It is my least favorite job at the farm. Every week I go to a CSA farm where I earn a share of the produce, and this is my least favorite chore. Weeding carrots, no problem; staking tomatoes, any time any day; picking beans, bring it on. But thinning beets? No way, no how. I really don't like that chore. Now, don't get me wrong, it's not that difficult, in fact it's a fairly simple process. Pull out the extra beets to allow for an inch or so between each plant. I even understand the reasons for it. When beets are too crowded they don't have room to expand, to grow and mature. They end up being skinny, scrawny and underdeveloped. Still, the thought of pulling a seemingly healthy, growing plant makes my skin crawl just a bit. Couldn't we just give it a week or two and see if these plants will be the exception? Maybe they can grow just fine all stacked together. There seems to be something almost sacrilegious about pulling up a healthy plant. What a waste. Or is it?
This reminds me of my spiritual life and my former calendar. Spread across the pages of my daily planner were many, many healthy plants. Youth group. Women's Bible study. Homeschooling. The other women's Bible study. Library board. Charitable giving board. Publications board. Teaching Sunday School. Oh, and the usual duties of wife and mom. So many little plants all growing tightly packed together. They looked beautiful in their neat little rows.
Soon enough I realized that, like the beets, each of my scheduled activities was beginning to round out and fill up more space in the garden of my calendar. Each responsibility needed room to breathe and grow.
I would have to thin.
But I couldn't just pull out my plants willy nilly. Thinning beets suddenly seems easy - just pull out the weakest plant, leaving about an inch or so between healthy plants - but how do you decide what activities to thin out? What important task gets pulled?
I realized I needed to take Ephesians 5:15, 16 to heart. That passage reads “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” I needed to live wisely, making room for the opportunities God had for me. It took a lot of prayer, discussion with my hubby, advice from godly mentors, evaluation of my goals for myself and my family, and then more prayer but soon I was able to cull out my schedule and give enough space for each responsibility to develop and grow.
How about you? How is your garden planted? What beets do you need to thin? Comment below your tips on scheduling, living wise, and giving your beets room to grow.