Encouragement, Encouragement: Watering the Seeds, Life, Uncategorized, Words

Encouragement: Watering the Seeds


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By Jeanne Takenaka

Who knew that in my mid-forties, this city-girl would fall in love with gardening? I’ve considered planting a garden for a few years now, but something always prevents me.

Last week, a friend offered me some tomato plantings and seeds. As I thought about her offer, an idea took shape. I stopped by the nearby hardware store and purchased some rectangular planters and soil. Our yard doesn’t have a space ready for these offerings, but I could begin some container gardening.

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Excited, and filled with questions for my friend, I prepared my modified garden. This weekend, I planted the seeds and some flowers. Got the tomatoes into their new home-sweet-home. Just in time for the afternoon rain showers to water them.

Running my hands in the soil, arranging flowers and seeds “just so,” it lightened my spirit. I can’t wait to see them grow, and to watch Peter’s and Edmund’s anticipation as zucchinis, cucumbers and green onions sprout. No one is too old—or too young—to have a sense of wonder about new life.

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There’s beauty found in the simplicity of giving life to something. Those seeds would be just fine if left in the envelope they came in. But, look at the possibilities that open up when I take them out, prepare a small hole in the soil, drop the seed in and cover it up?

With sunlight and water, those seeds give life to zucchini, cucumbers and green onions. Zucchini bread made with what I grew could be just a couple months away.

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The tomato plantings my friend gave me? Without water and room to grow, they would die. But give these small plants what they need to grow and they produce beautiful and tasty results!

Isn’t the same true in our lives? God gives us each gifts and talents. We can let them lay sealed  and unfed within us. Or, we can plant them into the soil of our hearts. We can can ask God to water them and shine His light onto those seeds, those dreams, those talents.

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We can take a step of faith and begin practicing the gift God’s given us.

Some seeds never quite sprout and grow the way they’re designed to. Either because they didn’t get enough water, or they were buried too deep. Encouragement can be a great nourishment for those seeds within us. Without it, that gift or talent will probably wither too, dying slowly from disuse.

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The great thing about those seeds planted in hearts, is that God uses us to be water and sun in other people’s lives. If we share a kind word, an uplifting comment, it can be sunlight in an otherwise dark day for someone.

I don’t know about you, but I want to be more aware of those around me. My eyes open to opportunities to water the seeds in the hearts of others. Wouldn’t it be special to know God used us to help produce a garden of fruit in another’s life?

What about you? What activity presses your happy button? When has someone encouraged you? How have you encouraged someone recently? 

 

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14 thoughts on “Encouragement: Watering the Seeds”

  1. Your description of your joy in gardening is lovely, Jeanne. It reminded me of an ambition I had, never realized, to create a formal Japanese garden. I came to Christianity from a serious and ascetic study of Zen, and God has used that background to shape the person I…well, I was going to say “the person I was, Zen and now”…

    I’m not sure what presses my happy button. I’m pretty well-known for rarely smiling, and almost never laughing, except at things that other people would consider really black humor (ask Jennifer Major about my frag story). If I make it to ACFW (not likely, under the circumstances) I’ll be the Asian guy in the wraparound shades and black t-shirt whom everyone is avoiding.

    My ideal vacation would be a few weeks in Helmand, riding top cover on convoy escort, with the chance of instant apotheosis hidden under every discontinuity in the road, behind every compound wall. Riding hand in hand with Jesus, as it were.

    And yet…I love puppies, and new flowers, and butterflies. I love the sound of a mountain stream, and a big Rottie who’s just learned “give me a hug!” I love tipping flumes.

    I guess that’s what I try to pass on, the message that there’s fully as much joy in the smallest of things as there are in the blight-gold accolades of success. That love is our greatest adventure, and that the kindness we give is our surest approach to the Almighty (though it may be flavored with spent powder, in the service of the innocent).

    Jewel was right. Only kindness matters.

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    1. I love that God created us to find joy in different ways. And I think you’re right, sometimes the greatest joy is found in the small things, that maybe no one shares save you and Jesus, not only in the “big” things that many people applaud.

      I think you do know what presses your happy button. It includes caring for and being hugged by those puppies of yours. 🙂 And enjoying nature. And protecting the innocent.

      I always appreciate your thoughts, Andrew. And thanks for introducing me to apotheosis today. 🙂 I had to look it up. 😉

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  2. Beautiful, Jeanne! I love how you planted in a plastic bin. What a great idea! And I’m wondering what that pencil is doing there. Were you measuring for distance? 🙂 Just sweet. You’ve certainly been an encourager to me. Thank you.

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    1. Thanks, Shelli. What I didn’t mention in the post is that we have an area of our back yard set aside for my some-day garden. Right now, however, it’s overrun with weeds. And we have lots of squirrels and a few bunnies who would probably eat my plants! Since we haven’t done anything to protect that area, I thought bins on our back table might be a better option for now. 🙂

      Yes, the pencil was measuring the distance. 😉

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  3. Great post and so true. Gardening is one pleasure that pushes my happy button. As I drove home from Lowes the other day with a car so packed full of plants that the kids could hardly fit and then looked back and Della was sleeping with her head on the apple tree. It brings me joy to be outside in the warm sunshine and satisfaction at the end of the day. I told Samuel its a lot cheaper than therapy.

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    1. Love that snapshot, Lara, of Della leaning on an apple tree. Maybe they’ll become friends. 😉 And yes, I can totally see how gardening can be its own therapy. 🙂 I’m so glad you stopped by!

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  4. Hi Jeanne,
    I wasn’t interested in gardening when I was younger either. As my grandmother’s have passed on to heaven, I inherited some of their bulbs to start new flowers. When my parents moved to a retirement community, I again inherited family flowers.
    These flowers remind me of their love.
    Listening to music and reading are my other happy buttons. Both can be encouraging and uplifting.
    Thanks for sharing today!

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    1. Wow, Jackie. I love the idea of flowers passed on from your grandmother’s. What a special gift. It keeps giving and reminding you of the love your family shares. Listening to music and reading also fuel me. When I have time. 🙂

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      1. Me too! I go out every morning and hover over the beds. 🙂 My squash and zucchini cotyledons FINALLY popped their heads above ground this week…and the cukes a little earlier. Woo hoo! 🙂

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