Encouragement (for Life as well as the Garden)

Your Focus will Determine Your Outcome (and Lifestyle)

Have you ever had someone else see you garden, make bread, home school your children, prepare your meals or just about anything else — and had them tell you : “I can’t do that because —–

  • because I’m too busy
  • because I have to work long hours
  • because I don’t have time
  • because I’m too tired after working all day
  • because it’s too hard
  • because it’s too complicated
  • because I don’t have enough money
  • because I don’t have enough time
  • because I have children
  • because I’m breast feeding
  • because – because – because — (the list is endless)

Somehow — because they’ve chosen a different way — they perceive everyone else as being richer, having much more time, not having to work as hard they do, having more opportunities than they do, and never having had to go through any learning curve when first learning to do something.

It would never occur to them that you have the same amount of time they do, have just as much or more to do than they do, have worked or do work extremely long hours, might have some severe handicaps and problems of your own, and you started off not knowing how to do what you do now.

Majority Suffer from Inertia

It’s just a fact (not a debate topic) that most people (at least more than 80%) — when they encounter any kind of knowledge — still suffer from inertia —- the tendency to do nothing or to remain unchanged and continue in their existing state — even if they know it would benefit them to change.

Thought comes first — and then Action is Required if things are to Change

If we encounter new knowledge that we perceive will or could make our lives better —- we may not be able to make the changes required right this minute.  But — we can walk in that direction and take each small opportunity to change (and they WILL come) and do what it takes to make our lives better and more to our liking.

Setting the right priorities and learning how to use our time (on what’s really important and not just fluff) will go a long ways to obtaining the lifestyle we desire.

Each Individual is Responsible

Each of us is responsible for our lifestyle.  In the vast majority of cases, it’s the one we have chosen for ourselves.  And yes, it seems very popular now for many to blame everyone else and everything else for what they do and don’t do.  But what it boils down to is this: after we reach a certain point in our lives —  we and we alone are responsible for our lifestyle.

What’s Really Important?

Many are too busy being busy to reflect on what they really want,  how they really want to live, and what’s really important in life. And if we’re not like that now, we probably have been at one time in our lives.  I know I was.

Once I determined my direction, I took a step and I’m still going that way.  I’m leaving out more of the unimportant things with each passing day.

All have Problems — Some have severe Handicaps

I’d like to take this opportunity to encourage, congratulate and praise my readers who are doing great things in their lives in spite of severe handicaps.  These can be daunting and are obstacles that are not easily overcome.

Nonetheless, these folks are walking that way — and setting wonderful examples for all of us. They’re out there gardening, putting up food for the winter, taking care of the their families and many other things that a lot of people in perfect health say they can’t do.

Just One Example

I have one reader, a cancer survivor (yep – that’s how she started on organic gardening) — a mother of 3 very young children — who home schools them, grinds her own flour, makes her own bread, tends a wonderful garden, has an active church (and/or social) life, and is busier than most people.

She recognizes the need for quiet time alone to think, plan, prioritize, and focus —- and makes sure she gets it. (Yes – even with very young children!)  She knows well that her focus will determine her outcome.

Final Thoughts

If you feel there are things you want to do and are not doing — give it some thought.  Determine what you want and take the first step – no matter how small — in that direction.  Sandra, Diane, Gayle, Jenny, Betty, Anniegi, Jennifer, Alice, and many more of us will be here cheering you on!


Related Posts:

Focus on What you Can Do

A Trap Anyone Can Fall Into

Never Underestimate the Power of a Little

A Principle for Insurmountable Tasks

Decide What you Want and Do It

And to Think — They Said it Couldn’t be Done!

Organic gardening is easy, effective, efficient —- and a lot healthier.


All content including photo’s is copyright by TendingMyGarden.com.  All Rights Reserved.



  • This article describes many people I know…lol…life gets so complicated and earning a living while caring for the family is exhausting I imagine.

    I guess for me, it’s a matter of priorities…if you don’t make the time and put forth the effort, you will not achieve the results you desire.

    This past couple of weeks have been so exhausting with the pain, etc. of health issues…but if I don’t put forth the effort for my lil balcony garden and caring for hubby, then I cannot achieve the goals I have purposed to accomplish.

    We have just started house-hunting as well, the pre-approval process is over and we can start ‘house-hunting’…finally (yay!) The housing market in central Fl. is very fluid with houses being bought and sold everyday so we will have to act promptly if we see the one we favor.

    I am trying to evaluate houses on so many levels (including the backyard orientation and the prices and condition of course) that I feel my head spinning at times. The lil balcony garden has only been watered because that’s the only thing I have time and energy for…lol…

    Theresa, can you please advise me as to the preferred backyard orientations for a garden and other options…they use so many chemicals to ‘green’ the lawns around here that I am leaning towards a square-foot type and container type of garden in order to control the soil quality. Most of the houses we’ve seen are oriented with the backyard towards the north…we have not found one we truly like yet and we continue to look.

    Your wise advice would alleviate my stress…any advice from others are welcome as well of course.

    Thank you Theresa for your wonderful gardening blog and the insightful and encouraging wisdom you dispense…you’re a great blessing!

    Big warm hug…Jen

  • Hi Jenny,
    Hope just the right house with the perfect yard will come along soon.
    I know it will be very exciting to be able to garden “in ground” as well as in containers.

    Before I give you a bit of information on preferred orientation for gardens —-remember — whatever yard you end up with — you’ll make it work. Don’t get too wrapped up in what the “experts” say because you can find ways to deal with whatever orientation you end up with. If you can end up with the best —GREAT — but if you can’t — you’ll do just fine.

    Lots of so called “experts” quote Alan Chadwick, a famous horticulturist and a pioneer for organic gardening in this country.

    According to what I’ve read, his followers say that garden beds should be oriented north-south so that the sun will hit everything at least part of the day – even if taller crops are in adjacent beds. They usually go on to say that with beds running east-west it would be a “disaster” — because taller crops to the South would continuously shade lower-growing plants to the North.

    For 35 years — in my previous garden and my current garden — by beds have been oriented east-west. I LOVE THEM! Never has been a problem at all — much less a disaster! 🙂

    When I created each garden I did not think of whether it should run east-west or north-south. I just did what felt right. (Fortunately I didn’t know anything about what the experts said.)

    When I finally found out that Alan Chadwick had said they should run N-S as opposed to what I had —- I gave it a lot of thought. My beds are so nice and so successful that I just can’t get my mind around why he said that.

    So I think basically you can trust your gut feeling on this Jenny.
    Keep me posted and let me know when you find a place. It’ll be so exciting!

  • Thank you Theresa!…you always have the right words of encouragement to ease my worries…you are a gem…Hugs, Jen

  • Hi Theresa,

    This post was so timely. I am mother with 4 young children (6, 4, and twin boys who are 2). We homeschool and we do a large garden (probably close to an acre). We home can much of our garden and truly are self-sufficient when it comes to fruits and veggies. I do buy a little fresh during the long winter months as it keeps me going, but usually just use what we have preserved. My husband lost his hand in a farm accident 6 years ago and I am currently having some health problems.

    All this to say, that most, ok all, of my friends who I talk to say they don’t know how I do it….They can’t keep their house clean, or they couldn’t ever homeschool their children, or they don’t have the time – all the excuses you gave plus some! I tell them that I do it out of necessity and a passion to serve my family, and they just look at me with a blank face. They say that even thinking about doing what I do they go crazy and they call me crazy…..It frustrates me because I don’t see myself as a super woman – I just see myself as someone who takes 1 step at a time trusting God and His plans for my life….

    Well, call me crazy, but I do what I do because I have to. Anyway, all that to say, thank you so very much for your post. It was very encouraging to know I am doing the right thing…..Yes, I don’t spend hours on the phone or hours on the computer doing facebook or anything and my excuses are some of what you mentioned….BUT – I do what I have to to serve my family.

    Thanks for the encouragement! Oh, and I brought in a few green tomatoes this year and even though they have all ripened at the same time, they are keeping very well and I am enjoying them still! Thanks for the tips on that! You are a gem like JennyA said!


  • Stephanie — that was a beautiful comment! I could so relate to what you said about “–I do what I do because I have to.”
    And I’m so glad you do Stephanie. It makes you a very special person with the kind of strength in you that this country was founded by. A strength that seems to be a rare commodity in today’s age —- although you and some other of my readers are proof that it still exits.

    As you said — 1 step at a time is all you need take. I think that fact escapes the vast majority of folks. Just that one step — taken one after the other takes us soooooo far down the road.

    You are making a tremendous difference in the lives and health of your kids and husband by providing good food for them. And the fact that you are pretty much self-sufficient is excellent!

    I am so glad to have you reading TMG and am delighted that I was able to give you encouragement as well as some practical tips that were helpful.

    I hope you will keep in touch. I am so very appreciative that you let me know how you felt about the post. Thank you very much Stephanie for taking the time to do it.

    Keep on keeping on! You are indeed a bright light!

  • I hear that all the time! Another is, “because I don’t have the money for that”, which gets me more than any if them! lol I’m 26 years old with two young children and am finishing my degree with 18 hours a semester, all while working a part-time job. We fall under the “poverty line” in our state and live in government subsidized housing and receive food stamps. Most people, upon hearing these details, react with a gaped mouth and a “How in the world do you find time for plants?” and “Why in the world would you GROW food if you receive food stamps?” To the first, I don’t see my garden as simply “plants”. It is a way of life a darn good one, not to mention that it is a firm of self therapy. In fact, if it were not for my garden, I’m certain I would be a lot more stressed out than I tend to be, even though it does take time to do. I don’t see it as work, though. It’s fun for me and quite cathartic. To the latter response (which I can’t help but smirk at), I reply that I would rather use the help that I get for food to buy the things I cannot, at this time, provide for myself, such as meat, etc. Also, this year, our stores have been accepting food stamps for the purchase of seeds and vegetable plants, which I think is a wonderful thing and will hopefully give more people the opportunity to discover this glorious way of life! 😀
    Thanks for such a wonderful post, as always! I can’t get enough!

  • I relate to what you are saying Brittany.
    We never received any government help — but we were way below the poverty line for more than 20 years. We accomplished more without any money than most people accomplish with money.
    As you know — it depends more on attitude and what you want — more than how much money you have.
    Keep up the good work.

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