Friday, June 15

Lessons from the Ground

I drove the 30 minutes each way with the girls yesterday to a rural farm in East Aurora to pick up our 2nd portion of the organic crop share we opted to try this year.  Our colorful bounty included things like napa cabbage, garlic scapes, an organic watermelon (grown in Fla. on their other farm. Yum!), beets, radishes and peas, to name a few.

Last week, as we drove the 20 miles to the farm for the first time, I found myself thinking, “Oh man Lisa, what did you get yourself into?! I know we like vegetables, but an hour round trip each week to pick up some cabbage and peas?!”

It was a beautiful day for the ride, last week and this week. Blue skies scattered with wispy clouds offering a cool breeze through our open windows (until the girls whined about the wind at which point we switched to air conditioning--I know, kind of a buzz kill, but the whining was killing more than my happy sunshiny buzz!).

It was the kind of days that make you want to breathe in more and more of all that is good—the literal oxygen your body and soul have been waiting for.

However, the question,   Should I be doing this one more thing? It was a good question to be asking myself. 

I tend to bite off more than I can chew…literally and figuratively. I find myself constantly in this tension of wanting to live life fully and wanting to live life sanely. I find myself wondering if those two ways of living are compatible.

If you read writers like Katrina Kenison (Mitten Strings for God), whom I LOVE, you will be reminded that both can exist. However, in order to achieve sanity you must  be willing to give up some of the things that are making you crazy full to find the things that will make you simply full; like enjoying a beautiful sunset, or eating marshmallows on the back porch with the kids, or maybe simply driving an hour in the car to pick up vegetable from an organic Christian farmer.  

You will have to give up things like running to swimming and tennis and soccer and water ballet and dance and book club…And maybe the tucked in dream that your efforts to run your kids around to 7 different sports in a given week is somehow going to help produce your own homegrown athletic prodigy equipped for the 2020 Olympics.  

(Ava did win the handstand contest at her end of year gymnastics meet last night and is quite proud of her medal…I’m thinking I see Olympics in the future!).

That trip, the farm, the employees, they left me thinking about a few things…Things like my “crop” and what I desire to cultivate in my life, our life as a family.

In some ways I believe each of has our own “crop” to cultivate. Cultivation comes with a lot of hard work, a lot of discipline and a lot of hard decisions; to do some things and not to do others and sometimes we’re not sure if we’re really up to the task.

I am in awe of the work that must have gone into this share of vegetables we take home with us. I admire the weeks and months of planning and work that have gone into preparing soil and choosing seeds. Planting those seeds, watering them, uprooting weeds and nurturing the real growth.
I want to do that in our family.

I want to be able to see the weeds in my own life and pull them out. I want to know which tools I must use in order to help my girls become the strongest and most vibrant versions of themselves that is possible under my guidance. I want to water, and invest time…time and commitment that leads to real growth.

I want to know which tasks to take on and which to let go of in order to be a successful grower of hearts, passions, compassion, self-respect and above all a devout love and respect for our creator…the creator of ALL things.

I’m thankful for this crop share for all of those reasons. For the thirty-minute drive away from my suburban neighborhood, through fields and over hills and across several small towns to where life is growing abundantly. Vegetables remind me of God’s goodness. Pure. Simple. Incredible.

It is why, in all of my naiveté about gardening, we have grown vegetables in our backyard for five years now. Because even if I only get a handful of green beans and a couple of tomatoes, I am reminded of the glory of God in that small bounty. I am reminded to “consider whatever is pure, lovely, and of good repute.” I am reminded that “if there is any excellence and if it is worthy of praise to dwell on these things” and offer my praise in return.

I am reminded to offer my gratitude upwards for the lessons I have learned from the ground. I am thankful for my vegetables and the hope and promise of growth. 


  1. Beautiful Lisa! Such wonderful lessons from the ground!

  2. Love this, Lisa. You're speaking my language. I can relate to everything you wrote here. Thanks for it. And hugs to those two precious girls whining in the back seat. The DeWeerds are missing you all!!!


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