When Dave and I were in our second home I was so excited about the possibilities of the cute little flowerbed that was already set up out front. The only bummer was I knew NOTHING about gardening. There were a few established bushes and some greens, but I wanted pretty flowers. So that fall I was clearing out the flowerbed unsupervised. I was throwing out rocks, bark chips, and trash from this neglected little area. I came across these ball-shaped roots that were all tangled together in the soil. There were many of them and they were all over the place. I figured if I was going to plant anything pretty in there, these needed to go. So I proceeded to pull them out and dispose of them so that I could have nice prepared soil ready for my pretty flowers. I was so proud of all my hard work! Well, if you know anything about gardening then you probably figured it out. I had ended up pulling out all the tulip & Daffodil bulbs that the previous home owner had so sweetly planted. If I had only known what kind of purpose, planning and intent went into this little flowerbed, I could have enjoyed the beautiful bounty of gorgeous flowers when spring came.

In Mark chapter four you hear the popular parable of the Sower. It is such a common and well-known parable among believers. The sower who sowed his seeds. He went out to sow seeds and at first, some fell along the path and the birds came and ate it up. Then other seeds fell on rocky ground without much soil, they immediately showed signs of new life and sprang up but they were not rooted deep in rich soil and after time withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns and those thorns choked out any life that would produce fruit. But then the others fell into good rich soil and produced not just an abundant harvest, but produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”
{Mark 4:3-8}

I’ve heard many sermons that have been taught on this parable in light of evangelism or witnessing, but never have I thought about it in light of child rearing until recently. A few weeks back, my Mama heart was weary and tired and God brought this scripture to life. For days I couldn’t stop thinking about how as mothers or as parents we should be intentionally cultivating the soil of our home in preparation of sowing seeds of scripture and the gospel into our children’s hearts & lives. As you look down further in Mark 4:14 “the sower sows the Word” John 1:1 says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

Mamas, THIS is our calling!!! To be gardeners in our home, sowers of the word, sowing the scripture & good news of the gospel into these little hearts that are in our care. Remember what Deuteronomy 11 says about teaching our little’s?

Deuteronomy 11:19 You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

I can’t help but continue to think on the soil in Mark 3. What kind of soil are we cultivating in our homes? There are things that need to be cleared from the soil of our home. Things that will only suck life out of our crops. There is already so much tending that needs to be done, why would we start out with soil that isn’t ready to produce life? Is our soil full of Rocks? Do harsh tones and lack of self-control abound? Or is it full of weeds? Life suckers that don’t nourish the souls & only want to take life? If left unattended they will only result in temporary life or no life at all.

As we tend to our gardens with intention & care, we ought to be taking time to lovingly remove each rock as well as each weed as they come up. It gives us such GREAT opportunities to then plant seeds of truth into our children’s little hearts so that it may grow and bring forth life in abundance! Lord KNOWS there will always be rocks & weeds but a lot of times we have neglected to prepare the soil. As uncomfortable as it may be to remove those things, it is necessary for growth! Psalm 119:11 says “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Only the Holy Spirit and His word can penetrate and change a heart. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” {Jer. 17:9}

I was so convicted as I saw that the sowers seed seemed to be all over the place. It was thrown on the path, it fell on rocks, some among thorns, and then some on good soil. As a mother we must be intentional about every seed we plant in our children’s hearts. We can’t lazily toss the seeds of truth here and there, or in the wind hoping that they land on the good rich soil and produce an incredible harvest. I know I have had days that I have halfheartedly tended and nurtured their hearts. Not really being intentional or (gasp) ignore it all together. With repentance, my prayer is that God would clearly reveal the weeds and that by His strength I can learn to be thankful for them and to continue to plant all for His glory and with an eternal purpose daily!

Hebrews 13:20-21

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

It is true however that we do reap what we sow,
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. {2 Corinthians 9:6-7 ESV}

Are we freely giving of our time to nourish, teach & train our little ones? Are you giving time but giving it reluctantly and in a sour spirit? Or are you too busy to even take the time to garden? Lord knows I have, and it’s still a battle at times. It is so easy for our comforts or ideals to become these little idols that our hearts long to hold onto. God provides ample opportunities for us parents to give generously & cheerfully. The giving of our time, intentionally investing and sowing little seeds for eternity. Those who sow generously will also reap bountifully, we will bear fruit for God’s kingdom. Remember in Galatians 6:7 we are reminded: “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, forwhatever one sows, that will he also reap.”

I can tell you that there are days you wonder if you are even making a difference or if it is even worth it? Ps. 126:5 says “Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!” As a Mama there are LOTS of tears on this journey….theirs as well as yours! But when we reap our abundant harvest we will reap with shouts of JOY, even if it’s not the kind of flowers you thought you planted!!!! Thank you Jesus!!!

Don’t be discourage or be tempted to quit gardening all together because you don’t have a green thumb! Or like me, you were pulling out what you thought were weeds in your soil only to learn that they were actually beautiful flowers waiting to sprout in the spring. We have HOPE! Our hope is in the perfect gardener Christ Jesus! A holy God came down to earth to be born of a man and dwelt among us PERFECTLY, He lived the perfect life we cannot live and then died and bore our shame & died the perfect death. All for what? So that when God looks at us He sees His SON (not the imperfect mama who yelled at her kids again) and says that it is in Him whom He is well pleased for our sake! PRAISE the LORD!

I’m sooooo thankful it is truly finished and not contingent on my abilities in my own strength. Because let me tell you friend…I fail. Often. So very thankful for His perfect righteousness, His unfailing love & Infinite grace. We can endure through Christ. Though we won’t parent perfectly & we may miss opportunities to sow a seed of truth or whatever it may be, He is alive and working out His perfect rescue plan. Continue to be steadfast & intentional my friend. We are so blessed to even share a part in this journey. You have been given the children God ordained for you, and you are the parents God has perfectly ordained for them. Love them well…teach them well.

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2 thoughts on “The Gardening Of Motherhood

  1. What a great reminder Janell. Thank you for sharing your heart and being honest. All momma’s are human and we make mistakes but that is such a great place for His grace to shine. I will be praying the same thing, Lord help me to prepare my soil. Love ya Janell.

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