One day this week, the kids and I laid on the back porch and drank in the spring weather. The sky was blue, the temperature was 74 and nicely breezy, the birds were singing, the creek was dancing and the grass was green. Every year I am surprised at how much the Spring invigorates me. I never realize how much winter has damped my spirits until I get the first whiff of Spring!
The second this Spring hit, we started gardening. Now, not big gardening. In fact, I would not even consider myself a gardener. But I love having my kids play in the dirt and watch things grow. I want them to see their food come from a plant they buried in the dirt. I want them to feel the slowness of growth and the dirtiness of maturation.
Our Spring Garden.
So far we’ve planted wildflowers in a big flower pot, herbs, tomatoes and peppers in a mini greenhouse and we even tried some of that seed-paper stuff in some Tinkerbell flower pots my daughter got for her birthday.
The kids open up their seed packet and pour out the tiny seeds into their hands. Little seeds that look more like dust or something they’d sprinkle on their pizza than something that might nourish them!
They drop the seed in, cover it up and then look at me expectantly. As if to say, “That’s it?” The next day, of course, they rush out to see if a flower has bloomed or a tomato has grown. They aren’t ever disappointed but I can see them getting a little bored with it. Or at least uninterested in it.
Then a few days later, when they see a shoot, their excitement returns! They see growth and life and remember that something good is going to come from that little plant!
And suddenly, I feel myself having a teachable moment. Not for my kids but for ME!
A Teachable Moment.
Everyday I am planting little seeds into my kids. Seeds of proper behavior, good attitudes, spiritual formation and more. I am SO excited to do this! I can’t wait to get my hands dirty in their lives. I can’t wait to leave my fingerprint on them and have them mature and bear fruit because of something I did for them!
But the next day, they talk back, whine, complain, argue, and generally act like I never instructed them or poured into them the day (or minute) before! So, I get lazy. I get tired. I get uninterested. I forget.
I don’t remember that my little seed has to take root. Has to rest in the ground. Has to be watered. And warmed. And waited for patiently.
This Spring, I’m going to watch our wildflowers flower, our tomatoes ripen and our herbs grow. And I’m going to remember the dirtiness of maturation. I’m going to remember the slowness of growth. And I’m going to rejoice when a shoot shoots from my children. I’m going to treasure each new growth in their lives and personalities. I’m going to feast on the fruit of my growing children.
One day I will marvel at the beauty, the maturity, the strength, the size and complexity of my children. And I will take pride in knowing God gave me the role of helping to make them grow.
What seeds are you planting in your children?
Originally published on LifeYourWay.net