Feeling a bit energetic today, I went for a short walk outside. Of course my first stop was our garden. Hubby has taken over almost all of the gardening. I love it, but my knees don’t. Funny, for the last 5 years I have don’t all the gardening pretty much by myself with the help of some Grandies now and then. Hubby wasn’t able, so I did the best I could, loving every minute of it especially when grandkids were in the garden with me. Now my body yells if I thing garden, but Hubby has retired and is now back to gardening all the time! Hmmmm, sounds a bit like teamwork to me. But that is a rabbit trail and I need to get back to the main path of my thoughts.
The garden looks great, and I was able to plant a few plants that somehow hadn’t made their way to their permanent home yet. That felt good to my soul; gardeners will know exactly what I mean. Then I came back to the house briefly to get the fresh nectar for our hummingbirds. They are such a pleasure to watch that I try hard to make sure their feeder is filled every few days. Walking back outside, I strolled to the large flower bed planted right outside the living room window. It probably looks like a strange location to passersby, but it is perfect placement for us to watch the birds, butterflies and bunnies that visit. I had planted petunias, geraniums, dahlias, marigolds, and a host of other flowers earlier this year. I took great care to notice which area would get shade and which would get full sun, placing the flowers carefully. Then I put some shepherd’s hooks with finch feeders and cardinal feeders, along with my hummingbird feeder- spaced just so among the flowers. Two small bird baths were added, and the fairy garden that the Grandies have been working on was moved close to the hummingbirds. Every time I looked at that flower bed, I had to smile and reflect on the loving God that made such a riot of color possible.
This morning, however, something didn’t look quite right. We have had a few bad storms recently and I hadn’t actually been in the flower bed for a week or so. The plants that had been so beautiful were drooping and fading. The growth wasn’t what I expected, especially from the petunias which can tend to take over. Hmmmm, what to do, what to do? You know, just because I love gardening doesn’t mean I have a green thumb. And then it happened, standing right there between the petunias and the purply flowers (whatever they are called). God gently reminded me of a lesson or two He had taught me before and now needed to remind me. Flower beds, like our faith and our prayer life, need attention. It isn’t enough to plant the seed and let it go. The seeds and plants need to be nurtured. They need to be inspected for leaves and flowers that are no longer productive. My son would say they need to be “deadheaded” and have a haircut now and then. Anything that is hindering them from growth, like weeds, needs to be removed. They need a bit of food now and then to keep them healthy.
Our faith and our prayer life need to be exercised and nurtured. It isn’t enough to say I have faith and then sit down and dwell on that fact. It isn’t enough to pray a quick prayer now and then when I remember it. We need to be intentional in our walk with God. Speaking to me now, but you can listen if you want, I need to see what in my life is keeping my faith from growing. Some things aren’t bad in and of themselves, but if they take away from God’s plan for me, then they are bad for me. What in my life is hindering my prayers from being more regular, deeper, more intentional? If I’m not growing, then I’m standing still, which is the same as going backwards. Is busyness keeping me from time in the Word? Are other interests taking up too much of my time, keeping me from putting my faith into action?
Well, I thank God for the nudges and reminders He gives us. I believe it is time for me to get out my spiritual food and action plan (Bible) and see what else God has to say to me today. It isn’t always comfortable when God has to dig around in my heart, especially when He has to use His pruning shears, but it is necessary as He makes me into the beautifully blooming, productive and growing Child of God He wants me to become. Something to think about, in a quiet moment.
Turning to gaze out the window one more time before I get busy reading God’s Word and pulling some spiritual weeds, I see the hummingbird perched and looking right at me. It seems he might be smiling. And you know, I’m convinced the flowers look just a wee bit brighter already.