Wednesday, July 23, 2008


this watermelon is indeed growing in my garden. when my parents were here visiting last week, my dad said to me, "have you seen the watermelon?" of course, i had not. i had completely given UP on the melons since they would tease me by growing to about the size of a golf ball and then promptly rotting.

so i ran to the window and looked out--and saw this beauty!

incidentally, if you have watermelons growing on a fence like this (?!) my dad (who is an agriculture economist and knows loads about all sorts of outdoor stuff, including lots about farming/plants/gardening) said to tie stockings around it (which i have not had a pair of in, oh, about 5 or 6 years!) and then tie the stockings to the fence to support the melon when it gets bigger.

so bear with me--i'm tying in bragging about my fruit (that should not be taken the wrong way...) to these other thoughts i've been having lately whenever i sit down to blog.

i don't exactly know if i'm done venting here about how insanely rough my life is right now, but i haven't felt the overwhelming emotional urge to sit down and complain about it. now i wonder if the entries i wrote some months back that were so sad and frustrated had anything to do with my hormones settling down after having a baby.

at any rate, our life has not gotten any easier. but i am more at ease about thinking of the time here and now as some sort of desert experience. i'm not even sure what that means exactly. of course, it's biblical. :) but i have been wrestling with how involved God even IS in my life. i mean, does he really care if a check comes on time so we can buy groceries/pay bills? if he does, well then what about the homeless mom and daughter i saw the other day lying on the street? what about the guy with no legs who was asking for money at an on-ramp for the interstate?

i have visited this idea before in this space. and i am no closer to the truth. i want to think that things will somehow magically get better, but they don't. one night recently gillian asked me about prayer. she wanted to know if God makes things come true that we pray about. she was specifically wanting to know whether God would help her not be afraid before falling asleep if we prayed about it.

the best i could give her is that God doesn't always answer our prayers the way we think he should. but i felt trite saying that. it's a sunday school answer. then i told her that i also think that prayer puts us in a more peaceful mindset, and maybe that would help her fall asleep. now, if i could only figure out how that might relate to me getting paid on time, or my husband getting a job...i don't know. anyone else have any ideas?

so back to the melon. i am hoping, thinking maybe personal growth, spiritual growth, interpersonal growth all happens when we are least expecting it. i know there are a gazillion seminars about how to have your best life now, how to learn everything there is about the bible and be confident about your answers, how to get along better with people...but i wonder if these are authentic experiences or whether we grow the most, and the most authentically, when we are just trying to live in the moment and make it through whatever desert we are in. i really really don't want to think it's the desert that's refining me. but who knows? i thought none of my plants were surviving the heat we've had--but then here is that one watermelon.

i want to look back (SOON!!) and be able to see some tangible growth that has occurred. i know this isn't promised to me, or even highly likely, but i really want it anyway.


Pixie said...

Yeah for the watermelon!

I have been thinking a lot of the same things about prayer too (just last night, actually). What I have come up with so far is that maybe prayer is about developing a spiritual relationship with God that involves searching, dependence, and trust. I really don't get hung up on the other types of prayer - praise, lament, thanksgiving, etc. (Probably because I don't do them nearly as much). When I think of prayer it is mainly of requests from the "slot machine in the sky". The other types are easier to understand in terms of relationship...maybe the requests would be too if I broadened my prayer life. I wondered if & what I should pray for my mother's health. She is praying in specific detail & outlining all the possibilities for God. I really don't feel that if I say it right, more specific or less it should matter. I don't think prayer is a magical incantation. I have prayed that she be well, that my family remain faithful, that if we don't all survive with our lives that we will with our love & faith. Jeff says that the true sign of salvation is still being faithful at the end (I guess it's in Hebrews somewhere). Thank God my kid's not talking yet because I have no idea how to answer those questions yet.

jen said...

I think that you, like the melon, are growing faster than you have ever dared to before! (How's that for combining the metaphors?) ;)
And I don't think your answer was trite at all. I think we just don't have all the answers about a relationship as personal and ongoing and on God's time as our prayer relationship with God. I love that Gillian is already asking though. :)

asti said...

You said it...'there is that watermelon'.....I have been through depression, financial difficulties, husband without a job and all that goes with the past now but still makes me cringe just thinking about it. Not suggesting that you are in the same boat but just wanting to mention that it DID come right in the end. Help and opportunities do seem to come out of the blue. Just stand strong - I don't know what else to say really apart from focus on the positive. I truly wish you all the best :)