Amish Vines and Orchards series


I want to cultivate relationships with the same care and tenderness I give to my beloved garden.

When I crawl into bed at night, longing to shut out my reality for just a little while, foggy images of things no one else knows presses in.

I used to ask God: why me? But while growing up, I came to realize that no one gets to choose who they are. The best we can do is yield our weakest and strongest selves to the God who loves us at our worst and calls us to be our best.

Still, I struggle with who I am, as do those who love me.

I don’t remember my first forewarning. My Daed says it happened before I turned five. He said we were in a horse-drawn carriage, running an errand and enjoying the splendor of fall. As he drove past a row of unfamiliar homes, I remarked that I didn’t know there was such a thing as a bad mommy. And then I pointed to a specific house.

Daed hadn’t known who lived there, and he’d thought my remarks were simply the nonsensical prattling of a child—until he learned otherwise.

Since then, he’s faithfully admonished me, saying my intuition must be tempered and managed through obedience to God and prayer.

I’ve tried. I’d even kneel before God as my witness about that. And if I could give this gift to someone else, I would—to someone wiser. Someone with a better understanding of what God wants. I never seem to know what He expects from me. But whatever it is, I believe I get it wrong far more than I get it right.

And today…if it wasn’t for my fruit and herb garden, I might feel too lonely to take my next breath. I know I can always take refuge in their midst, despite what goes on around me. And that’s a comfort I’ll never take for granted.