It is officially Summer!
My 5 & 7 year old daughters were awfully excited to inform me and share all they have learned in school about this season.
We sat over breakfast talking about it being the longest day of the year and all the plans they are making for their days with no school. It was seriously cute when 8pm rolled around and I was tucking them into bed; Chelsea(5) told me not to worry about it being so bright outside; Mr Sun hadn’t forgotten to go to sleep, he’s allowed to stay up later that day because it’s Summer.
Two weeks ago Chelsea, who is in senior kindergarten, brought home a bean plant. For our family this is somewhat a marker of time, each year the kindergarten classes learn about plants and grow a seed.
Chelsea explained to me how they had taken these plastic cups, placed folded up paper towel in the bottom and put in a green bean seed in the bottom. Each day the kids were responsible for giving their plant a bit of water and watching them grow.
When the teacher gave me the plant to take home a few weeks ago I was shocked. Sydney’s plants have never looked like this one, it was HUGE. It already had multiple shoots and looked extremely healthy. When we got it home we decided to keep it next to the kitchen sink, hoping this would remind us to water it.
Chelsea has forgotten all about her plant in the last two weeks, it has been pushed out of the way more times than I can count and frankly the feeding routine has been lax.
And yet…..here it is today.
This beautiful plant has grown without proper nourishment or attention. Without us realizing, it has gotten large enough to be planted in the ground. Because Chelsea tended to it well at the beginning of its life, it now can provide nourishment to us with its beans.
This caught me off guard, and of course my mind associates this with God’s grace.
For years there were people around me who had exposed me to God and this grace of His.
There were many people who lived their lives as a journey, in a relationship with God.
People who chose to be sober to experience the journey with a clear head.
People who I didn’t turn to, people who I didn’t seek out and yet they were people who were praying for me.
Seeds had been planted all over my life, I had seen what it could be like journeying with God and what a sober life could be for me. I wasn’t even aware those seeds existed, and yet they grew within me.
We planted little clematis vines in our backyard 5 years ago. I babied these plants, dreaming of the day I would see them trailing over our chain link fence. That day didn’t come, much to my dismay, they withered and died in our acidic soil.
Then 3 years ago we decided to put in a pool.
We ripped out that chain link fence and the construction machinery used a path directly over where I had planted those clematis vines.
Over the last 3 years since the pool was installed, we have planted gardens, laid a patio and this year we were planning on planting vines again.
In May hubby and I were out back planning what to plant when he called me over to the fence line.
We couldn’t believe it, 3 out of 5 of the clematis vines were growing!!
There they were, rising out of the sandy, rocky, untended soil!
I have no idea how or why they survived. I thought they had died, I thought I had pulled them all out, but apparently I overlooked 3 of them.
You can see in the photo that they are amazingly healthy and beautiful, growing there in my rock garden.
When I bring you closer you can see that they are about to flower, that day I had been hoping for is soon to come. All with no help from us.
Isn’t life amazing?
How from just one little seed or one little plant such beauty can grow?
That bean plant has thrived after being left alone, those clematis vines have survived beautifully through abuse, neglect and horrific environments.
Each moment in life we have the opportunity to drop seeds, to influence our surroundings and the people around us in a positive way.
If we are aware of things greater than ourselves in life, trust in God and plant these seeds the outcomes can amaze us.
The people who dropped seeds around me in my life did it by example, by sharing themselves openly with me. They didn’t push, they didn’t demand anything, they simply responded to me with love.
By understanding that we cannot control people, places or things we are free.
Freedom grants us the opportunity to affect change from a place of love, rather than a place of personal gain.
We may not be able to control people, or directly affect growth but we can plant the seeds.
God will ensure they get the nourishment they need.
Matthew 13:31–32He set another parable before them, saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field; which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.”
AA Big Book – pg 100
When we look back, we realize that the things which came to us when we put ourselves in God’s hands were better than anything we could have planned.