Seasons on the Homestead: Summer

This hasn’t been a picture-perfect summer. We’ve had inordinate amounts of rain (and wind) in this unprecedented weather year, and everything across the entire midwest is weeks behind in growth to where it “should” be as a result.

I was feeling cute, as they say, and thought I’d plant my favorite potatoes in a certain section of ground – just because it was perfect soil for growing. But it was the lowest-sitting plot on our land, and consequently, the potatoes flooded and rotted. The entire crop – gone.

I’ve dealt with sick hens. Downed tree limbs. Insect pests like I’ve never seen – they took out all my cucumber plants. So I replanted. And they repeated their offense. I have zero cucumber plants. The easiest things in the world to grow second to zucchini – zero.

It’s humbling, to say the least. I recently shared this post about what we grow and why, and all the plans I had for putting food by for this winter – but now there’s a looming realization I may not get near as much as I had planned – or any at all.

At first, that realization struck rising anxiety within me. What if my plans to only buy dairy products this winter and eat what we had stored up turns out not to be? What if I don’t have green beans to freeze? Or red beans to dry? Or peas to shell? Or zucchini to shred? Or pumpkin seeds to roast?

The more I thought of what I’d be missing out on, the more choked by panic I became.

Because sometimes I take our homesteading ways too seriously.

I have a bit of a savior complex when it comes to growing our food. “If I don’t grow my family’s winter food, then obviously, we’ll end up malnourished, or worse – starve and die.” I’ve never actually thought that, but my actions portray that’s how I’m functioning. Everything is in crisis mode. When we get rain, I worry about hail. When we get flooding, I worry about starving in the middle of winter. Logical…. or not.

And so this summer as I’ve been running from one crisis to another, the Lord has been calling after me and I reply with, “I’ll be right there – I just have to FIX this first!”

Until one day I stopped to listen.

Standing in the garden, I looked around and heard, “Do you trust me?”

The Lord and I have been tight for a long time, and I can tell you with certainty this is His favorite question to ask me – and my least favorite to hear Him ask.

Because I do trust Him. But my actions don’t portray that’s how I’m functioning. And if I took my faith as seriously as I take this homesteading thing, there might be a little more balance in my step from one soggy mud puddle to the other.

So while this summer season has been off to a rough start, and continues to be an abnormal year, I’m not lost in it – or to it, for that matter.

I trust Him. And whether that means a bumper harvest or a longer growing season, or a total crop failure and having to actually buy our groceries this winter instead of raid the pantry for them, it will be okay. We’ll be okay.

And this will be yet another season we’ll have survived and learned from.

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