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?
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…..
love your thoughts here, Dolly! Yes…we never really see how far we’ve come until we get there. So I’m striving to keep watering my soul….
So grateful to have you on this journey as we grow closer to Him…thanks for stopping by, friend 🙂
Hmm. I definitely favor the watering over the weeding and pruning. But it takes all that for healthy gardens, no?
isn’t that the truth?…appreciate your honesty…I’m not a big fan of weeding and pruning either, but I sure love the final results…thanks for sharing, Sheila 🙂
My privilege, Dolly.
Lovely, Dolly. Truly. And I’m with Sheila – give me the water, please. Go easy on the pruning shears.
Yes, I resonate with your “go easy on the pruning shears”…thanks for being honest, and stopping by, Diana…good to see you 🙂
P.S. Does it help if one knows that the One wielding the pruning shears is doing it out of love? It still hurts, of course, but maybe, more bearable? What do you think?
It’s so hard to be patient, both with gardening and life. I find that only by daily reaching out to God do I discover the patience to wait. Wonderful post.
ah, yes…patience, that virtue that I wished came faster ; ) Thanks, Joy, for stopping by, and reminding me that it is God, who enables me to wait with patience 🙂
Thanks for the reminder that time is part of the growing process and can’t be hurried.
the time factor of growth – that is hard…another reminder that I am not in control, and another chance to learn to grow in humble acceptance…Thanks, Susan, for visiting 🙂
The growing process. Sometimes painful. Actually, often painful. I feel as if I’ve been pulling weeds all too often. I sense a slow growth these days. I trust the Master Gardener. He is faithful to bring me through every season.
oh, yes, growth can be painful, especially the deep weed pulling, but I rejoice with you at the growth you are sensing, and your trust in our faithful Gardener, as He lovingly works on our hearts…Hugs to you, Barbie 🙂
how exciting for you and your grand girl, Sandra…that is one of the things I love about gardening: all the rich metaphors of life present/gifted to us…Thanks for sharing…Good to see you, and Blessings 🙂
Dolly, you have written about the most beautiful space of time — time with your daughter while you both experience growth in and with God. Your writing is amazing, and your wisdom beyond your years. God has blessed you richly with gifts you willingly share with the rest of us.
Thank you, Sherrey, for your kind words. I am grateful for our girl, and our time with her. So thankful for His words and His wisdom. Blessings to you 🙂