It all started with this simple, silly picture.
This, my friends, is a picture of a carrot. More specifically, the kind of carrot I grow in my garden. It is almost as wide as it is long, and if you look closely, you will see that at the bottom, it tried to grow some additional carrot pieces. Like little thumbs protruding from its already abnormal abdomen.
Frustrated with my weird carrots, I posted this picture to my Facebook page, asking my gardening friends for advice. Because, although I'm pretty good at cooking carrots, growing them is still new to me.
This is how my post read: "Gardening pros: why do my carrots look like this? It's like they spend their energy growing out instead of down. Sometimes they have multiple appendages."
One of my Facebook friends, Emily, suggested that my question sounded like a good topic for a blog post. So you know I couldn't resist, and I've been thinking about it all day. (P.S. Emily is the wife of my high school boyfriend. Isn't God cool?!)
What's more is that the helpful answers I received were even more spiritually thought provoking than my post. Here are some of the answers:
"The ground is too hard and they can't dig down."
"Mine have done that when I didn't till deep enough."
"I'd say the ground is too hard."
Isn't this interesting?
This poor little carrot is an example of what happens when we focus on the wrong things.
I can be guilty of this. I direct my time and energy toward things that are temporary. I worry about trivial things that really won't even be a thought tomorrow. As moms, we often worry over the little details of our kids lives without seeing the eternal perspective. I mean, how much do we worry over potty training? Over giving up a pacifier or blankie? Over who their first grade teacher is? When really, are any of these issues worth our extreme exhaustion and worry?
Sometimes, we have the misplaced energy of a struggling carrot.
Here's what our energy should be directed at:
"Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness" (Colossians 2: 7).
Matthew 6:33 gives us further instruction. "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need."
When we focus on God and His truth, we gain new perspective about Him, ourselves, and the world around us. This perspective is necessary if we want to grow in maturity and be a light to those around us.
This is all good, but there is sometimes an obstacle to our growth, just like there was an obstacle to my carrot seeds. Our hearts cannot be too hard. We must constantly check in with God and allow the Holy Spirit to soften us. What does that look like? Sometimes it is convicting. Ouch. Sometimes it is teaching, Sometimes it is gaining knowledge. But we must keep in touch with Him. We must allow Him to do some tilling, if needed.
It's not always fun, but it is for the best. If I would have tilled my garden more effectively, my little carrot could have grown in the right way, the way that God wished for it to grow.
"Let your roots grow down into Him...Then your faith will grow strong..."
I would say I'm pretty handy, for a girl. I have learned to do some "manly" things on my own solely because I'm impatient and don't want to wait for my husband to help me. He's a busy man, with his own long to-do list, so sometimes you just have to stain your own deck, you know? Or take down, paint, and re-hang your shutters.
Now when it comes to using saws and power tools, I'm out. I wish I would have taken shop class or something in high school, but at the time, I'd rather just sing! So if someone asked me to build something, something even as simple as a shelf, I would have no idea. I probably shouldn't ever be allowed to use a saw. I mean, I just burnt my arm on my crock pot last night. Ouch.
But ladies, whether you are handy or not, we are called to build something. Proverbs is the book in the Bible full of lots of practical advice, like "Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest" (Prov. 14:4). But it also has some more modern advice for us ladies.
"A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands" (Prov. 14:1).
See? If we are wise, we are building something! Our own home! Who has more influence over her own household than a woman, than a mother? No one. A woman sets the tone and attitude of the house in ways that no man can.
Usually, it is the woman that decorates. She makes holidays and birthdays special with cute signs or decorations. These things really influence the way your children view themselves and their family.
Also, women are often the ones who buy the food and prepare it. We are in charge of nourishing our entire family. Without it, no one would grow or thrive. No one would be able to accomplish the things of their day without having their basic need of food taken care of.
And you know the saying, "If mama ain't happy, then nobody's happy"? It's true. My grumpy mood rubs off on my kids and makes my funky mood even worse. It turns my kids grumpy too!
So besides these practical ways of building our house, there is one more important thing to know. We must build our house on the Rock. "For who is God except the Lord? Who but our God is a solid rock?" (Psalm 18:31).
Jesus talked about this too. In Matthew 7, He describes a man that builds his house on the rock versus one that builds on the sand. That rock is the teachings of God. God's very Word is the only thing firm enough to build on. He says for the man with his house on the rock: "Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won't collapse because it is built on bedrock" (Matt. 7:25). The same cannot be said for the house on the sand. It is torn down, much like the foolish woman's in Proverbs 14.
This is the secret of a sound building, of a strong house, mama. We must cling to our God and His word for their is no other firm foundation.
"The wise woman built her house upon the rock, and the rains came a' tumbling down..."
Hi, I'm Kristen! Just a girl who loves all things Jesus, family, music and food!
For previous posts, click here.