When Jon and I moved into our apartment, we found that we had a fairly large balcony that was...well, awkward and naked. It got a tremendous amount of sunlight but, was too narrow for a table and chairs, too long to break it up with cool furniture or a fire pit, and we could think of only one solution. PLANTS.
We spent quite a few weekends at OSH and started to cultivate a little garden that we have come to love and take pride in. We just survived our first year with the garden and it has taught me a great deal.
When we picked out our plants we were so excited. Peppers and blackberries and night-blooming jasmine and sage and succulents... We planted, and watered and watched as our lil' babies flourished. However, somewhere near the end of November it happened.
Yes, even in Southern California. Winter.
We watered and watched, only to be discouraged that our plant babes were no longer sprouting. They just... stopped. They dried up and withered away.
BUT, we pressed on. We were faithful plant parents, watering them daily, trusting in the inevitable change in the season, even if it didn't produce any quick results.
Things. Looked. Bleak. For months. MONTHS, I say.
And then, spring.
Just like that! Last week some time, maybe a bit before that... I walked outside and, *gasp* spring! Little blossoms, buds, sprouts and shoots began appearing like magic. "It's here! They're back! They're alive!" I shouted... to myself... and to the annoyed neighbor who promptly shut their window on me.
I know that Jesus used a lot of agricultural talk in His teachings because he was often talking to farmers and shepherds and such but, I also thing there's an abundant crop of life lesson-y stuff in the way that God created plants to work.
In this case, I was just tremendously encouraged by the fruit of faithfulness.
For each of us, there are a handful of things that we need to pour our time and energy into. Relationships, healing, our spiritual life, our physical and emotional health etc. And for each of these things, there are winters.
There are times when you'll find yourself watering the ground and it just looks dry and cracked for days, months... years even. It can get quite frustrating and tempting to just stop and wait, or get a new plant or take up a different friggin hobby that isn't so hard.
But if you trust the inevitable change in seasons... that it won't be winter forever, when spring comes, you'll find that your little crops were being nurtured by you all along. You'll find that the watering, the tending-to was never in vain.
You will walk outside, thinking its winter, only to find a most fruitful time of Spring.
I believe that. I'm finding that to be true in so many areas of my life. In my marriage, in my emotional healing, in my Spiritual health...
Pouring-in is never in vain. Don't quit.
Carly Calmes the First