July 24th Update

If we can acknowledge that what we see in the world is not all there is, we are strengthening our eyes of faith.  We can live clinging to the good even when it feels like our fingers are getting rope burn.  Whatever we do we can't let go of the truth.  In the dungeon, the way out isn't found by lowering our expectations.  The way out is through letting the keys open the doors to free our hearts and allowing them to soar upward, toward the goodness they were created to hold.  

Plow straight ahead through the middle, no matter how uncomfortable it gets.  Stay down from the castles in the air.  Stay above the dungeons in the dark.  And don't forget- you have been recognized.
~Excerpts taken from the book:
Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of A Women's Soul by John & Stasi Eldredge

 Everyone has times in their life when things seem to crumble around them.  For me it was the year that my grandfather passed away.  It was some time ago, however may other things at that time in my life were challenging.  Truthfully I found it to be too much to bear (alone that is).  I pressed into my time with God and remember that it was so hard to feel him with me.  At that time I was reading the book "Captivating" and found the quote listed above.  It gave me hope and began to sooth my soul.   I remember writing the quote on lined paper and hung it on my bathroom mirror so that I could read it each morning.  Along with my friends and family encouraging me and my quiet time I slowly started to see my heart heal and my soul feel restored.  

Circumstances are very different now, but life still brings challenges.  Some are not so obvious to those who don't know us well, but that doesn't lessen the difficulty.  Situations may be in a different form, but they can still bring feelings of "rope burn".   This past month I reflected on that time years ago and could still remember some of the lines of this quote.   Then a couple of weeks ago while cleaning the basement I came across a box with that same lined paper and my handwriting.  What a God thing.  I have placed it over my sink looking out the window to the garden.  I read it every morning as a reminder "to plow straight ahead" and to remember "I have been recognized" and I matter to my heavenly Father. 

BED# 1- (pictured below) Asparagus, Parsley, Tomatoes & Basil.

BED# 2- (pictured below) Cauliflower, Broccoli, Corn, Pole Beans & Winter Squash.

CENTER OF GARDEN- (pictured below) Two Watermelon plants.

BED# 3- (pictured below) Onions, Carrots, Bush Beans & Summer Squash.

So far we have had 4 Summer Squash. There are currently 3 more on the plants growing.  Already an improvement from the 1 we had last year!

BED# 4- (pictured below) Bush Zucchini, Peppers, Eggplant & Cucumbers.

On July 20th I found the first Zucchini plant wilted in the garden and discovered it had been attacked by the dreaded Squash Vine Borer (SVB).  I pulled up the second Zucchini plant on July 26th.  Both plants also had Powdery Mildew overtaking their leaves at the same time.   Overall the plants produced a total of 8 Zucchini.  On a positive note that is more than last year (we didn't get any Zucchini last year because the SVB attacked the plant before they were able to produce).  I am very discouraged that it happened again after all the preventative measures I went through.  However, I do believe that starting the plant indoors and using the row cover for awhile helped the plant grow strong enough to hold out longer. 

This is the time of year when I realize the time to garden outdoors is coming to a close.  The garden is still producing vegetables but at a slower pace.  I have found myself already preparing for the planning stage this fall and new ideas.  There is always something to look forward to when you garden!  I have about a month and a half of warmer weather left. I have enjoyed the fresh bouquets of Zinnias in my kitchen every week and the tasty vegetables for dinner.

Keep looking for posts throughout the fall and winter.  Its the time to plan, order, and prepare for the next season.  Maybe 2014 will be your season to start a garden or learn something new!

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