Saturday, May 10, 2008

I am sure I could write a book on how parenting and gardening run such parallel paths! I always laugh and tell Tim that I will never need therapy as long as I have a hose and some flowers to water! Of course, the parenting part is the reason I would NEED therapy, but that is a whole 'nother post! LOL!

At any rate, I was raised in Canada and one of the things I grew to love during my childhood was lilac bushes. I must say, at the time I took them for granted and never truly came to appreciate them as I should until I moved south and found they were a novelty down here. That only served to add to my unceasing desire to own one and thus began my search to find a hardy lilac variety that could withstand the heat and lack of really cold winters down here! (These people think this is cold! Huh!)

I was eventually successful and found a mail-order catalogue that assured me if I bought their lilac bush it would grow in my Zone 8 climate. I fell for it hook, line and sinker and purchased one immediately. It arrived weeks later looking like a forlorn stick, but I trusted them and planted it! And then I waited and watered and waited and watered and nearly lost my mind with the waiting.

The first blooms! The second blooms! The third year...maybe a bloom! The fourth year...I'll give it 5 and the fifth year a generous 6! What I was experiencing in my parenting was repeating itself in my gardening! I was pouring so much TLC into nurturing and caring for my little bush and not getting a whole lot in return! Year after year I was left wondering if I was doing something wrong! I was approaching despair in my desire to see a healthy crop of fruit for my labours until...this year!!

I went out one morning and hesistantly walked over to my lilac bush, certain it was mocking me with every step I took. But then I saw them...close to 20 fragrant blooms ready to bust wide open! And then I heard it...Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. (Gal. 6:9)

Just as I do in gardening, I nurture and tend, pull weeds of sin and water the ground with prayer! And in due time, I am able to reap the fruit of my labours in the lives of my children. Just as I am about to give up, I see a blossom that is ready to burst forth with evidence of new life and promise of a sweet aroma!

So on those days when I feel like my parenting skills are sorely lacking and my sanity has a very short shelf life, you'll be sure to find me in my garden...listening to His still small voice as I water and wait!

P.S. That is a vase of my very own lilac blooms proudly displayed on my screened-in back sanctuary!!! :O)