Be prepared

by Christin Berglund

The bulb planting did not go as I expected. Although the mailman brought a few hundred bulbs that promised to dress up the landscape next spring, they aren’t planted yet.

Why not? Because the careful gardener doesn’t just take a bulb planter and just punch a hole in the sod. It takes a little more preparation.

The yard was not nearly ready to have my spring bulbs planted.

  • First, some paths needed to be re-routed to accommodate shrubs that had grown larger, where the hyacinths should go.
  • Second, the weeds and stray plants had to be taken out of other areas.
  • Third, the rock borders in some areas needed to be moved forward into what had formerly been our lawn, as we continue to fight back the Bermuda grass. This new edge will be a prime spot to put crocus and daffodils.
  • Fourth, the landscape cloth underneath four inches of some nicely composted mulch had to be cut up and removed.
  • Fifth, the newly acquired plants from the swap had been hastily planted in available areas, but needed to be moved to make room for the bulbs.

Does that all sound like a lot of work? Yes, it surely is.

Although these were tasks that had been delayed, they didn’t ruin the yard noticably. Nevertheless, they were jobs that needed to be done before the next step, which was planting my hopeful mound of bulbs.

Proper preparation, like appropriate maintenance, is one of those things that nobody really notices until it is past time to do it.

When it is done right, things go smoothly; and it seems like the job never existed. Every homemaker knows this. Order and cleanliness doesn’t just happen in a house, and the same is true in a garden.

Mulch will decay into soil and sprout weeds. Neat rows of vegetables will be overshadowed by faster-growing volunteer plants. I have seen trellises pulled down by unruly flowering vines that didn’t get pruned on time. Bulbs that don’t get planted in the fall will shrivel by spring.

Oh! Those bulbs! Like many of our life’s projects, it just hadn’t been the right time to plant. Not just yet.

And so my days have been taken up with weeding, moving plants and stepstones, and adding soil amendments. I did manage to plant a few Spanish Bluebells here and there, but the bulk of my planting will have to be done a little later than expected, due to poor preparation.

Planning is one important key to success. Any major purchase is preceded by careful research. Home improvements usually start with a trip to the hardware store.

When my husband decided to go into preaching, the first step was to enroll in Bear Valley School of Preaching. Without that preparation, the work would have been overwhelming.

The pathway for new Christians may have been pointed in the wrong direction, or our enthusiasm could have been pulled down and destroyed by fault-finding brethren. What if some lingering denominational errors had remained to choke out the truth?

Preparation was vital for the work we set out to do.

We hope the future brings even more fruitful labor in the kingdom than the past. The foundation of preparation and the diligent maintenance of our hearts and minds through prayer and Bible study will help facilitate that goal.

We must never bemoan the time spent in preparation, for it is only then that we are prepared for the tasks ahead.

“Having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace…” (Ephesians 6:15, NASB).

I’m tying my shoelaces! It’s planting time.

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