Seedlings, Fertile Soil, and the Harvest

Sprouting Seeds Beckon a Cultivated Garden

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.

    • Thank you Melanie! I think of you often, I hope you are well.

  • Robin said:

    I know you must be so proud of Rachel. What a blessing. Reading this made me reflect again on the lessons we were having in Sunday school for a few weeks about fertile soil and planting. Our Sunday School teacher is an avid gardner and she had much material to draw from. I know your life will continue to be made full in seeing your harvest lived out through the blossoming of your own children. You and Dale have much to be proud and thankful for.

  • Amy Chaffman said:

    I am so blessed to have met you at a speaking event over 4 years ago. Even though we stay in touch, I have just visited your website today.. Wow! Love your thoughts of the day and on farming and congrats with the art student (my passion and career as well).
    But most importantly, your in-site into human struggles and how God applies to it. Thank you, you are a blessing from God.
    I still want a farm tour!!
    Love ya,
    Amy Chaffman

  • Judy S. said:

    Hi Sharon,

    As I read more of your testimonies and the blessings God has bestowed on and brought through you, your marriage and your family, I am in awe and blessed in my heart and spirit. This is my desire for my own little family. As for my precious daughter Sarah, I have hopes and dreams for her too and am doing my best to encourage all her strengths and talents in whatever way I can. When she was three and a half she was very clear about wanting to be a veterinarian when she grows up. She is a nature girl and loves animals. Her favorite are horses, just like me, and she started horse riding classes this April soon after her birthday. She is also very creative and artistic. For her age, she knows exactly what she wants and when she is engrossed in her art, whatever she makes or draws or paints, are unique in their own childish way. To us they are works of art. Rachel's story and testimony right from her studies to her marriage to her baby are testimonies of God's favour and blessings. I am hoping and praying that I can be an example and blessing to my baby in every way Jesus wants me to be and will one day have the same kind of joy and contentment that everything in her life too will be led by Jesus and the example I long to be to her as a godly mother, the way mine was to me.

    Thank you for being such a blessing, example and inspiration . May The Lord continue to bless and make yor family fruitful in every way, for His glory.