Monday, July 10, 2017

Blossom Wildly!

I have a kitchen towel that has beautiful watercolor flowers spread across it and in the middle of the flowers is a list, “how to be a gardener.” After something despicable destroyed the towel that had been hanging on the oven door, I took out this towel and for a moment I pondered the words. As I compared how much gardening is like parenting, I am raising these tiny little sprouts into strong oak trees. Hoping they root enough to endure the storms of this life. Praying they may flourish and grow, giving the world a sweet fragrance and beautiful fruit. Hoping that they leave the world a little more bright and with more love.

I purchased a home in February so this spring I decided to put a large chunk of money into our yard. We dug, mulched, cut, planted, rebuilt, cleaned up and weeded. Creating and changing each part into a place of beauty. A place where new life springs and color explodes, a place we can enjoy like never before, spaces that are thriving and shout vibrancy. As someone who does not have a green thumb I am happy to report that I have managed to keep everything alive and it seems to be flourishing.

There are a lot of similarities between gardening and parenting. The balance in both, is hope in what you don’t see and the amount of work it takes daily to get there. The potential and opportunity that dwells in the unseen, the reality that each seed planted will bear fruit. For several years before I became a mom, I spent my summers helping out with an organic farm. Those long hot days taught me so much about life.

Lean Toward the sunshine-at the beginning of this mom journey I took on the hash tag #simplejoy that is the goal of our journey together. Each day in the chaos of a family of seven, with diverse needs and deep wounds, we find the simple joy. Joy is our sunshine, we try to dwell there and we long to rest there. It is simple joy that makes our days sweet and our perspectives fresh, keeping me grounded and hopeful for what is to come.

Dig down deep- parenting is no easy job, it is not pretty or clean, the dampness, boogers and poop aspect really takes this to a whole new level. Parenting t takes something from us and it is costly, I currently feel like I have smashed my heart up and left it in the sticky hands of so many little ones. As parents we have to dig deep, we have to press in, we have to dig deep. We desire to shape, grow and change these little ones and that takes getting our hands dirty. Before you is the raw potential of things to come and you really have no guarantee how it will turn out, you just have to trust and get to work.

Make peace with chaos- in the midst of spilled milk, crying babies and poopy diapers I desire to find the peace. There are the days that get started too early and last too long. The days where I can’t stand to hear “mom” one more time. The days where it seems nothing goes right and comparison becomes the very weeds trying to choke me out. The mess and chaos of the weeds around me remind me just how beautiful the flowers are. It is all in the perspective shift.

Rain dance, Rake leaves and jump in & Hum along with the bees- These are the moments that are fun, where we laugh and let loose. Somewhere over the last three years I have gotten way too serious. In a lot of ways I have forgotten to have fun, to laugh, to enjoy and to savor the spontaneous. Our days are scheduled for survival and we are always coming and going to different appointments. This is one area of parenting I strive to change, the moments where we let go and just enjoy, I want to dance and dwell in the beauty of the world around me.

Ache, sweat and yearn- these words sum up parenting. The physical toll it has on your body is only the beginning. As our little ones grow and change we as parents long and ache for them. Parenting is a full time, forever job.

Cultivate patience- The summers I spent out on the organic farm taught me this. There is something so beautiful about slowing down and working the land. I experience the same feeling when I pause and watch my children explore. Watching them experience life through first experiences makes me fall in love with the world all over again. They help me to slow down, they know no agenda, time schedule and appointment book.

Stay rooted, Blossom wildly & Mend fences- Being a parent is the balancing act of teaching, instructing, correcting, education and encouraging. Our job description fluctuates between nurse, teacher and life coach. We become our children’s haven as we also call forward into the things they dream about, helping them heal along the way.

Share the harvest- it takes a village. My first year of parenting I felt I had something I had to prove so I was resistant to letting others in. Thank God that was quickly broken in me, in this season I realize what a gift it is to share my children with others. We all get to celebrate the wins and enjoy the harvest. It has been my greatest joy to share my family with the world, for together we all get to see this story unfold.

As a parent I am resting in the hope of the things coming. I long to see what they will become and where they will go. Desiring to see them become strong, vibrant, rooted beacons of hope to the world around them. 


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