The temperature, humidity, and sunshine in the house were just right for growth to start. Now the sprouts stand to attention, just waiting for rich soil to burrow their roots into for the growing season.
Cultivating a garden is hard work, but I love seeing a seed sprout into a full blown plant and then become a produce machine. There’s nothing like bringing in those baskets and more basketfuls of succulent three pound tomatoes, or bushels of beans, or the one-hundred and fifty pound pumpkin at harvest time.
Raising children has a lot of similarities to planting seeds in a cultivated garden. When they’re little they’re just waiting to burrow their roots and begin to grow. The environment of our home has everything to do with how they sprout, how deep their roots go, how strong they will be to endure the storms, and the fruit they will yield.
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Ephesians 6:4 says, “…Do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”
The things we teach and train our children are so important. But just as important are the things we don’t intend to teach but unintentionally cultivate by how we live, the atmosphere of our daily attitude, the sacrifices made without our mentioning, unspoken love that radiates from our spirit that cannot be unnoticed….How we talk, what we watch, what we do, how we love, what we do with our spare time. Every-day is critical in cultivating their garden.
Our children are mostly grown now and producing more fruit than I ever dreamed. Right after I took the picture of my spaghetti squash sprouts (above), we got a call from one of our daughters, Rachael. She’s in her senior year of college at Virginia Commonwealth University in the arts program. VCU ranks #1 in art programs in US public universities and #4 in public/private. That means they expect excellence.
Almost every project she works on has brought glory to Jesus and hope to the lost. She has been the best in the class. Many times she would call us in between class breaks and ask us to pray for her on the phone. It was so hard to endure the classes because of the perversion in the projects being shown. Art in the secular world is typically rendered in what will shock you: death, sex, nudity and immorality. She wanted to make sure Jesus looked the best, so she worked relentlessly at making sure her pieces were exceptional. And they were. She has won awards and honors, but today she won Best in Show for her animation at the Student Film Festival. She was competing with graduates as well. The animation was based on I John 2:17, “The world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” My heart is still fluttering over the excitement!
This past semester she decided to start a prayer group for artists on the campus. She thought only a handful would be interested. 60 people signed up the first week she put the notice up. Last week she got a job at the International Mission Board, wherein she’ll be speaking to the nations through video.
Cultivating a garden is hard work, but I love seeing a seed sprout into a full blown plant and then become a produce machine. There’s nothing like watching your children sprout, become mature, and produce fruit that will affect untold numbers. Now, that’s the epitome of bringing in the harvest.