Wednesday, May 21, 2014

"Foster Farms"

Today my garden is speaking to me and it's got rich meaningful things to tell me.

Lessons about hope, new life sprouting up, the patience of waiting for fruit to be produced.

These little guys that look like Christmas lights are popping all over the plant and it's one of the most fun things to check for when I get up in the morning. Does my heart foster the best environment for new ideas, gifts and ministries to bud like these shiny little green "light bulbs" that will be juicy tart lemons soon.

I noticed the words "FOSTER FARMS" on one of my milk crates. When I water our garden I reflect on the soil of my heart, ask the questions about what containers in my heart are being nurtured and which ones have I let go, and I pray over my gardens both the one in the pictures and the one that is my heart. I pray that the garden of my heart is bearing prolific fruit, blossoming and that new buds are popping up. 
So I love this milk crate.
It reminds me to ask
"What AM I fostering in my life?"
I hope that I am fostering healthy vibrant things that nurture and satisfy others,
like this gorgeous lettuce.

This small container of lettuce was bursting this afternoon. I was able to make this salad with it's beautiful leaves that fed my whole family. It's such a mirror of what I desire for my life, relationships, family and talents. Good fruit that feeds and nurtures the people around me.

I hope to have a fragrance that attracts people to the Creator of Life, like the fragrance of this beautiful Lemon Thyme.

Or this fabulous Pineapple Sage! 
I can't tell you how sweet it smells and it just seems to get better and better.

Or the fragrance of this gorgeous Basil or the deep rich color of it's cousin Purple Basil, 
their aroma is fantastic!

With little effort and fostering this Purple Kale is going to give me ridiculous abundance and it's going to power up my morning smoothies in a glorious way. Little effort and great results. There are parts of my heart that take little effort to get results and of course there are the areas, like parenting, that take tremendous fostering, nurture, weeding, pruning, and lots of hard work over time, but have the potential to feed the world in ways that I could not do alone. 

Are there parts of my heart that need rest? After last week I can give an enthusiastic YES to rest and refreshment. It will come.

My back yard garden has good organic soil, plant food, faithful watering, weeding, and lots of love. Ah! And Bandit's supervision. My heart needs love, prayer, forgiveness, honesty, faith, meditation, and just as careful attention. Sometimes I move things around in my garden-like my basil that benefits a little by the shade the tomato plants are providing in the afternoon. What relationships in my life am I surrounded by? Are all my relationships symbiotic or do some need to be moved to the other side of the yard or worse-uprooted? The garden has all of these lessons waiting here for me.

Is my garden healthy enough that it draws people in?

Just a moment to reflect on "fostering". 
It's simple, I know.
I had a very emotionally challenging week last week, grieving with a friend experiencing tremendous and tragic loss, my mother and brother in and out of hospitals on opposite ends of the earth as it seemed, difficult conversations, mixed with the emotional highs of getting to serve with Father's House Vacaville's Adopt-a-Block for the first time, graduating my baby from the 8th grade, ending my long stretch of homeschooling, and saying "good-bye" to the program that kept me in the game of homeschooling since my kids were wee little. The last yearbook Calli and I make together, the last class party.... Life is filled with lows and highs and oddly I am grateful for them both. Reflecting on how I foster the areas of my heart today, will determine how I am able to walk through the highs and lows that come tomorrow. 

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