Community of Hope United Methodist Church has a community garden that provides organic fresh produce to a local food pantry. For a small fee I can rent my own little box and grow some produce while helping out in the community garden and in other’s boxes. I had been thinking about starting my own garden in my back yard, but the thought of preparing the area and getting it going on my own was a bit overwhelming….so I contacted the folks who oversee the community garden and checked it out.

After taking a look around, I decided to give it a whirl and chose the box that looked like it needed the most work. I began at IMG_1749the task of clearing it out. There were a few other people around working in the garden – some were just starting their first garden as well and others had been working on their gardens for several years … and they pitched in to help me. We raked and dug and pulled out the old straw and weeds … at times there were others helping me out and then at times I worked on my box alone. I got some new soil and mulch and worked it all in — as I raked and mixed in the soil, more weeds would surface and I cleared them out. The thought of clearing out my garden on my own was overwhelming … “where do I begin?” Coming to the community garden has it’s advantages … because as soon as I began working on it, three other people joined in and began helping me clear it out. Sometimes we just need a little help to get started. Right? I got to a point where it was a little more manageable and they went on to do their own things while I continued working. Occasionally they would come back around and help again with some things I missed. Even the pastor came by and threw on a couple of bags of mulch …

This got me to thinking …

This is me thinking ...

This is me thinking …

Sometimes in life I let things pile up … I neglect my garden (or it’s in a winter season), weeds and other debris take over and it becomes stagnant – produces no fruit. It seems overwhelming to begin clearing it out but I know I need to make some changes. I feel like I’m dying. I look up and look around until I see hope. As soon as I reach out for help I find a great community of people who are in different seasons of their own lives who are willing to come along side of me … some have a little more experience and give me great counsel in my journey while others are in the same season as I am and we support each other as we go.  After taking my own first steps, I will be able to counsel and encourage others who are just starting out as well. At times I will need the encouragement, wisdom and support of those in my community and then there are times when I need to do the work on my own. And it is work. There will always be weeds to pull. But the reward is well worth the effort.

This is Celebrate Recovery. CR is a safe community where anyone can go to begin clearing out their garden. In CR I have found a safe place to share my deepest hurts and have found healing and freedom through my relationship with God. I have a sponsor who gives me wise counsel in my journey. I have accountability partners and deep friendships with those who journey with me. And I have the privilege and honor to sponsor those beginning their own recovery journeys.

This is also Precision Nutrition’s Lean Eating. The LE journey has been a very surprising one for me. I began in July 2012 with the expectation of losing weight and getting fit…what I didn’t expect was the emotional growth I would experience and how much I would learn about myself. I didn’t realize just how much I despised who I am, how much of the rejection I felt was really coming from me (not others), how disconnected I was from what my body was physically feeling versus what my mind and emotions were telling me. LE has helped me see myself differently. I know I need to give me grace and compassion. I need to be ok with who I am and where I am right now. In this moment. I am learning to love me so that I can make the best and healthiest choice for me in this moment. I also didn’t expect the friendships that I’ve developed which I hope will continue even beyond LE. My coach and mentors have supported, encouraged and guided my journey … and my fellow Lean Eaters have supported and encouraged me as well. What a wonderful, beautiful group of women they all are.

LE has helped me clear out my garden, I’m nurturing the beautiful flowers that are there, planting some wonderful new flowers and now it’s time to bloom.

Some day I’ll be on the side of helping others with their health journey … I can’t wait to see my own clients bloom!

~Digging Deep