My girls are really into plants, digging and gardening. I love seeing them so excited about Spring. I also love plants and flowers and I would love to say they got the gardening bug from me, except that I do not have a green thumb. My one success is a bamboo plant Ryan got me for Valentines Day in 2005. I kept it alive for 7 years, but that was only because it lived in rocks! It needed next to no care, which was why it survived. I forgot to water it for weeks, but it would always forgive me and come back to life… until I left it outside on accident during the St. Louis drought of 2012. I have always loved plants and flowers and I’m making a bigger effort to learn the art of keeping plants alive and enjoying the time spent with my girls digging and planting to our hearts content.
When the weather is nice, my girls are outside (usually digging) and looking for worms and roly-polies, finding birds nests and re-enacting the “Survivor Man” shows that Ryan watches – pretending they have to catch and eat wild animals to stay alive. Yes, they have very active imaginations and yes, I promise they are girls!
As I watch them dig, I am reminded of how gardening is a perfect picture of our lives and relationships. Jesus told many parables and analogies about planting and growing – the sower of the seeds, the tree bearing fruit, the tree planted by streams, grapes on vines, etc. It was a very relatable topic in Biblical times and I think it’s still relevant to us today. Getting my hands deep in the dirt, sweating and working diligently caused me to see another analogy. If you don’t get your hands dirty and make an effort, you will not reap the full benefit of your hard work. We can’t sit complacent and stagnant and expect our relationships to blossom, when we haven’t even picked up a shovel. If we don’t stay in constant communion with our maker, our hearts will not thrive. Invest time, energy and put your whole self into your relationships. We need to dig deep or the relationship will wither and fade like a dying garden that has been forgotten and abandoned.
If my girls want to find worms and have flowers – you better believe by the end of the day, their entire bodies are covered in mud! They are sweaty, stinky and exhausted, but they always have huge smiles on their faces. When they dig deep, they reap the rewards of being persistent and engaged in their work. Their reward is a full jar of worms and roly-polies and wild flowers peeking out of the dirt, but our reward will be deep, spiritual intimacy with our Father and lasting, loving relationships with those we love.
When we get our hands dirty in our relationship with Jesus and with others, we too will reap huge rewards in our lives. It may not always happen in the way we expect, but we will see change. The relationships will grow and not die. They will have an eternal, lasting impact.
“For as the earth brings forth its bud, as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. Isaiah 69:11 (The Voice)
**Apologies to our patient neighbors, Jotham and Charity Cortez who have had to endure the frustration of our girls being “diggers” who do not know when to stop. Hopefully, no more flower beds will be harmed in the pursuit of worms and roly-polies.**