Saturday, March 31, 2018

You Can't Plant Peas and Grow Watermelons

Dear Friends,

It’s a funny thing. We want certain results in this world, but we too often fail to make proper preparation.

A farm girl, I learned to garden. Fortunately, I had two brothers, so my sisters and I rarely worked in the fields. But gardening required the attention of womenfolk.

First you plowed the ground. Well, that was done by the men. Our old John Deere chugged back and forth as the plow blade peeled back rows of soil. Then we raked lumpy furrows smooth in preparation for planting.

Next we dug holes to plant potatoes and dragged hoe prongs to create shallow ditches to sow rows of teeny tiny lettuce and carrot seeds. Tomatoes. Onions. Beans. Peas. Eggplant. We planted them all. Then we watered and waited. If insects attacked, we sprinkled leaves with lime to ward off invaders.

As plants grew, we weeded and hoed to allow water to seep down and seedlings to pop up. This went on until plants matured and grew big enough to produce. Lettuce was first to be harvested, then spring onions. One by one, vegetables were picked and eaten, jarred or frozen. We enjoyed them year-round, thanks to my mother’s hard work.

Well, so it is with raising a family. If we want children to grow into honest, spiritual, faithful, hard-working adults, we must make necessary preparations.

First of all, we birth them and nourish them with milk, then soft foods and finally they sprout teeth for chewing. We appropriately train them to brush those teeth and eat those veggies so their bodies grow straight and strong. When the bugs of sickness invade, we take them to doctors for medicine.

We water them every time we demonstrate honesty when given too much change. We give to Caesar (the IRS) what is due so they learn to be responsible citizens. We take them to Sunday school and church; we don’t send them.

Some parents want their children to develop their own spirituality, and of course they will. But that’s like throwing seeds out the window and expecting a harvest. If a parent expects to raise godly children who share their spiritual values, it requires weeding out bad influences—“No, you can’t see R-rated movies”--and fertilizing their growth with good influences—round table discussions about God and country, faith and family, neighbors and classmates.

Raising godly children requires attention to their growth—mental, social, emotional and spiritual. It requires those uncomfortable moments of discipline. It requires demanding respect and commanding behavior. The children will not always be happy, but they will grow to a healthier maturity for it.

Now I do understand that just as a drought or a storm can devastate a garden, other factors over which we have no control can have a major impact on our hard work as parents and grandparents. But I simply want to encourage you to put the time and effort into child rearing—or whatever other endeavor you undertake—to the best of your ability. Then leave the results in God’s hands.

If you want to eat peas, plant peas. If you want to eat watermelons, plant watermelon seeds. If you want children to turn into responsible adults, plant seeds of faith and integrity. Children must be carefully taught. It requires time and patience, love and discipline. But like a fruitful harvest, the end product will bless your soul.

“First plant your fields; then build your barn.” Proverbs 24:27 (The Message)

Here's a link I just came across that reinforces my post:

Have a blessed Easter as you ponder spring planting.


Upcoming Engagements for Friends of the Heart:

April 14, 9:30 a.m. to 3:50 p.m. - Faithlift Women's Conference, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, "What Every Girl Needs: Refuge, Redemption, Restoration and a Few Good Recipes.
April 21, 9 a.m. - Ladies Brunch, Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Mechanicsburg, "If Our Closets Could Talk."
April 27-29 - Women's Retreat, Best Western Lewisburg, Richfield Life Ministries Church Conference, ""If Our Closets Could Talk."

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