When I rediscovered a packet of flower seeds in my refrigerator, I was curious.
Two questions begged answers. Were the seeds I purchased months ago—and failed to plant—still capable of producing beautiful blooms? Would my granddaughter who has special needs enjoy the journey of planting seeds and cultivating flowers?
Then a third question slowed my reach for a blue and pink packet of Ferry-Morse® Zinnias.
What if nothing happens?
Here at In the Quiver, we’re all about sharing ways to navigate the journey of living in Christ with the kiddos in our lives. That journey would be incomplete without the component of choosing to step forward by faith as opposed to sight—choosing to try, and trusting God with the results.
Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord,Psalm 37:4-5 NAS
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
The refrigerator door sealed shut as I walked toward my desk and lay the packet of potential beside my laptop. Words populated the search bar while I tapped, “How to grow zinnias from seeds indoors.”
The first article schooled me well regarding growing flowers from seeds, and this phrase nurtured my next step, “Seedlings will emerge in 7-10 days.”
After one trip to a local nursery for seedling soil, I set a table fit for planting seeds, raising flowers, and fostering faith with my granddaughter.
“Watch me first, baby. Then you can do it.”
She folded her hands onto the table, set her chin atop her knuckles, and zeroed in on my process of pinching one seed then lightly pressing it into the feather-light soil.
“Your turn.” Explaining the process to her wasn’t necessary. She enjoyed the doing without having to understand the reason. Her joy was rooted in being together—just us.
While she struggled with coaxing the tiny seeds to let go of her fingertips, I envisioned blooms of striking colors standing in the summer sun. The thought of us clipping stalks of Zinnias and dropping them in a vase of water thrilled me! She hung in there for most of the planting, then tired of the process and let me finish for her.
We placed tiny greenhouses (aka clear egg cartons) on a sunny windowsill, washed our hands, and then we waited. Well, I waited. In her mind the project was complete, and she moved on to the next thing.
Not me! I could not resist inspecting the soil every day. And just like the instructions stated, within a week, tiny fingers of green emerged from the black soil. A sense of redemption intertwined with relief, and I gave myself a moment to revel in the evidence of things hoped for.
A sense of redemption intertwined with relief, and I gave myself a moment to revel in the evidence of things hoped for. Charla Matthews #Hope #ParenthoodTweet
When my Little One visited I beckoned her to the windowsill, “Look! Your flowers are growing!”
She leaned toward the little sprouts.
She looked into my eyes.
Then she shook her finger side-to-side and said, “Not flowers.”
Unhindered by her reaction, I responded, “Yes, they are. These (I pointed to the sprouts) will be flowers one day.”
She listened, looked, and reiterated, “Not flowers.” When she skipped from the windowsill, for a moment, I felt as though my joy wilted.
[F]or we walk by faith, not by sight.2 Corinthians 5:7 NAS
She couldn’t perceive beyond the little green sprouts, but I knew the potential yet to be seen.
Doesn’t this resonate in the spiritual sense of our purpose and potential according to God’s perspective?
The thing that became apparent to me was the beauty of walking by faith with others. From that point forward, I didn’t try to explain the process that led from seed to blooms. I simply let her enjoy the journey while anticipating the day she would see what was there all along.
She helped me water the seedlings and ensure they remained in the sun.
She observed the changes during the growth process.
And when the time arrived to transplant the seedlings to larger containers, she marveled.
“Whoa! Look how tall! Aww, cute leaves.”
“I know! See how your flowers are growing?”
“Yeah! Not flowers. Nuh-uh.”
My desire to foster faith in her cultivated an unexpressed hope in me; uh-huh…you’ll see.
Even when we transplanted the tall stems adorned with green leaves and topped with buds into the garden, she held fast to what she saw…well, what she didn’t see. These were not flowers because there were no blooms.
When those buds burst, and color punctuated the garden bed? Let me tell y’all. The urge to prove my point was almost irresistible.
Instead, I simply asked, “What do you see?”
She breathed deep and exhaled, “Flowers!”
The seed-sowing, watering, cultivating, and waiting was worth the wait. Sure, the celebration of flowers was sweet! However, walking by faith together helped me see something more—something deeper, something precious.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.Romans 8:28 NAS
Sometimes we lose sight of the intent of faith. We’re not called to put our faith in faith, we’re called to put our faith in God.
During this journey with my granddaughter, I grew. It was an almost unrecognizable shift, but it happened. God used flower seeds to cultivate my faith in Him—in His way of helping my Little One blossom according to His unique purpose for her life.
If you’re interested in taking a similar journey, here’s a very basic guideline for what we did:
Step 1: Pick a pack of seeds, purchase seedling soil and a seed starter kit. Note: I started with recycled clear egg cartons and had to transplant to a larger seed starter tray later. Feel free to skip the egg cartons and go with the seed starter tray *wink*.
Step 2: Plant seeds according to package instructions.
Step 3: Place the seed starter kit in a sunny spot and maintain soil moisture.
Step 4: Place the mature flowers outside to acclimate to wind and climate, then plant according to guidelines for your area.
Step 5: Celebrate and share the flowers from your faith.
Do you have a testimony of walking by faith and gaining God’s perspective on your journey? We’d love to hear!
Anticipation, Fascination, and the Journey of Faith by Charla Matthews #Family #FaithTweet
For the full article regarding Zinnias, click here: https://www.burpee.com/blog/encyclopedia__zinnia-article.html
10 thoughts on “Anticipation, Fascination, and the Journey of Faith”
Charla, as always, you teach powerful lessons with your writing. I’ll have opportunities soon to find faith lessons to share with my grandchildren. Your post leads me to ask God to open my eyes for lessons they’ll remember. Thank you.
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I have no doubt you will see, treasure, and teach those lessons because you are a receptive daughter of our Father. You are one who inspires me to do the same with your words from life in Him. Thank you for your kind and encouraging words.
“Walking by faith?” I don’t think anyone can offer a more perfect example than what you gave Ms. Charla. The thought that entered my mind as I was reading was when God answered the prayers of a wayward young man and brought him into a loving Christian family that gave him the start in life he needed to become the man God created him to be. Someday I may write and share that story, but I view my life as a work in progress with so much more growing and blooming to do. Thank you for giving me a morning full of gentleness and thoughts of the blessings of faith.
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JD, thank you for sharing! I know God is still writing your story (and mine!), but I sincerely believe your journey thus far has the power of truth and hope for many in need. I am drawn to savor the words you write because it nourishes my soul to lean into our Savior. I know there are those who will read your story and choose to know Him! Bless you, friend 🙂
Charla, that was just wonderful! “We’re not called to put our faith in faith, we’re called to put our faith in God.” Thank you so much. It was written so well, and the message so needed in my own heart today.
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Sylvia, I am so grateful our Father nurtured your heart with our true story. He’s faithful to meet us in His way ~ a way that always amazes! May your heart rejoice in His intimate presence as you journey this side of heaven.
This is such a sweet and very clear picture of walking by faith when we can’t see ahead! Your patience with your Little One was so special, Charla!
Thank you, Kathy! She’s a special girl 🙂 I’m pretty sure God was using her to work on me, lol!
What a great article and visual you unpackaged on walking by faith not by sight. Just so well written and illustrated.
The flowers grew, your precious little one grew, and you grew. And I can just see your little one shaking her finger back and forth.
Loved: “Explaining the process to her wasn’t necessary. She enjoyed the doing without having to understand the reason. Her joy was rooted in being together—just us.”
You are a blessing to her and she is a blessing to you!
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I so grateful you enjoyed reading ~ with the special aspect of knowing my Little One! Thank you for sharing encouraging words and for taking time to comment. Walking by faith with you as my ‘fwiend’ has helped me grow, too!