Tending

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A friend called the other day and asked if I had anything blooming in my yard.

Yes, I did.

I told her it was a bit sparse bloom wise. It was between the blooming of the peonies and rhododendrons and the next manifestation which are the cone flowers, calla lilies and Shasta daisies. Yet the knock out roses were blooming full force and she was welcome to cut all she needed.

I love how God shows off His creative genius through the variety of color, shape, and form in flowers!

We do have beautiful flowers in our yard  – from the first blooms of the hellebore in February to the last blooms on the hydrangea before the first frost.

I cannot take credit for the beauty in our yard.

Seriously.

I only tend what God has so bountifully provided.

I was “tending” this weekend, weeding some flower beds and I was thinking how blessed I am to live in a place with good, old soil that is dark and rich. I also inherited plants from the previous owners including Peggy Mason who chose beautiful specimens that compliment our old farm-house. (the original owner was her grandfather).

None of this is my doing.

I was also blessed to have my father live with us for several years and his knowledge of plants and how best to care for them formed my pattern of “tending”. His love of God’s creation has impacted my enjoyment and my stewardship of plant life.

It made me ponder the idea that tending these plants in our yard is very similar to caring for our children. As a parent I am like a gardener in the life of my children.

  • God created our children in His image. (Jeremiah 1:5)
  • God blessed me with each child  – I did not “pick” them. (Psalm 127:3)
  • God chose to place us in this place  – in this time. (Esther 4:14)
  • God chose the DNA that makes up the genetic code that forms each child and determines their gender, their eye and hair color, and in many ways their personality. (Psalm 139:14)

As a mother, I had little to do with any of the above things except to shelter the egg that becomes the child and carry that child to birth.

After birth comes the “tending”. I can shelter, “prune” (discipline) and select the best environment for that child. Just as I decide if a certain plant needs shade or sun, each child has various needs. Not all children flourish in the same conditions, nor do all plants.

Some of my plants need tender loving care to get established, some have grown on the bank where I threw them to alleviate overcrowding. So much for me taking credit!

I have been amazed that certain plants have revived after a severe winter or a tree falling on top of them. I have also been amazed when one of my children has overcome a devastating situation – one that I thought might defeat them and leave permanent scars.

It is after those circumstances I KNOW that it is not my “tending” that brings results.

It is God who accomplishes anything that is worthy of praise.

We tend – God produces the results – in our children  – in our gardens.

In Matthew 6, Jesus uses flowers as an illustration of how faithful God is to us.

28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

God will supply ALL we need to tend to our children. God is faithful.

He will do it.

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9 thoughts on “Tending

  1. Marsha Crites says:

    Wonderful and timely post Gayle.

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  2. Beautiful, Gayle…and so true. I look at my children and thank God for his Grace and Mercy to them as well as to me. And your yard is incredible, always 🙂

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  3. Tim Bryant says:

    Good thoughts, dear friend. Now, let’s work on “tending” to that need of ours to break some bread together soon.

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  4. gloria says:

    Gayle, my dear friend, oh how I wish I could walk in your garden w/ you & take in the beauty. I love your spiritual insight & comparison to children, The Lord is using you in an encouraging way. Blessings!

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  5. Brandy says:

    Thanks Gayle ~ a beautiful encouragement to me! It reminds me that I can take His yoke upon me and rest in Him even with the children He has planted in my garden! BTW, The Shaping of a Christian Family is the name of Elizabeth Elliot’s book that I was trying to remember yesterday (and another encouragement in the raising of our children!). Thanks again!

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