* This was originally posted on my other website on August 9, 2016.
As I come to the end of another gardening season (for me), I wanted to share a few more lessons that I’ve learned — or relearned — while working in my garden this summer.
Start with the HARD things. I don’t know about you, but it is so tempting for me to want to do the easy things first, and then by default I don’t get around to taking care of the difficult, inconvenient, challenging, not-so-easy “hard” stuff. Sometimes it’s just even the things in life that TAKE MORE EFFORT that I put off. In my garden, the easy tasks are harvesting produce and picking flowers. The obvious “hard” tasks are weeding, checking for pests, dealing with said pests, and so on. When you skip out on those tasks that take more effort, you are cheating yourself out of better results and the satisfaction that comes from a job well done.
Be willing to CONSISTENTLY put in the work and effort. I have struggled with consistency this summer when it comes to my garden. To be honest with you, it’s not in great shape. I’ve let the weeds and the bugs encroach on what was a healthy, thriving garden. Without consistent action in the important areas of our life, the same thing can happen. What once was a beautiful thing becomes dried up, choked out, and unpleasant to look upon.
LEARNING and APPLYING knowledge are two totally different endeavors. I can spend hours researching how to grow watermelons, what varieties to plant, and when to pick them. But if I’m not attentive to them in the process, and careful to apply the knowledge that I have learned, then all of that learning was pointless. Am I the only one that sometimes gets caught in the cycle of ingesting information in the name of acquiring “knowledge”, only to not follow through when it comes time to actually make use of that knowledge?
And last, but definitely NOT least…MORE is not always BETTER!!!!! You guys!!! I could write an ENTIRE post about this–and maybe I will someday! But having MORE of something does not make it BETTER!! When you are looking at a blank slate, like a garden in the spring, it’s easy to over commit and plant more than you will have time and space to accommodate. At least it is for me. More watermelons? Sure. Lot’s of tomatoes? Why not. Looking back, this was not smart, as I didn’t have the time to take good care of what I had committed to, and I didn’t have the space to adequately care for what I had planted. Now I won’t have a good harvest of either.
How does this translate into life? As we start into a new school year, pause before saying YES to one more activity or commitment. Consider the blank slate of your TIME, and take into consideration how your choices will GROW. Will you have enough of yourself to give to not only accomplish something, but to do it to the best of your ability? Looking back, I would much rather have planted LESS, but have done it BETTER! Let’s start the year with the end in mind and FINISH WELL!