I choose you.
I dug you up and moved you.
I knew you would take over, I knew you would spread and thrive in my garden.
You are greedy, feeding, chocking indiscriminately you grow.
Excluding light, depriving nourishment, yet I let you grow.
I choose you. I planted you.
I have spent the morning weeding my garden. One particular troublesome plant took up most of my time. It’s a plant that I desired and wanted. I knew it was a bad idea when I planted it. My want was bigger than my horticulture knowledge. My want was bigger than the hours needed to maintain this thug of a plant.
Removing and reducing this plant I was suddenly stuck how it was like forgiveness.
The plant was a problem that I was able to deal with. It has to be dealt with otherwise it will outgrow and destroy my garden.
It will stop other plants fruiting, it will prevent seeds from forming, it will overpower.
Kneeling in the garden digging out its invasive roots the power of Gods grace was overpowering.
That connectedness to the soil, to life and how fragile it can be. How much we need to nurture and hold creation.How God is in everything we do.
Removing this plant, decreasing its size, is not about control. It’s about acknowledging it’s spreading nature. Understanding that its roots run deep. It’s a woodland plant not really suitable for the garden. It’s doing what it was created for, to grow and survive.
In reducing its size I make space for light and fresh growth.
Reducing this plant was totally for my benefit ( not the plants ) Just as forgiveness is not for the other person but for me. Forgiveness gives me space, that allows me to grow. Forgiveness removes the choking thoughts and emotions, it breaks me free from the roots that trap me. Forgiveness allows light and warmth back into my life. Forgiveness is not an emotion but a choice that I must make. As with the gardening, it’s a choice.
My plant will keep coming back, keep trying to take over my garden. I will never stop having to reduce it. Just as all my life I will need to turn to God and ask for forgiveness. Without forgiveness, my heart will harden and I will fail to trust and see the beauty that surrounds me.
Matthew 18:21-22 The Message (MSG)
21 At that point, Peter got up the nerve to ask, “Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?”
22 Jesus replied, “Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven.
Day 37 – lent challenge – Wait
Today’s blog is for my college lecturer. His enthusiasm, passion and love for growing seeds.
He taught me the basic principles of horticulture. Which today is igniting me to grow faith in others.
Seed dormancy, germination, growth, fertilisation , cross fertilisation, companion planting, weeding, pruning, gardening, nurture, growth are horticulture terms.
The more I explore and learn about faith the more my world of horticulture and my God worlds join up.
Before we even grow seeds we need to prepare the ground. The more time and effort we put into preparation the higher our germination rate.
Ground prepared without love care and attention might produce some growth but it’s not producing healthy robust plants.
It’s the plants we buy in supermarkets as opposed to plants grown by ourselves or local nurseries.
The supermarket plants are grown to look good, be showy. They are not always grown for a long and fruitful life. If you look closely at them they are all very much the same, no individualism, trained and pruned to grow at optimum pace.They often have poor root structure and are not able to sustain themselves long term.
The plants grown ourselves or at a small nursery are growing in conditions that are familiar to them. Climate is local and encourages growth, they have not been stressed by moving around. They have been grown with love in conditions that remain constant to them. They are often plants that show some individual traits.
Individualism is something the gardener wonders at. Sharing with other gardeners the diversity of nature. As a gardener, I get so excited when my plants do something out of the ordinary. (I mean flower early or a colour I did not expect ).
If the supermarket plant showed such individualism it would be lost in quality control.
I was taught to grow seeds with passion, to sow in the correct medium/ soil according to the seeds needs.
Seed compost contains little nutrients, we want our young seedlings to be hungry for food. Looking for food they put down lots of strong healthy roots. Roots that will sustain them.
Roots are key to growth. I always marvel how you can chop some plants down to the ground and yet it can regrow. Often that new growth is stronger than before.
Plants that are allowed to grow quickly often flower early and die. They put all their energy into flowering instead of developing roots. We need to encourage roots to look for nourishment, to grow deep to ensure survival.
Roots are the key to growth holding and storing energy/love for growth.
I was taught when buying a plant however wonderful it looks if possible remove it from its pot and check its roots.
A plant roots to me is like our heart. The stronger Christ makes our heart the more it can withstand. The more love it can give and the more fruit it can bear.
I love this image that shows the roots of a tree spreading out. They never stop growing, never stop providing nourishment. Spreading out beyond the canopy of the tree.
God is working in our hearts growing and changing us. It’s that growth that we cannot see that I find so amazing. It’s on that growth /faith that we rely on.
My faith is still at the stage of putting down lots of roots. Still in the seed compost, hungry and growing. A few wobbly shoots have appeared but need support.
I am excited to see what happens when I get planted out in the garden of creation.
That’s something that does not happen in my timing, it happens in God time.
Gardening/faith is all about providing the right conditions for growth and then we the wait.
1 Corinthians 3:6 Good News Translation (GNT)
6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered the plant, but it was God who made the plant grow.
Life of mud and wellington boots.
Coloured pens that echo my thoughts.
Fluffy blankets in case my dreams.
Wild hair that lives its own life in its own time.
Food cupboards sorted by colour and size.
Hair that’s brushed and not in your eyes.
Beds made, house neatly clean.
Your hate has so much energy.
Physical punches aimed my way.
I would never fight, just flee
You hurt me.
Reborn I see your vulnerability.
I want to understand your pain.
It’s time to stop repealing
Stop guarding what we know.
We love each other so deeply.
I know want my love to show.
My life is reflected in my garden. Everything that’s in my life is in my garden. I will try and explain this in another blog it’s deeply complicated and hard to put into words.
This weekend I shared my garden with the public. Opening my garden gate to strangers to wonder round and take from it what they will.
The whole experience was emotionally exhausting. I deeply feel it’s selfish to keep what you have to yourself. Opening my garden is a way to share what’s inside of me.
Until recently I had no other way to express this other than through my garden. No other way to tell and share with others what I find so wonderful.
Inspiring words from the weekend.
Full of charter
Nature at its best
Spending the weekend sharing my garden was such a positive experience . But my thoughts and prayers today were for those affected by last nights attacks in London.
Visitors took time to light candles and share their thoughts and prayers.
See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence . . . We need silence to be able to touch souls. ~Mother Teresa
Day Thirty One – Longing – Lent challenge
Could I share my ghosts with you?
Allow you to see my pain
I long for the ghosts to go away.
They always come back again.
They are buried in the garden.
Reminders here and there.
Of all the times we had together.
That are no longer there.
I find them when I am weeding.
Unearth them now and then.
They catch me out just buried there.
Time and time again.
Cars that once went broom broom.
Dolls that played a game.
Just left there in the mud
Never to be played with again.
I long to hear their voices
Hold their little hands.
See their smiling faces.
Playing in the sand.
Children that we foster.
Leave ghosts for us to find.
To remind us of their journey.
And remind us of our time.
We loved these people.
They taught us so much about life.
Love that freely given.
Love that heals the pain.
But when that bond is broken it hurts to love again.
Loving again is painful,
But that is what we do.
Gluing back the broken bits.
With love from me to you.
It’s time for us to walk away.
Let you lead your life.
Adoption is the miracle.
That has given you a new life.
1 Samuel 1:27 ( MSG) I prayed for this child, and God gave me what I asked for
Day twenty one – patience – lent challenge
The evening are getting lighter and each evening I spend time with my seedling , picking them out , pinching them , training them .
Separating each plant from the crowded seed tray , making each one a individual , giving them the room to grow , a chance to get its roots down , to find nourishment and grow strong and flower .
I give my plants all they need to grow , they all look the same , but each one is a individual it’s not just down to me if they grow each seedling has its own strengths and weaknesses just like us.
If my seeds that I sow don’t grow I sow again, if I sow a hundred seeds but only two fruit that that’s a success.
But next time a sow I might just change my technique slightly to encourage more growth and maybe produce more fruit. Not all seeds are the same but all require love and patience to grow .
Jeremiah 29:11 the message
I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.