I looovvvveeee my garden!! Under the hashtag, #tevGardens and #blackgirlswithgardens on Instagram, I proudly post my plant babies as they grow so big and strong. Like the viral song, I’ve got beans, greens, tomatoes... you name it!!! In the spring, my husband and I cleared a place in our backyard, assembled the garden beds, and carefully planted the seeds and seedlings that we wanted to grow into the fruits, vegetables, flowers, and herbs that we now eat and enjoy today.
Over these past few months, I have gained a new appreciation for farmers, planters, pickers, and anyone that makes their living by growing and harvesting the foods we eat. Gardening gives me clarity on so many things, one of which is the principle of reaping and sowing. Months ago, I planted sunflower seeds. Now I look up in amazement as my sunflowers are over 10 feet tall. I planted seedlings from the hardware store, and now my little plants have grown to bear hundreds of tomatoes. Seeing this growth and subsequent (overwhelming) harvest makes me think...
What am I planting?
There have been periods in my life where things have been really difficult; where everything has gone wrong, things that I wanted seemed to avoid me, and I felt like there was a dark cloud over my head. What I've noticed is during periods of both negativity and positivity - the cause was rooted in what I was "planting". During periods of drama, failure, and frustration, I realized that I was the one planting seeds of anger, doubt, fear, restlessness, and a lack of faith. The things we plant and nurture (give attention to) tend to multiply, and so I reaped all of the things that I hated the most - lack, depression, physical pain, and stagnation.
Conversely and thankfully, there are periods where things are going my way, life is good, and my outlook is positive. Right now is one of those times. Things are not perfect, but life is good and I am alive! Just like I planted those peppers and herbs all those weeks ago, I made the choice to plant things that are good in my life. I had to.
I planted seeds of joy, seeds of faith, seeds of peace. What does that look like? For me, a seed of joy is eating at the dinner table (no cellphones) sharing a glass of wine and plenty of laughs with my husband. A seed of faith is reading my Bible in the morning, learning more about God's word and promises for my life. As for the seeds of peace, those seeds are the continual act of deciding to block out drama, block out negative self talk, block out the haters (yes, the haters), and to block out anything that doesn't serve a positive purpose in my life. I make the choice to have a better outlook, despite the circumstances. Do I always succeed? No, but I deliberately try to plant what it is I want to harvest.
Just like a garden requires pruning, there are stray branches and weeds that need to be trimmed, plucked, and pulled out. Those weeds may be your gossiping, laziness and procrastination, the urge to start drama and mess... or even your tendency to be ungrateful for the things that you have been blessed with. Pull them out, cut it out, and make the decision to plant and nurture what is going to move you forward. You are the gardener of your life. God provides the soil, the sun, and the water, but YOU are the one who decides what you want to harvest - so make sure that your actions are in line with what you want your results to be.