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  • "A Musing Pastor"

When the store was in the backyard.

Tracie: Do we need milk?

Me: I don't know, I haven't checked it lately.

Tracie: When I'm out shopping, I'll just get a gallon.

Me: Okay.

The other day as we shopped in the Big Valley, I saw this picture hanging on the wall of the grocery store.

Granted, the picture portrays another era in time, but the picture took me back in time. This was a time when trips to the grocery store were an unknown. Pretty much everything a family would need to consume was grown or produced within a stone's throw of the house. (Still is in much of the Big Valley)

Here is a short list of foodstuffs I recognized in this photo.

1. Milk (butter)

2. Eggs

3. Beef

4. Pork

5. Poultry

6. Fruit of all kinds from the orchard

7. Produce from the garden

I think you get the point. There was a time in our past when a high percentage of people worked and produced their own food. I suppose there are a goodly number of folks who still toil and enjoy homegrown products but I would presume the number is much smaller.

Yesterday, I called my health coach and we talked about my health strategies and goals to reduce stress. I mentioned to Susie (not her real name) about running, walking, stretching, and silent meditation. I then talked about the changing season here in PA and how I would soon be out gardening, planting, and cultivating food in a small garden. I felt like I was trying to sell an air conditioner to an Eskimo. While Susie was thinking along the lines of reducing stress with yoga, good sleep patterns, and time management, I was introducing her to new ideas.

There was hesitation in Susie's responses to my plan. I then mentioned how cathartic it is for me to have my hands in dirt, planting potential fruit and vegetables, pulling pesky weeds, and seeing the result of my work. I then added to my plan how I get mild exercise as I garden. Susie then became more receptive and affirming of my plans. I think I may have a convert in Susie!

"I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters

is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have

one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers;

you are God’s field, God’s building. (1 Corinthians 3:6-9, NIV)

What techniques do you employ to reduce stress? Have you thought of tending a small garden? Could you benefit from the future produce you might harvest? Oh, just so you know, small gardens can be grown on a windowsill too! Not sure where we would but the cow, pigs, and chickens!!

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