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This was supposed to be posted yesterday, Wednesday April 8, but unfortunately my allergies left me in bed most of my “free” time.

Sodbuster Confession
1. I love being a sodbuster. I do! I garden. I toil. I plant. I uproot what has been planted. I love gardening my small homestead.

#2- As much as I love gardening I tend to execute more than build up… literally. I kill my plants. My dear heart has banned me from the main garden bed. (Do you know how hard that was to admit?)

#3- While I have been banned from the main garden beds, my own little bed has been nurtured and is thriving in my hands! I have pepper plants that I planted from seed coming up folks!!!!!!!!!! I am hoping that with my TLC I’ll be harvesting peppers this summer.

4. While contemplating all of this, I realized how very much this is like raising our children. They start from seed, we are overjoyed at seeing them come through the soil. Soil conditioning needs to be met first before we see the seed bloom, it needs water, some kind of shelter, and healthy soil. As the seed comes through we make sure that it is carefully watered. Not too much so it doesn’t drown. Not too little so it can’t grow but just enough for its current conditions. As it continues to grow we can’t just leave it alone with a little water here and there but we have to keep it healthy and in good conditions. We pull any weeds that would choke it.

I am learning more about companion gardening, certain plants love and thrive with different plants and herbs.Isn’t that interesting? The best gardening conditions aren’t necessarily when all like plants are growing together but that there is a little variety planted with it for optimal growth. And not only that, we are learning more and more how wonderful it is to rotate crops. If you plant the same thing in the same bed year after year, it depletes certain nutrients in the soil. It needs a good rotation and different crops that will build up the soil again.

We love to mulch our plants, it helps keep moisture in for the hot summer days when they get so thirsty that they will dry up and wilt away. But if you mulch it too much or too close then the water can’t even get to the plants to quench their thirst.

Do you see where all of this is going? Can you find the connection between what we do in our gardens and what we do in our children’s lives? When I deliberately thought on it, I felt convicted over the fact that I will tend more carefully to my garden then I do to the care of my children. Nurturing, caring, rearing, and raising up children is more than just seeing to physical needs like food, clothes and shelter. We instinctively know this. We know we need to be more investing in their lives. That seems to be the number one thing you hear parents talk about.

I can’t help but think that if I took the gardening books I read with all their sound wisdom and instruction and start implementing it diligently, down to the very last water measurement into my own garden, my garden will not survive. Do you know why? Our current conditions are so vastly different. I am in the middle of the Mojave Desert! Not in the New England area. But, if I tune into my conditions and surroundings and get a feel for what my own particular plants need by observing closely and watching diligently, then I am going to have a bountiful garden. Same with my children, I can take a principle and begin to apply it but I need to keep a close eye on WHO my children are. They are not this author’s children. They are mine. They have my genetics in them. They think in their own way. They act in their own way. They are triggered differently. As a whole, we all have weaknesses and similar issues we work through, as individuals, we are all different. I can read until doomsday all the parenting books I want too and try hardest to mold everyone into all these different ideals that I read about.

I can see my daughter lash out at her brother in frustration over not getting her way and I can pounce on it with firmness to my mouth, narrowing of my eyes and correction spilling from my tongue. Or, I can see my daughter, who watches closely at what *I* do and see where I need to work on as well and turn to her and say “How would you have liked me to handle this you were your brother?” I can see her for the woman she could become and encourage and help her in that way by whatever tools I have and watch her blossom and grow. Or I can keep watering and just making sure the plant is alive but not necessarily flourishing.

What gardener will just settle, when with a little extra work and care, could have so much more?