To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow. ~Audrey Hepburn
Aloe there! (See what I did there? Hello….Aloe….ahhhh…plant humor ha!)
I’ve been itching to get our raised gardening bed planted with some vegetables and herbs, but I’ve seemed to miss the window to do it the past couple of springs. This year, we made it happen though and I’m enjoying checking on them each morning and seeing how they’re progressing. So far so good! My mom is a master gardener, so I thought it high time I take full advantage of all she knows. I’m hoping her green thumb rubs off on mine, somehow.
So, I’ve been doing some mental comparisons between the principles of gardening and the principles of life and thought I’d share a five of them with you guys today.
Let’s get going!
1. With the faith of a mustard seed…
I’m always amazed at what all can flourish from the tiniest of seeds. It’s really incredible when you think of it. Something nearly as small as a grain of sand can produce life sustaining fruits and vegetables.
The same can be said of our faith walk with God. As Luke 17:6 tells us,
The Lord answered, “If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘May you be uprooted and thrown into the sea,’ and it would obey you!
There is so much power in rooting your identity in who God says you are and in walking out your faith on a daily basis. I think it’s interesting that the mustard seed is the smallest of all seeds sown on the earth and God chose to use it as a demonstration of how our faith, small as it may seem at times, is enough to see big changes in our life.
2. Location, Location, Location
Much like real estate, I’ve learned that gardening is SO much about where you decide to do your planting. Crucial, in fact. My backyard gets full sun pretty much all day. So, while I might love to see some pretty green ferns prosper back there, I know that’s just not going to happen in those sunny conditions. So, I have to keep that in mind as I choose what to put in our raised bed garden.
The same is true of people. Some of us blossom in front of a crowd. Some of us long for solitude. People may love to push their bodies to the limit. Others challenge their minds in as many ways as possible. There are those who long for big families, small families, excitement, peace, structure, freedom…
These are ALL good. We simply need to recognize where WE best grow, as individuals, and plant our roots there.
3. Accept Help.
I can be stubborn. Just ask my mom. She had to take me to the pediatrician when I was a toddler to have my arm put in a sling. She wanted me to go one way in the grocery store and apparently I wanted to go the other. She gave my arm a tug and out of the socket it went! Stubborn. Ha!
While I’ve gotten better, I’ve always loathed having to ask for help with something. I like to fancy myself as a kinda ‘can-do-it-all’ chick! I’ll exhaust every option first before asking for help, generally speaking. I’m so fortunate to have a mother who knows a ton about how to grow a successful garden. She’s always happy to help my little one and I get going on the right foot with it.
So here’s my advice to you.
No matter what you are tackling — be it professional, personal, or anything — never be afraid to ask for help and take it. There is always someone out there who can help. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength! It’s not always knowing the answer (or having the skill) but it’s knowing who to ask. Having the confidence to ask for help when you need it is both brave and wise.
4. You reap what you sow.
You knew this one was coming,right? Ha! It’s a powerful lesson and one we all need to be reminded of from time to time. As gardeners, we don’t plant cucumbers expecting juicy tomatoes to pop up, right? If we want tomatoes, we plant tomatoes. Simple as that.
The same can be said of our life expectations. Sometimes we look at our lives, don’t like what we see and wonder where we went wrong. The answer may be that we planted the wrong seeds. Look at your relationships. Are you and your spouse as close as you’d like to be? Do one or both of you spend more time glued to work or Facebook rather than investing more of that time in each other? How about your health? Are you taking care of your body so it will continue to stay strong and serve you well as you grow older? Or are you/we over snacking while sitting in front of the tv allowing our bodies to become stagnant? There are many things you can do to improve your health.
Yikes, that kinda hurts, right? Hopefully though, you understand what I’m getting at.
Ask yourself what you want, and then make sure that you’re planting the seeds that will get you those results.
5. Build a fence around your garden.
Now, the last thing you want after you put all that time and energy into building your garden is for little furry creatures or little pests to come in and try to destroy it. In the same way, we need to build a little wall of protection around the dreams and goals we have set for ourselves. In short, we need to create some boundaries, friends.
While we should do our very best to be cordial, sometimes there are certain people that bring a level of toxicity to our lives and just drain the life and good energy out of us. At the risk of sounding harsh, these are the folks we need to keep at a long arm’s distance. Honestly, if someone is not bringing life-giving vibes, it’s time to move along. Be nice, but move along. Pulling out the ‘bad weeds’ allows for new things to grow and blossom in its place.
Also, know your limits. Sometimes other people aren’t always the problem. We can often be our own worst enemies. We over schedule and over commit to people and projects that spread our time and energy too thin. We can’t bloom like that, you guys. It’s MORE than ok to say no when we need to!
Ok, I could probably throw in a few more, but I’ll leave it at those five. Who knew gardening had so many life lessons to teach us?!
Hope these got your thoughts going a little this morning! Thanks for reading today!
(Photography by Alyssa Fisher Photography)
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