A Labour of Love (on Labour Weekend)

DSCF9456“I want you to help me plant a raised vege garden,” says my wife, “Labour weekend will be a great time to do it.”
“OK, where?” I replied.
“Right there.”
“But there’s only stones,” I said.
“Not underneath – we dig.”

She meant you dig. So I dug. It was my labour of love for my wife, on a weekend where most kiwi’s are taking it easy – at the beach or by the BBQ.

WP_20131026_005I have to tell you, it wasn’t easy! The soil in Auckland is often hard and clay-like, so it’s like digging into rock.  After about an hour of this I was sweating, and breaking out with blisters.


I knew if I stopped it would be unlikely that I would return. So I didn’t stop. Three hours later I was done – literally! I was so shot (kiwi term) my hands were shaking. I needed water, and food. I lay down on the grass and Francelle took over.

WP_20131026_034Her job now was to line up the new plots and shovel the broken and tilled soil back in. It might look kind of easy. She told me it wasn’t.

That was Saturday cut. Sunday was our day off. We’d return on Monday.


After a trip to the gardening centre, we returned with a load of compost/garden mix.  It was still steaming.  We put that on top of the soil, which would give us a nice, fertile top layer ready for planting.

???????????????????????????????Francelle mixed it all in nicely, so there was a good mixture of tilled soil and compost.  It really did start to look like a mini-vege garden. Meanwhile I tidied up the area around where we dug, sorting the scattered clumps of soil from the stones.???????????????????????????????

We had a ton of garden mix left over. “What are we going to do with this?” I asked. “Make another garden plot,” she said.
“You’re kidding – right?”

IMG_1110She wasn’t. But then we came up with a plan – knock together the boards left over from the other job and make another garden plot. No digging. Just plonk it down on the ground. “Ah – now we’re talking…”

And here’s the finished product – ready to plant.


There has to be some lessons here – for life in general and for ourselves.

  1. If you want the rewards, you need to be prepared to put in the hard work.  No pain, no gain.
  2. There is tremendous satisfaction in doing the hard work yourself.  Sure, we could have paid a landscaper to it.  But this is more fun – especially at the end.
  3. Working projects builds great relationships.  I had the best time with my wife than I’ve had for a long time.
  4. Spiritually: the soil needs to be prepared to receive the seed.  Human hearts are stony, just like this plot.  The stones need to be cleared, the hard hearts broken, so that they are ready to receive the Word.
  5. What we accomplished in the weekend is picture of what we’ve been doing in the hearts of others our entire married life.  The only difference being we won’t likely see that reward until we get to heaven.  But that’s all good.
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