What’s Growing in Your Soil?

10 Jun

What Is He Planting in Your Soil?-2There is truly nothing about me that has a green thumb. I’m really proud of myself if I can keep a few hanging baskets alive two-thirds of the way through the summer. I’m not outdoorsy garden girl by any stretch of the imagination. I take my Vitamin D in a pill and sit outside only when I have to watch my kids in the pool. Summer sunlight does horrible things to my fair skin (trust me, I used to live in the South Pacific!), and pollen makes a beeline for the inside of my nose as soon as I exit my house to walk the dogs.

This is why it made absolutely no sense to me when a few weeks ago I felt a strong prompting to buy some pots, potting soil, and various seeds. I had no idea why I drove to Walmart one day with those items on my list, but I felt compelled to have them, as if someday in the near future, God would fill in the blanks for this assignment.

I went about my usual business for weeks, not doing anything about those pots—wishing I suddenly became Grow-It Jane but knowing I really was Read-and-Drink-Lattes Bonnie. Even my husband and children were puzzled when they saw the potting soil, but they know me well enough by now to just nod and move on with their day.

You would think that I would have learned how much I do not actually know after last year’s sunflower seed episode.

(After I finished rolling my eyes up in my head that my son came home with a sunflower seed to plant on the last day of first grade, we watched that 6-footer grow all summer—trusting it was more than a weed but not really sure for about 9 weeks. Know when it bloomed? First day of second grade. Yeah, it took a lot of trust not to toss that thing from its pot into the woods and assume it was another loss before it actually gave us beauty.)

God’s promises are just that: Ones we can’t see fully until they bloom. They are there, climbing toward heaven as if to give a holy nod to the Big Guy in the Sky until they reveal themselves to us.

Sometimes it feels like we go on blind trust, doesn’t it?

So when the occupational/integrated therapist told me a few days ago to have my youngest son dig in the soil and work the ground to ease his anxiety and regulate his body, a bell went off in my head. A piece of the complex jigsaw puzzle that is my walk of faith—as well as my journey learning how to help my son—slid in and snapped into place.

I was skeptical how much working with the soil would help, and I certainly procrastinated doing this task for several days, but at 7:30 one evening, daylight was still insistent, and out we went. Work the ground and till the soil we did! We shoveled, scooped, and spread flower, veggie, and basil seeds into the soil, covering them and watering them.

I watched joy come over my son as he abandoned the shovel to scoop raw dirt with his hands into the pots. His eyes lit up as he filled those up to the brim and chose which seeds to plant where. As he was digging up weeds and clearing the ground for some perennials, I watched in awe as he seemed almost soothed by the process.

All I saw were dirty hands and pants, but he saw promise, tending, caring, and future growth. I’m convinced, for a few minutes, that God let him see something more than just the task at hand.

When we came back into the house, I thought the blessing was over. Hopefully we’d see some evidence in 10-12 days. Mission accomplished.

This is where I’m so shortsighted and think in such small terms.

God had so much more in mind.

I reminded my gardening child that he had a persuasive essay to write. I expected that he would be resistant, have a hard time focusing, shut down, and/or feel anxious. It was a hard time of day for him to complete an assignment.

You see, I expected the ordinary and forgot my God is into delighting us with the extraordinary.

When I had built up enough courage to approach the homework assignment, I discovered that Little Man had written three pages without stopping for 15 minutes with absolutely no assistance or guidance. His ADHD mind wrote it perfectly in one draft without having to plan one step at a time. This is unheard of at the end of the day in our house. He didn’t shut down.

It’s the unexpected things that grow us into who we are. If we look for the gift in each day, we can surely find it with eyes wide open and hearts ready to receive.

Little Man worked the ground with his bare hands that night, and something in his mind connected. He touched and took care of the God-given earth, and the God-given earth gave back to him.

Just beautiful.

When the Corinthians were looking to “follow” certain disciples (instead of God), the Apostle Paul made some interesting statements about Whom they should really be following, and Who really causes growth in God’s field.

1 Corinthians 3:4-9, ESV, Apostle Paul speaking

For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human? What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each.

I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.

So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building (emphasis mine).

According to Paul, we are not only God’s fellow workers tilling the soil, but we are also His field.

Where can you trust the Gardener more for what He may be planting in your soil?

You may not see it yet. It may just be a tiny idea, a seed, buried an inch under in layers of other lessons and trials in your life, but you can be sure, when you ask Him to, what He plants and waters will grow into something that nourishes you and brings your heart the very life it needs—

—just when it needs it!

*This blog was first a featured column at Your Tewksbury Today.

**It has also been shared at any link highlighted here: Mom 2 Mom Monday Link-Up, Make a Difference Mondays, Pick Your Pin Tuesday, Women With Intention WednesdaysGrace & Truth, A Little R & R, RaRa Link-Up, Dance With JesusBlessing Counters, Saturday Soiree, Tell His Story, Find Stability, So Much at Home, Faith-Filled Fridays, Reflect Link-Upand Christian Mommy Blogger.

More anecdotal stories about an everyday relationship with God can be found in Not Just on Sundays: Seeking God’s Purpose in Each New Day (includes Book Club Discussion Questions).


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

23 responses to “What’s Growing in Your Soil?

  1. Kayla Aimee (@kaylaaimee)

    June 10, 2015 at 7:55 am

    Love this! Something about gardening makes me feel so connected, rooted maybe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bonnie Lyn Smith

      June 10, 2015 at 9:28 pm

      Thanks, Kayla Aimee! I appreciate you coming by. Love your rooted reference…so true! I’ve been trying to put my finger on why it’s so therapeutic. Blessings!


  2. Laurie Collett

    June 10, 2015 at 11:36 am

    This is wonderful, Bonnie! I love how God leads us in new directions for reasons only He knows, testing our faith and rewarding us with joy when we see how He has fit the puzzle pieces together! On Saturday at Saved by Grace I’ll be posting an testimony entitled “:A Time to Plant” — I love how with God there are no coincidences! Hope you’ll stop by and read it!
    May you have a blessed week in Him,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bonnie Lyn Smith

      June 10, 2015 at 9:06 pm

      Oh, awesome, Laurie! I will have to check it out! That timing is amazing! Sounds like we are learning similar lessons! The unity in the Spirit is a beautiful thing! Thanks so much for coming by!


  3. Norma Gail Thurston Holtman

    June 10, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Lovely insights into the awesome way God works! He always has a plan!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bonnie Lyn Smith

      June 10, 2015 at 9:06 pm

      Thanks, Norma Gail! You are always such a huge encouragement to me!


  4. Tammy (Christian Mom, Wife, & Life )

    June 11, 2015 at 7:25 am

    I love to garden and so do our children. I have often told my children to garden when they had alot on their minds or needed to cool off. I can see how it would help your son. Hopefully you will have veggies very soon to show for the work you both put in. God Bless!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bonnie Lyn Smith

      June 12, 2015 at 9:25 am

      Tammy: That’s so awesome to hear that you direct your children toward God’s earth to plant and to relax. I love that! It affirms what I’m only now just discovering in our family. Blessings, and thanks for stopping by!


  5. Amy

    June 12, 2015 at 8:29 am

    What a lovely story. Some of the best stories of my own life are the ones that start out with the unknown and by the end you can see the stitch marks from the way God has knit together something wonderful. I used to think I had a green thumb. But it turns out I can only grow things until like May and then it gets hot and no matter what I try to grow it just gets fried and weedy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bonnie Lyn Smith

      June 12, 2015 at 9:21 am

      Lol, Amy. So true! Once in June, what’s the point? I first read your comment as “stretch marks”…I thought that was very clever. LOL Thanks for stopping by!


  6. Tai East

    June 12, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Bonnie, I absolutely love visiting with you! Awesome post, my Dear!

    “I expected the ordinary and forgot my God is into delighting us with the extraordinary.” <— Love, love, love this!

    Thank you for sharing! Infinite blessings to you, Love! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bonnie Lyn Smith

      June 15, 2015 at 11:20 am

      Thank you for coming by, Tai! Your encouragement is always a steady stream of love, joy, and kindness! Blessings to you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tai East

        June 15, 2015 at 1:08 pm

        You are most welcome, Love! Thank you! Be blessed and have a wonderful week! 🙂


  7. Christi Gee (@ChristiLGee)

    June 14, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    Bonnie, this is beautiful. And although the lesson of the master gardner is definitely one that speaks to me, the insight into your parenting with your little man is what touches me to the core. To me, this says so much about who you are. Loving getting to know you better and better!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Bonnie Lyn Smith

    June 15, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Oh, thank you so much, Christi! I appreciate you reading it! God is teaching me so much through Little Man. How much I don’t know and need to trust Him! Much love to you!


  9. Stacey Thureen

    June 16, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    Bonnie, thank you for these words of encouragement. I loved the tweets. By the way, that is so cool that this was in the Your Tewksbury Today. We use to live in Wilmington! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bonnie Lyn Smith

      June 18, 2015 at 8:45 pm

      Wilmington! Awesome! Hop, skip, and jump from where I am! Thanks for coming by! Love our Beantown connection!


  10. stultsmamaof4

    June 18, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    Hi, Bonnie! I’m pleased to be stopping by from last week’s Grace and Truth. What a lovely testimony of God’s goodness to you and your boy! You drew an excellent connection to the first corinthians passage, too. Thanks for sharing with us! 🙂
    Jen @ Being Confident of This

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bonnie Lyn Smith

      June 19, 2015 at 11:11 pm

      Thanks so much for such sweet encouragement, Jen! I really appreciate it! Blessings to you!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: