Every fall I attend the Women's Hebron Retreat that is sponsored by my church. It is a weekend of fellowship, study, worship and prayer. This year the retreat was held at Callaway Gardens and the theme was In the Garden. Being an avid (but not always committed) gardener I was happy to speak on the topic and I put together a session on lessons that I've learned from gardening. I thought I'd share it with you.
Lessons Learned from the GardenI do believe that there is a reason that growing things is mentioned so frequently in the Bible. It was of course a fact of life that people in that time lived much more closely to the earth and the seasons. Today as we are far removed from the hands that create our food and as we travel and live in insulated spaces, we can be unaware of seasons and the growing of things. However, I think that there is a truth to be found in growing and nurturing plants that transfers to life itself.
Here are a few things I've learned in my garden:
- Whenever you start to grow something a little dirt always comes up first. Isn't this true? Step out of your comfort zone, start a new project, forge ahead on a new relationship and there is always that resistance. Expect it. Plan for it. Move forward anyway.
- Before you start, make a plan. Anyone who has read my blog knows that I'm big on setting goals and planning. It is essential. In the Parable of the Sower, do you wonder why many of those seeds didn't grow? Lack of planning. :)
- Don't forget to fertilize. People, like plants, won't grow if you don't nourish them. You can't plant the same crop over and over in the same soil and expect positive results without fertilizing and allowing the soil to rest.
- Don't get stuck in drought mode... Recognize the abundance in your life. In Georgia there have been several seasons of drought lately, some worse than others. This year was the opposite--we had an abundance of rain. Too much really. Despite the weather conditions though, there is often an unrecognized abundance not only in gardening but in life. Recognize the riches that we all have and practice gratitude.
- Be open to possibilites--Expect surprises. Every year I have plants that volunteer and grow without any effort on my part. One year an enormous watermelon vine took over my garden, seemingly without any produce. Imagine my surprise to find a small watermelon hidden away in the middle of a rose bush that it had invaded. Life is full of possibilities but sometimes we have to stop and smell the roses (literally) to find them.
- Gardens follow the Law of the Harvest, not the Law of Pinocchio. What we plant we reap... eventually in the right season. We live in a microwave world where people expect to reap the benefit of their endeavors immediately. That's not the Law of the Harvest, that's the Law of Pinocchio. Every time Pinocchio lied his nose grew longer, right away. That made for a great story, but most of the world doesn't operate that way. Be patient and expect the results of your efforts in the right season.
- Expect to encounter obstacles- Life is full of them. Be a great problem solver and a non-stop learner instead of a loser.
- Enjoy the process- I spend a lot of time working in my garden but I also spend time just sitting in my garden and enjoying the beauty of it. If you don't take time to enjoy it, what's the point?
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