Our homes, like our lives go through seasons and I think that it is imperative for us to take a step back to unpack the vibes and design of our physical dwelling place. We need to take a personal inventory of what we have and what we need and don’t need (both tangibly and emotionally) to make it a healthy environment for not only ourselves but our loved ones too.
Did you know God has called our homes to be a the place to be a peaceful habitation, secure dwellings and quiet resting places? Do any of those words initially come to mind for you? I think that sounds more like a spa than my house, but I do have toddlers and this is a short season.
Nevertheless, is there one spot in your house that can take on those words – peaceful, secure or quiet? Are you nurturing that place? Are you inviting your loved ones into it? Right now all I’ve got is my shower behind two locked doors, but again…just a season! Other people might have a sitting area or maybe just their bed. I know for my mom and mother in law both that place is outside in their yard.
I can see their faces now if they knew I was about to write about gardening. But I’m not going to teach you how to keep a plant alive. I don’t have the best track record for that – though I’m doing quite well currently!
I’m sure you’ve all heard “The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.”
My entire life I knew from redundancy alone that No matter what, this phrase could apply to every situation. Families, Finances, Education, Jobs, and Relationships. My thought process got the best of me. “Curiosity killed the cat” right, but doesn’t the cat have 9 lives? Why not take a chance to see what the neighbors lush green yard feels like. Eve learned that lesson first and still thousands of years later serpents are creeping through our yards trying to entice us to taste the apple.
We can’t fall for his game any longer. Comparison will steal your joy. And it will start with your home.
My favorite adaption to this phrase is that The grass isn’t greener on the other side, it’s greener where you seed it, where you water it, where you weed it, and where you manage it.
If I’m constantly watching what the neighbors are doing to their yards and not taking care of my own, I’ll never have a green thumb. It’s time we get into our own gardens. For me and I think for most, it wasn’t just a one day process of planting. I had to get elbow deep and churn up the soil, pull up the dead roots, and even change the flower bed placements all together from what the previous home owner had planted.
Some of you are thinking too literally right now. Like you can’t even keep an indoor plant alive? Believe me, I’ve been there.
Your home is just like your yard. If you’re always focused on other people’s relationships, marriages, children, jobs, cars, house size, location – you are focusing too much on the blossom of the flower and missing out on the rooting and seeding process. You don’t know the work that was put in to those homes, you also don’t know what their foundations are set on.
You have to be intentional. You have to be deliberate with what is happening in the gifted location of your own current existence.
Just like beautifully designed gardens don’t form by just throwing a bunch of seeds out and hoping for the best, the same is true with the building of our homes.
Proverbs 24:3-4 says "By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches."
When you think of somebody wise, they aren’t a spring chickens usually. They likely have a few gray hairs – or maybe their bald. They are a bit more seasoned. Wisdom doesn’t come with ease, it comes with experience and hard work.
It’s not all rainbows and butterflies when you’re digging up the roots. There’s snakes, worms, and toads too that you have to be willing to face and handle. Weeds may include bitterness, un-forgiveness, fear, lies, offense – don’t let these weeds take root in your garden. Address them.
It’s a messy process…but if you take a look around my house today, you will see greenery, you will see fruit and vegetables – all of which I’m very proud of because I know the daily management it takes to keep it alive and plentiful. God calls us to bear fruit for our spouses, for our children, for our extended families, for neighbors.
Don’t root your home in fullness of stuff and weeds, but instead seed and grow the fruits of the Holy Spirit which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These are the foundations to which your home should be built and your garden should grow. These are the roots we want to instill in our children and children’s children.
This doesn’t mean when you won’t ever have any weeds. God doesn’t promise a life with no trials. If you look at even the most beautiful gardens, there are weeds. Just like our gardens need constant nurturing our homes do to.
But the best part about learning to have a green thumb, was that I realized I didn’t have to do it alone. I’ve been gifted gardening buddies for a lifetime. My husband has always managed the lawn well. He’s a family man and He’s very proud of his lawnmower and technique too, if you ever want to drum up a conversation with him talk lawn mowers. But seriously, he’s a cultivated gardener from his early years. He’ll even mow the neighbors lawn. I have little gardeners too who take such pride in the seeds they plant and the things they are growing. They are eager to water it. They are eager to nurture it. It’s no wonder God calls us to have child-like faith.
So to further the analogy a bit more – We also have to be aware of what we are planting. If you plant a sunflower seed, you aren’t growing an aloe plant. I take full responsibility for the kinds of seeds I was planting in my home, but I also know that some of the seeds weren’t intentional, they were left overs from the rotten fruits I fed from throughout my life and even those fruits don’t have a place for blame.
I want to uproot Generational forests and crippled societal gardens.
Mark 4:18-19 “.. the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, and the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” (NAS)
For a long time, I couldn’t even see beyond all the weeds I was standing in. My seed was sown among thorns and There was no fruit even feasible to exist.
You’ve hopefully heard of about the armor of God given to each of us – one of which is the sword of the spirit. Our kiddos were walking around church last week with hand crafted swords and I see Cooper’s and it’s this crazy jagged jigsaw knife. And though my initial reaction was a bit freaked out, I was like man, he is ready. and it made me think of the type of sword i carry. I believing God gave me a machete. I was hacking away big chunks and it didn’t matter how deep the roots were! I was not standing for them anymore and our hope at The Session is to equip you with the right gardening tools, whether its a pocket knife or a knights sword.
So let’s collectively stand back from our homes and assess our personal gardens.
Mankind began in the garden. Sin was established in the garden. Then 1000s of years later, God gave us the greatest seed of all time by planting His son, the master gardener, in the earth in the garden of humanity.
Jesus knelt in the garden over the blood he was about to shed for us. His life and his death sprouted new life in God’s great garden. That is you and me. In new life through Him, we are God’s flowers.
His Word is the best gardening resource tool you could ever need or imagine. If we plant it within us, as we are called to do imagine the life that would spring forward from those seeds.
The Word teaches us to:
Plant in truth.
Plant in light.
Plant and harvest a garden by paying it full attention, by spending time in it, by feeding it, by watering it, by being present and satisfied in it.
Don’t concern yourself with other gardens. Those weren’t the ones given to you.
And I assure you they are not greener and they all have weeds.
So go home and cultivate your green thumb.