Lessons from the garden

To this day, I still hear the story from the time I was a little girl and despised one of my chores – weeding the garden.

My mom tells of how she would ask me to please weed between the corn rows of our sizeable garden. I found the request difficult to digest. It was a gorgeous summer day – perfect for playing volleyball or running through the sprinkler. And I had to weed the garden?

Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t mind helping my parents and doing chores. But weeding?

An hour after I was assigned the task, my mom came outside to find me just how she had left me. “PENNY ANN!” she said sternly, causing me to jump. I had been sitting there, my little blond head tilted back and my face turned heavenward. My legs were crossed and I lounged between the tall corn rows while daydreaming about stories I would write.

My mom was further disturbed when she realized I’d not pulled a single weed. I have to admit this was neither the first nor the last time this happened.

Fast forward and today one of my most favorite pastimes is gardening. Being outside in God’s creation and admiring His handiwork brings joy to my soul and makes any day happier. I take pride in keeping my flowerbeds weed free (or almost!) I also harbor an addiction to trees.

My mom still laughs at the 180-degree change in me.

And in all these years of enjoying gardening, I have learned the following lessons from one of my favorite past-times:

1. The change in me from the days of daydreaming amongst the corn rows rather than weeding to now tackling the obnoxious weeds with zest reminds me of the change that comes over us when we become a child of God. That gift of salvation, that indwelling of the Holy Spirit, that passion to live for Him. He changes us from the inside out, making us more like Him, as we surrender our lives, our hearts, and our minds to Him.

2. Being without Him is much like a weed growing aimlessly for no real purpose. Growing in Him is much like the tall proud corn stalks with their faces lifted toward heaven.

3. Our eyes can barely behold the beauty, at times, of God’s creation. Whether it be the finely formed hands and feet of a newborn baby, the vibrant smiles of those we love most, the delicate petals of our favorite flower, the rugged mountain peaks, or the vast ocean, God is a master artist. He tells us in Romans 1:20 that we are without excuse when it comes to believing in God based on what we see around us.

The squeal of a toddler, the soft wings of a butterfly, the shimmering leaves on a tree, and the fierce sound of thunder do not come by accident. There is a Hand that creates all of those things and more. Just being present in nature is enough proof of His skilled hand.

4. There will always be weeds. And there will always be “weedy” people. You know the type: difficult to get along with, harsh, unkind, selfish. The best remedy for dealing with the “weedy” people is praying for them. Tough, but it’s the best solution, not only because the Bible commands us to pray for our enemies (Matthew 5:44), but also because it’s difficult to be angry with someone when we’re actively praying for them.

Today, as I spend time tending to my flowers and trees, I’m reminded of those lessons. Thank You, Lord, for drawing us to You. May we always continue to grow in You and impact others for Your glory.


Thank you for stopping by! Before you go, check out these other posts:

the importance of new beginnings

13 verses to comfort the weary soul

thankful for the small things

surviving shingles, part 1

10 ways to help your kids choose good role models

Movie Monday: Flying High for the Glory of God: The Orville Rogers Story (movie review)

Looking to homeschool? Here are 7 things to consider

11 ways to be kinder in 2021

Every year when New Year’s Day arrives, we make resolutions. Lose weight. Exercise more. Eat healthier. Stick to a budget. Declutter.

These are all excellent resolutions, but what if this year, we resolved to be kinder? More giving? More gracious? Less rude and impatient? Not so quick-on-the-draw to find fault in someone who doesn’t see eye to eye with us? Less inclined to make others feel they have to align with our standards if we’re going to like them.

It doesn’t mean compromising our faith and values, but rather to respectfully disagree.

This year has been a rough one for everyone, but unfortunately, instead of pulling together in unity, the opposite has occurred in many cases. It seems people are angrier and less inclined to give others the benefit of the doubt. Less likely to show grace. Quicker to assume the worst of someone. Abruptly forgetting that it’s all right to agree to disagree.

In addition, this past year brought in a litany of things to add to our growing list of why we are divided as a nation, as a church, even as friends and family. We’ve witnessed friendships end, families in dispute, churches divided, and a nation in turmoil.

Having our own opinions isn’t wrong, as a matter of fact, it’s a good thing and a testament to the creativity of our Creator. He made us each different with different longings, different ideas, and different ways of seeing things. Wouldn’t it be a boring world if we all had the same thoughts on every topic? If we all had the same hopes and dreams?

So this year, in addition to our regular New Year’s resolutions, what if we made it a goal to be kinder? Here are 11 ways to do just that.

  • Give people the benefit of the doubt.
  • Offer a genuine smile. Smiling not only benefits others, but also, according to Benefits Bridge, benefits you by improving your mood, enhancing your immune system, and reducing blood pressure.
  • Offer ample appreciation and encouragement.
  • See a need and fill it.
  • Dedicate yourself to praying for others often, even your enemies. (Matthew 5:44).
  • Be generous with forgiveness. (Matthew 18:21-22)
  • Offer grace, especially when it’s undeserved.
  • Be humble and put others first.
  • Agree to disagree, and do so with respect.
  • Be honest.
  • And most importantly, tell someone about Jesus and make an eternal impact in their lives.

We don’t have to align ourselves with a culture that is harsh, angry, and divided. We can choose to be kind and gracious, even to those with whom we strongly disagree.

May this year’s New Year’s Resolution be one of kindness.

Other posts on this blog you may enjoy:

The importance of respectful disagreement

13 verses to comfort the weary soul

6 ways to stick with homeschooling when you want to give up

6 ways to encourage other moms

20 upbeat songs to encourage you

58 fun activities for kids of all ages

5 ways to be happier

5 ways to start your day off right

Movie Monday: Hailey Dean 3-film collection

what to stock up on this winter