Abundance and Harvest – Still in the Garden

Deep into the days of summer, I’m sharing a post that I wrote last year for my church’s website.  With an early spring snow, this year’s garden is behind schedule, but what a treasure it was to discover hearty, red-veined beet leaves during a just-before-dusk weeding session last night . . .

Once the dew dries today, I will amble up to the garden and pick enough tomatoes to fill my Maine Garden Hod.  There’s no stopping those plants now, and if I don’t hurry up and pick enough green tomatoes for our favorite relish —  well, there just won’t be any green tomatoes up there.

While I’m picking, I’ll take note of the dill’s progress.  Two days ago (when I last picked tomatoes, but who’s complaining?) the sprays of small yellow flowers were pale fireworks.  Poet, Luci Shaw would say, “They lift their lovely, loose exactness.”   Somehow,  in spite of their diminutive size, they were still of interest to the honey bees.

However, today, I expect that I will see signs of the flowers going to seed, a good thing if you like to make dilly beans, as I do.  I have seen lots of recipes for other delicious and satisfying uses of dill:  cold cucumber soup with fresh dill, beautiful heads of dill floating delicately in big canning jars full of colorful veggies.

Someday, maybe.

But for right now, for today, my dill reminds me to dream big, to expect great things,  because soon I will harvest all the dill seeds I can capture.  They will scatter and flee as I snip the dry stalks, but most of it will make its way into a brown paper bag to dry.  Once dry, it will spend the winter in a quart jar,  on a shelf in the basement for next year’s dilly beans.  If it weren’t for the fact that next summer I will be harvesting bushels of green beans, I might even forget it was there; but summer will come again, and the abundance of this fall will result in crisp, pickled beans next year.

Abundance is a lesson some of us have to learn by rote.  My patient husband and I had our first argument (26 years ago) in a grocery store, and the controversy found its gnarled roots in the issue of abundance.  He had grown up in a house where the pantry was full and the spice cupboard was a museum devoted to a long history of past recipes.  On the other hand, shopping had been a day-to-day thing in my growing up years, and it seemed to me that I had unwittingly married someone who wanted to spend our net worth on food.

I’m still learning about abundance, but not by looking into my full cupboards . . . and refrigerator . . . and freezer . . . and pantry.  (We’ve definitely come to an understanding about the merits of a well-stocked kitchen.)   Now, when I need a lesson in abundance,  I go to the Source.   Paul is practically crowing in Romans 11 when he exclaims about the deep wealth of God’s wisdom and His rich and inscrutable nature.

I am exhaust-able, and often exhausted, but I will never exhaust the resources of God and His Word, and so I read and ponder —  not to arrive at a “theology of everything,” (. . . but wouldn’t that be great?).  I come back to the Source  to be reminded of abundance, to dream along with Isaiah and the Apostle Paul about all that God wants to do and His “unsearchable” ability to carry out all that He has planned.

“All these things my hand has made, [says the Lord], and so all these things came to be:”

[dill seed and honey bees,

tomatoes and patient husbands],

“But this is the one to whom I will look:  he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word,” (Isaiah 66:2)

Tremble at His Word.

Tremble at His abundance.


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33 thoughts on “Abundance and Harvest – Still in the Garden”

  1. I enjoyed this little offering of grace today , Michele. It is funny how a little seed can make you remember things that the Lord is teaching you and molding you with. I have never made anything with green tomatoes, except fried green tomatoes. No one liked them much. I am starting to see my tomatoes turn red and ripen. Those first fruits are always the most delicious because I can taste the hours of sunlight, literally, bursting.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. “I am exhaust-able, and often exhausted, but I will never exhaust the resources of God and His Word.” This is SO good Michele! I am writing this down in my notebook of “pearls” and I would love to create a graphic for it, with your name on it, if that would be okay. I needed this today!
    Blessings friend,


  3. I so enjoy your posts about your garden. I’ve missed having one, but I’m hoping to be in a place where we can have another garden next summer. Thank you for sharing with Thankful Thursdays.


  4. ❤ The abundance of His grace and mercy are everywhere. We must simply ask to have our eyes opened to the treasures He has for us! Beautiful and encouraging post, Michelle!


  5. “I am exhaust-able, and often exhausted, but I will never exhaust the resources of God and His Word.” Phew. This week has been a doozy, and I’m beyond exhausted…but as I tuck into a bag full of work for the weekend, thanks to you I’m remembering that I can’t exhaust God with my neediness. Thank you for helping me find refreshment as I tackle all the things this weekend!


  6. There are so many lessons in a garden. Growth, abundance, care, new life, struggling life. Thank you for sharing words that teach us God’s truth. Happy Sabbath day.


  7. I loved your comment about the spice cupboard being “a museum devoted to a long history of past recipes”. That reminds me of a few people in my family.
    I’m so glad we can never exhaust God’s resources, that we can always go to him and get what we need.


  8. Coming to your blog is always a breath of fresh air and warm sunshine. calm. Thanks for this reminder about all the abundance we surely have in Christ. But I’m not sure I know what dilly beans are? Maybe that’s not a thing in Texas? Or maybe I’ve been overseas too long. Love yogurt cucumber soup with mint and dill. We eat lots of dill in Turkey.


    1. Dilly beans are a pickled green bean flavored with dill, cayenne pepper and garlic. My boys compete to be the first to open a jar because they LOVE the piece of pickled garlic in each jar.


  9. God does abundantly more than we can ever imagine! I love how you weaved the story of your seeds and the abundance with God’s abundance. Every time I read your work, I am so blessed by your beautifully creative use of words! You are such a blessing. One just can’t help but walk away from here without a little more hope in their hearts! Thank you so much for joining me for #MomentsofHope!
    Blessings and smiles,


  10. Your garden sounds beautiful! We’ve started planting with our two young boys the past couple of years – so many lessons to be learned from sowing and the harvest. You’ve got such a peaceful place here, Michele. Thanks for the encouragement today!


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