This year, my gardening plans were made to be simple. My family’s life plans were neither here nor there so it’s all it could be. With Gabe working away from the home for what seemed unending and the kids and I scurrying behind him to different locations to fill the void, I found that life was just happening.
For days I cried out to God for stability, routine, a plan; instead, He kept me on my knees. I’m not sharing this for you to feel sorry for me. No, actually, even while drowning in my tears, I learned to find joy.
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Rom 5:3-5 (NIV)
You know, I haven’t shared much about my personal life this past year. Goodness, for much of it, its felt like riding a wooden raft, split and tied together with cords of reed, trying to stay afloat in the middle of the ocean. It hasn’t been all bad, mind you, there have been days where the waters have been still, calm, and we’ve been able to take in the sun setting in majestic colors of orange, purple, and yellow sparkling over a deep blue sea. Of course, we’ve also found ourselves struggling to stay afloat as waves of unimaginable proportion have come capsizing down upon our tiny raft … our only hope to live.
Oh, the depths of despair! (Ok, sorry, too much Anne of Green Gables there!)
Like, I said, we found ourselves just living for the moment, for the day. I know, these trials of mine are definitely first world trials but they’re mine nonetheless and in them God has shown me to seek Him first. Over swollen eyes, I’ve learned to trust and persevere.
I’m not sure how much I’ve shared with you all, but Gabe and I have 10 acres of land where we are going to build a new home and start a homestead from the ground up! Can you believe it, our homesteading journey is about to start!
We had plans to sell our home this past spring so in between Gabe being here and there we did a lot of cleaning up on our urban homestead. We pulled out the backyard gardens, tilled, and reseeded with grass. We made some kitchen improvements along with a few other odds and ends around our home. In order to keep things looking nice and simple, I had decided to just grow vegetables in my front yard garden beds and the one on the side of our home.
You know what God showed me through my simple garden plan this year? He showed me that in the simplicity, true simplicity, peace and joy can be found.
I went into this garden year with no expectations. I didn’t know what I would be harvesting since I didn’t know how long I would be in our current home for. I planted things that I thought would be simple enough to tend to if I weren’t living here and I made sure to include many flowering annuals and herbs to bring beauty and joy.
I just don’t remember the last time I found so much peace and relaxation in my gardening.
I found myself praising my God in the crisp morning dew, singing while pulling weeds, and dreaming again of things I’d like to pursue in this life. It’s been a joy.
I simplified by planting fewer things so that I wasn’t tied down to the garden. I decided to cut down on my canning and preserving so that I only put up small quantities and only things my family truly enjoys. (sorry peaches, this year you have no space in my cupboards.) I gave myself breathing room and found peace.
After this simple year in gardening, I want a simple life in homeschooling and in homemaking. I want true simplicity in all aspects of my life so that I can be consumed in peace. To me, that has meant trusting God, truly taking Philippians 4:4-10 to heart and being ok with just being ok. I’ve found that life is much more fun when it can be lived without worry.
It takes work though. Work to overcome the mind. To choose to not worry when anxiety creeps in. To choose to pray, immediately, ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit, and trust that God has everything in control.
Below, are images from this past gardening year that I had posted to Instagram. Feel free to follow me along on my choice to live a true life in simplicity on Instagram here.
This is where real food begins and where one can witness a living God by intimately being a part of His creation. Our gardening efforts this year will be much smaller since we plan on moving this summer but for now, the kids and I sowed and planted in our first two front yard beds and one on the side of our home. We planted red and green cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, and sowed radishes, Swiss chard, perpetual spinach, lettuce, peas, beets, and carrots. Have you started your garden this season? What are you growing? #urbanhomesteading #beattherain #gardening #vegetables #realfood #homesteading #organicgardening
Hot summer crops are getting bigger homes today! They’re getting big ??? #organicgardening #gardening #urbanhomesteading #homesteading #vegetables #realfood A photo posted by My Humble Kitchen/Diana Bauman (@dianabauman) on
The front yard garden is coming along beautifully. With the added homemade compost and glorious rain that’s been drizzling from above, the plants seem to be singing their praises. You know, this is a bittersweet year. We have planned to list our little urban homestead for sale this June. As happy as I am to be able to build a new home with added space and have land for a large garden and animals, I’m a bit saddened to leave this home we’ve lived in for 12 years. As small as it is, its served us well. I just pray that the next owners may appreciate a garden with food, a thicket of raspberry canes, and maybe, just maybe, have a sweet spot for chickens. The Lord has been good to us here … our little farm in the city! #urbanhomestead #vegetables #realfood #gardening #charlottemasonliving #homeschool A photo posted by My Humble Kitchen/Diana Bauman (@dianabauman) on
It’s pea picking time. The peas are loaded and growing much too tall for their support system. #organicgardening #gardening #vegetables #urbanhomesteading A photo posted by My Humble Kitchen/Diana Bauman (@dianabauman) on
A bit of broccoli and cabbages from the garden. It looks like a cabbage salad is on our menu for the week. ?? #urbanhomesteading #organicgardening #vegetables A photo posted by My Humble Kitchen/Diana Bauman (@dianabauman) on
Slowly but surely, as I harvest my spring crops, I’m replacing them with hot loving veggies. Today I seeded beans and zucchini. #gardening #urbanhomesteading #organicgardening #vegetables A photo posted by My Humble Kitchen/Diana Bauman (@dianabauman) on
The beginning of a chocolate raspberry tart. It’s been a prolific raspberry season! Praise the Lord for his harvest. #raspberries #urbanhomesteading #organicgardening #dessert #naturescandy A photo posted by My Humble Kitchen/Diana Bauman (@dianabauman) on
I think this has to be the largest red cabbage I’ve grown yet. I’m in love! #urbanhomesteading #organicgardening #vegetables #cabbage #kidsinthegarden #charlottemasonliving A photo posted by My Humble Kitchen/Diana Bauman (@dianabauman) on
My mom’s weekly CSA box from my #urbanhomestead gardens minus the eggs and tomatoes I delivered yesterday. ? I think we’re both excited for my expanded gardens I’ll have next year!! #organicgardening #csa #vegetables #mama #family A photo posted by My Humble Kitchen/Diana Bauman (@dianabauman) on
#harvesting onions today. Well, that should be good for 2-3 weeks, lol! ? All these years of #urbanhomesteading has been good preparation though. 12 onions is generally good for 2-3 weeks, depending on what I’m making. I guess to last my family a year I’d have to plant 156-208 onions!! Whoa! Maybe next year, I’ll start with half of that and see how it goes! ? #organicgardening #onions #vegetables #homesteading
Cleaned, prepped, and I’m ready to sow some fall goodies. I usually like to get my fall crop in mid July but with being in Colorado I wasn’t able to. I still have one bed on the side of my house that needs tending to, but all in all it’s been such a relaxing gardening year for me. I kept it small, without any expectations, which allowed me to enjoy it more. So, now I need to plan on what I’m going to plant before the cold weather hits! How has your gardening season been? #urbanhomesteading #organicgardening #fallgardening #fall #vegetables A photo posted by My Humble Kitchen/Diana Bauman (@dianabauman) on