The harvest is in full swing. The vines are dying out revealing the butternut squash that were hiding beneath. We love butternut squash, and particularly whipping up creamy squash soups throughout the fall and the winter. This season, we’ve also grown tomatoes, summer squash, spaghetti squash, sweet potatoes, leeks, green/yellow beans. We may or may not come out ahead financially, but that’s not entirely the point. Gardening is therapeutic, from start to finish, and beautifully mirrors the way our spirits grow.
First is the preparation of the soil. Our soil has a lot of red clay and rocks, which is not the best medium for seeds and new plants. We amend it each year by adding compost and peat to improve the quality of the soil. We garden organically, delivering only chemical free plant food and pest control. In parallel, the parable of the sower in Matthew 13 reminds us of the importance of
soil soul preparation in order to receive the word of God. If we fill our lives with possessions and our minds with the wisdom of the world we won’t be able to internalize the word – nor will it grow in us.
Once we’ve planted, we make sure the seedlings receive plenty of water (God provides the sunshine!), and armed with the proper nourishment, they grow. In our spiritual lives, we receive our nourishment from the word of God and from taking time to be quiet before God to hear from Him and to develop a relationship with Him. This is how we grow. What a beautiful process!
It’s important to keep the garden cultivated in order to protect the plants from being choked out by weeds. I find weeding particularly rewarding, and I try to think of things that need to be plucked from my life – be it sin, a poor use of time – whatever it is, weeding challenges me to pull it out and be rid of it.
As the plants begin to bear their fruit, the reward of all the work comes to light. We see changes in the garden every day when the new vegetables are popping up and beginning to grow. So it is with us: when we have welcomed the Word into our lives, nourished its growth, and eliminated the things that threaten to choke it out, we can expect to see growth. And how exciting is it when we begin to see fruit borne of our devotion? A bit of unexpected patience when you normally would have gone through the roof…heartfelt compassion for someone who normally drives you crazy…a new view of those around you and their need for God’s love.
Tend to the garden of your heart today.
As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.” — Matthew 13:23 (ESV)
P.S. Speaking of growing, take a look at our two 14-year-olds who started HIGH SCHOOL today.