September has begun and it’s time to plant my fall garden. One of my favorite spots on the farm is the garden Chip built for me a couple years ago. We plant all sorts of veggies and flowers and it’s a place that I love to retreat to after a long day. I am drawn to gardening because it goes far beyond tangible labor. There are so many wonderful analogies you can draw from the garden. They translate well to my kids, especially when they can be so involved in the gardening process. Even as an adult my mind always goes back to the garden and tending to my own life, faith and heart.
There’s something about putting your hands in the dirt and getting after it that not only refreshes me, but revives me. It takes me back to the basics and makes complicated things more simple. It reminds me to work hard with the promise of things to come. I can put my hands to something knowing there’s fruit on the other side.
A couple weeks ago one of my kiddos was having trouble telling the truth. After talking to him a few times, I decided to take him out to the garden. I hadn’t tended to it in weeks, so when we got there the garden was a mess of weeds and grass. I gently explained that when we don’t tend to our hearts and the issues that keep arising, this is what happens. Weeds start to spring up and choke the life out of the plants around them. I showed him how to pull the weeds out and then we set our hands to work together. I explained that when the roots are not taken care of, it becomes a reoccuring issue. The weeds must be uprooted fully, so that they cannot grow back again.
After that I started to see a change in my child. And even more than that, I started to see a change in me. It was a good reminder that even as an adult, there are reoccurring things in my life that need to be tended to. For me, parenting is so much beyond catching your kids doing something wrong and then solely disciplining them. It’s about creating learning experiences for them to remember and grow from.
What are you tending to in this season? For me in this new season I want to really try to uproot the things that aren’t bringing life in my own heart and home. Perhaps plant a garden with your kids this fall and begin by breaking ground and uprooting any weeds. Stay tuned for my blog post on what we’ll be planting at the Gaines’ garden. And if you have any gardening tips of your own, I’d love to hear!