I know as a writer I’m supposed to be able to articulate my feelings, but I’m not sure I can quite convey the emotions I experienced in the garden a few weeks ago. I had been dreading and putting off the garden clean-up for weeks.
In previous years I would have had that soil ready for rest, but this year my plot still held a long-dried-up bean vine, matted black-eyed pea vines, and shriveled cucumber vines with rotting cucumbers on the ground.
But even in the midst of the clean-up I found myself rejuvenated. What had taken me so long to get out here again?
Although most of the garden’s lush growth had browned, I found joy in discovering a lone tomato seedling and a budding potato sprout – both volunteers from the year’s crops. I was so moved by the sight – and the immediate life application – that I did an unplanned video on Periscope. (You can view the 4-minute Scope here.)
What would make me video myself live with no makeup, hair in a ponytail, and unflattering sunlight? Only this: I love gardening. I love talking about gardening. I love sharing my gardening journey to anyone who will listen. And if someone asks me a gardening question, well, I work hard to contain my excitement.
If you follow my blog, you’ve seen a few gardening posts here and there. Many I’ve limited to spiritual lessons in the garden (which I also wrote a whole book about), but for the most part, I’ve shied away from posting much about my gardening journey.
You see, the subjects of faith and gardening are two different writing genres. The experts say to choose one theme for a blog or ministry or business and stick with it. I’ve chosen to mostly write about my biggest passion – my relationship with God – and I figure most of my readers want to read about that.
But I’ve wrestled with a strong desire to write about gardening more in-depth for years. I’ve squashed that little hope like a whack-a-mole every time it comes up.
I’ve even questioned gardening itself. Is it a waste of time? Shouldn’t I be spending my time on more spiritual matters?
But every time I’ve gone to the garden, prayerfully placing this Isaac on the altar, I feel more strongly than ever that just like writing and teaching, gardening is what I’m made to do and enjoy.
Among other benefits, the garden is where God speaks to me.
In my garden that day, the desire to share my journey in the garden and help others who want to start a garden was so strong, I couldn’t shake it. It was then that I realized perhaps instead of stifling this passion, I should use it.
So many people I’ve talked to over the years have the desire to plant something but don’t know where to start. Or they have tried but it didn’t turn out like they had hoped. Many gardening books and web sites assume a basic knowledge and I remember much of it was over my head when I began. Or there was so much information available it was hard to wade through it all.
I’ve been gardening long enough to have some knowledge but not too long that I don’t remember what’s it’s like starting at square one.
I also have come to understand that the benefits of gardening go far further than simply growing something to eat. Studies show that gardening helps depression and mood. But more than that, gardening has brought me into a closer fellowship with God – the Creator!
Where did God place Adam after he was created? A Garden!
Who planted the first garden? Not Adam. God Himself! (Genesis 2:8)
I, of all people, should understand that helping people plant something, even if it’s just one thing, has the potential of bringing them closer to God through His creation. (Romans 1:20)
So I’m done with stifling this passion. I’m ready to embrace it as the God-given desire it is.
What will that look like?
My desire is to motivate everyone to plant something and to offer straightforward information for the beginning gardener who doesn’t know how to start, is overwhelmed at the thought of a garden, or is limited in time, space, and resources.
With that in mind, I’ve created a weekly gardening e-newsletter, which will explain exactly what to do each week from December 25 through May. This will take the worry out of planning and instead will give step-by-step instructions, along with links to valuable resources on the web.
To get these weekly e-newsletters, simply click here to sign up for my Plant Something e-mail list. With your subscription, I’ll also send you a link to download my Glory in the Garden: 31 days of devotionals e-book free. Plus, you’ll get my printable Vegetable and Fruit Planning Guide and my Garden Task Calendar free.
This will be a separate sign-up list from my Journey with Jill subscribers. Why? Because I know not all of my readers are interested in gardening, and I’ll continue to offer the same type of content as always on my site. But if you have the slightest interest in gardening, or even learning more about it, I’d love to have you join me on this fun venture. I’ve already got most of the newsletters written and I can’t tell you how excited I am to share them!
Click here to sign up! All that’s required is your email address. Are you in?