If you've ever toured Hearth Homes, then you likely remember the vastness of the yard, the stunning Mural, and the rockin' playground. Nestled right in the middle of all of this is our humble garden. Volunteers spend early spring preparing the beds, adding manure, and tilling deep. Green beans, tomatoes, peppers, and corn are familiar and will easily make into Family Dinners at Hearth Homes. Zucchinni, broccoli, herbs, and radishes are another story. Intriguing to grow, but these veggies tend to be a bit outside the comfort zone of the families we serve. Fortunately, we're all about going beyond our comfort zone at Hearth Homes. Thats where growth really happens. Every day at Hearth Homes we challenge each other: What is distracting us from our goals? What are our priorities? What are we doing to nourish healthy relationships? All of these are extremely difficult questions under the heat of emotions and turmoil, but incredibly effective in encouraging growth and not too different from tending a garden. In our first planting, ladies and staff each wrote down areas they would like to grow and buried it beneath the seed of a sunflower. Over the course of the summer, as these flowers grow and we learn more about the garden, we reflect on our growth. Pulling weeds in our gardens, we reflect on the weeds in our own lives. You know them: the relationships that sapp your energy, the tasks that overburden, the habits that damage our health. As we prune off fruitless limbs, we encourage each other in simplifying our lives and listening to what God is asking us to remove: Maybe it's gossip, or overcommitments. And as we tend to our gardens, taking care to add life-giving water, fertilizer and supports, we challenge ourselves to reach out to healthy people around us, pursue truth, and care for our needs that we may better care for others. The Hearth Homes garden is a precious place where we dig in together, work up a sweat, and enjoy the fruits of our labor. Not unlike the work we do every day as we work with the precious families at Hearth Homes.