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seed packets“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.”
~Robert Louis Stevenson

Now that my flower beds are ready and the lawn is green, my fingers are itching for the garden. But there are a few things I need to do before digging in the dirt.

First, I plan. How big will the garden be? What varieties of vegetables and how many of each? (Definitely make sure there isn’t too much zuchinni!)

Second, I get the seeds. Planning to plant doesn’t do a thing unless I have the raw materials on hand when the day arrives.

Third, if I started planning early enough, I could start seedlings inside. I still remember my grandfather’s greenhouse and the rows of milk cartons, each with a tiny green shoot poking up through the dirt.

What lessons can I learn from planting?

I need to identify what crop I want to grow in my life. Love. Joy. Patience. Compassion. Friendships. Faith. Spiritual growth. Ministry. Publication.

Knowing the expected harvest, tells me what kind of seeds to plant. Because “a man reaps what he sows.” (Galations 6:7b) Just like I can’t get corn from a tomato seed, I can’t grow compassion on a root of jealousy. I can’t plant hours of television time and expect a book to get written. I can’t expect my faith to grow without planting time in the Word and in prayer.

And then I need to get started now. Even if the weather isn’t quite right outside for my tiny seedling to survive, I can still begin within a sheltered environment. Like sending my writing to a friendly critique group before I brave the world of contests, queries, agents and editors.

(Update 2014: While this blog originally posted in 2010, you can see more Devotions From the Garden in ebook and print formats on the book page.)

What about you? What seeds are you planting in your life? What harvest do you expect from them?

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