Last night, I could not get this word out of my head: consistency. For my birthday last year, my mom bought me a gardenia bush. It was a $50 plant. When I received it, white fragrant flowers covered the entire bush. A gardenia takes partial shade/partial sun and Ryan built the perfect place in our front yard for it to call home. Out of my bedroom window I can see whether or not it has any blooms and try to enjoy them before one of my kids gets their little hands on them.
Throughout the summer and fall we regularly and consistently watered this plant…not that it was on my calendar to do so but because we were outside all the time and other plants showed symptoms of thirst. If one got a drink they all got a drink. However, winter disguised the drought that was taking place outside my bedroom window. Everything in our yard was brown, we stayed inside more and we used our sprinklers to water. On occasions I would notice a yellow leaf or two on the gardenia bush and be reminded to give this plant a dose of water. When I watered it I would leave to hose on it for a long time and give it a “good drink” but then I would walk away and not come back until a “yellow” leaf got my attention. A plant may survive with this “shock and awe” way of watering but it certainly will not thrive. Needless to say my care lacked consistency and this gardenia died. One yellow leaf unnoticed turned to the whole bush. It is not that I didn’t love and enjoy this flower I just wasn’t consistent in my care.
God has entrusted two precious flowers to me. Their petals are soft and blonde, their eyes are deep and brown and their limbs are constantly moving in the breeze of childhood. It is my job to nurture to the best of my ability…CONSISTENTLY modeling humility, gratefulness, joy, repentance and prayer. Daily I notice a little “yellowing” of character in one or both of these girls. My prayer is that I wouldn’t drown them in correction then leave them in dry and thirsty until the next yellow leaf. I cry out for these little blooms…I am not perfect. My mom says that even the best of gardeners lose (she really said kill but lose sounds a little kinder) a crop. The crop that I call my children can not afford to be left unattended to…the world offers nothing that will satisfy their thirst. It is my job as their gardener to CONSISTENTLY water them, CONSISTENTLY prune away the dead leaves of yesterday’s mistakes and CONSISTENTLY work the soil of their hearts – weeding out the seeds of selfishness and disrespect.
God heard my cry for help
He whispered to me that I am free to make mistakes
but do not give up
Water a little each day
and I will walk with you along the way.
These little blooms you tuck in at night
are never out of MY site.
They may wonder, they may stray
but they will not grow thirsty
for you brought them to me each day.
Keep calling out to Me, I will guide you
’cause your work one day will be through
These little flowers will fill their world with fragrance
for their Gardener walked along side you.
After writing the above portion, I had to ask myself “When is the last time your soul had a good long drink”? I so easily try and live off of last month’s soul soaking. If I am honest, I’ve tried to make a “Ladies Retreat” soaking last until the next retreat. Before long I have a “yellowing” in all areas of my character and I wonder what happened. I opened my Bible this morning and I felt the wilting of my soul perk up, peace went ahead of my day and I have had more than enough to give to my husband and children. Water your soul a little everyday – you might be surprised by what a little time in the refreshing word of God will do.