I am not a winter person. If you picture one of those little tiny chihuahua dogs that is always shivering, that would be an accurate mental picture of me in the winter. So about this time of year, I start longing for summer and the warmth of the sun on my face. I start thinking of my dream backyard- which never, at any time of year – looks like my actual backyard. Every year we talk about planning and planting and really making the backyard nice, but we almost never follow through. I am a planner and my husband ….he is not. He gets things done. Which actually makes us a pretty good team most of the time.
One year we started a raised bed and filled it with vegetables, but then I broke my foot and we adopted our son and well ….. you don’t care about tending to bell peppers when either of those things happen!
Then last year, something went awry in my husband’s mind and he decided to plant ALL.THE.THINGS.
His decision making process went something like this: Vegetables? Yes! Fruit? Sure. Flowers? Easy enough. Gourds? Those can become bird houses. Does the nursery sell it? Then we will grow it!
If you know my husband then you know he doesn’t do anything on a small scale. To give you an example- there were month-long talks about whether we should have chickens. Now to some of you that don’t know him, building a coop and putting it in the backyard might not sound so crazy.
Not even when I tell you that we live in a subdivision with very close neighbors.
Not even when I tell you that we already have 6 kids and a dog and a smaller backyard.
At least, not until you hear about this chicken coop he planned. Now I am convinced my husband can build anything that is made of wood. But let’s just say as he worked out some of the design elements we had an actual conversation about the possibility of him learning to do stained glass. Yep, that’s my guy. He makes life fun. 🙂
To make a long story short, something unexpected happened. By mid-summer my backyard was full of everything from beds of flowers, to beds of vegetables and trellises of gourds. In fact, there were so many that he had to move enough flowers to fill the front beds all around the house. There were morning glories in the day and something else that bloomed at night.
I laugh to myself every time I think about it.
I also realized something. There have been a lot of summers I looked out at my backyard and wished I had gardens full of things growing and yet, I knew it was too late. I had missed that window of opportunity to plant and couldn’t reap what I didn’t sow.
How much worse to feel regret because our spiritual lives are not bearing the fruit we wanted to see.
It seems an unlikely season to be thinking of sowing, with parts of the country getting several inches of snow. Yet, that is exactly what this January has been for me. A quiet time to step back and learn to be still. I dropped data from my cell phone plan, stopped logging on to social media so much, and entered each day open-minded about how God would want me to use my time and resources. I’ve been weighing my plans against God’s promises, and finding I have a lot of adjusting to do.
What are you hoping to reap next year, in the next decade, and in your first million years in heaven? What is it you are trying to grow? What God-dreams have you tucked away?
Did you sow any seeds with that in mind today?
If we abide in Him, He promised we would bear much fruit. Sure, He gets to choose the fruit. He gets to hold the pen and write the story. But I promise His version is always better. Then one day you can stand back and look at your life and smile at what grew – and grew much more abundantly than you had ever expected.
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. – Galatians 6:7-9