“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Isaiah 58:11 NIV
My mom was the Jedi master of cultivating plants.
Friends of mine would show up with dead sticks of once-beautiful orchids and beg, “can you please take this to your mom?” Plants in her care became almost unrecognizable with her tending. After weeks of classical music, constant nurturing, and lavish love, plants under her watch had no choice but to surrender to their full amazing glory.
My abilities with plants, while solid, aren’t quite as masterful. I love it because it reminds me of her, not because I’m particularly good at it. Now that we are knee-deep in the season of winter, growing something feels almost visceral. My heart aches to see something thriving. Right now, I absolutely crave the tiny green shoots of possibility, freshness, and resiliency.
On a recent particularly bad day, I desperately bought some seeds online. It felt like an act of defiance to buy the 8 tiny bags of heirloom greens and sugar snap peas. More importantly, it felt like me shaking an angry fist at winter to say, “you aren’t going to beat me down. Or at least not yet.”
Planting those seeds felt like a bold act of faith. As I placed a tiny speck of a seed into the growing material, producing anything appears highly improbable. Still, I plant those barely-there seeds anyway. I place my tray of hope in a sunny spot and I wait.
After a year of constant measured protection, scaling back, staying in, opting out, avoiding everything and demanding not this year to all the outward things, it felt good to say yes, even if it’s only to sugar snap peas. It feels good to boldly nurture something with the notion it is welcome to do whatever it wants. Grow. Don’t grow. Be what you are meant to be fully.
My heart longs for the tiny, elegant tendrils of baby growth. The delicate, seemingly impossible flowers of sugar snap peas are always one of the first spring crops. I usually forget about planting them until the moment has passed and I’ve missed my window. Not this year. This year I’m desperate to grow something, nurture something, tend something and watch it flourish. Even if it doesn’t, the hope rests in the trying and trusting, whatever happens, it is worth it.
What about you? What are you longing to nurture in your heart? What new bold seeds of opportunity are you ready to press into fresh soil? What new things need to be cultivated, watered, nourished, and placed in a sunny place to burst forth in showy wonder for you?
Maybe you are like me and you need to plant something. Or perhaps you are like my friend Terrie who longs to begin a YouTube channel with jokes she is so perfect at telling. Maybe you are like my friend Laurie who wants to create a baby book for mothers who have lost babies and need a tool to grieve. Perhaps you are like my friend Dena who captures stop-in-your-tracks photography and longs to make her work more widely known. Or maybe you simply want to start exploring what dreams need to be awakened in you.
Whatever you long to plant, the world needs you to do it. Just like I needed sugar snap peas, the world needs Julie’s jokes and Laurie’s place to grieve. We need Dena’s photos to remind us that beauty is everywhere. We need you to plant that thing. The sooner the better.
More than anything, it feels true to hope in the possibilities. It feels right to be bold in dreaming and starting. With a wink to my mom in heaven, I play classical music for my sweet tiny baby seedlings. I whisper love over them as I pray for the day when they are strong and vibrant and bursting with life. I pray you will do the same.
No matter how ridiculous, no matter how impossible, under the great Gardener, there is a place for your tiny idea to grow.