Our girl and I cuddle on her bed with the pink sheets and purple patchwork quilt blended with yellow, pink, pale blue, and green. I love this time of day.

We read Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions For Kids, and I tell her we do this to help her grow in her relationship with God.

“I don’t feel like I am getting any closer to God,” she replies. (Oh, how I appreciate her honesty with me.)

“That’s okay, it doesn’t happen all at once. You know how you eat every day and it doesn’t seem like you’re growing? But you are. If you didn’t eat, you wouldn’t grow.”

She looks at me.

I repeat, because I am a mother: We read God’s words, and it may not seem like we’re being changed, but each day, when we do, we are slowly growing.”

Pause. I search her face.

“We grow when we obey God, and take His words in, like food. Does that make sense?”

She nods. I turn off the lights, rub her back, and pray with her.

After kissing her good night, I think about what she said.

Real growth always takes time, as I wait for seeds planted in my garden to grow. Gradually, I am learning to be okay with the achingly slow pace of progress.

But the good news is if we cooperate with the Master Gardener, He will till, weed, and grow our heart’s garden. And it is from our heart, we live and love.

“Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.”  Proverbs 4:23

How can I explain to her, what I am only now beginning to grasp a glimpse of, the mystery of God’s gardening techniques. How in the painful pruning and stripping of the dead branches from one’s heart, He prepares one for new growth.

He gardens out of love, even as He died for love.

And even if I could explain it, could she comprehend it at her tender age? How could she grasp that her mom has struggled with painful issues for more years than she has lived?

Yes, God is gracious, and there has been growth, but not at the pace, or to the degree, I would have liked. Yet, I am learning to humbly accept His timing as best.

“Isn’t life always fragile?…If life were stable, I’d never need God’s help. Since it’s not, I reach out for Him regularly.” – Francis Chan, Crazy Love

So we stick to what is a fundamental need for growth: nourishment. Our soul’s dire need for His Word to feed and change us (Heb. 4:12) from the inside out.

Gardening reminds me how much growth occurs underground, and then slowly inches its way upward and outward. The seed must die to itself for new life to appear.

We place a tiny black basil seed, maybe 2-3 times bigger than a period(.), in the soil. Weeks pass, and a 10-inch green basil plant “seems” to appear.

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” Galatians 6:7

What kind of seeds are you sowing in your life? Who are you gardening with?


on planting seeds, and waiting for growth…

by Dolly Lee time to read: 3 min