I’ve never been much of a gardener. I just don’t take the time for it. In fact, I recently killed my fake orchid. How that happened, I have no idea. It was in the fake plant section of IKEA, and it looked and felt fake to me, so obviously I didn’t water it… But now my beautiful faux fake orchid is a wilted, drooping brown stem.
So, when I watched a movie last week and one of the main character’s purpose in life was gardening, I found myself contemplating that for days. I went to bed thinking about it, wondering what it would feel like to have your purpose be gardening – to enjoy flowers that much. I was still thinking about it the next morning during my quiet time with the LORD, and I felt His familiar, quiet whisper blow across my heart, as He said, “I enjoy flowers, too.”
Such a simple statement, so obvious, and yet it really impacted me.
Of course He likes flowers. He made them. He created them. He made them to be beautiful, to smell beautiful. In Genesis we see that he gives man the job of caring for the earth and everything on it. I realized if He enjoys flowers, maybe it’s OK for me to enjoy them and spend time on them, too. I went to the garden center that afternoon and picked up some packages of bulbs to plant. Next year, we will have Dutch Irises, Peonys, Lily of the Valleys, Dahlias, and Gladiolas galore. I enjoyed picking them out and planting them, knowing I was taking joy in something God enjoys, too.
Every single day that I spend time with the LORD, my day is impacted by that time with Him in a tangible way. It’s not always picking up a new hobby. Sometimes it’s as simple (yet miraculous!) as peace replacing worry, or remembering to be intentional about my reactions, or being reminded of who I want to be.
I want nothing more than to be a kind mommy who loves my children well. But sometimes, in the midst of two-year-old tantrums, a four year old who has a meltdown because she doesn’t like the shirt I laid out for her, and a first grader who is more concerned with playing than focusing on her schoolwork, I forget that. Sometimes, when the word ‘mommy’ is used 3, 284 times in the space of 60 seconds, I’m anything but kind. Sometimes, when all I want is 30 seconds alone in the bathroom, and even though I snuck to the opposite side of the house to get it…while they were totally zoned in on their coloring…and they literally just had a snack and drink…and I tiptoed all the way and closed the bathroom door so quietly that there was literally no audible sound whatsoever…and they find me before I even have a chance to unbutton my pants – my response is not always loving.
That’s natural. That’s motherhood.
But spending intentional time with God, gives me access to the supernatural.
When I spend time with Him, He gives me the grace to giggle at their persistence, compliment their uncanny ability to find me, and appreciate the blessing of having daughters. He equips me with the love I need to love that tantruming two-year-old right through her tantrum, to gracefully help my four-year-old out of her meltdown, and kindly refocus my first grader.
It’s His grace, His love, His strength that gets me through each day.
When I’m working on a deadline, when I’m faced with an opportunity to love someone who feels unlovable, when I’m in the trenches of motherhood, when I’m working with someone who is difficult, when I would rather binge Netflix than be intentional about making the effort to do what God has put before me, when I would rather eat pastries and lattes instead of a healthy breakfast that will fuel my body – it’s His strength, His grace, His love that gets me through.
But relying on Him doesn’t come naturally. It’s not our natural way. It’s only through intentionality – or desperation – that we learn to rely on God and to live mindfully of Him.
Spending time with Him each morning is how I practice being intentional about my relationship with Him. It’s during that time that I learn and grow, share and listen. It’s during that time that I start what will become a day-long conversation with God. It’s during that time that I’m reminded what my true priorities and goals are for the day – not goals of production, but goals of being. To-do lists come after my quiet time, but first, during my quiet time, He reminds me of who I should be while I do. It’s during that time that I learn to rely on Him, and invite the supernatural into my natural.
So, if you love Jesus and you’re out there hustling hard, in the trenches of motherhood, pulling double-shifts, blending up kale smoothies, or planting flowers, but not feeling His grace and strength and love, double-check your connection. Put forth the effort to connect with God today. Get intentional about checking in. Get intentional about learning more about who He is, and who you are in Him. Because everything you do, everything you are, He cares about. Because He made you. He created you. He likes you. He thinks you’re beautiful. And He cares about you. He wants to meet you right there in your daily life and empower you to do whatever you’ve got on your to-do list today! So, get intentional about connecting with Him and accept the strength and love and grace He so willingly and freely gives!
Note: If you want to go deeper in your relationship with God, if you want to experience a deeper connection with Him – in reality and not just in theory – but you don’t know how, sign up here for my free, simple, 5-day email course. Each day for five days, you’ll get one simple tip to take you deeper in your relationship with God!
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