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Project Pickup


I wrote in my journal that everything is difficult today, except crying. Just one of those days. I shouldn’t waste it, I guess, and give my insecurities and sins to Jesus through tears. Or dedicate a few minutes of tears to hurting youth and their parents. I ended up in the garden where every little thing that happens is so completely and obviously God’s creation taking place that tears would be rude there. Standing in the rows, the corn reaching high over my head, or inhaling sweet pea fragrance by the trellis, or even getting close-up pictures of the furry bees dancing on the cone flowers, any and all reasons to be crying drifted off. I still feel sad and quiet, but fear is gone. Any God that can make crops and breathtaking beauty of this acre of sandy, sterile soil is good enough for me. He can do anything at all. Even stop the Enemy and crush the stupid, cruddy darkness we encounter.

Every evening after supper, Elv has been going out to his open air shop to work on our latest happy project, which is to put a new bed made of steel and wood on the Dakota pickup. Its the pickup of Lance’s that Elv’s machine almost backed over the same week that Brad and I turtled the sailboat. The redemption of the pickup will be our much needed Jeep replacement. We will have a hauler for our projects and our going-to-the-cabin vehicle. It will be our excursion and going on an explore (dear ole Pooh) vehicle. I have yet to experience the redemption of my dunking in the lake that evening.

So the summer flew by. A few of our good intentions panned out. There were other unexpected pleasures. We did accomplish some of our goals. We kept the deer and the bear out of the garden mostly. Elv and I began a practice of taking a walk most mornings before work. Our long list of projects didn’t get much shorter, but in spite of all that which we cannot control: outcomes, schedules, and accidents; in the end, as fall approaches, we feel happy and blessed.

The sweet pea flowers are one of those unexpected pleasures this summer. I started them from seed in March on a living room window sill. They grew spindly, pale, and leggy-tall. Kind of silly really, and when I transplanted them to garden beside the trellis it was strictly because I had invested so much time and yearning already I had to try. They were slow growing. But with watering and more yearning and fertilizers they finally began to climb the trellis. What a miracle when they began to bloom. The sweetest fragrance ever comes from these apparently fragile flowers. Cutting them for vases only yields more blooms. Carolyn uses the word “exponentially”to describe how many more flowers come when you cut the first ones for vases. This works for all cut flowers: zinnia, cosmos, forget-me-not, purple cone flower, and the rest. So the moral of this story for me is to transplant even the sickly. Given the right conditions, they’ll grow and flower. And to fill the vases with the first few flowers, don’t worry, there will be more. Give of your first little blooms in life. There’s more coming, by giving.

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