I debated. I wondered. I hummed and hawed.
This past week, both my man and I took the weekend to witness my sister’s saying “I do” to a good man on the family farm.
My own man had to hustle back home for work, but I had the option of staying for longer.
I wondered, debated if I should!
My Goals and Ideals
You see, the opportunity fell in the middle of harvest and preserving season!
We had two long, overcrowded rows of cucumbers that had just began yielding oblong green fruits, fruits that would be too large for pickles by the time I returned. There were heirlooms seeds that might come ripe while I was away, seeds I had hoped to save for next year’s crop. The garden needed weeding. Squash and pumpkin plants were overrunning the vegetable rows on both sides.
And cheese. I had homemade cheese developing a rind in the fridge, waiting until it could be sealed with wax. Canning season was settling upon us. Was I prepared for it? Not quite.
I like control. I like success. All too often, I can overwork myself for the sake of accomplishing my goals!
Coming home to an under-kept garden isn’t a good feeling. The overgrown cucumbers would make me feel as if I’d wasted a portion of my efforts and energy. And saving seeds? It was possible I’d have to wait another year before reaching that goal with particular vegetables!
More Important Things
As I contemplated, I realized that while it is wise to have personal goals for my home and pantry, its also important to put time and effort toward what is most important. I’ve faced enough in life to know it isn’t about homemaking, good food and accomplishments! Those things were meant to compliment life, not control or become it’s focus!
It’s about things that last forever. Like people. And taking time to slow down so God can get hold of my heart again, so I can see and be in tune to His own.
So I went.
Know what else?
The garden did grow some very large weeds! The pickling cucumbers morphed into giants.
The seeds I’d hoped to save didn’t all ripen at the same time and there’s still plenty to be had. And canning? I actually didn’t miss it!
My cold room shelves aren’t as full as they were last year. I don’t yet have that wonderful feeling of success so many home-canners feel, knowing good food is stocked and set by for winter.
However, I am learning to hold my food raising and preserving activities with a lighter hand, recognizing my need to surrender even that to God’s direction.
Aside from being the best choice, it was also a wonderful experience (we all know that the best choice doesn’t always come with a wonderful experience, right?)!
Looking back now, I wonder why I hesitated?
Certainly, there is a place for evaluating the wisdom in taking time off. But for the sake of pickles? For the sake of a “picture perfect” garden? A clean house? Or the cracked cheese in the bottom of my fridge? E-hem!
How foolish that sounds!
I made memories with people I love, had opportunity to invest into their lives and to also be invested into.
I had experiences that were refreshing and bonding: a wild horse ride in the hills, taking the quad to check for fruit, a wrong step while picking blackberries that tumbled me into a patch where a thousand thorns punctured my skin while I hollered for help!
Fishing for crawdads the river, walking down “memory lane” with a friend, exploring an old abandoned root cellar, spending time with my youngest sister and helping my mom after the wedding rush…!
No regrets for the time I spent in this old farmhouse, with the occupants of it! I’m glad I went. I’m glad I gave up “control” to experience something deeper. I’m grateful for those experiences. And I’d do it all over again.