I don't want to die!
"Rosalyn, this is Mom," my answering machine played back. "I'm calling to give you permission to water your ivy today."
One year, I bought an ivy. My mom visited, saved it from death, and then called periodically to tell me I could water it. Otherwise, I would have killed it.
In a week.
Another year, my mom secured a position for me at the greenhouse she managed. It didn't last long. Every ten minutes I had to run to wash off the dirt. Icky stuff.
Knowing my past, I have come to the conclusion that God has a sense of humor. Why else would he have given me the job of being a farmer's wife?
And I'm not sure what surprises me more this year: That I enjoy my garden, or that it's still alive.
In tracing back how those miracles occurred, aside from divine intervention, I realized that all those years of failure had added up to two important missing ingredients: experience and choosing a positive attitude.
And so goes our spiritual lives.
For each success, there are a dozen failures. Each failure is a lesson, just as each success reinforces. And my attitude is the water that makes the whole thing take root in my heart.
Colossians 1:9-12 reminds me to apply the same concepts to my life. In verse 10, I'm encouraged to keep at it, cultivating my faith, and as I learn how God works, I will learn how to do my work.
The verses go on to remind me to check my attitude - am I going at my life (spiritual, family, gardening) with a ' just get it over with' attitude - if so, I'm missing out on the power that God gives me when I choose to have a 'yes, Lord!' attitude.
It's through that power that I am given the strength to do the tasks he's set out for me, and He gives endurance and patience to complete the tasks. (Two very necessary gardener character traits.)
Lastly, as I become thankful for the success AND the failures, I am aware that all my experiences are used to develop my relationship with God. As my mentor Nina Roesner constantly reminds me, 'Nothing is wasted.'
So what does your life-garden look like these days? Faith Life. Farm Life. Garden Life. Child-rearing Life. Work Life. Church Life. Married Life. Single Life.
Success, failure - both are necessary to create the experience you'll need for the next round. None of it wasted. Smile, choosing to have a thankful heart. Then watch your life bloom.
"We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well."
(1 Corinthians 10:24b MSG)