Have you ever wondered if God created your children a certain way to simply teach us as adults? Now I know they are created for much more then that, but the idea that they are a very purposeful tool in the arena of working on my heart is so amazing. A glorious plan if you ask me. The very first hours I became a mother I knew life would never feel the same again. Within days of taking that baby boy home, I knew I was already being tested to grow into something better. And because a little person entered my world and forced me to see things through a whole new lens, I started to also see God a bit better. With each child that enters my life I just keep getting a more clear view of who God is on my journey. It will always amaze me that God can use the smallest to lead me, but it is what I am using as a compass these days as I reach for God's heart.
Having three boys is anything but dull and usually not even that quiet, but every so often a very quiet thing will happen that will scream loud into my heart. Through these little years with these little people I hear and see little things happening that add up to big things when I really pay attention and let the small lead me. I live my daily minutes cleaning up after three (okay, four really), scheduling naps and feedings, washing clothes, making food, playing cars and trucks, watching football games in my back-yard, and following around my little people while they experience the world at face value. Sometimes, in the right season, we dig into God's earth and plant seeds and wait for something miraculous to grow. Sometimes that little seed sprouts and grows great fruits and sometimes it shrivels up never producing a single thing.
I have spent my last few months wondering if I have misheard God speaking to me about where His path should go. Like my little ones plant their little seeds, I have dropped a few of my own hoping for a great crop. Watching the boys choose the right seed and the right soil and the right location has shown me just how much nurturing needs to go into such a decision. For it only takes rotten seeds or bad soil or bad sun to spoil a full harvest. This summer my middle son insisted we plant pumpkins. I assured him we could try, but it was really late in the season and the soil was not that great. I had already planted a rasberry bush in the very same spot and it was doing poorly. But his persistance got the best of me and away he went to scatter his seeds. Days went by and I quickly forgot about the pumpkin seeds planted amongst the thorny raspberry sticks until early one morning. The sun was shining and the heat already setting in as my middle son and I headed to the back-yard. I followed him around as he reviewed all his plants and when he arrived to the raspberry bush I was too surprised to not react. While I stood in amazement at that long green vine with big yellow flowers blooming, Austin simply grabbed the watering can and simply said "I told you this soil was perfect for pumpkins." Pumpkins, not raspberries, I thought to myself. He was right, of course. The evidence was clearly growing all up the raspberry stems and stretching under the deck. Where we had planted raspberry bushes hoping for a full berry crop this fall, was nothing more then a huge bushy pumpkin plant growing in all its glory. While I found disappointment in my raspberry plants, I didn't think to pay attention to something else that might be growing.
In that moment I understood God's leading through the simplicity of my little one. While I spend my days trying hard to plant a group of seeds hoping for one thing, I have forgotten to see the land for all its potential and recognize that maybe, just maybe, God had a different and better vision for harvest time all along. Some days I am working hard to plant raspberries when I suppose God intended for me to grow pumpkins all along.
During that time when my seeds seem to not be producing what I wanted, I now can see a little better that something bigger and better might be growing all on its own. Even with poor soil, God can nurture the smallest seeds for a bountiful crop. While I spend these little years following my little ones, I am thankful for the planting season that is preparing me for harvest time. And when my little ones find rich soil or a good seed or the perfect location, I am going to be a little more open to seeing what can grow. For in this life I can only fully harvest what God is planting in me, and if he so chooses a different crop then I would have...well, I'd like to think that through the little lesson in my very own back-yard and at the hands of my 4 year old, I will be able to recognize not only a good seed, but not under-estimate the Gardener.