Melissa K. Norris writes inspirational historical romance novels. Her stories inspire people to draw closer to God and their pioneer roots. Her books and articles are inspired by her family’s small herd of beef cattle, her amateur barrel racing days, and her forays into quilting and canning—without always reading the directions first. She shares her faith journey and country living how-to posts at MelissaKNorris.
Spring time at our house means dragging out the rototiller and seed packets. I grew up planting the vegetable garden with my parents and automatically carried this into my own home and marriage. But once my children were born, I realized how special growing a garden is.
From the first year they were born, both my son and daughter were out in the garden with us. They toddled between rows, fresh tilled dirt peppering their little chubby toes and hands. As they get older, I make the hole for the seed and they drop it in. We gently cover the seed together, their smaller hands patting the earth beside mine.
They want to know how the tiny seed will grow into a large plant. It struck me why Jesus used so many gardening parables in His teachings. My favorite is The Parable of the Sower Mark 4:3 “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plant, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times.”
I explained that we chose the very best place for our garden, that we water it, weed it, and help the plants grow. And just like we take care of our plants, God takes care of us.
He placed us in our family and it’s our job to make sure we help one another to grow. That we make sure to love one another, to help weed out the harmful things, so we can be our very best for Jesus.
As we tend to our garden, I’m constantly reminded of how God tends to us. He meets our every need.
Not only do my children learn about foods that nourish their bodies, they learn how to nourish their souls. When we plant our garden, I’m doing more than providing my family with nutritional food, I’m leaving a spiritual legacy for my children. Plus, they don’t fuss when asked to eat the vegetables they helped grow and harvest.
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