Tuesday, February 20, 2018

#musesofamom: How to Grow Deep Roots in Your Garden

In early spring of 2015, our family embarked on an extensive landscaping project in our backyard which we managed to accomplish all on our own, creating four beds along the back fence to minimize the amount of grass that we would need to upkeep. After many man hours of preparing these landscape beds, I was looking forward to adding all sorts of flowers, bushes, and trees to fill two of the four large beds while planting zucchini, squash, and tomatoes in the other two beds.

In my mind, I had an ambitious plan of what I intended to do.


My treasured purchase was this apple tree.  What grand expectations I had for this tree! My mission was to help this tree grow to it's glorious, fruit-bearing potential.

I staked the tree.

I mulched around the tree.

I faithfully watered the tree.

I diligently pulled weeds that would spring up around the tree.

I even talked to the tree. I did everything I knew to do.

I imagined the crisp, tasty apples that would make cobbler, apple pies, apple cinnamon bread, applesauce and all the other wonderful treats that would come from that tree once it matured enough to grow fruit. Oh yum! I didn't mind the wait.

As we entered into the late spring rainy season, my dreams for the tree were dashed.  

Because ... the storm. Texas-sized. 

Dreaded hail pelted our neighborhood with enough pellets that it accumulated like bright white snow on yards, roofs, and streets.  Many homes had damage to their roofs and landscaping. Several cars had dents and cracked windshields.

Our front yard the amount of hail that came from the storm.

The following morning, I checked on the backyard landscaping and observed that the apple tree didn't fare well through the storm. There were gashes and pit marks on the trunk and branches where the hail had whipped it unmercifully.

But the apple tree was still standing, so all was well.

As late spring turned into a blazing hot Texas summer, I would regularly water the tree but noticed that it never returned to the healthy stature it had when first planted. Even with faithful watering, by September the leaves had turned brown and brittle -- an unquestioning sign that the tree had breathed its last.

With nothing else to do, I left the tree as it was until the following spring.



In the following year, I planted a few more hearty Texas flowers and my landscaping project continued to progress quite well. However, when it came to planting fruit trees, I was a newbie who had a lot more to learn. In the case of the "Apple Tree Casualty of 2015," it was when I did additional research that I discovered some crucial tasks that I should have done -- but didn't:

. . . I should have dug a deeper hole when planting that would allow a deeper root system.

. . . I should have watered more thoroughly and added fertilizer directly after planting to help build a stronger root system.

. . . If I had done research before buying the tree, I would have learned that apple trees need another tree in close proximity in order to cross-pollinate and produce fruit.

. . . I should have covered the tree to help deflect hailstones as the storm approached.

As the unfortunate apple tree was dug up and removed from the garden, the Lord brought to mind a life lesson to be learned in good gardening.

How often have I gone forward with my own designs and with my own (and often limited) knowledge of what I thought was best?  How did I respond when an unexpected storm arose for which I was in no way prepared?

You see where I'm going with this, don't you?

Planting my own plans in life in my own wisdom gives me excitement and motivation, but it after pushing through the plan, it ofttimes results with hailstones of trouble that shake me from the securities that I thought were rooted firmly.  And again I realize that I neglected to spend time with the Master Gardener to discover what His gardening plans are best.


But Jesus is so faithful; even when I am pelted and tattered, He pulls me back to Him and directs me in the path I should take.  No doubt a little slower, a little more deliberate. 

If you are struggling in a storm right now, unsure or discouraged, allow Jesus to be your Master Gardener!
  • Water your day with prayer in order to build a stronger relationship with Him, 
  • Dig a deeper root system by reading and studying the Bible regularly so you know what He has to say to you, and
  • Spend time with other believers to produce relationships that will get you through tough times.
Allow the storm to grow your faith as you let your life be built on Him.  
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