Thursday, May 21, 2009

Gardening & Relationships



As you have seen in my photo updates, our garden has been growing so wonderfully. Everyday when we go out to weed, water or simply stroll around in it, we are in awe of the amazing growth, bounty and harvest that GOD is providing for us. However, we have our own responsibility in this process as well. We first had to clear the area of obstacles & hindrances to planting our garden. Next we tilled the land and had good soil brought in to help feed and nourish the ground so that once our plants were planted they would have a healthy foundation in which to germinate & grow. Now we didn't plant haphazardly, placing things where ever we felt like it. No, we planted like items together, graduating plants in height so that the taller ones would not block out the sunlight that the low growing plants need. There was a method in our planting. We also had to do our share of watering, fertilizing and weeding. No, it wasn't always fun work, but knowing the rewards down the road made it important to us to make the necessary steps to ensure a healthy environment for growing.

What would happen if we don't go out and weed on a regular/daily basis? Our vegetables would end up being choked out. When left unchecked and unattended to, weeds will grow quickly and smother out any sign of productive life around it.

What if we had not prepared our soil before hand? Simply, our plants would be able to grow only so much. Once the roots had taken in all the available nourishment from the soil, there would be nothing left for the plant to feed upon. What we would end up with would be unhealthy, unproductive plants that would end up dying before their time.

Watering is another issue that we must address. When watering a garden, plant tree, or anything, you have to be careful that you give it enough water but also make sure that you don't over water it. If you don't water it enough, the leaves will wither and the plant will eventually die because of lack of hydration. On the other hand, if you over water, the overflow will have no where to go and will end up sitting above ground not being able to reach the roots. Why is that...because the roots have been so submerged in water that it can't drink fast enough to disperse the liquid through the plant to reach all the parts that need it. What you end up with is root rot.

The same can be related to a person's life. When Hubby & I first met, we knew that GOD had brought us together. So we carefully cultivated the ground of our relational foundation. We planted seeds of time, like interests, and conversation into our relationship. In order for the relationship to grow, we watered and fed it with the Word of GOD, prayer, faith and righteous love. Had we neglected any part of this, our relationship might have suffered. If we had over done things, our relationship would have been smothered. But because we did things in GOD'S timing and HIS way, we stand before everyone with a healthy, fulfilled, CHRIST centered marriage.

As with any relationship there are basic core principles that can, if practiced properly, cause that relationship/friendship to flourish -- or -- it will kill it.

Let's look back at the garden & see how that relates to human relationships.

Step 1: Soil preparation -- If there were any rocks, grass, weeds or other obstacles that would hinder growth of our plants, it had to be removed. You can't expect to plant peas amongst rocks and stick-a-burs and yield a good harvest. So you take it it out and toss it away.

The same is true in relationships. If you are wanting to plant seeds of friendship or other, you certainly can't plant them with rocks and weeds. What kind of rocks & weeds could a person have, you might be thinking. Rocks & weeds of gossip, slander, truth manipulation & offenses are just a few. What one might feel is "something you need to know" ultimately is nothing more than gossip or possible slander against someone else. To try and prepare the soil of a godly friendship based on this will never work. If one party is offended by something around them, you can not expect others to take on that same offense as their own. This will lead both parties down the wrong road.

Step 2: Added nutrients -- Just as when we had 14 yards of garden compost and mushroom fertilizer brought in to help build up the soil bed, we as individuals need to be willing to bring into a relationship that which will help build the other up. If one brings in back-biting & truth bending for instance, that will ultimately kill a relationship. More than likely, sooner than later.

Step 3: Planting
-- When we were thinking of planting a garden, we didn't just run out and pick up anything and everything off the nursery shelves and stick it into the ground. We did lots of footwork first. I even took several gardening classes to help aide me in doing the best that I could with our garden. We then made a list of things that we wanted to grow, then culled out the items that were not summer crops and placed that on the fall garden list. We crossed out things that we didn't like and knew we wouldn't eat...like eggplant for instance. Once we had a game plan, we went to a reliable nursery and bought our seeds & plants. Then we planned out exactly how deep and where to plant things as to the best of our knowledge.

As in relationships, you have to figure out what you want to see produced from it. If you plant kindness, you'll reap kindness. If you plant honesty & trust, then you will reap honesty & trust. However, if you plant discord, that is what you'll reap. Planting the seeds of "stirring the pot" so they say, will lead you to harvest a pot of bitter soup.

Step 4: Continual care -- Now that things are taking off in the garden, we have to continually care and nurture it to keep it free of weeds, as well well as being fed properly or else, all our labor would be in vain. The same holds true in relations. Once you lay a stable foundation, plant the right things, you have to keep that relationship free of the weeds of the world that will try to choke it out. If you let one weed of lying take hold, the next thing you know it will take over and run rampant. When you see that something is being allowed to grow that is not godly (in yourself or another) it needs to be addressed and plucked out immediately. If left unattended, this will smother the life out of the relationship. Just as I mentioned earlier, over watering a garden can be detrimental as well. Relationships too can suffer from being over watered.

Each of us have our own lives, and although the LORD does place others in our path for a purpose & a season, satan also knows how to place people in one's path to try and get them off course and out of the will and plan of GOD. Now I am not saying that all relationships are the handiwork of the devil but when facets present themselves that are not for the glory of GOD, one needs to take a step back and look at the relationship/friendship as a whole.

Unfortunately some relationships are toxic and you have to make the decision to step away from the situation before the enemy tries to use that person against you. (Sometimes these toxic relationships can involve members of your own family.) This doesn't mean you are turning your back to that person, you just have to do what is in the best spiritual interest for yourself as well as your family.

Is it time you detoxify your life? Pray and seek GOD then follow HIS direction. Sometimes the hardest things we have to do will result in a peace far greater than we can imagine.


8 comments:

Blessed Beyond said...

Great post! For the recipe I posted, it's a regular size soup can. :) Hugs and Blessings,

Mrs. B, a very peculiar person said...

Since I'm a gardener, I love the gardening analogy and can totally relate to this article. I pray it blesses others as it did me.
Mrs.B

Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

How thought filled and amazing this post is.
Thanks for sharing
Molly

Jen said...

Great post! We are planting our garden this weekend and it was a great analogy for us to read. Thank you for this. Blessings.

Evening Shade Morning Latte said...

Jen ~
Praying that you gain a bountiful harvest!

Molly ~
Thank you for your thoughts.

Mrs. B ~
I am so glad that this blessed you. Unfortunately I had to put this very thing into practice recently. But I will say it again, sometimes the hardest thing you have to do will give you a greater peace.

Blessings Beyond ~
I am so glad you stopped by and thank you for the phone call the other day. You are a true blessing. I am certainly going to be trying that recipe out. Thank you for the can size help.

~Blessings to you all

Sarah said...

What a wonderful way of paralleling gardening and relationships. Very true, and spoken from the heart. I will keep those things in mind today as I head out to weed! :)

mrshester said...

I really like this post (not that I dislike any others, but this was awesome). I am very nearly convinced that these "old path" activities, like gardening or cross-stitching or soap making or really any other non-instant gratification jobs, are meant to teach us deeper truths. I think Abba meant it to be so. I am constantly in awe. Thank you for sharing the wisdom you have on this matter. I don't know if any of this made sense, but it did before I typed it, lol!

Evening Shade Morning Latte said...

Sarah~

Many happy days of harvest to you!

Mrs. Hester~
Your comment made perfect sense. I agree that the LORD can and is using anything in our path for a learning lesson. What a great Teacher HE Is!

~Blessings & Warm Cozy Wishes