Well, my birthday was this week. I’m not super excited about turning 35, but there’s not anything I can really do about it. 🙂 The age itself is not really the issue more than it’s just being reminded that I’m another year older and we still don’t have a second child. I’m trying not to obsess about it and to truly trust that God knows what is best for our little family, and that ultimately His will is what we long for. If that means only having our sweet little Grayson, then so be it. I’ve tried not to be whiney and to be grateful; I know there are many women who long to have just one child of their own. I was telling a lady the other day that I just always thought I’d have a big family and now it looks like it’s not going to be “big,” even if it does get a little “bigger.” But yes, I’m determined to just trust in the Lord.
Why are we so impatient? Have people always been this way? I daresay that while it is human nature to desire things to happen quickly, it has definitely gotten worse in our day of instant gratification. I’m old enough to remember doing research papers in high school and college where I actually had to check books out at the library and dig through them to construct my essay. I remember having to work math problems out the long way. Now, I am also of the generation that was probably one of the first to actually learn to use a computer in elementary school, even if it was monochrome and used mainly for word processing and games. It seems like in such a short span of time, things have gone from “quick” to “instant.” I remember first using dial-up (do some of you not even know what that is????) and how I was just so excited to wait the three or four minutes it would take for a web page to load. But NOW….sheesh. I’m stamping my foot and beating the table along with the rest of you if my PHONE takes longer than TWENTY SECONDS to load a much more complex website. Yes, my PHONE. You know, the mega-computer that fits in the palm of my hand. It’s crazy.
And food. Can you imagine getting “hangry” 30-40 years ago? When you would actually have to wait until your mom finished cooking dinner to eat? Now, we have microwaves in every home and place of business. Your frozen dinner can be ready to eat in 3 minutes. Even better, you have your choice of Asian, Mexican, American, Italian food and more that you don’t even have to get out of your car for!!! Just pull right through, order an appetizing meal (that was also frozen and is being reheated just for you), pay for it, and then eat it on your way to your next engagement! You can have it all, and you can have it all RIGHT NOW. Good grief, you don’t even have to drive to the bank anymore to deposit your check. Just take a picture…BAM. Done.
Let me share something with you: the most important things in life, the things that really, really matter, will never, EVER work that way. They will NEVER be instant. That weight you want to lose? It’s going to come off slowly, over time. Your child that you want to build a long and lasting relationship with? Time. It takes time. You want to rebuild your marriage? It’s one brick at a time. And sometimes, the little bit that you’ve rebuilt gets knocked over and you have to start again. One brick at a time. That baby learning to walk? He crawls first. Then he falls down. A LOT. And then one step. And a fall. And another step. And a fall. But eventually, he’s walking. Your walk with the Lord? Instantly everything it should be after you are saved? Nope. Not hardly. One day at a time. Your hand in His.
A seed is such a small thing, but my, what potential inside! Those of you who enjoy gardening know that once that tiny seed is planted in the ground, no amount of rushing will hurry things along. In the appointed time and season, that seed will begin to sprout. In the meantime, you have to water the seed..make sure it’s getting the appropriate amount of sunlight. You might even have to get back down on your hands and knees and prune the weeds that are starting to crop up around it. This is all before you ever even see one little bit of a fragile green shoot! You are working, bit by bit, with the faith that if you continue doing all you’re supposed to do, that seed is going to grow…..slowly. You can’t see the potential beneath the earth that has received your careful attention. Every bit of nourishment you’ve lovingly provided hasn’t gone unnoticed by the seed. But progress is slow and small and sometimes imperceptible. The seasoned gardener is not deterred by what he cannot see.
You know where I’m going by now, but it occurs to me that so much progress is happening in our lives that we simply cannot see. The most minute of actions, deciding to sit down with my son, Grayson, and play a game, when I would really rather be doing something else, is planting a deep relationship with my son. No, I don’t immediately see any result from our little game!! But somehow, there is a tiny little seed inside of him that is receiving my love and attention. When I push away the second doughnut (even though I really want it!!), and instead of thinking that that one little action didn’t matter, I choose to realize that I am sowing seeds of self-discipline. And that eventually, and never quick enough, I will realize a desirable place of a healthier body. Biting back that tart retort to my husband, though such a small thing, is a seed. It’s a seed of peace that I’m sowing in my home and with my sweet husband because I love him, and I want our home to be peaceful and filled with safety. Taking a mere moment to stop and focus on the Lord and tell Him how wonderful He truly is…Yes, it’s a seed. And He notices.
Whatever you desire, be encouraged by the tiny seeds that you plant. They will grow, little by little, into beautiful, desirable, meaningful plants to fill the fragrant garden of your life. Just remember, progress is happening WAY before you see it. There’s evidence beneath the surface that you just have to trust is there. And keep planting, and watering, and weeding, and nourishing. Rest assured that a lovely harvest will be yours if you just keep on, keeping’ on. What are you growing in the garden of your life?
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)
[This post was originally published on July 1, 2016.]