Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lessons from Gardening...

While I tend to be a "glass half full" kind of person, when you have a major disruption to plans that effect not only yourself but ripple out to many others, it is sometimes a little difficult to remain happy and optimistic. But even after a few short days, I can already see there have been a few silver linings to our "deer"tour.

We were here to help really great friends move into their new home- one of the true blessings of having three sons. They surely are a force to be reckoned with! Also, we are so thankful we can now see other friends who are temporarily home from the mission field, though under less than desirable circumstances.

Some other bonuses to being home without hours scheduled at the daily grind (read LensCrafters...), I have gotten a lot of things done that really may have NeVeR been crossed off on the mental to-do list.

One of them is the gardening. Savannah and I spent a few afternoons tackling our less than stellar gardens that we've inherited while we rent our home. Needless to say I don't want to put a lot of money into them. Getting something "free" or cheap means elbow grease, and ransacking others gardens for overgrown perennial beds! When one volunteers to do the thinning, people are more than gracious to let you take the goods!
Needless to say there are so many benefits to gardening. There are lessons to learn, spiritually and just every day life applications. As I was teaching Savannah to tell the difference between a weed and a flower, she made the connection that most weeds are hairy and prickly. How right she is! Flowers tend to have smooth and shiny stems and leaves, while weeds and other "less desirables" (mint and comfrey!) have bristles, fibers and sometimes all out thorns on them. Good observation. Good application too.

I showed her how the weeds will grow right through the flower plants, and if you remove them you have to be so careful, as the weed roots are often stronger than the flowers roots. It can be done, but not with the same reckless abandon we used when we attacked the patch of dirt that was all weeds.
She began practicing her new knowledge on these little wild daisy plants. A couple of times she pulled up a flower, and then just put the now rootless stem "back" so it looked as good as the others. Other times she pulled out just the weed, but was less than careful and broke the flower stem so the bud just dangled on a now insufficient stem. She wondered why my plant looked fine, but hers had looked quite battle scarred. Now they aren't the most glorious plants to begin with. (Think free from the field across the street.) But given the right care, they will do the job I want them to do.

I was really struck with the analogy. God often tells us things, just like I told my daughter. We are like these scraggly plants. Weeds pop up, and with God's care they can be removed. He can reach in and know just the right amount of separating to do and pressure to apply, and like a surgeon he can take out the problem, leaving minimal scarring. He is a good and gracious God like that!!!

But... like a little child, sometimes I see the weeds in another. With less than tender care and certainly with no physician-like wisdom, I can begin to pick and pull on others in my little patch and do great damage. I can try to put them back- rootless and snapped- to try and support their little blossom on my still intact stem, but the evidence of my carelessness will be shown as soon as the heat of the day shines hard. With no root, they will wither. With a broken stem they may survive, but surely the beauty of the bloom will fade until the water can begin to flow again, nurture the root, and with a lot of time send out a new shoot.

These things were quite deep to put on Savannah at the time, but she could very easily understand sometimes it is best to let Mommy take the weeds out of the flower bunches.

I however, learned all too clearly. While in truth we are all just a bunch of worthless wildflowers, with God's tender care and pruning, weeding and precious watering, we can serve His purposes and do the job he wants us to do! Praise Him!

1 comment:

Stitches In Cotton said...

Wow! It's amazing how something as simple as gardening can turn into a really deep spiritual lesson.
Thanks for sharing that story it touched my heart.