardy perennials, soaker hoses, mulch, and paths. We’ll see what that does.
You might sense that I’m discontent and frustrated. You would be correct. I feel like we’ve tried everything to have a nice garden and some years it almost is. But unless we pile on the manure and lime yearly and spray and mulch and irrigate and keep the deer out, we cannot have a garden here at all. Even when we do all those things, it is sketchy! The last straw for me was when the holly hocks made one last appearance last year and generally created havoc by sharing a bad case of rust with the zinnia and mallow

. This year the holly hocks didn’t come up, which is just as well. And then the VERY last straw was when I started looking at others’ gardens and comparing and finally realized that my pitiful attempts were worse than ridiculous … I am not even getting crops out of all those efforts.

            So, I am making lists of perennials that we already have here on our acre that need dividing and nurturing. And researching design ideas. And thinking about Lily’s garden and maybe having her wisdom. And visualizing green grass paths. And absorbing the beautiful Pinterest ideas.
            Meanwhile, Brad is fixing a sailboat. This is really exciting. Thanks to Bill. It is amazing and generous of him to hand on the pleasure to Brad. He could have kept his sailboat for his own memories sake. I hope to finally go sailing with Brad one of these days. This summer.
            To gather  these threads up into a tidy conclusion, I’ll repeat Clark’s idea and say that it’s what we bring with us to the experience that makes or breaks it. It takes thought and effort and a good attitude to eat well, live well, worship well, and play well. Have a happy day, all of you, my patient readers.

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