Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Harvesting in Lichinga: Part 2

If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again!

During my first garden attempt in Lichinga, we had some local lettuce seedlings given to us by a friend. After transplanting them into the ground, they continued to grow well and were soon ready to begin harvesting.  We enjoyed salads for a few weeks from those first lettuce plants. Then, suddenly, they all started to bolt! They began to grow seed stalks and flowers. We had only been able to harvest from them for a few weeks! What was happening to the lettuce? I wondered if there was something that I could do to stop the lettuce from bolting. Had I done something wrong? My lettuce garden was turning out to be an utter failure!  I asked one of the other missionaries at our center, who happened to be way more knowledgeable in the gardening area than I was, what she thought about my lettuce bolting so quickly. She wasn't sure, either. There seemed to be nothing I could do to stop my lettuce from bolting, so we just enjoyed the last of the lettuce harvest and then watched it all go to seed. After it went to seed, we went out and harvested all of the seeds from the plants.

Last year, I brought out those seeds that I had saved and we planted them around June, in the colder season here. The lettuce plants thrived and we enjoyed salads for months! I realized that they had bolted previously because I had planted them when the weather was too warm for the lettuce to have a long harvest season.  Instead of giving up when my first attempt at planting lettuce had failed, I had saved the seeds with the plan to try again another time-and this time it worked!

Lovely lettuce patch grown from the seeds I saved 2 years ago!
Just because we have failed in any area in our life, doesn’t mean that we are a failure.  It doesn’t mean that we have an excuse, or even a reason, to throw in the towel and give up!  Many times I’ve felt like I've failed in certain areas in parenting, homeschooling, even in cooking nice meals for my family (especially in Lichinga where a variety of ingredients is not always available)!  But, I’ve been brought to a place in the Lord where I can see the areas in my life that I consider to be “failed attempts” as a springboard or even a door to start anew and afresh in those areas. 

When I was pregnant with my little Chayah Grace, who recently turned 4, I was really discouraged.  I said to the Lord, “Why are you giving me another child when I’ve done such a bad job with the first two?!”  I didn’t understand why God was entrusting another child into my care.  (I think I allowed myself to think such thoughts at the time because I was feeling kind of unprepared and inadequate to have to start from the ground up with a new baby after almost 6 years had gone by since my last child.  I have since repented of those thoughts!)  At some point during my pregnancy, I decided that I was going to use this as an opportunity to make changes in my parenting in areas I felt needed improvement.  One of the biggest areas I wanted to “fix” or change was in the way I showed love to my children.  Never considering myself to be the affectionate type, I decided that I would like to be able to show my children love in more ways than I felt I had in the past.  Of course, I’ve always loved my children, but I felt that I could be more expressive in showing it.  So, I changed!  Having made the decision to allow God to use what I considered to be a "failure" in my life to open the door for change, has greatly changed my attitude towards myself about parenting, homeschooling and other areas.  

So, here's one thing that I have harvested from this gardening experience:  Don't give up just because you feel as if you haven’t succeeded the first time around!  Remember, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!”

My lettuce seedlings ready for transplanting





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