The Work of Gardening Our Hearts

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Last year when my dad suggested we add flower boxes to the front of our house, I knew it was just the addition we needed to set our house off beautifully.  With five front-facing windows, the foliage of flowers and greenery would add a pop of color and life!  A friend at church hung the boxes for me, then I proceeded to fill them with dirt, flowers, ivy and a spike plant.  All summer long, I nurtured and cared for those plants.

Because four of the windows are on the second floor of our house, I would

  1. Open the window
  2. Pop the lower glass inside
  3. Lift the screen
  4. Water, prune and dead head the flowers
  5. Pop the screen back into place
  6. Lower the window
  7. Lock it back into place

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I did this nearly every single day – sometimes twice a day when it was really hot.  The result?  Full, vibrant blooms and lots of beauty.  Neighbors and guests commented on the growth and the addition of the boxes.  I beamed.

When fall came the blooms began yellowing, so I added some fall plants – mums and a few pansies.  Mums don’t last long,so I just recently removed them at the root, and replaced it with more pansies of other colors.

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It’s been a bit messy at times, and a good deal of work, but I’m definitely glad we added the boxes. The addition it’s been to the house and the joy it brings my own heart has been well worth the effort!

Yesterday as I was adding Round #2 of the Pansies, I couldn’t help but think how often times we just assume that the growth and change in our spiritual lives will just “happen.”  That if we attend church, and maybe read a little Scriptural devotional from time to time and “say our prayers,” some kind of spiritual metamorphosis  will be the result.  If we know that it takes diligence and effort for a garden to flourish, why can we not apply that same type of energy to our spiritual growth?  It will require daily watering, weed pulling, fertilizing, changing, and yanking out some roots, but the end result will be worth all the effort.

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While some gardens, like mine, are visual from the front, and everyone can see it, there are others that are hidden, but still give joy to the person who lives there.  In other words, it doesn’t matter if your life is in the public eye or you’re in a place where no one sees, God knows each of our hearts, and longs to have fellowship with us, teaching us His Word and of Himself every single day.

When winter comes, I’m hoping my flower boxes will still stand out because of the efforts I’m putting into them right now.  So too, when “winter” comes to our lives – hard times or the cold winds of trial, if we’ve put in the effort in our spiritual lives, we’ll be a lovely Christian woman, for God’s glory!

What have you done today to care for the garden of your spiritual heart?

With love,

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4 thoughts on “The Work of Gardening Our Hearts”

  1. Denise, this is another wise and timely post. I fear that some of my ladies are tiring of my incessant emphasis on spiritual growth. Maybe this analogy will speak to their hearts as it did mine. A long time ago I attended a ladies’ seminar and I will never forget how the speaker warned that if we don’t get grounded in God’s Word and maintain our spiritual growth, that when the storms of life come we will be casualties of the storm. This fits with the “winter” part of your analogy. Oh, that more women could grasp the importance of nurturing our spiritual lives!

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