What gardening is teaching me about raising kids, patience, and faith
This spring when it was still snowing in our little mountain town and the flower blooms were just beginning to show, I began to save egg cartons and comb seed catalogs for veggies we might grow this year.
Because our growing season is short and it’s less expensive than buying starter plants, we grow seeds indoors and enjoy a little green despite the cold weather for several weeks.We’ve been a bit nomadic for the last two years so most of our recent gardening has been in containers. It’s nice to know that we don’t have to leave our cucumbers behind when we move again.
On an uncommonly warm day, my 3-year old son and I searched the garage for my worn garden gloves and tools, in hiding since last fall. He proudly pulled out his red wheelbarrow and we filled it with rich soil. I longed for my compost bin, a casualty of our last move.
In the warmth of the sun, we poked small holes in the egg cartons and added water to the soil. There’s something about putting your hands in soft, warm dirt that is therapeutic. After a tough month, I believe it was just the kind of therapy I needed.
We filled each of twelve holes with a little soil and took turns pushing the seeds into each one. He took the bean tray and I, the tomato. Once we covered them to the brim with soil, we gently watered each with a spray bottle. Just enough to not flood those little seeds from their new home.
Planting complete, we carried them to a windowsill inside. And each day, we wait. My kids are impatient. I tell them that while we may not see anything on the surface, something is happening below. We must carefully provide the sun and water that they need and once the roots are strong, we will see the fruit of our labor.
This simple statement brews in my heart for the two short weeks it takes to see the first of our vegetables rise about the surface. How, too often, I am impatient. With my kids, my husband, my finances, my faith. When my parenting doesn’t result in the response that I hoped. The job didn’t come through. Extra expenses build up discouraging a future vacation.
When I don’t see the fruit, I forget about the roots. I forget that while instant gratification isn’t good for children, it’s also not good for me.
So I will carefully take care of the tender seeds, sowing them in good soil with consistent love and discipline, faithful prayer and giving. I am reminded with each spray of my squirt bottle that something, while not noticeable on the surface, is brewing. And in due time, I will reap my harvest.
What will you be harvesting from your garden this year?
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