We each have a life story, penned without ink, read by the people around us. Who's writing your story?

Friday, July 10, 2020

Blooming Where We're Planted

What's growing in your garden this summer? Are you enjoying perennials like daisies, back-eyed susans, and day-lilies? Did you plant annuals? Impatiens, geraniums, or begonias? Any pots or raised beds sprouting tomatoes, basil, or lettuce?

I love this time of year even if it is hot and humid! Seems we've waited a long time for the warmth of July. As I write, it's raining . . . a blessing to cheer up our brown lawns and thirsty plants.

I'm not a landscaper by any means, yet so far this seems to be a good season. At least I'm enjoying the process. I haven't done anything out of the ordinary . . . just the usual weed-pulling and a little watering here and there. The blooms are opening up right on time, including my late husband's fragrant pink roses. The edibles have given me a special pleasure: rhubarb, raspberries, blueberries, tomatoes, peppers, and cabbage . . . all in different stages, all offering their own textures and flavors. After a brisk walk, I putter around my yard every morning. breathing in the freshness (and batting away the gnats).

My gardener friend, Susan, says good soil produces healthy plants and nutrient-dense fruit. That's what I'm after. I weed and water, tend and prune, watch and wait. This week, as I worked, I thought about how God places us in the good soil of His grace. The heat, the storms, the pruning, and the waiting may lead us to doubt His divine green thumb, but the Master Gardener has a plan and a purpose for each one of us. Have you noticed how He pulls the weeds of self-reliance and pride? How He trims the suckers that take away our fruitfulness, all the while whispering words of hope?

The Seeking Heart by Francois Fenelon has touched my heart over the past few weeks. I found it in my husband's books and have been reading one short selection each morning when I come in from the garden. The other day, I underlined these words, "[God] trains you to fulfill His noble plans amidst the petty annoyances and aggravations of life. . . . [He] uses the disappointments, disillusionments, and failures of your life to take your trust away from yourself and help you put your trust in Him. . . . Nothing happens without His consent."

These words encourage me to see things from a higher perspective. Just as I often peer over the fence to check on my garden, so God has His eye on us, no matter where we find ourselves growing. Let's not shrivel up in doubt, discontentment, and self-pity. With confidence in His careful tending, let's bloom where He plants us.

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