The Garden isn’t planted! Heck, the garden isn’t even plowed. Currently, there is 18 inches of grass where I envision rows of lettuce, squash, and beans to be growing. Considering that we have grown significant amounts of vegetables in prior years, this is quite the frustration for me. Memorial Day weekend has long been our major push for getting things in the ground. But here we are sitting squarely in June with a bunch of seedlings and no where to put them. Every day I come home and am reminded by what we haven’t been able to get done. I am frustrated by this failure. It’s not like I have just been sitting around though. We’ve all been busy readying all kinds of things around the farm, preparing for end of year school adventures, a graduation, a party. We’ve been preparing for new chickens, new turkeys, a new cow, new pastures, new fencing. We’ve been working our day jobs, running errands, driving children around. But still, this patch of grass glares at me.
It’s so easy to focus on that patch of grass and get frustrated though. I don’t know why we are always so inclined to focus on the negatives. I find myself doing it often…”I didn’t have enough time to do this.”, “why are you not doing chores?”, “why did you forget to do that?” The dont’s, the didn’ts, and the forgotten things seem to be the easiest to focus on, at least for me. Sometimes it’s saying these things to myself, silently beating myself up for failing in some way. Sometimes it’s toward my children, when I feel they aren’t living up to my standards or expectations. Sometimes it’s towards me, because I frequently fall short of getting my to do list done and somewhere along the way I’ve forgotten something, or occasionally, someone. Sometimes it’s justified, but mostly, it’s merely choosing to focus on the failure instead of the success.
As part of this ever changing journey, we are learning though. Learning to be patient, learning there is always more work to be done, learning different ways to do what we already thought we knew. We are also all learning to offer each other grace for our shortcomings. After all, weren’t we all offered much more grace? How can I not be thankful when I look at that patch of grass? At least I have it. At least I will be able to grow food eventually. How can I not be thankful when I see animals and children running around carelessly? At least they have enough food. How can I not have pride when I look beyond that would-be garden at the open sky, rolling hills, green grass, and fresh air? I take a deep breath of that fresh air and it brings my focus back to what matters.
We are offered grace when we don’t deserve it. We are blessed. My husband and I are best friends and deeply, truly in love. We are blessed. Our kids are healthy, happy and here. We are blessed. We have the ability to grow our own food. We are blessed. We get to walk outside every day and never worry about our safety. We are blessed. Life is really that simple if we refocus. So for me today, I will choose to focus on what could be, and embrace that patch of grass.