Planting Vegetables and Trees

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One of the first things that drew us to the property we live on was the huge, old maple near the house. The maple not only provides cooling shade for a house without central air conditioning, but it is beautiful. Given the age of the house and the estimated age of the tree, we believe that the maple was planted after the house was built.

The foresight of those who came before us in planting a tree where it would provide shade and beauty in future generations is humbling.

Planting Garden Seeds

Every year we plant a vegetable garden in the back yard. Not ambitious gardeners, we plant enough to feed our family for the summer months, but not so much that August is spent canning and freezing. (Note the reference above to the un-air conditioned house.)

Gardening is a fun short-term project that yields almost immediate benefits.

Long- and Short-term Goals

In parenting, we must always keep both the short-term and long-term in view. We must train and discipline our children to be a blessing to others now and in the future. Training in hand washing, answering respectfully, keeping rooms clean (or trying to!), and how to wash the dishes, these are the short-term, garden seed style investments.

It is easy to get wrapped up in these.

Long-term character qualities like patience and kindness, considering others ahead of yourself, and being faithful in responsibilities are like planting saplings. The work is harder and the growth is slower, but the long-term results benefit not only your immediate family but also your grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

As you go about your day, be mindful of the seeds and saplings that you are nurturing in your child’s life. Don’t neglect one or the other and you will enjoy the blessings of an early harvest and lifelong shade.

 

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