Surprise! One of these things is not like the other.
I’m not a huge gardener but the other day while working in the yard, I noticed something growing smack dab in the middle of the flowers I’d planted. There, tucked into my thriving garden one plant stood out distinctly from the others. What was it you ask? A tomato plant! Trust me, I was surprised! I didn’t plant it yet there it stood. Clearly a tomato from last year’s harvest left an unexpected surprise behind. As I’ve thought about my bonus tomato plant, I couldn’t recognize the wisdom for life tucked in my garden too.
1. What you plant grows.
While I didn’t plant this particular tomato plant this year, I did plant tomatoes in my garden last year. Sometimes in life the growth we experience is the residual effect of seeds we planted previously. The habits and routines we develop in life can cause growth much like this lone tomato plant. When we plant good seeds in our life through our compassion and kindness, we shouldn’t be surprised to see the fruit of our efforts surprise us in the future. Likewise if we sow less desirable seeds, we shouldn’t be shocked when the fruit we grow looks more like a consequence.
2. What you feed grows.
I’ve fertilized and watered my garden. While I’ve work to ensure the plants growing had the nutrients to grow, I was feeding more than the seeds I knew about. I was also feeding a leftover seed from last year’s tomato harvest. Truth is, the time and energy I gave my garden fed everything that was buried there. It’s no different in life, what we feed grows. Our choices and attitudes determine what we’re feeding under our surface. Good or bad, what we feed will grow. Choose carefully.
3. There’s a gap between planting and harvest.
I’m a fairly novice gardener but, even I know it can take weeks for fruits and vegetables to grow from seeds. We can’t plant and reap the harvest on the same day. Still while we realize that when it comes to a garden, we’re not always equally patient in our lives. When we have a dream or an idea, too often we want to see it take root and bloom almost instantly. If we don’t see progress fast enough, we’re all too quick to give up. If you find yourself getting stuck wanting progress too quickly, take a step back. Give your dreams time and space to grow. Don’t push them to try bloom before their time. When you give them the time needed, the harvest is much bigger!
4. What you allow to grow gets bigger.
While in my garden, I couldn’t help but notice a number of pesky weeds starting to sprout around my flowers and vegetables. Ignoring them wouldn’t make them go away. They would have continued to grow with or without my acknowledgement. What we allow to grow unchecked in our lives can become a much bigger problem in the future if we don’t deal with it today. Whether it’s a disagreement or misunderstanding that we attempt to sweep under the carpet, it will only stay out of view for so long. Tackle it. Deal with it. Pull out the weeds in your life and leave more room for the things you’d really like to bloom instead.
It’s your turn
Can you relate to my garden? I know I’ve been guilty of wanting to harvest dreams too close to when they’ve been planted. In life’s ebbs and flows, I’ve had to work at the areas that I’d like to see growth. We don’t grow by accident, rather it’s intentional. If this encouraged you, I’d love to hear from you. Or, have you found any surprises in your garden? Did you find unexpected wisdom growing with your surprise plant? Click to join the conversation.
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Until next time friends, be blessed!
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Thanks Susan! As usual, I can relate! I’ve often tried to help God with things, only to find I made a mess like Sarah’s Ishmael! I’ve spent the summer so far finding and pulling out “volunteer tomato plants” growing amid my other plants. Either I need to avoid putting tomato seeds in our compost pile, or some year I’m just going to let them all grow and see what happens!
Love that “volunteer tomato plants”… I just found a new one yesterday! Blessings to you Heidi.