Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Greenhouse Days

With Spring being especially blustery and long-lasting this year, it is a welcome relief to finally finish tromping over the crunchy piles of snow and frozen puddles in the early morning hours, and cross over the threshold into the steamy air of "the" greenhouse. This particular greenhouse long ago crept it's way into my heart. From the hours spent there filling dirt trays and spreading thousands and thousands of seeds over it's surface, to watching the seedlings take root and spring into cheering greenness, to sitting in it's doors threshing out a season's harvest, nearly all aspects of greenhouse work I absolutely love.  The ever present smell of dirt and seeds that greets me whenever I walk in is one I don't think I'll ever get tired of. 

The 2008 growing season has begun in earnest for my employer's family. I hardly like to call them that. "Boss" seems too cold and formal for such dear friends. Working for hours on end with Steve and Janelle Sykora and their two children have held some of the year's richest blessings for me. From the times of heart-to-heart sharing while transplanting thousands of seedlings, to the exuberant hours of singing our lungs out, to the ever present sparkling tease in *ahem* some that threatens to break us girls out in a tickling match or water fight, the hours of fellowship are such a blessing!

Then there are the quiet hours of solitude that I also treasure. Today was one of those days. Various activities kept the other's busy, and I found myself alone for several hours filling peat pots and planting 5,000 wild lupines.  As the early morning light started filtering in the domed house, gradually warming the interior with it's sunny rays, my heart soared heavenward. So many thoughts wanted to creep into the stillness, drowning out that simple quietness that I'm learning is so important to cultivate. 

In a family of nine, absolute, solitary silence in our home is rare. It takes effort to get alone and just let the Lord speak without a multitude of distractions. Granted, they are blessed distractions most of the time...I wouldn't trade the happy chatter of my family for anything! Yet, I also find myself craving and seeking out quiet places. The hours of greenhouse work makes that quest a lot easier, but even then, I find the busyness and chatter of my own heart needs to cease also. During those hours this morning, God brought a verse from Isaiah to my attention, and put into concrete thought what I had been feeling for a long time.

"...In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength..." Isaiah 30:15

Perhaps that's why work at Everwilde Farms is so precious to me. Granted it makes life busier when I am home, but opportunity for hours of quiet, restful thought and prayer while there are bountiful. Last year the Lord pressed some of the deepest life lessons upon my heart during those long intervals of greenhouse and field work. I am already finding the same true this year. It only presses more deeply upon my heart the need to constantly maintain a portion of every day to cultivate that quiet, waiting, resting heart upon Him.

I have no guarantee how long "greenhouse season" will last. I would like to think it would be a part of the rest of my life, but I know that's not very likely. I know I will always look back on these months with fondness, and hopefully, remember above all else the reason it was such a blessing to me.  
(Written two weeks ago)


Cheri said...

LOVED the post and also the pictures. Very encouraging all-around. =)

Have you ever read, "A Place of Quiet Rest" by Nancy Leigh DeMoss? I've just started reading that book, and I think you'd *really* enjoy it!!!

Andrea said...

Hmmm.....the name of the book sounds VERY familiar, but I don't believe I've read it! Another one to add to my ever growing list to "to read!" ;-)

Hannah said...

Andrea, your post is beautifully written and brings a flood of memories to mind of the 2+ years I spent working for a large wholesale greenhouse. It almost makes me envious of your job :-). And having your employers would make the work even more enjoyable. (I met Steve & Janelle at YBS in CO in the early 2000's.) God bless you, as you keep soaking up those long, quiet hours in the greenhouse, as well as the busy, hectic moments, and the bantering and fun ones :-)

Follow In His Steps said...

Thank you for sharing, Andrea! It sounds like such a special opportunity that you have. Working with plants is so enjoyable!

Similar to you, one of the side benefits of gardening that I appreciate is the solitude - it gives much opportunity to think and pray!