Okay but really, have you ever gardened? Had a garden? Tried to grow some kind of plant?
I’m telling you; I was the one, the place… where all things come to die.
But somehow moving out to the country and having a whole ‘lot of dirt will change you. I decided to have a “trial and error” garden this first spring on the farm. I chose a few certain seeds of fruits and veggies, researched them, made sure they weren’t high maintenance and got ready to be a gardener.
Gardener – a person who tends and cultivates a garden as a pastime or for a living.
(cultivate is one of my favorite words, I’m just letting you know)
I’m not sure why the definition claims that gardening could be for a pastime, because it most certainly becomes a full-time, stress induced, emotional attachment job. And day by day, sprout to stem, rain, or shine, I began to understand how God plants seeds in our lives and cultivates them to fruition.
Genesis 1:11 “Then God said, ‘Let the earth produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds.’”
There are many different parables and metaphors throughout scripture about seeds, growth, harvest, trees, roots, and fruits. Each beautifully written and bringing Glory to the cultivator of it all. So how does He cultivate these seeds in our lives?
As I’ve grown older, year after year, I’ve loved being able to look back at my past and see how God diligently cared for seeds in my “garden of life” as we’ll call it. How I was created, my talents, skills, interests, dreams and silly “what if’s” have all been combined into these seeds that God planted at specific times in my life. Did they immediately get all the sun and water they needed to grow and sprout to their completion? No, each seed has been different. Their roots grew differently, deep, or shallow. Their stems grew uniquely, some straight for the sun, some curved to the side or grew little extra branches to help with growth. The leaves, the bulbs, the blooms, everything has blossomed in its’ own perfect timing.
I have a distinct memory in elementary school when I was at home, at my new desk in my bedroom, digging into my Bible and studying a story of one of my favorite Old Testament characters. I ran into the kitchen where my beautiful mother was cooking dinner and said “Mom! I know what I’m going to be when I grow up! I’m going to be a preacher!”… Of course, I wanted to also be an astronaut and a professional dancer, but you know… seeds. When I graduated high school, I didn’t know what to put as my major on my junior college application, so I just checked the box that read “Biblical Studies”. Ten years later, I enrolled in a master’s program at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
That seed was planted after I found Jesus at a young age. God planted it knowing that it would take years to cultivate. I allowed a lot of weeds into my garden of life; they stole the sunlight and water that seed needed to grow. Pests and other hindrances ate at the crop God was growing in my life; the devil didn’t want that seed to succeed. But the more I trusted my gardener, my cultivator, and allowed him to work in my life. That seed blossomed and it is continuing to grow more branches to bloom in places I never imagined.
I was an avid Miss Pageant want-to-be. It was kind of a secret desire. Did I watch every single Miss Mississippi and Miss America that was televised every year with my mom’s homemade French onion dip and a glass bottle coke (because it was tradition)? Absolutely. Did I tell anyone I actually wanted to put on a beautiful evening gown and sway and sweep across a stage floor? I absolutely did not. Not until 2020. But in 2008, I put it on a list of things I wanted to do in college. I wanted to try… my bucket list I guess you’d say. The seed was planted long ago, it took some deep… I’m talking deep roots to grow under the ground because sprouting those blooms took a lot of courage. I didn’t know those roots would take over 10 years to grow, but God did. I didn’t get to participate in Miss Mississippi. A year after making my list, I was married and expecting my first child. Things were a lot different; dreams and goals came to a quick halt. I felt as though all my seeds had withered and died under the soft, moist dirt. But God was cultivating. Doing what He does best. Caring for the seeds that I let get the “root rot” (that’s a real thing). The fun pageant roots grew deeper and deeper until in 2020 I looked at my brand-new husband and said the words “I think I want to be in the Mrs. Mississippi Pageant.” The stem grew straight up to the sun, the bloom broke through the sepal so the pedals could extend and shine God’s glory for all who had eyes to see. I needed that seed to dig deep, it was a seed God planted because He knew when it did bloom, it would encourage others to keep dreaming and having faith… and fun.
This land, oh this land. When I was little it was just “the farm with my daddy”, now it’s the future of my family. I watched the seasons change on this land, the vegetation, the trees grow, some trees fall, the wildlife prosper, the ever-changing cycle of nature. Somewhere in there, God planted that seed… “Can this all be ours? Can I use this land to magnify your name?” It started in college, as a single mom. It was impossible, it truly was, at that time at least. But I kept the faith and God kept the sun shining on that seed, watered it well, pulled the weeds of doubt I had, and plucked the pests who said that I could never clear the lot and build a life out in the middle of nowhere… but here I sit, literally, in a chair, at a desk, in a house, on this land; And praying that God continues to tend to this crop, making it a strong tree that reaches to the skies, and points to the Son, with branches that bear so much fruit that people can’t help but want a taste of God’s goodness. It was just a seed, but it will be a garden in itself.
God’s planted seeds continuously in your life… Spend some time looking back and think about all the seeds in your life that He planted, and gently cultivated to bloom at just the right time. Each one uniquely made, for the season of life you’re in. What a perfect gardener He is.
How to pray over your garden of life…
· Seeds – Pray for the seeds in your garden of life; that God plants them perfectly and intentionally so that you receive the pleasure of watching them grow and bloom for His glory.
· Roots – Pray for your roots; whether this seed needs deep roots or shallow roots, may they grow strong into the soil and not get the “root rot” but prepare the dream to grow strongly into fruition.
· Stem – Pray that the stem, the strong stalk or trunk, the core that holds the fruit you will bear or blossoms you’ll bloom grows continuously pointing to the Son.
· Fruit/Blooms – Pray that what begins to bloom, however unique and purposeful, will grow to completion, bless others, and glorify God, our gardeners sweet name.
· Weeds – Pray that nothing grows around the seed God has planted that could steal its sun and water, or your joy. No doubts, no thoughts, nothing the devil schemes can hinder what God tends to and grows.
· Pests – Pray away the pests. Surround yourself with people and places that will help tend to your crop, make sure your dreams and plans are growing, allowing God to do His job.
“And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground- trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.” Genesis 2:9.
What’s He growing in your garden of life?