lessons learned: what berries can teach us about bad habits

Last night, I headed out to the gardens.  It has been a least a week since I could actually spend time there–

the thorny culprits

sometimes, a homesteader simply has to focus on her home indoors and let Nature take her course outdoors.  And take it she did.

In spite of a very dry week, my blackberry and wineberry bushes had lost control.  Poor blueberries!  Thorny stalks poked and prodded their way through the thin stems and delicate leaves.  I am hoping the blueberry bushes will forgive me.

As I began pruning, I realized that I was becoming frustrated with the wineberries.  Really, do you need to take over all this space?  And seriously, must you be so invasive?

I stopped to giggle at myself–it’s not their fault.  I’m the farmer.  It’s up to me to tend to the berries, keeping them in check so all plants can flourish in the small space known as my farm.

And then I realized–the berry vines are like those little things we call “bad habits.”  Perhaps you’ve heard of those?  If we let them go unnoticed and don’t tend to them,  we find hat their thorny stalks invade the good things in our lives and upset the balance of our nature.  The positive pieces of ourselves can’t flourish, and we lose sight of who we are called to be or what we are called to do.  Our Creator wants more for us than that–it is by grace (and with a bit of patience and humor) that our Creator helps us find the best in ourselves and nurtures it lovingly.

blueberries peeking through

After carefully snipping away at the wineberries, I stood back and surveyed the garden.  A pile of woody stems lay by the wayside, and the blueberries reached their branches upward as if to sing praises.  It wasn’t a hard task, but one that required some intentionality (and a good set of gardening shears).


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