Guarding Our Hearts

Proverbs 4:23 commands us to guard our hearts for every thought, word, or deed flows from it. Actions must be taken to protect it from invasion.

Every year I plant a garden. It isn’t a lovely garden with a white picket fence, ivy trellis, and flowers adorning the beds. No. In fact, the beauty of my garden is in the eye of the beholder. If you were to see it, you would probably ask yourself why I even bother.

My garden is enclosed with cow/horse panel on three sides with the back of the barn completing the fourth. Added to the bottom is a piece of running board or catwalk. Along the north side is an electric fence. And even though, I have added a layer of protection every year, something always seems to find it’s way inside.

This year, we spent several days trying to figure out why the tops of my bell peppers were disappearing. We checked the fence. Too small for a deer to stick its head through. We checked for holes next to the fence. No sign of turtles. Then we placed boards in front of the gate. The next morning I found another scalped bell pepper. With pregnant clouds above, I had no other choice but to wait it out.

Baby BunniesOne week later, I decided to weed the tomato bed. During the process, my seventeen-year-old daughter found tufts of hair next to one of the plants. Baby rabbits! With umpteen dozen wooded acres, why in the world did the female rabbit have to pick my 48 x 48 fortress. I began trying to figure out how the mother was able to get inside while my daughter was oohing and aahing over the cute little ears!

“Oh, they’re so cute,” she said. “Look at those fuzzy ears!”

I watched her for a moment and knew I couldn’t get rid of them, yet. I told her to stop hoeing and we would watch them for a little while. Then, I began searching for the break in my wall. Finally, I found a little tunnel under the wall of a stall. The fuzzy miner had been busy.

On the way to the house, I informed my daughter the rabbits had to go. Her disappointment was obvious. “But they’re so cute.”

“Well, cute or not, they’ll destroy everything out there. Make a choice.”

With hand over heart, she replied. “But, Mama. My heart is torn.”

I reminded her that small things can be cute, but they can grow up to be quite ugly and destructive. She agreed. She searched for information on what to do and found they were older than they first appeared. According to the experts, the babies would soon leave the nest. A week later, they moved out and we covered the hole.

My garden may not be pretty to some, but it supplies me with a veritable summer buffet. From it, I pick tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, peas, cucumbers, strawberries, bell peppers, and cantaloupe.

Next year, I plan to add a moat.