Friday, September 26, 2014

Observations From a Mediocre Gardener

I love my garden, but this year it was severely neglected. I rediscovered my love of hiking, and every Saturday, Hubster and I decided to play in the woods instead of in the back yard. Therefore, my garden turned into this:

One of the good things I noticed however, is how my morning glories took off this year. Vines grow very fast, and have to be trained to climb something. They need something to grab on to. Their tendency is to reach up, unless the vines are redirected around something, like a fence or a trellis.

If what they're climbing suddenly stops, they'll reach for something, anything. Mine ran out of fence, so it ended up wrapping itself around the shovel. It didn't know any better. It didn't know that the shovel is not something strong that will hold up in a storm, or grounded and won't move, thereby breaking the vine and killing the growth.

As we grow in our walk with the Lord, we become like the Morning Glory vines.

The Son nourishes us and the Living Water sustains us. We reach up, desperate to hold on to that which will give us life, help us grow.

But all too often, we get distracted. Enticed. Tempted. The fence is still there, but we wonder, What's on the other side of the fence? Oh look, it's a shovel! And all I have to do to get there is just hop over the fence and grab on to the shovel.

And we do.

Little by little, the source of the vine becomes blurred, a distant memory. 

But what happens when someone who doesn't care so much about our growth, our nourishment, our existence, comes along needing that shovel?

We are carelessly tossed aside. We lay twisted and broken in the dust. 

We need to be sure that we are growing in a place of safety. A place where we will continue to flourish and bloom.

Sometimes, especially when we are new in our faith, the boundaries of Christianity seem confining. We're so conditioned in our old ways that our tendency is to "hop the fence" and then hop back. But that gets tiring and eventually we need to choose.

We need the Gardener to come alongside us every day and gently weave our wild shoots back onto the trellis. Because sometimes we are not even aware that we've fallen away. That's the thing about sin. It's deceiving. We are not always aware that we've been enticed onto the shovel until it's too late. 

I don't want you to think I'm one of those eccentric old women who talks to her plants, but here's an observation from a mediocre gardener: 

I think that my morning glory vines like being retrained, rewoven onto the trellis. 

Just as I enjoy being in the great Gardener's presence.
I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in His presence (Pr 8:30)

And here's another observation:

I enjoy weaving them.

Just as our great Gardener enjoys weaving us. 
For the Lord takes delight in His people (Ps 149:4)

And although the space on the trellis seems confining, it's really a place to get creative, especially in the early stages of growth. There is plenty of room to weave and plenty of opportunities to grab hold of. Eventually, we discover that whoever told us that Christianity was confining was lying to us.

I'll leave you with one more observation from a mediocre gardener:

The garden is a reflection of the gardener.

If I neglect my garden, it will certainly show. But if I take the time and give it the care it requires, watering it when it's dry, pulling the weeds in order to expand the root system, and continually weaving the vines around the trellis to make it look the way I want, it will reflect that care and attention. It will be a garden of glory.

In the same way,  

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit (2 Cor 3:17-18)

I want to be a reflection of a life worthy of my Lord. I want to be a trained morning glory. 

I want to be transformed into His image and reflect His glory as I become His Morning Glory.

What about you? Would you like to share the trellis with me?

Blessings as You Grow,

Song of the Day
Glory to Glory (True Worshippers)

Sharing this post with Faith Filled Friday, Faith Barista, Sunday Stillness, The Weekend Brew, Counting My Blessings


  1. Great analogy with your morning glory vine. It's so easy to lose sight of where we should be growing and instead wander over and link our vine to something less safe or trustworthy. We have to be diligent gardeners of our faith.

    1. Thanks Kathryn. And thanks for stopping by. I know you love music; did you check out the song link at the end of the post? It's an awesome song. I think you'll like it. Unfortunately, the band is from Indonesia and the song isn't available anywhere for least not that I could find.

  2. Beautiful reflection, Mary. Had to laugh. I planted morning glories a couple of years ago and they never did well. This year I notice this vine growing among the black eye susans and did pull out a bit of it until I saw its blossom. Yep, the morning glory finally grew and twirled its way up the iron gate- 2-3 years late but did blossom. good lesson from God to me too. Thanks for stopping by my blog last Sunday. Glad we connected. I enjoyed reading your writing

    1. That's funny, Jean...mine did the same thing! They didn't take off the first year, but this year they went crazy!

  3. I love the symbolism here, Jean:
    We need the Gardener to come alongside us every day and gently weave our wild shoots back onto the trellis. Because sometimes we are not even aware that we've fallen away.

    I see The Gardner as Jesus/God tending us as we move through life. Excellent pose, Jean!

    1. Thank you Chris. It's nice to see a man on here!

    2. I shared your post on google plus and think Chris thought at first I wrote it. See you have a great post here!

    3. Hey, it happens to all of us! There are so many of us blogging, it's hard to keep everyone straight! Thanks for sharing it, Jean!

  4. Beautiful! Both your analogy and your gorgeous morning glories. I'm not a gardener, but I love beautiful gardens. Thankfully, I married a wonderful man who enjoys keeping our outdoor space a loving place to relax. Blessings to you!

    1. Thanks, Deb! I'm happy my man mows the lawn, but that's about the extent of his gardening abilities. The new obsession is mums...I keep buying more and he just laughs and says, "How many does this make?" I don't know, I lost count! Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Great post... wonderful analogy! Thank you for sharing these thoughts. :)