Thursday, October 3, 2013

We were made to persevere

I got 17 cukes - including these 11 in 1 day - in a week.
I learn a lot from my garden. Lately, one plant in particular has become a metaphor for perseverance.

Let me tell you his story.

My garden started this year with 10 cucumber plants (all planted late after a failed attempt at using last year's saved seeds). Within a couple weeks, rabbits reduced the number of fledgling plants to 3.

Shortly after, golfball-sized hail took out 2 more.

That left 1.

This one plant only had a few leaves left and beat up by the hail at that. I thought, sheesh, might as well forget it. No cukes this year. But I thought wrong.

Little Mighty started to grow. And grow. And grow. I began to collect a good 6 cucumbers off of him a week. Not bad for one plant, I thought. We've had marinated cucumbers in the frig solid for at least two months.

Then he started taking over the garden. One day as I watered a tomato plant, I noticed a strange yellow flower in the middle of it. What's that? I looked closer. It was one of old Mighty's tendrils climbing up the tomato plant! Baby cukes were growing up there!
Little Mighty has several vines in many directions.
My father-in-law stopped by the other day. "Is that a squash plant?"  he asked.

"No, it's a cucumber."

He paused and really regarded it. He's been gardening for decades. "I've never seen a cucumber plant with leaves that big."

In one week, I picked 17 cucumbers off that one plant. Enough to share, which is my ultimate measure of garden success.

Here's what it means to me. This plant was the last in a long line of others that succumbed to various pressures. He had lots of chances to get beaten down and shrivel up. But God didn't make this plant to give up. Life fights and fights and fights until it dies or catches hold.

Gosh, if that one little plant can produce so much, if it can persevere after the elements took out so many others, then what's my excuse for giving up? That plant doesn't know about failure, about the odds, about giving up.

It was made to do its best to thrive as long as possible.

Truly, that's how we as humans are made as well. I need to remember this simple lesson from nature when times are tough.

I'm not made to give up. I'm not made to lay down in defeat. I'm not made to lament my situation, but to get up and keep trying, over and over if necessary.  Even if it's hard.

God made me to keep doing my best, to keep getting up and moving forward, to keep trying to catch hold. Tomorrow's a new day. No matter what today brings, I will wake up with the will of a cucumber plant.  

27 comments:

  1. love it. :) I always plant four cuke plants, and normally only two make it, but man, those two plants sure take over pretty quick, and before I know it, I am ding dong ditching cukes on people's doorsteps, LOL.
    Loved to read it and shared in on The Welcoming House FB Page. :)
    Have a wonderful week!!!
    ~Heather <3

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    1. Ditch some on my porch it's pickle season and we got too much rain this year.

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    2. LOL @ Craig. I was in the same boat last year except we had too LITTLE rain. Thanks, Heather :) Sounds like you are a good cucumber grower! I'm still learning. Thanks for sharing and hope things are going well for you!

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  2. I have one of those plants too. Not a cuke but a habanero that hornworms ate to the ground. It not only came back but proved to be the biggest producer this year.

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  3. Hi Steph. Awesome analogy. This kind of goes along with an expression we live by which is 'endure to the end'. I love your concluding paragraph. I am going to adopt your expression of 'waking up with the will of a cucumber plant'.

    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks, Regina. I've been trying to keep that new mantra in my mind too :) Some days it's hard to remember when there is a lot going on, but I truly believe that's how we were made

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  4. Aw, that was great. I am very serious here when I say you should make it a children's book!

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    1. Wow, thanks for that compliment! Hmmmmm... I've thought off and on about a children's book. And from a garden no less, I'll have to think about that :)

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  5. I think it also testifies to the fact that when something gets the love, attention, and nutrition it needs, it will thrive through adversity. I second Katy's opinion...future author??

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    1. That's a good analogy as well. It had good food and water, love and room to grow. That's what we all need I think :) And thank you for your kind words. I have always wanted to publish a book of some sort.

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  6. Love it, such a good reminder that sometimes it's the little things or the stuff we don't give much credit to, that really change our perspectives.

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    1. Maybe it's like people too, we shouldn't write them off quickly in our minds :) Maybe there is more there than meets the eye.

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  7. That is so great, we can learn so much from the environment around us. God surely works his magic and sending messages our way in the most unexpected of ways, we just have to have eyes open enough to notice. Great post and I wish my garden would have been more fruitful this year!

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    1. I agree! There are SO many lessons in nature. Here's to a good garden next year! I had hits and misses this year, but it was better than last year. Maybe I've learned enough to do a little better next year. And yes, it helps so much to be open to the lessons in life. It's hard though in the day to day grind :)

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  8. That's one mighty plant! Enjoy your cucumbers, and great luck again next year!

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  9. That is an amazing cucumber plant! I have been gardening for a decade and have never seen one get so big! Don't you just love all the lessons that one can learn for the garden? It amazes me how the Lord lovingly created everything around us with such beauty and purpose.

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    1. That's what my FIL said too! I was so surprised. I'm so new I think it's a just normal, LOL. Oh my gosh, I've learned so much from gardening, it's awesome. And yes, His world amazes me too.

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  10. You are doing your best! I love your blog! I loved the story as well!

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  11. Wow, what a big plant. You sure are inspiring your kid with your gardening powers (I don't have any! All the potplants people give me die!)

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    1. Oh thank you, but my gardening skills have a lot to be desired. You should have seen my sad go at squash and pumpkins. I have A LOT to learn. But I like Brady sees me trying again and again and finally having success. And seriously, try okra, it is SOOO easy! They practically plant and grow themselves, I hardly have to do anything! Some got chopped literally in half by hail and grew back.

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  12. WOW! That's quie a cucumber plant. Maybe you should try to save some of Little Mighty's seeds for next year! :)

    You've been nominated for the Squirrely Blogger Award... http://lifewithlorelai.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/squirrely-and-quirky-fun-fun-fun-and-blogger-awards-too/

    ~Lorelai
    Life With Lorelai

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    1. I thought about it but I am feeling lazy, LOL. I think I still have some of the packet of seeds I got him from though. And thank you, thank you, thank you for the award! What a fun one!

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  13. We always just plant one cuke plant and it always takes over! This year however we planted two and we ended up with zero cukes. Not sure what happened but they never did anything and just died. It was so sad.

    Thanks for sharing on A Humble Bumble's Healthy Tuesday's Blog Hop!
    Kerry from Country Living On A Hill

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    1. Really, just one! I'm glad I planted so many this year since so many were wiped out! I wonder if you got the cucumber bugs. They decimated my cuke plants last year. I think it was too cool and rainy this summer for them. Hope next year is a good cuke year for both of us!

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