This year would be different. After all, gardens take work–and energy. I planned to minimize and maintain, nothing excessive this year. No need to buy new flowers. That’s why I planted perennials.
It all started with five bags of mulch–one bag per rose. That should make a soft cushy bed for my new rose garden and an easy way to discourage weeds. Veggies from previous years, too deprived of necessary sun, lost their place to this heartier variety of Knock-Out® rose.
But then I looked over at the azalea bed a few feet away, and the newly planted potato vines for this year. Hmm. Old mulch from past years had disintegrated or washed away. And everywhere I looked, our bushy creatures had been at play–or work. New little oak trees were springing up everywhere from the squirrels’ buried acorns.
And what about my prized perennial gardens in the back? After close inspection, I discovered the same thing. Lots of new little green things: weeds. Very few little brown things, except dirt. They, too, needed mulch to make them grow beautiful.
Back to the store. Fifteen more bags should do it.
They didn’t. And I spread it thinner than I should.
I walked around the to the back yard again. More azalea beds–with weeds. What happened to last year’s mulch? And what about the tree ring plants? Oh, and we need to transplant those climbing roses so we can give the new hydrangeas a resting place in the shade. That whole adjoining bed will need more mulch, too. Otherwise, they’ll get too dry.
Back to the store. Fifteen more bags.
Still not enough. What about the front rose bed? And the hostas? Oh, yeah, when we transplant the roses to the side, they’ll need some. That bed has none!
I walked around the house, checking out all the possible places that needed help. Wow! Wouldn’t it be great to mulch down ALL the garden beds, front, sides, and back–even the ones that have never had any. Don’t they need TLC too? And I probably need to thicken up the thin layers I spread in the back.
One Bag Led to Another
I didn’t plan it that way. One bag led to another. And another. And another. By the time we finished, we’d loaded the back-end of our pickup five or six times at the local home improvement store with a total of seventy-seven (77) 2-cubit bags of that deep brown, moisture-retaining stuff.
At least I found them on sale.
When Good Intentions Go Bad
Good intentions are often like that. This year will be different. I’ll discard that habit. I’m going to do better. No more going backward.
We didn’t plan it that way. But then one thought, one word, one temptation, one action leads to another, and before you know it, we’re trapped in a dilemma bigger than a truckload of brown bark.
Moderation turns to excess. We bury discipline under weedy distractions that keep popping up daily. The petals of those fragrant plans we made fade and drop to the ground, one by one, eventually crushed and beyond recognition. And suddenly life has taken a downward turn.
That’s when our lives may feel like empty, dry dirt plots instead of healthy, growing gardens. Good intentions have turned into one big mulch cover-up.
Finding Hope Is Possible
But finding hope when good intentions go bad is possible and not as difficult as it sounds–with faith in the One who stands ready to help. I love the promise in Isaiah 58:11, NIV:
The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
You’ll hear more about God’s promises in the next few weeks. I’m re-discovering and re-believing (is that a word?) those truths I sometimes misplace. I’m pulling out those weedy lies I often believe, and reclaiming those verses as they blossom once again in my spirit.
God promises us:
His Provision of Our Needs
I’d say that’s a good place to start. Wouldn’t you?
Like the cushioning effect of deep mulch, I believe God and His Word will cover us with moisture-retaining protection. I want to grow, don’t you?
At least in the case of my mulching escapade, I actually enjoyed spreading those earthy smelling sprigs (Does anyone out there share my passion?). And then, there’s the miracle of surprising energy God gave me to do the job.
And the mulch was on sale.
But what I really love is seeing the finished product of anything my garden will grow with a little help–the Creator’s help, for sure.
So it was all good.
God’s Other Takeaways
God did encourage me with a few other helpful takeaways from that experience, however:
Better to spread mulch than gossip or lies.
Better to scatter sprigs of love and joy than hatred and discord.
Better to count your blessings than needless bags of mulch.
Ever had any good intentions go bad? How is God helping you to find hope when your good intentions get out of control? How have you experienced God’s restoration?