I spent part of my weekend placing an online order for seeds for this year’s gardening adventure. I call it an adventure because I have two black thumbs and I dislike dirt. And bugs. I’m sort of an “indoor girl”.
However, we had taken the plunge last spring and ripped up part of the backyard, putting in a few raised beds and spending hours ridding the soil of rocks and debris. I started some seeds in windowsills in yogurt containers with clear plastic tops. Because of the extra work and a May vacation we got seeds and transplants into the ground nearly a month late. Despite the delay and our novice attempts, we were delighted to be eating some lettuce, beans, cucumbers and potatoes by the end of the summer, and we learned a lot, though mostly through our mistakes.
So as I spent some time these last few days reading about plant varieties and soil preparation and growing conditions, I started to wax philisophical. I do that. A lot.
I have been wrestling lately with many issues regarding my home and the way I am training and discipling my children. I know what direction I want to guide them in, I’m just constantly amazed at what a battle (physically, spiritually, and emotionally) we mothers are drawn into, especially when our children are all very young.
I have studied the options and selected seeds for my garden, and I am eager to plant them as soon as possible. But as we are all well aware, that isn’t the difficult part, is it? The hard work will come with the soil preparation, the thinning, the careful nurturing of the young shoots. The faithful watering. Checking carefully for threats like pests and disease. The weeding, and weeding, and weeding, until my back is sore and the dirt under my fingernails threatens to take up permanent residence. And then there is the waiting…patiently waiting for an abundant and fruitful harvest.
I liken the researching and purchasing of seeds and the pretty drawings of our garden plots to the knowledge, wisdom, and planning that we need to grow in as a mother to be equipped to flourish within (and without) our homes. I have been guilty in the past of spending most of my time gleaning insight, however valuable and worthy, into my role as a mother, and yet being unwilling to get dirt under my fingernails.
If I desire to nurture the “tender shoots” in my home, if I wish to see a fruitful harvest at the end of this “growing season”, then I need to be willing to put in the hard work that such a harvest requires. I need to be not only planting seeds, but watering new growth that I see in the lives of my children, protecting them against the things that threaten that growth, and carefully pulling up weeds without damaging roots. I have often gone about “pulling up weeds” that I see in my children’s hearts and attitudes in a rather rash and careless way…do this in your garden and you may damage a tender young plant. Do this in your home and the consequences can be much more serious than a bent stem or an exposed root.
I plan to continue my study of Scripture and worthwhile books that offer wise counsel and practical advice for my season of motherhood, but I also plan to break out the shovel and the watering can and prepare to get my hands dirty. The mother who does so awaits a fruitful harvest with eager anticipation, knowing she has faithfully and diligently tended her garden.