growing in the heat

clockwise starting at the top left: kale, basil, peppers + snow lilies

When I got the seeds for free from the Dallas Public Library (apparently that’s a thing at many libraries, so check yours to be sure) I liked that they were free more than I was excited to actually try to grow anything.

My green thumb has always been more brown – the color of the soil – and keeping things alive has been quite elusive for me. It’s been more work and research and understanding than I’ve really ever wanted to put time and energy into.

But then Mister encouraged me and said we’d do it together, so we did.

And while the time of year isn’t best for growing the things I really want to (mostly pansies), I grabbed items that are supposed to be able to grow in the Texas heat and set about doing my part to make it happen.

It’s not been super difficult, but it has not been totally successful.

the kale withered and died

See the Kale had one great bright leaf and then out of nowhere – probably because I forgot to water it three days in a row – it just withered up and died. It was so pitiful and I was somewhat clueless that I actually watered it one more time before completely throwing in the towel on it. But the other three: basil, snow lilies and peppers are doing well.

Which reminds me…

Things CAN actually grow in heat.

I was not a believer and don’t have a lot of stock in how far we’ll go, but I have seen and can’t help but consider what this means for me and my own journey; my relationship with Jesus, my new job and especially my new marriage.

There have come times already in all of these where my strengths were not the things I needed to tap into – the conditions were hot and uncomfortable, stretching me beyond my comfort zone or what comes easily for me. Instead, I am making margin to simplify what I add to my life in order to experience sustainable, godly growth.

Stuff grows in Arizona and Mexico and even here in Texas summer. Well, that must mean that I can grow in the situations that turn up the heat on me too. Rather than running from things that make me uncomfortable, reveal my insecurities or areas of growth or situations that dig at the core of who God says I am – I’m running into more of these types of things.

Not in quantity but in the quality of the things I’ve committed myself to and believe that I’ve been called to.

That statement alone makes me flap the collar on my shirt…

If the heat is being turned up on me – which I think it is – then those around me should be warned that this will be coming their way too.

Look.

I really do ask God to check my motives (which most often reveal how selfish and self-focused I am) and then plead with Him to redirect my motives and really want to love people well by being real and authentic with them. It is not my intention to be mean or hurtful or just to make a point – though I realize it may, at times, come across this way.

As God continues to bless me with with time, it is cemented in my heart how precious it really is. How little of it I have permission or reason to waste.

So I want to use the time to do my best to keep things healthy when they’re under the heat and pressure of a tough season. This means watering my marriage when the attacks of disunity, illness and miscommunication come upon us. Or believing the best about my young adult son when it seems his focus is truly only on what makes sense and works best for him and his schedule (does he get that from me?!?). And lovingly receiving from friends and trusted advisors when I’ve gotten away from what I said was most important to me.

Too hot? Maybe just for a season, but I am faithful that God can grow things – even in the heat. And I’m hopeful. We’ve purchased three new, bigger planters and will re-pot them in anticipation of more growth in the hot summer Texas heat.

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