On Wednesdays in my Meeting God in the Garden series, I will feature guest interviews with other Christian gardeners. Today I want to introduce you to my fellow blogger and gardener, Michele Morin.
Michele Morin is the wife of a patient husband, Mum to four young men and a daughter-in-love (soon to be two!), and Gram to one adorable grandboy (with another on the way!). Her days are spent homeschooling, reading piles of books, and, in the summer, tending a beautiful (but messy) garden and canning the vegetables. She loves to teach the Bible, and is privileged to gather around a table with the women of her church. She blogs at Living Our Days where she writes about the books she is reading, the grace she is receiving, and the lessons from God’s Word that she is trusting.
Q: Tell us about your own garden. What is your favorite kind of gardening (flower, vegetable, container, etc.) and why?
I am mainly a grower of vegetables, an enterprise which started during my first year of marriage with the utilitarian motives of bolstering our grocery budget and providing fresh food during the summer months. Of course, I knew nothing about gardening, so weeding was a white-knuckle affair in which I was certain that I was about to accidentally uproot my whole garden, and the amount of work that went into canning the vegetables came as a complete surprise to me.
Somewhere along the way, I realized that gardening is also an avenue for creating and enjoying beauty, so when I’m hunkered down between the rows of green beans, I’m also enjoying the velvety texture of their leaves. I’m taking in the majesty of towering sunflowers and tracing the vivid green of twining pumpkin vines.
Q: What spiritual lessons has God taught you through gardening?
What happens in my garden every year is an ordinary miracle. Sprouting seeds are quite unremarkable, really, and yet the mystery of that everyday wonder never becomes commonplace to me. Proximity to the soil, awareness of seasonal patterns of frost and heat, rain and shine remind me that God is responsible for the results. Ultimately, He is the Gardener. My job is to be faithful – not perfect. This puts to rest some of my tendency toward ceaseless striving – and it may mean settling for a B+ in some aspect of life in which I’d truly love to get an A.
And as I’m weeding around the radishes, I’m probably pondering the tenacity of those pesky weeds– all so hardy and persistent that if I don’t get the roots out, they’ll be back for sure. I want to let my own roots grow deep into truth, to exercise that same persistence, but at the same time, to beware of all the distractions that want to take up residence in my heart. Life on this broken ground means that good habits take plenty of regular tending, while bad habits tend to be persistent and deep-rooted things.
Q: In this year’s gardening season, what challenges do you face? How do they correlate with your faith?
This gardening season holds a graduation, a wedding, and the birth of a new grandbaby. My family is growing in ways that leave me breathless, and yet, truly, have very little to do with me. Two middle sons who will be in college this fall, will appreciate jars of home grown spaghetti sauce on their shelves, and my oldest son’s new baby will be eating pureed green beans in the blink of an eye.
Ironically, in this season of the empty-ing nest, my garden may be bigger than ever, a means of giving to my much-loved family. It’s also a metaphor for the way in which I’m trusting God to teach me the rhythms of holding on and letting go, of nourishing others from a distance, all the time realizing that, while it’s not my provision that matters most of all, I can trust Him for help in keeping pace with new (and delightful!) demands.
In growing and preserving vegetables, I am reminded that God is the very essence of abundance. With my bare hands I pile up the rich garden humus around the tomato plants and recall that I, too, am sustained by significant soil with its buried nutrients, and I am encouraged to trust for grace to enrich the lives of others.
Thank you Michele for this interview! Michele has written several other gardening posts. To read them, click on the links below:
Michele’s social media links:
Questions for reflection:
How is gardening an avenue of creating and enjoying beauty for you?
What ordinary miracles have you witnessed in a garden?
How does a garden remind you of God’s abundance?
Join me tomorrow for a new post on Meeting God in the Garden.
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