Stone Soup for Five: plowing and planting in our kids

plowing and planting in our kids

This past spring my husband built a beautiful raised bed garden.  While he was building it, I collected egg shell halves for plantable seed starting pots, added good starting soil in each shell half, and planted a seed in each so the plants would have a head start when the bed was done.

I gently misted them with water and protected them at the right temperature.  I knew it would take about 2 weeks for the sprouts to push up from the soil.

About 10 days in the beautiful snow peas started peeking up from the soil! I. AM. A. GARDENER!

I moved them out in the yard during the day, keeping them in the shade and covering them at night and continued to watch as they unfurled their baby leaves.

we had a dinner party with friends.  And one of them brought a sweet dog to romp in our yard with the kids.  And romp he did.

It was a massacre.
Egg shells shattered, baby plants ripped from the soil, smashed into the gravel path.

It was sad for a moment but there was still plenty of time to plant directly in the garden bed.  We filled it with a rich soil mix, so I started again.

I marked off a grid for the square foot gardening.
I mapped out where I would plant the different vegetables.
I planted the seeds the depth written on the package.
I gently watered.
And I waited.

After a week and a half baby snow peas poked up!
And a couple of green onions!

But the squirrels dug out all the beans.  Slugs mowed down all the lettuce, and the basil never did show up.

It was disappointing to say the least.  Especially for an impatient gardener like me.  But like most frustrating things in life, there's a spiritual application: how much gardening is like parenting.

We don't get to make the plant grow.  We don't get to make the gospel grow in our children either.
Sometimes we don't get to see even the baby plants sprout because something destroys the little buds we see.  So we sweep up the mess and start again.

We plow and plow and plow the soil of our children's hearts,
(teaching the love of Jesus, the beauty of His gospel, the glory of His creation.  Spending time together in His creation, reading His word, serving others, praying together, talking about spiritual truths.)

we pull the weeds and remove the stones of lies from the world and their own heart,
(We look for the lies buried deep in the heart and expose them to the light of truth, we work to pull up weeds of bitterness and unforgiveness by asking forgiveness ourselves when we sin against our children.  We remove obstacles from the soil thrown there by the world such as faulty assumptions, legalism, morality, deceitfulness of screens/social media, and secular worldview lies... and then show and pray and talk about the truth and the Christian worldview.)

we add amendments to the soil
(The beauty of Christ, good stories, good character and virtue, biographies of heroes, Scripture, role models, and mentors.)

we sow the seeds of the gospel,
(boil it down to the Gospel Notebook: Who we were, What Christ did, Who we are now, Who Christ is, and Why.  And talk about how the gospel applies to the situation or challenge they are facing right now.)

and resow when they don't sprout,
(We are to be kind, able to teach, patient when wronged, and correct gently (2 Timothy 2:22-26).  I love the definition of correction I heard once: correction is helping people stand up again.  Just as the seeds need to be replanted when they don't sprout, our children need to be picked up, brushed off, straightened up, and refreshed with the love of Christ and His forgiveness.)

we peek to look for fruit, leaves, and buds,
sometimes only to see what sin has torn out or prevented from sprouting at all.
We do the tedious work of waiting well washed in lots and lots of prayer, like the farmer.
But ultimately only the Lord causes the seeds to grow.

Keep strong in the hard work of plowing.  It's backbreaking work.  Keep attentive to sowing the seeds of the gospel.  Add amendments when you can.  When heartbreak hits, sweep up the shattered mess and start plowing and sowing again, maybe in a different way in different seasons.  Don't look on the past as failure on your part, but look forward to how you can plow and plant today.  And always, get on your knees in prayer for those hearts.  Search for the fruit, but don't give up if again, over and over, satan pulls up those baby plants and smashes the tiny buds.
Just start plowing again.
over and over
and over.


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